Some people say that in ancient India we had aeroplanes, atom bombs and guided missiles. In support of this argument they refer to the Ramayan and Mahabharat.
It is true that the Ramayan mentions Pushpak Viman, an alleged flying chariot, on which Lord Ram is said to have brought Sita from Lanka to Ayodhya, after defeating Ravan. On this basis it is claimed that there were aeroplanes in ancient India.
My reply to such people is this :
We must first understand what are Ramayan and Mahabharat ? They are epic poems ( mahakavyas). In poetry there is a thing called 'poetic licence', which gives a poet the right to exaggerate. So one must not take all things in the Ramayan or Mahabharat literally. As in much of poetry, many things are imaginative.
Everyone in the world knows that the first aeroplane in the world ( the Kitty Hawk ) was built by the Wright brothers in 1903. Hence we make ourselves a laughing stock before the whole world by claiming that there were aeroplanes in ancient India.
If there were aeroplanes in ancient India then there must have been engines in ancient India ( because an aeroplane requires an engine). In that case soldiers should have fought in tanks instead of in chariots and horses in the Mahabharat.
Similarly, the claim that there were guided missiles and atom bombs in ancient India,( because there is mention of brahmastra, agnyastra, narayanastra, etc in the Mahabharat and Ramayan ) is also nonsense. These were only poetic imaginations.
Such people who talk such nonsense do not know the real great scientific discoveries of our ancestors, e.g. the decimal system in mathematics, plastic surgery in medicine, etc ( I have mentioned about some of them in my article 'Sanskrit as a language of Science'). Instead they make us a laughing stock before the whole world by talking such nonsense.