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BookChums Specials: Legends with Wings

Post by: Snehith Kumbla

BookChums Specials: Legends with Wings, myths, mythology, The Ramayana

 

BookChums is celebrating mythology this week and incidentally we have been doing a series on mythical creatures on our Facebook page. The creature beside the BookChums logo is the hippogriff, a creature with the body of a lion, head and wings of an eagle, forelegs of an eagle's and the hind legs of a horse.

 

One thing in common with many such imagined creatures has been unanimous – they have been beings blessed with the gift of flight. That is also to say that until the Wright Brothers demonstrated in 1903 that it was possible to fly and still survive to tell the tale, human beings were satisfied making fantasies of the same.

 

No wonder then that most mythological tales concern a flying machine or a flying being as major elements in their legends. Sample The Ramayana, for instance. How else could Ravana kidnap Sita but with the aid of his Pushpak Viman? Not only did the flight machine act as an elusive target for anyone looking to obstruct Ravana’s plans, it also considerably reduced travel time to Lanka, as modern flying machines do, though of course, they are flown now with bona fide intentions.

 

What exactly aided in take off and descend though is still unclear, how did the machine escape gravity as aircrafts do now? We also have to consider the fuel used and that probably the author of the epic was thinking of something resembling a helicopter. As you can see, there is no end to the extent which myths can be stretched.  

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