Energy Generation through Vedas  

 Electrical Energy in the Vedas

Electricity is said to be the most important achievement of modern Science. Here it may be pointed out that electricity was also invented by the Vedic seers. In the Vedas, it has been mentioned by name Indra. The word Vidyuta was also used for the same. We also find the mention in Agastya Sa×hitÈ (Indian Prince’s libratry) regarding the method of generation of electricity and constructing electrical batteries. The relevant reference can be quoted as under:

sansthÈpya m‚‡maye pÈtre tÈmra-patraŠ susansk‚tam

chÈdayec chikhigrÏvena ca ÈrdrÈbhiÌ      


dastÈle–—o vidhÈt pÈrad ÈcchÈditas tataÌ

sa¤yogÈt jÈyate tejo mitrÈ-varu‡a-sa¤jitam

anena jalabha×go’sti pȇa udÈne–u vÈyu–u

evaŠ „atÈnÈŠ kuŠbhÈnÈŠ sa¤yoga kÈrya k‚t sm‚taÌ.

"Place a well-cleaned copper plate in an earthenware vessel. Cover it first by copper sulfate („hikhigriva) and then moist saw dust (kÈ–—hapÈnsu).

After that put a mercury-amalgamated -zinc (pÈrad ÈcchÈdita dast) sheet on top of an energy known by the twin name of Mitra-Varuna (cathode and anode).

Water will be split by this current into Pra‡a-vÈyu (oxyzen)  and  UdÈna-vayu (hydrozen).  A chain of one hundred jars is said to give a very active and effective force to make a battery bank ((kÈrya k‚t))."

Further it is stated that

vÈyu-bandhak-vastre‡a nibaddho yÈna-mastake.

uÈdÈnaÌ svalaghutvena bibharti-ÈkÈ„a-yÈnakam.

"That is to say this energy can be used in extracting hydrozen (udÈna-vÈyu) from water and then the same, being lighter than air can be used in operation of aeroplane."

 Apart from this, Atharvaveda (2.5.12) refers to two kinds of electricity i.e. positive and negative along with its friendly and destructive use. According to ÿgveda (1.16.5), the electricity is hidden in water and when it comes out, it spreads light and provides energy. ÿgveda (1.85.5; 188.1) describes use of electricity in weapons and telegraphy. The word Vidyut is used to denote electricity in Vedas. Electricity can be generated from energy (RV. 1.45.5). Electricity protects people and should be used as destructive energy against wicked persons and enemies with the help of weapons, which work on electricity (RV. 1.86.9). A scientist who knows the nature of Time and all the properties and characteristics of electricity can accomplish his/her work very fast (RV. 1.95.8).

Atharvaveda, apart from many other significant aspects of science like medicinal plants, healing practices, marriage rites, the healing properties of water, Supreme Consciousness also takes into account ‘electricity’.

Here it would be not be insignificant to make some highlights of the research work done by Dr. Ashok Tiwari, an electrical engineer and presently posted as an Executive Engineer, M.P. State Electricity Board, Jabalpur, on some aspects of ‘Electrical Energy’ registered in Atharvaveda.

According to him, electricity is one of the most exciting topics covered in the Atharvaveda. It discusses a detailed description of valuable applications that harness and utilize this immense source of energy. Some of the applications described, include important specifications for a control system that harnesses the intense power of electricity for use as a deadly weapon, utilization of hydroelectric power for manufacturing and the fission properties of electricity.

It will be fully apparent from the following mantras that Electrical energy and its properties were fully understood by Vedic sages. It was definitely used in everyday technological applications as much (if not more), as it is for us today. It is also clear that Vedic scientists knew far more about the properties of electricity than us. It was not till very recently, that modern day scientists discovered and began research on the potential usage of electrical energy in military science and related areas.

What these verses clearly demonstrate to us is the fact that Vedic Society was at an extremely advanced state of technological advancement and fully utilized Electricity in innumerable productive applications

According to the descriptions found in Atharvaveda, electrical energy can be utilized in many useful applications such as creation of powerful engines, illumination, agricultural machinery, hydroelectric power plants, manufacturing plants, biomedical engineering, extraction of medicines, etc. and thus serve to greatly enhance the daily life of people. For instance,

AV. (20.7.2) describes the inherent properties of of electrical energy. It refers to ‘positive’ and ‘negative currents’.

nav yo navatiŠ puro bibheda bahvo’jasÈ. ahiŠ ca v‚trahÈvadht

Electricity, which breaks, by the energy of its arms (i.e. positive and negative currents) the 99 cities called bhogas in the Vedic terminology (so called elements known to modern scientists), destroys the cloud, which makes clouds precipitate, the source of energy and power.

