Mahabharata and Ramayana clearly mention about interspecies wars happening in the far past. There are descriptions of wars between demigods (devas) and demons (asuras) of different shapes and types. In the Mahabharata, there is a description about Arjuna killing Nivatakavaca demons who resided underwater and flied with their advanced space crafts. In the Bhagavata Purana, Canto 10, Chapter 76, it is mentioned about a war between mischievous King Salva and the inhabitants of Dvaraka. Although alien entities were not mentioned in the chapter, it does state about flying saucer with extraordinary technology and weaponry uncommon to human race. The Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kanda Section, Chapter 8, Verse 6 vividly mentions an alien race called the bhutaganas who controlled Ravana‟s flying machine.
Referring back to Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 3, it is mentioned that the universal manifestation was created by Brahma and all living entities were made existent by the energy of the Supreme God thorugh the Prajapatis. Prajapatis are primordial living entities created by Lord Brahma to fill the universe with various kinds of living entities according to their specific activities and features (Prabhupada, 2002b: 56). Since all living entities were created by Prajapatis, all living entities were basically interrelated each other. In the other words, all living entities sustain in one another in a great circle of mutual symbiosis called pravartitam cakram (Bhagavad-gita 3.16). Thus, all living entities in different planets, be they demigods or demons, humans or animals, are originated from one spiritual quality.
Spiritual Quality of the Species
This spiritual quality is called atma, or spirit soul. The Vedic scriptures describe spirit soul‟s attributes and characteristics in vivid ways through elaborate depictions and examples in the Upanishads and Puranas. Since atma is superior to all material conditions, atma is unchanged by any material influences. Based on this substantial characteristic of an atma, it is concluded that atmas also exist within the hot sun, cold moon, windy Saturn, high-pressured Venus and dark Pluto. Those atmas enter a particular body of a particular species according to its karma (activities) and guna (modes of nature which influence the pure spiritual state of the atma itself). Due to different gunas and karmas, each and every atma in this material universe enter different material bodies of different compositions in different planets.
Atma's interaction with Material Bodies
Therefore, the Vedic Scriptures describe atma as sarva-gatah, or „existing anywhere in the universe‟. Based on this status, existence of life in other planets is undeniable according to Vedic Scriptures. Karma and guna determine taxonomy of living entities in the universe. Referring back to Padma Purana [see Section II] about the amount of species in the universe, the taxonomy is clearly defined. Because atma’s quality is uninterrupted and undiminished by any material disturbances in this universe, atma can enter any particular material bodies with any material compounds. If atmas reside in the sun, the composition of their material body will be mainly of hydrogen and helium. If the atmas exist on Earth, their material bodies will adjust to the Earthly environment. Therefore, according to Vedic Scriptures, existence of life is determined by the presence of atmas, and wherever atmas enter a material body, material life begins.
Descriptions and lists of extraterrestrial beings in the Vedic Scriptures certainly reveals outstanding fact about depth, vastness and honesty of the Vedic knowledge. Their existence and interactions with human beings as recorded in the Vedic literature especially the Puranas and Itihasas prove that their existence is undeniable in the Vedic civilization.
(Article by I.B. Arya Lawa Manuaba1 and I Nyoman Sudirman, English Education Department STKIP Suar Bangli, Bali)