In my book – The Mahabharata Secret – I have tried to interpret our mythological heritage in The Mahabharata through the eyes of science. This is something that I have found that many Indians believe is highly possible.
When I speak of science and technology in the context of The Mahabharata, I would like to emphasise that I do not subscribe to some of the wildly speculative conspiracy theories about the Mahabharata which, far from being grounded in scientific fact, are more in the realm of fantasy. For example you will find numerous websites, blogs and YouTube videos that claim that aliens and spacecraft were involved in The Mahabharata and that nuclear weapons were used at Kurukshetra. Based on my research, I don’t believe any scientific theory can explain any of these speculations, so they would be more appropriate for a book dealing with mythological fantasy than a thriller with a scientific base.
My view of science and technology in The Mahabharata is probably influenced by several books that I read over the course of the last 10-15 years. The first was The Hindu History by Akshoy K Majumdar, published in 1917, which contained a detailed study of the lineages and kingdoms of prehistoric India as described in the Vedas, The Mahabharata, The Ramayana, the Puranas and the Upanishads. This book laid the foundation for my belief that there is a history of India that not popularly known , but which has been captured in the scriptures of India in allegorical or narrative form. And if there is little known about these people of India from 6000 years ago, is it not possible that their knowhow of science and technology, as described in The Mahabharata, was forgotten as well?
This belief was further stoked by other books I read by Graham Hancock (Fingerprints of the Gods, Keeper of Genesis, Underworld, Heaven’s Mirror), Robert Bauval, Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, and others, who spoke of a “collective amnesia of humanity”. They each postulated that there were civilisations in pre-history that may have been very advanced in their knowledge of science and technology, and that this knowledge has been lost over the millennia and forgotten by humankind. But because we don’t know about it doesn’t mean that this knowledge never existed. In fact, Christopher Knight and Robert Lumas, in Uriel’s Machine, propound a hypothesis that a key book from the Dead Sea Scrolls – The Book of Enoch – was based on events that actually occurred before the Great Flood (and they give evidence of the flood as well), including prehistoric science which was highly advanced.
Therefore, the science at the heart of The Mahabharata Secret seeks to answer the question: What if The Mahabharata actually deployed advanced science and technology far beyond what we can fathom even today and which for some reason never made it to our current recorded history; either lost to the ravages of time or deliberately obliterated. This perspective has only been reinforced by my reading of translated versions of texts by Susruta (a physician who is said to have lived around 1000 BC), which describe technology that we use today – only to tell us that they also existed hundreds of years ago.
As an author, I have presented my view of science in ancient India as an alternative perspective on the ancient history of India – a perspective that weaves together history, mythology and science and technology, with the epics and scriptures.
Both The Mahabharata and The Mahabharata Secret seek to inform readers of the inherent nature of technology and science as a double edged sword. While advances in science benefit humanity and make life more comfortable, there is a darker side to technology as well – one that can be moulded and used to fit the purposes of people with evil intentions. Even an ancient secret from The Mahabharata can be used in modern times to threaten the world. And that is something that we need to be aware of and prepared for.
I have received feedback in the form of queries from readers asking me whether the story in The Mahabharata Secret is a true story or based on facts. While there are many true facts in the book, I have woven fact and fiction in order to make the story realistic, and these queries assure me that this scientific interpretation of ancient Indian history, through The Mahabharata, is not only acceptable, but is also relevant to our times.