AV. (20.7.3) clearly refers to various useful applications of electricity. The mention of horse powered driving machines is a direct reference to electronically powered vehicles like automobiles, aircraft, etc. In our times, even prototypes of electric cars are a very recent development. In the present era, electric car prototypes were created due to the dawning realization that gasoline fuel is a perishable resource as well as polluting to the environment. It looks like thousands of years ago, Vedic seers were already aware of these dangers and prescribed the use of electric engines in their vehicles, as one of their primary modes of transport as well as for motors, etc. for other types of machinery. This verse also clearly mentions that electricity was used to light up buildings, just as we do today. In addition there is a reference to electrically powered agricultural machines, which helped in the manufacture and processing of crops from the fields.

sa na indraÌ „ivaÌ sakhÈ„vavad gomad-yavamat urudhÈreva dohate

That very electric power may be our peaceful friend, providing us with the horse-power to drive our machines, light to lighten our houses, and power to produce grains in the fields. Let it bring prosperity and well-being for us by flowing into numerous currents.

AV. (20.7.4) refers to application of electricity to devise technology for maufcturing different thigns. The picture that emerges from these mantars is that of an extremely advanced culture, that utilized superlative technology and yet maintained an enormous respect and reverence for the ecosystem and the natural environment. Not only this, but they had analysed the properties and laws of all these natural energies and thus comprehended perfectly the best way to utilize them.

indra kratu vidaŠ sutaŠ somaŠ haryaŠ puru–—ut
pibÈ v‚–asva tÈt‚pim                                                    

Let electricity, be applied to create different technologies by those well versed in manufacturing things. Let it keep safe and satiate all our desires.

AV. (20.31.1) mentions that electric current is propelled by two speedily moving forces of attraction and repulsion, which is powerful like the thunderbolt, pleasant and praiseworthy.

tÈ vajri‡aŠ mandinaŠ stomyaŠ

mad indraŠ rathe vahato haryatÈ hari turÈ.
purʇyasmai savanÈni haryata

indrÈya somÈ harayo dadhanvire.

Those two speedily moving forces of attraction and repulsion propel the electric current, powerful like the thunderbolt, pleasant and praiseworthy, in this pleasant plane or car. Manifold are the generating powers for the refulgent electricity borne by speedy moving somas - electric charges.

AV. (20.31.2) discusses the principles of electromagnetic force that are being used to generate motion. In addition, the reference to a liquid fuel propellant, informs us that a combination of high-speed and intense electrical power was used to produce a number of favourable results like exceptionally fast vehicular modes of transportation, as well as efficient manufacturing processes. For example, extremely fast centrifugal force is used to separate genetic materials in Biomedical labs today. The combination of speed and power is certainly desirable to increase the efficiency of manufacturing plants.

araŠ kÈmÈya haryo dadhanvire

sthirÈya hinvan harayo harÏ tura
arvadbhiryo haribhir jo–am Ïyate

so asya kÈmaŠ harivantam Èna„e

The above mentioned speedy forces of two kinds set in motion strong currents, capable of maintaining steady progress in the attainment of one’s objective in plenty. Whatever complex is attained by these fast moving horsepowers, is enough to achieve the beautiful objective of his, the manufacturer.

AV. (20.15.2) acknowledges the immense power of electricity and provides the deep understanding about its intensity. Electricity does have the power of striking through any element. The portion about productive works depending on waters flowing with speed is an obvious reference to harnessing hydroelectric power. It is obvious from this verse that Vedic society was well aware of methods that harnessed the power of electricity through systems like hydroelectric power plants. Once harnessed, they incorporated the force to implement manufacturing concerns and power machinery.

adha te vi„vam anu hÈsa-di–—aya

Èpo nimneva savanÈ havi–mataÌ
yatparvate na sama„Ïta haryata

indrasya vajraÌ „nathitÈ hira‡yayaÌ

Just as all productive works of the manufacturer depend upon waters flowing down with speed, so do all the desired objects of him depend upon you (Electricity), as its powerful striking force cannot be obstructed by any cloud, or mountain in the way. It smashes all impediments, with its radiant energy.

