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Re: Contribution of 'Backward Classes' to Hinduism and India

mani@srirangam.esd.sgi.com (Mani Varadarajan) writes:

>>                           By N. Nirakar

>Further, nearly half of the names cited are mythological characters.
>Even if they were historical, I doubt if they would have ever identified
>with the term "Hindu" or the notion of being "Hindu".

I assume you are refering to Sage Valmiki, Maharshi Vedvyas, et al.
as mythological characters. I see no reason why you say so. 

Mahabharat ia a text documenting the *history* of an ancient civilization.
The characters and events chronicled in the great text therefore are not
mythical or fictitious. Mahabharat is an account of the Great War and
the heroes that participated in it. Ved Vyas's meticulous work
provides progeny with an insight into the cultural trends and customs in
that bygone era. He has written down what he saw and knew as a "itihas",
as a history of that time. Sage Vedvyas, like Krishna, Yudhisthira,
Arjuna, Duryodhana, Abhimanyu, Parikshit, Janamejaya, did exist -- 
having two hands and two legs like people today. The Mahabharat has been
dated to around 3100 B.C by numerous scholars, and even beyond that by
others. Dr. Vartak has calculated the date of the commencement of the
War to be 16th October 5561 B.C.

Same is true with the Ramayan. That it did not occur, and Rama was a 
mythical character is just not true. Sage Valmiki has written down
the accomplishments of a Great Hero, contemporary to him, who lived 
in the ancient times.  The Ramayanic Era precedes the Mahabharat
Era. Though much work remains to be done in dating the Ramayanic
events, Dr. Vartak's attempt to calculate the dating of the incidents
in the Ramayanic Age from internal astronomical evidences defintely
needs mention. According to him, Shree Rama's birth date is 4th December
7323 B.C. Rama therefore existed approximately 9000 years ago.
He is part of the history of Hindus; the history of Bharat.

Also, Hindus do not have any concept of an "ism". Hinduism is recognized
by its history, its art, its literature, the ancient culture, the
rise and fall of Vedic civilizations and not by some dogma or a book,
associated with western "religions" or "isms". Buddhism is essentially
a part and parcel of Sanatana Dharma alias Hinduism. Listing Dr.Ambedkar's
name in the list of Hindu limuniaries is justifiable.



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