Re: Contribution of 'Backward Classes' to Hinduism ...
On Tue, 2 Aug 1994, Jaldhar Vyas wrote:
> Prasad Gokhale (email@example.com) wrote:
> : I assume you are refering to Sage Valmiki, Maharshi Vedvyas, et al.
> : as mythological characters. I see no reason why you say so.
> 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.
To view the Great Texts simply as "stories depicting the rules of
Dharma" or as a "history" is entirely subjective. Many aspects of
an ancient society, inclusive of the dates during which it existed, have
been described in the Mahabharat. Astronomical notations provide exactly
the dates of events that occured during the respective (Ramayanic and
Mahabharat) eras. The two "epics" are historical annals of that time.
As an aastik(a), you may construe the events as fables guiding your moral
conduct. Infact, an aastik(a) is simply learning by observing the
behaviour of those Great Persons that actually lived during the Mahabharat
(and Ramayanic) Era. And that is what is history, as studied by an
> : 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.
You again are reading too much into what I wrote. Mahabharat can be
perceived differently by various people. Historians consider it to be a
record of events occured in the past, as an annal of the accomplishments
of extraordinary personalites and also, study it to gain knowledge of the
entire world. Please refer to the following post for a some
interpretations of the Mahabharat.
A person interested in history can be dhaarmik as well. Therefore it is
possible that one person can study the Mahabharat through different
angles. Study of history (Mahabharat) may not benefit a dhaarmik directly.
However, it may help him/her understand the text better, and therefore,
may strengthen and enhance his/her belief and reverence for the
personalities (Gods?) in it...
> : 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)
And you apparently are unaware how the astral bodies behave and affect
the seasonal changes along the years. No comments there.
> 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.
That is excellent. Please continue to follow the words of wisdom of our
ancestors. You defintely will benefit from it. Hinduism, as the Persians
referred to the life in Bharat (whi incidently were Vedists themselves),
has been consistently changing through the ages for the betterment of its
people. I do not think our ancestors, if alive, would have advocated the
passive and cowardly life-style that the present day Hindus are leading.
> : 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?
Your assumption : Sanatana, that is eternal, only applies to India --
that is Bharat. Please do not forget that there are territories
outside India (Bharat) as well where people live and follow a
particular way of life. That Buddhism disappeared from India does not
mean it cannot be included as a Hindu school of thought. Buddha was born
a Hindu, lived as a Hindu and died as a Hindu. Followers of his
philosophy are Hindus as well.
The reasons why Bauddhik thought (followers) disappeared from Bharat are
myriad and form another topic of discussion.
> 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.
Can I not call you a Hindu, since you reject the term Hindu as well?
With best regards,