Mahabharat : A Myth or a Reality
Mahabharat : A reality or a myth ?
It has been believed by some historians and laymen that Mahabharat
is just a fictitious fable emerged from the fantastic brain of the
Sage Ved Vyas. It has been contended that such a 'war' could not
have occured owing to the detailed description of various facets
of the 'epic'. However, tradition as well as many Bharatiya scholars
have all along maintained that Mahabharat did actually occur and is
a complete reality.
Mahabharat is not just a story, but the detailed account of a
event occured in the past. The few points are noted below that
indicate a few differences in what is 'reality' and 'myth'.
1. It has been written in the epic from time to time that Mahabharat
is a "itihas" which exclusively means "thus occured". The words
"Puraan" and "Itihas" were specifically coined by the Arya people
to catagorize the "ancient" and "recent" events. Both the words
denote history that has occured at different times.
2. It is mentioned in Aadiparva, Adhyaya 62 that the annals of the
Bharat-Dynasty are recorded in the work.
3. It has been clearly stated in the Aadiparva, Bheeshmaparva etc.
that this is "itihas". If the intentions of the writer were to
write a poem or a work of fiction, he would have stated it to be
a "mahakavya" or "katha".
4. It would to absurd to say that the Mahabharat is not a "itihas"
due to its poetic nature. It was a custom in those days to write
everything in poetic form.
5. Ved Vyas had decided to write down the "itihas" even before the
initiation of the Mahabharat War. Therefore during the course of
the War, Vyas meticulously noted down all the possible details.
If it were a work of fiction, why would a person like Vyas want
to fill his work with such minute and unnecessary details ?
6. A number of dynasties with their lond lineage of kings have been
presented in the work. More than 50 kings from King Barhi to the
Pandava King have been recorded. Additional information about the
King, his wife, his scions, his relations, etc. have been accounted
in great detail. If it were just fiction, only 4-5 kings would
have sufficed to build the story on. Then why such mind-boggling
7. The dynasties recorded in the Ramayan and the Mahabharat concur
without a difference. Even the relations between different kings
and their dynasties in both the great "epics" match with each other.
If both were mere "epics" written by two entirely different at two
different times, why would everything match even upto minor details ?
Mahabharat is of a later date than the Mahabharat. Why would the
author of the Mahabharat borrow the same ideas and characters as
those of the author of Ramayan ?
8. Usually, the story of any "Maha-Kaavya" circulates about one or
two main characters. If this were the case with Mahabharat, who
would then be considered the "hero" of the drama ?
9. Many events mentioned in the Ramayan and Mahabharat are the same.
Eg.: The mother of (latter) King Sagar was poisoned by his step-mother
so that her child would be aborted. But the child was born
nevertheless, who was therefore named Sagar.
10. The cities established by certain kings has been noted in detail.
11. All the characters in the "epic" are well-portrayed. Even single
facet of their character and important events in their life have
been recorded. Are such detailed accounts important in a "Maha-kavya"?
12. The weapons mentioned in the Ramayan and the Mahabharat are somewhat
same. Infact, some weapons in the Ramayan are not mentioned in the
latter "epic". (eg. Soorya'stra, Yamya'stra, Shoolva'stra..etc.)
[ Considering the true occurance of the two great events, the above
mentioned weapons might have disappreared in the era in-between
the two events took place].
13. If it were a poetic fiction, such comprehensive account of the
events on the battle-field would'nt have been given. For a poem,
it is far-fetched. It will only serve the purpose of boring the
reader to death!
14. The description of such myriad of characters is astonishing. It is
impossible for one single-mind to be the genesis of that number
of personality-types. It could only be true if the Mahabharat is
the recording of a real-life drama.
15. The time and place of events have been accurately recorded. All such
recordings are redudant for a "Maha-kavya".
16. Not much poetic description of the flora-and-fauna is given. Such
description in ornate language is only used in fictional works and not
while recording history.
17. Vyas mentions to have written this "itihas" after the death of King
Dhrutarashtra. Why would he write so ? Did Shakespeare say that he
wrote "Hamlet" after the death of Hamlet himself ?
18. The Greek historian Megasthenes has stated that Chandragupta Maurya
was the 138 King in the lineage of Shri Krishna. This means that
Shri Krishna did exist in the bygone era and that Mahabharat did
19. It was a custom to keep a track of the Kings lineage. The Chinese
traveller confirms the above. Mahahbharat being a true account
of a occured War, such lineages are seen to be recorded.
20. Archaeological excations has discovered the submerged city of
Dwaraka. This is the same Dwaraka as mentioned in the Mahabharat.
[ The city of Dwaraka has been reckoned to have drowned in between
21. The astronomical recordings in the Mahabharat "epic" and other
scriptures (Bhagwat), given the correct positions of the planets
and stars during that time. How could a work of fiction be proved
using mathematical tools ?
University of New Brunswick, email@example.com
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"Truth can wait, it is used to it". - Anonymous.