AV. (20.15.3) gives one to understand that electricity was a topic that was researched and explored in great detail during Vedic age. Skilled electrical engineers used to devise specific utilities and controls for electric power. Illumination was certainly one of its widely used applications. From the last line, we can also derive the information that electronic devices were used as hearing aids and sound magnifiers. Sophisticated systems for controlling electricity and measuring electricity were in place, and electronic panels that aided in controlling other forms of energy were also used.

asmai bhÏmÈya namasÈ samadhvara

u–o na „ubhra È bharÈ panÏyase
yasya dhÈma „ravase nÈmendriyaŠ

jyotir akÈri harito nÈyase

O well-versed engineer make use of this terrible electric power fit to be utilized for useful purposes by controlling it, for non-violent, brilliant light like the dawn. It has the potentiality to help hearing, control energy and spread light in all quarters.

Now let's turn to the truly amazing descriptions of electricity being utilized as a weapon in military combat. Vedic seers were aware of this potentially devastating aspect of electricity being utilized as a weapon. It is only in the past decade or so, that scientific research has begun concentrating on the potential use of electricity as a deadly weapon. Electrical bombs can be utilised to destroy all sorts of vital equipment and inflict massive damage. Topics like the EMP effect and the consequent possibilities of using electrical weapons, were rudimentary information to Vedic people, wheras we have barely begun our explorations on this topic.

The Electro-magnetic Pulse (EMP) effect was first observed during the early testing of high altitude airburst nuclear weapons. The effect is characterised by the production of a very short (hundreds of nanoseconds) but intense electromagnetic pulse, which propagates away from its source with ever diminishing intensity, governed by the theory of electromagnetism. The Electro Magnetic Pulse is in effect an electromagnetic shock wave.

This pulse of energy produces a powerful electromagnetic field, particularly within the vicinity of the weapon burst. The field can be sufficiently strong to produce short lived transient voltages of thousands of Volts (i.e. kilo volts) on exposed electrical conductors, such as wires, or conductive tracks on printed circuit boards, where exposed.

It is this aspect of the EMP effect which is of tremendous military significance, as it can result in irreversible damage to a wide range of electrical and electronic equipment, particularly computers and radio or radar receivers. Subject to the electromagnetic hardness of the electronics, a measure of the equipment's resilience to this effect, and the intensity of the field produced by the weapon, the equipment can be irreversibly damaged or in effect destroyed. The damage inflicted would be the same as that of striking the equipment with huge bolts of lightning.

Computers used in data processing systems, communications systems, displays, industrial control applications, including road and rail signalling, and those embedded in military equipment, such as signal processors, electronic flight controls and digital engine control systems, are especially vulnerable to the EMP effect.

 What amazes one is the fact that Vedic seers were aware of the EMP effect and composed vivid descriptions of the usage of electric weapons as is demonstrated below through an excerpt from AV. (20.15.6):

tvaŠ tam indra parvataŠ mahÈm uruŠ

vajre‡a vajrin parva„a„ cakartitha
avÈs‚jo niv‚tÈÌ sartavÈ apaÌ satrÈ

vi„vaŠ dadhi–e kevalaŠ sahaÌ

Just as the thundering electricity reduces the vast cloud to nothing by its thunderbolt, so do you, O King, equipped with piercing weapons like the thunderbolt, smash into pieces the vast armies of the enemy, consisting of various units, by your striking power like the thunderbolt. Just as the waters of the cloud released by the electricity, fall down and flow over the earth, similarly the well-equipped armies of the enemy; being subdued by the might of the king are duly regulated by him. Truly do you alone, O King, hold all the power to subdue the foes.

The inference is quite obviously to weapons utilizing electricity. "Piercing weapons like the thunderbolt" is a clear pointer to surges of exceedingly high voltage. The lethal electric weapons are used to counter various units of the army. This is another clue, for as discussed above, the EMP effect can be used to advantage for a number of targets ranging from computers, to communication systems. Apparently electricity was employed as one of the primary weapons in military combat during the Vedic era.

In AV.20.38.5, we find a mention that electricity has the striking power of a deadly weapon. There can be no greater proof of the deployment of electrical weaponry during the Vedic era as this.

indra iddharyoÌ sacÈ saŠmi„la È vacoyujÈ
indro vajrÏ hira‡yaÌ

Electricity is well mixed up with Prȇa (positively charged ions) and ApÈna (negatively charged ions), the two horse powers, yoked to power of speech. Electric power has the striking power of a deadly weapon and is full of brilliance.

