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

Jaldhar Vyas (jvyas@ritz.mordor.com) wrote:

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

: : 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.  


  Do you feel the same way about the 'historians' who established the 
theory that the Mahabharata and Ramayana are fictitious and that everything
contained within is mythological? I ask because it seems that you don't take
offense at Mani's assumption that Vyasa, Valmiki, etc. are mythological, but
you do react when someone says they are historical characters. At the very
least, I don't see how saying that Rama, Krishna, Vyasa, etc. are myths is
any more scholarly that saying that they are historical entities. Actually,
since the idea that they are myths was originally meant to fulfill an agenda
of converting followers of the Vedas to Christianity, I would argue that we
should not keep it as our default belief...

-- Krishna

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