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

> In article <31udnj$lbk@ucunix.san.uc.edu> you wrote:
> : Jaldhar Vyas (jvyas@ritz.mordor.com) wrote:
> Mani will correct me if I am wrong, but what I think he was saying was 
> that we have no firm evidence that Shri Rama etc. existed.  This is true 
> so why should I take offense?  If he had said they were mythological and 
> therefore I shouldn't practice my religion then I would have taken great 
> offense.  But he didn't so who cares? 

Because it is not true. The fact that the Ramayana was composed and passed
down should be treated as evidence that the events chronicled therein did
occur. To say otherwise is to assume that the Ramayana was a mythological
story, an assumption which is not scientific. Calling it evidence that such
a thing actually happened takes into account the fact that it might be true. 
> I reacted to the idea that the historical nature of Shri Rama etc. should 
> have any bearing on how we practice Dharma.  Our acharyas have 
> specifically told us that this is not true. 

I don't recall that Prasad was trying to establish that you should practice
your religion differently. What I believe he reacted to was the assumption
that Vyasa and Valmiki were mythological, nothing more. 

> : 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.
> You are absolutely right.  Which is why Dharmik people shouldn't waste 
> their time this stuff.  We don't need it. 

I disagree. I consider myself a 'Dharmik' person and I am very much interested
in the historical nature of what was chronicled by Vyasa and Valmiki. For many
who are not religious, demonstrating the historical truth behind the scriptures
can be a real eye opener. For some people who only follow parts of the 
scriptures and ignore other parts, showing evidence for a historical basis may
influence them to take the teachings more literally. 

[ stuff deleted ]

> As well as being on guard against those who openly hate us like the 
> Christians, we have to watch out for those who claim to be on our side 
> but are also out to pervert our faith.  Prasad Gokhale mentioned a Dr. 
> Vartak who "scientifically" calculated the birthday of Shri Rama to be in 
> December even though everyone knows it's on Rama Navami.  If his views 
> were widely known, it wouldn't be long until some idiot "reformer"  tried 
> to start celebrating that day instead of the real Rama Navami.  That 
> would be a terrible sin don't you think?
> -- Jaldhar 

Possibly you may have some sort of predisposed negative feelings towards
Prasad, because i did not see that this particular posting was an attempt
to 'pervert the faith.' I might agree with you on the case of Rama Navami,
but overall I still don't understand your reaction to his post if you are
sympathetic to the view that the characters in Mahabharata and Ramayana are

 -- Krishna

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From: vidya@cco.caltech.edu (Vidyasankar Sundaresan)
Newsgroups: alt.hindu
Subject: Re: World Views: Vedic Vs. Western
Date: 7 Aug 1994 06:41:06 GMT
Organization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
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References: <31mkue$s29@ucunix.san.uc.edu#
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Status: OR

In article <31mkue$s29@ucunix.san.uc.edu#  
susarla@great-gray.owlnet.rice.edu (H. Krishna Susarla) writes:
# This is an article I found on an ftp site a while back. This article,  
and a 
# number of others like it, were actually formatted in xmosaic form, but I  
# edited out all that formating junk and posted it here in text file form  
# those who don't have xmosaic. It was originally published in _Back to  
# magazine.
# -- Krishna
# #From Back to Godhead Magazine, January/February 1993
# By Sadaputa Dasa
# (c) 1993 The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
# Used by permission
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#                 Dynasty of Nanda
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#         Nanda           1634-1546       88
#         Sumalya & Co.   1546-1534       12 (jointly)
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#                 Dynasty of Maurya
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#         Candragupta     1534-1500       34
#         Varisara        1500-1472       28
#         Asoka           1472-1436       36
#         Suyasa          1436-1428       8
#         Dasaratha       1428-1420       8
#         Indrapalita     1420-1350       70
#         Harsa           1350-1342       8
#         Sangata         1342-1333       9
#         Salisuka        1333-1320       13
#         Somasarma       1320-1313       7
#         Satadhanva      1313-1305       8
#         Brhadratha      1305-1218       87
# According to Vankatachela's presentation, recorded history in India
# extends all the way back from the Middle Ages to the time of the battle
# of Kuruksetra. But his dates disagree with accepted scholarly
# conclusions. For example, note that the dates for the reign of
# Candragupta Maurya are 1534-1500 B.C. According to the Indologists,
# Candragupta Maurya was a contemporary of Alexander the Great, who
# invaded India in 326 B.C. They would reject Vankatachela's list of kings
# as largely fictitious.

And they would probably be right in doing so. Let us bear in mind that Sri  
Lankan and Chinese chronicles help us to fix the date of Gautama Buddha.  
The dates of kings Bimbisara and Ajatasatru are further confirmed from  
Jain sources. Chandragupta Maurya and his grandson Asoka were  
contemporaneous with the Greek invasion period of Indian history. It is  
not so easy to deny these conclusions of historical research. Obviously  
Sri Kota Venkatachala must have made some mistake in his calculations. 

S. Vidyasankar

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