AV. (20. 30. 1) mentions the dual nature of electrical energy. It can be destructive as in the EMP effect, and it can be protective if utilized in constructive technology.

pra te mahe vidathe „ansi–aŠ harÏ

pra te vanve vanu–o haryataŠ madam
gh‚tam na yo haribhi„cÈru secata

È tva vi„antu harivarpasaŠ giraÌ

O electricity, I fully praise thy two forces of protection and destruction in this great universe, which is a great sacrificial place or battlefield of life. I highly cherish your beautiful exhilaration, destroying the evil forces of the enemy. You shower various forms of fortunes through your blessing powers of speedy action, like waters from the clouds. Let all praises find their abode in you of charming splendor.

AV. (20.30.3) describes different sorts of electrical weapons. The "beautiful horse of iron of high speed" apparently refers to some type of metallic car/aircraft which can reach extremely high speeds. The horsepower for the engine for a craft or automobile of this sort was provided by electricity. The "shining arrow" can mean an exceptionally powerful ballistic missile loaded with an electric warhead. The missile was superfast and probably covered vast distances, it was apparently one of the main weapons that could be used to target the central command and control center of the enemy. Here we find a reference telling us that many advanced weapons utilizing electricity had been deployed in this era.

so asya vajro harito ya Èyaso harir

nikÈmo harir È gabhastyoÌ
dyumnÏ su„ipro harimanyu sÈyaka

indre ni rÊpÈ haritÈ mimik–ire

Here is the blue-green colored thunderbolt of iron of the king. There is also the beautiful horse of iron of high speed. Here is also the horsepower of the rays of electricity. There is also the shining arrow, capable of destroying the pride of the enemy and having a very high speed. In short many kinds of weapons have been made through electric power for the king.

AV. (20. 30. 4) describes a missile seems to generate immense power and would be exceptionally destructive. It is possible that the electric weapons used by Vedic society may have been equivalent in destructive power to nuclear weapons, or perhaps even more lethal. They may also have been used for preliminary strikes before the actual use of nuclear weapons. A conventional electronic combat campaign, or intensive electronic combat operations, would initially concentrate on saturating the opponent's electronic defences, denying information and inflicting maximum attrition upon electronic assets. The massed application of electromagnetic bombs in the opening phase of an electronic battle would allow much faster attainment of command as it would destroy electronic assets at a much faster rate than possible with conventional means. After this phase, it would be child's play to completely destroy the enemy.

divi na ketur adhi dhÈyi haryato vivyacad vajro harito na ra×hyÈ
tudadahiŠ hari„ipro ya ÈyasaÌ sahasra-„okÈ abhavad hariŠ bharaÌ.

Like a radiant spot, it is well placed in the heavens, then with a high speed, the terribly destructive missile, made of iron, possessing speed of electric power, crushing the serpent natured enemy, becomes lit up with thousands of lights and loaded with destructive ray of various kinds.

AV. (20.21.7) refers to a remotely controlled electronic weapon system. It directly points to unleashing a tremendously high voltage surge that can blast into the defensive electrical equipment belonging to the enemy. The last sentence describes remote initiation of the bombing sequence, while the controller is stationed at a safe distance.

yudha yudham up ghede–i dh‚–‡uyÈ pura puraŠ samidaŠ hansyojasÈ
namyÈ yadindra sakhyÈ parÈvati nibarhayo namuci nÈm mÈyinam.

O mighty King, thou can easily get at the striking power of the enemy by thy overwhelming striking force. Being well-entrenched in thy sheltered place of defence, thou can break the defences of the enemy to smithers. Completely crush the deceitful enemy, unfit to be left alive, through thy faithful ally, although stationed at a distance.

AV. (20.21.8) refers to electricity as overcoming all resistances and obstructions in the way. Any trained electrical engineer must have complete knowledge of the complex laws and limitations governing electrical energy. There is an evident respect for electricity demonstrated here, for it is an awesome power indeed. Transport infrastructure can also be destroyed with the use of electromagnetic bombs. Railway and road signalling systems, where automated, are most vulnerable to electromagnetic attack on their control centres. Significantly, most modern automobiles and trucks use electronic ignition systems which are known to be vulnerable to electromagnetic weapons effects.

