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

Prasad Gokhale (f0g1@jupiter.sun.csd.unb.ca) wrote:
: 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. 

And there is no reason not to either. I'm no "brainwashed secularist." 
and neither, I suspect, is Mani Varadarajan.  According to the 
Mimamsakas, all the stories mentioned in the shastras are arthavada or 
mere examples to illustrate rules of Dharma.  An astika is not required 
to believe they actually happened or not.

: 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.

Do you think you are doing our religion a favor by trying to show how 
"historical" it is?  As someone who is familiar with the type of 
"scholars" you mention, let me tell you their research isn't worth a hill 
of beans to Dharmik people.  Historians have their own agenda which only 
accidently coincides with ours.  I read the Mahabharat because it 
contains the words of God and tells me how to live, not because it's a 
history book.  

: Though much work remains to be done in dating the 
: 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.

This Dr Vartak is apparently unaware that Shri Ramas birthday is on 
Chaitra Shuddha Navami (usually around April-May) 

: 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".

As Hinduism is a completely ficticious concept invented by the Persians 
and continued by other intellectualy lazy people it can mean anything you 
want it to be.  So I can't argue with you there.  However, the religion 
of Shri Rama, Shri Krshna, and Maharshis VedVyas and Valmiki most 
definitely DOES have "dogmas" as you call them.  They are enshrined in 
Shruti, Smrti, and Shishtachara.  This is the religion I and millions of 
others ardently follow.  We will forcefully reject anything that goes 
against those principles whether it calls itself secularism or Hinduism 
or anything else.

: Buddhism is essentially
: a part and parcel of Sanatana Dharma alias Hinduism.

NO!!!  This statement goes against everything generations of our Rshis 
and Acharyas taught.  Perhaps you should read a little less of Dr. Vartak 
and a little more of their writings.  Anyway, how can you call Buddhism 
sanatana (eternal) when it completely disappeared from India?

: Listing Dr.Ambedkar's
: name in the list of Hindu limuniaries is justifiable.

As the man is dead, you can list him anywhere you like.  He won't mind. <G>
An objective look at his life shows that he did his best to destroy my 
religion (for the most part failing miserably thank God) and he 
personally rejected the term Hindu.

-- Jaldhar

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