Friday, November 29, 2013

Did Mahabharat really happen?

Many times I see people arguing about whether some events from some epic books really happened or not, specially from scriptures like Mahabharat, Ramayan, Bible, etc. Normally these arguments are really passionate and heated (because many people really emotional about these things) with both sides trying to make their points furiously very often without any reliable and unbiased evidence. Many times I find this as a totally unnecessary ordeal, total waste of time unless it's whole purpose is to do a time pass. I often wonder why people waste their time in arguing about stories or incidents mentioned in these books really happened or not? Why does it matter to them? What will they gain or achieve if they prove or disprove that these incidents really happened? I myself read many of the stories mentioned in these books but I read them like any other book, for me its not at all important whether these stories or incidents are real or not, if they teach me something useful they are relevant to me, I am totally fine even if it's a work of total fiction, if they don't teach me anything useful or relevant then they are like many stories which I don't even bother to read or just read for the sake of entertainment and then forget them over the time, whether they really happened or not is not at all relevant for me. 

History is documented for many reasons, one of them is to have it stored for future generations so that they can get some clue from past incidents and learn relevant lessons which will help them not to repeat the same mistakes again. But many of these scriptures are not studies under the branch of history but they are classified under mythology or theology and that's why I think it's waste of time to discuss whether they are fiction or non-fiction, whether they really happened or not. I like many characters from these epics, I relate to many of them, for me it's really insignificant whether they really lived in flesh and blood on this planet or not, even if they didn't then also it doesn't reduce my attachment or affection for them even a little bit. The message what authors of these books wanted to deliver is the most important thing for me, I take whatever I want and whatever is relevant for me (depending on time and need) and leave the rest, I don't get into unnecessary technical details like how did humans flew without airplane, how the bird or snake spoke, how a person became alive again after being killed...etc. for me these all are semi fiction stories written long back by one or set of authors over the long period of time, the main purpose of them was to educate people and entertain them at the same time (so that they remain interested). Some of them are so old that it's very difficult even to find out who wrote them, but they all have something useful in them that's why people still read them. But when people try to enforce them on entire society as a rule book, there is a problem, there is a conflict and unnecessary tension. I am against this practice, many these books not matter how good, educating are written thousands of years ago (or at least 100s of years) and many things mentioned in them are no more relevant, rather some of the things are outdated, even many scientific discoveries or papers published in journals many years back are no more relevant anymore, some of them are even proven to be wrong. These books are good educating tools but they are not rule books or science journals which are updated periodically so to follow them or to expect others to follow them blindly is absurd, wrong and totally unreasonable.

So let's not worry or argue about technical details about these books, there might be many technical glitches in them but that should not be the deterrent for anyone to read them. These books are treasures from past, they actually don't belong to any particular religion or sects but belong to all humanity. Linking them to any particular religion or sect limits their use and is gross injustice to their potential. Story of Mahabharat is one of my all time favorite stories, all characters in this are so human that anyone can relate with them that's the reason I like it more than any other epic. Many stories and characters from them have inspired me during various stages of my life and they still continue to do so, this is why this epi is relevant to me not because it happened in India or because I was born in Hindu family, I equally love some biblical stories or some concepts from Quran. Let's not worry about technical details of these stories, let's try to catch the real essence of them, this will be a great tribute to all those authors and real use of all these books.

[Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

Links:
1. 5000 year old Viamana craft was found in Afghanistan
2. Were Our Ancient Ancestors Scientifically Advanced?

8 comments:

  1. Opinions will always differ on whether the Mahabharata ever happened in reality or not. For instance, powerful men with magical weapons that could shower rain on earth at will, or set things on fire by chanting a mantra, may seem fantastic. Even more ironic may be that despite such might and magic, these powerful men with Brahmastras and Pashupatastras had still to be driven in chariots pulled by animals. But, as you have said, why waste time debating over the issue?

    I often wonder, Vinay, why people tend to attach undue significance to 'objects' rather than the 'message'. Even if we suppose, for a moment, that such things actually happened in the past, the truth is: they are no more extant now and have hardly left any concrete evidence behind, apart from the texts. So why not, instead, focus on the message that this great epic intends to deliver. All the great men and their glory that the epic speaks of, are gone. However, the purport of the epic still stands pertinent even today.

    You have rightly said that the characters of this epic are powerful. They really are. The Mahabharata is a magnum opus that emphatically depicts how even the mightiest of men who could be said to be paragons of excellence in their respective fields are but left to an endless struggle when framed within the limits of human life and misery, be it Bhishma or Karna or Yudhisthira or Drona or Arjuna or anyone else. There is a constant battle of human ideals vis-a-vis the existing reality. A great many lessons can indeed be learnt from the epic even today. And the antiquity of this wonderful piece of work only goes on to show how human life is still the same despite the external glorification and technological advantage of our era.

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    1. Thanks a lot for adding such a insightful comment to the post...specially I loved the last paragraph....I agree with you that message of any story is more important than any technical details but people often forget this.

      I request all readers of this post to read comment by Claustrophobe, I am sure this comment resonates thoughts of many people who think similarly but he has put it in such a nice way. I don't have anything to add from my side. Thanks again.

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    2. yes definitely , Mahabharat happened in Bharat (India). any people trust such ancient Bharatiy (Indian) stories when it is told by a Western person. So one should read what "J. Robert Oppenheimer - father of the atomic bomb" says about Mahabharat & Bhagvadgita & how it inspired him in his research. *vande mataram*

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    3. really?? you mean people trust anything said by western people?? And why I should read Oppenheimer's opinion about mythology he was not expert on this, it's not a nuclear physics so his opinion on this is like any other opinion but anyway thanks for sharing your views.

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    4. Hindus have always been inspired by the stories, philosophies and the characters of the Mahabharata. There is northing new you have said or to discuss in this respect. Even today we take inspiration from them.
      The places and names mentioned in the Mahabharata and Ramayana are still in existence today.
      What is now sought with the coming of the new generations is the proof of these great people, cities and time line. In seeking that there is nothing wrong. Why the negative outlook towards those who seek our history.

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    5. Nothing wrong is getting inspiration from anywhere, past, present or from any other place. There is no negativity against anyone my it's waste of time to argue about useless technical points rather than focusing on larger picture.

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  2. The fact is even you like making useless technical points in many of your blogs rather than focussing on the bigger picture.

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    1. it's easy to accuse, please provide some evidence of 'useless technical points' and I will be more than happy to explain them or correct them if I am wrong, just list few instances here.

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