Modern land warfare doctrine emphasises mobility, and manoeuvre warfare methods are typical for contemporary land warfare. Coordination and control are essential to the successful conduct of manoeuvre operations, and this provides another opportunity to apply electromagnetic weapons. Communications and command sites are key elements in the structure of such a land army, and these have concentrated communications and computer equipment. Therefore if the enemy is attacked with electromagnetic weapons, the entire command and control of land operations would be completely disrupted. Employing tactics like launching an initial attack with electromagnetic weapons would create a maximum of confusion, and if followed by an all out attack with conventional weapons would completely obliterate the enemy.

tvaŠ kara¤j amuta par‡ayaŠ vadhÏsteji–—hayÈtithigvasya vartanÏ
tvaŠ „atÈ va×g‚dasya abhint puro’nÈnudaÌ pari–ÊtÈ riji„vanÈ

O mighty electricity, you kill the violent enemy, equipped with speedy means of communication like cars or airships, a hindrance in the way of people who are worthy of respect, cows or land by your consuming and splendorous power. You shatter the innumerable forts of the adversary who obstructs your communications or breaks your regulations and does not pay tribute to you established by straightforward negotiations.

AV. (20.21.9) talks about the single transmitter of high quality to control the entire emission and circularly polarized emission

tvametÈŠ janraj¤o dvird„ÈbandhunÈ su„ravasopa jagmu–aÌ.
–a–—iŠ sahasrÈ navatiŠ nava „ruto ni cakre‡a rathyÈ du–padÈv‚‡ak.

O electricity, you can by your circular motion like the wheel of a chariot, which is too powerful to be checked, well keep under control all these 20 basc elements, 6099 organic and inorganic bodies, by a single transmitter of high quality, with no other force to help it.

In technological terms, coupling is the means to create an electric connection of two electric circuits by having a part common to both. One of the mechanisms, which can be exploited to improve coupling is the polarization of an electric weapon's emission. Polarization simply means orienting the emission in a particular direction. If we assume that the orientations of possible coupling apertures and resonances in the target set are random in relation to the weapon's antenna orientation, a linearly polarized emission would only exploit half of the opportunities available. A circularly polarized emission would exploit all coupling opportunities. A single transmitter of superior quality can control the entire emission.

AV. (20.21.10) apparently refers to a defense mechanism created with the aid of electricity, which protects both the commander as well his entire system of wireless communications. It may be referring to some sort of shield which makes things unsusceptible to the emission. The advanced and deadly missiles of unlimited speed are controlled by electronic control panels.

tvamÈvitha su„ravasaŠ tavotibhistava trÈmbhir indra turvayȇam
tvamasmai kutsam atithigvam ÈyuŠ mahe rÈj¤e yÊne arndhanÈyaÌ

O electricity, you keep in safety this good listening set, by your means of safety and protect the commander, with speedy mobile forces by your strong means of defense. You control the sharp weapons, equipped with the striking power of limitless time and speed for this great, youthful king.

Other electronic devices and electrical equipment would also be destroyed by the EMP effect. Telecommunications equipment can be highly vulnerable, due to the presence of lengthy copper cables between devices. Receivers of all varieties are particularly sensitive to EMP, as highly sensitive miniature high frequency transistors and diodes in such equipment are easily destroyed by exposure to high voltage electrical transients. Therefore radar and electronic warfare equipment, satellite, microwave, UHF, VHF, HF and low band communications equipment and television equipment would all be destroyed by the EMP effect.

AV. (20.37.4) is a simple testament to the intense power and utterly destructive force of electrical weapons

tvaŠ n‚bhi n‚ma‡o devavÏtau bhÊrχi v‚trÈ harya„ava hansi.
tvaŠ ni dasyuŠ cumuriŠ dhuniŠ cÈsvÈpayo dabhÏtaye suhantu.

O electrical currents of high voltage, safely carried by electric wires, you kill many enemies in the war, waged by learned persons or through the help of natural forces. To keep all the evil forces under control, you, being well-equipped with good means of destruction completely lay down to lasting sleep (death) the evil forces that rob and harass the general public.

There are many more such references to electrical energy in the Atharvaveda. The discovery of such amazing truths in the Vedas, clearly undermines the very foundation of our smug assertions that Civilization and scientific advancement proceed forward in a linear fashion. It is high time for us to thoroughly analyse and learn from the invaluable resources that our forefathers have left us in the form of the divine Vedas and other profound Vedic literature.



 Energy in Vedas


 Vai„e–ika’s three forms of Energy


 Puru–a (Energy in Universe)

 A„va (Solar Energy)  

 Water Energy/ Hydro power


 Marine Energy


 Field Energy or Energy of Intermediate Space (Avi)


 Aja (Dark Energy)


 Geothermal Energy (Gau)


 Puri–a Agni (Bio-energy of Earth)

 Vedic Law of Conservation of Energy  
 Law of Equivalene of Mass Energy  
 Electrical Energy in the Vedas