“S.R.Krishnamurthy” <firstname.lastname@example.org> Dec 01 , 2011
वाल्मीकि महर्षिः विमानानां विषये अद्भुतवर्णानाni ददाति ॥ I will reproduce the
stanzas for the benefit of scholars, since these have been ignored by the
‘critical editors’, who declare that Valmiki did not see and that kharaaH
were donkeys. I have already mentioned that Kharas were planes – खे रंहते
इति खरः खे रौति इति च ॥
See what he says in 3.31 on Ravana’s first sojourn to Maricha.
[Having said so (to Akampana) Ravana left by a white chariot drawn by ‘Kharas’, lighting up all the directions. (34).
That chariot of the King of demons, fleeting in the starry path, shone like a moon in the midst of clouds. (35)]
It is clear from the above two verses that the first sojourn of Ravana to Maricha was during the night; and that it was a flight in the sky (nakshatrapatha). Valmiki is explicit about it. Again, he portrays in 3-35.
कामगं रथमास्थाय शुशुभे राक्षसाधिपः |
विद्युन्मन्दलवान मेघः सबलाकः इवाम्बरे||3-35-10
[Having mounted the crane-like autocraft, the demon king shone like cloud with a lightning]. This verse shows two things. That khara looked like a fast flying bird of the crane family (balaakaH); and his vehicle (kaamagah) was sailing in the air like a cloud. It also indicates that Ravana had the complexion of the cloud and that the balaka was white
as lightning. This agrees with the description in 3-31-34 above: *aadityavarNena* (white).
kaa~ज्चनोरश्चदाश्चेमे पिशाचवदनाः खराः ॥
भीमरूपा महाकायाः ……….||3-64-46
पिशाचावदनैर्युक्तं खरैः कनकभूषणैः|3-35-6
मेघप्रतिमनादेन स तेन ………… ययौ |7
How was the Khara? Valmiki says that the front had the look of a fiend, horrendous to look (pishaachavadana) and that it had a big hull (bhImarUpaa mahaakaaya). So, it was obviously a lifeless object. It droned like a
thunder (meghapratimanaada). It obviously had wings (balaakasadrushaH).
Pishacha belongs to devayoni (vide Amarakosha); a specie like ET. It has no life like the creatures of this world. It is balaakaH; providing with power (balaa). All these features described by Valmiki fits in with a powerful motor (engine). So according to Valmiki, Ravana left by a craft fitted with powerful engines. The chariot was obviously an aircraft.
These are some excerpts from my book. as suggested by Dr.N.R.Joshi, I have posted the same here; since I have not so far come across this description in any review of Ramayana