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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Are rAmAyaNa and mahAbhAratha mythology or "itihaasa (that is history)"

The Webster's NewWorld Thesaurus defines the words "Myth" as 'fable, folk tale, lore, etc', "Mythical" as 'fabricated, mythological, fictitious', "Mythological" as 'whimsical, fictitious, chimerical' and "mythology" as 'belief, mythicism'....

The greek root for the english word "myth" is "mythos"... However, the saMskrita root for the greek word "mythos" is "mithya", meaning 'deceit, untruly, falsely, wrongfully, invertedly, etc' (refer: LINK).  "mithya" means "lies".. mythology thus means -- "study of lies".

Now you decide my fellow believers of vEdic philosophy -- >

 -- is mahAbhAratha a myth ?. Are our scriptures mythology ?
 -- is rAmAyaNa a myth ?. Are our scriptures mythology ?

To regard our great scriptures such as mahAbhAratha and rAmAyaNa as mythology is equivalent to selling our values and believes....

The most appropriate word for mahAbhArata and rAmAyaNa is "itihaasa" (in saMskrita), in english meaning history..

The term mythology leads to both sides of the meaning of word. One, --"1. Mythology is based on a metaphysical rather than a literal reality. That doesn't mean it isn't true however. 2. To say something is mythology doesn't mean it's fiction. Although some people mistakenly use the term in that way.".. TWO, -- " astory which need not be true, in which case are a big collection of lies and hence is fiction".. So why ambiguity in representation ?.. Let's use the word which is unambiguous, which is "itihaasa"...

I must tell you another reason why i dont want to call it mythology.. In india, the poisonous seed sown by the British in degrading our rich cultural heritage is still present in the minds of some 'so called intellectual' people.. If that has to stop, these people should start understanding our own culture ever the more deeply in the purest of the sense, in every sense, even in the word used to describe it in the first place..

Also history (that is itihaasa) has more weightage than just a story, but at the same time can also be a story, and this story can also be metaphysical... But if you regard them as just stories then they can be metaphysical no doubt, but need not be history. The latter won't apply to the case of mahAbhAratha and rAmAyana since they are actually our history and not fictional stories..

In a way, the meaning of the word mahaabhaarta is "that which is very heavy".. That means, it is very heavy in terms of knowledge, in terms of spiritual content, in terms of the extent of documentation of history and also in literature.. These types of interpretations never get conveued to the people these days.. But unfortunately, people today are being mislead by english translations of this great epic, where it is being seen as just another story.... 

I wrote this blog with a lot of pain in my heart. If my own people are not seeing it with respect, then who will.... A lot of people are still mental slaves to the english.. I WANT THIS THING TO STOP.. 

(a composition on lord shrI raama)

 - Sunil Anandatheertha