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Thread: Controversies in our epics.

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    Controversies in our epics.

    Namaste HDF,

    I am reading Raamayanam and Mahaabhaaratham for quite some time now. These scriptures have recorded the history of Bhaarathvarsh revolving around Shree Krishna and Shree Raama.

    From time to time, I have seen few (Shiva vs Vishnu) controversial discussion linked to these epics. For eg,

    Birth of Hanumaan,
    who authored Bhagavath Gita - Shiva or Krishna?
    whether Shree Raam returned to Raameshwaram after slaying Raavana etc.

    And such discussion when twisted become fodder for anti Hindus and anti nationalists.

    After reading these kinds of controversial questions have got a very basic question. Should we consider our epics as Vaishnava scripture or Shiva scripture? I believe that these two are Vaishnava scripture but would like to hear from learned members.

    The answer will help me to discard claims which are irrelevant or geographically influenced.
    Anirudh...

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    Re: Controversies in our epics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    Namaste HDF,

    I am reading Raamayanam and Mahaabhaaratham for quite some time now. These scriptures have recorded the history of Bhaarathvarsh revolving around Shree Krishna and Shree Raama.

    From time to time, I have seen few (Shiva vs Vishnu) controversial discussion linked to these epics. For eg,

    Birth of Hanumaan,
    who authored Bhagavath Gita - Shiva or Krishna?
    whether Shree Raam returned to Raameshwaram after slaying Raavana etc.

    And such discussion when twisted become fodder for anti Hindus and anti nationalists.

    After reading these kinds of controversial questions have got a very basic question. Should we consider our epics as Vaishnava scripture or Shiva scripture? I believe that these two are Vaishnava scripture but would like to hear from learned members.

    The answer will help me to discard claims which are irrelevant or geographically influenced.
    The Ramayana and Mahabharata belong to every Hindu and every Indian. If Muslim Egyptians can take pride in Rameses, Hathsepsut and Cleopatra despite these ancient Egyptians not being Muslim, if Greeks can take pride in Achilles and Leonides despite these ancient Greeks not being Christian, why can't all Indians take pride in Rama and Krishna?
    Last edited by Omkara; 06 January 2014 at 02:11 AM.
    namastE astu bhagavan vishveshvarAya mahAdevAya tryaMbakAya|
    tripurAntakAya trikAgnikAlAya kAlAgnirudrAya nIlakaNThAya mRtyuJNjayAya sarveshvarAya sadAshivAya shrIman mAhAdevAya ||

    Om shrImAtrE namah

    sarvam shrI umA-mahEshwara parabrahmArpaNamastu


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    Re: Controversies in our epics.

    Hare Krsna,

    Very interesting topic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    "...who authored Bhagavath Gita - Shiva or Krishna?
    >>These scriptures have recorded the history of Bhaarathvarsh revolving around Shree Krishna and Shree Raama.<<
    If the scripture says Shri Krsna or Shri Rama, then why controversy? Clearly it says what it says. So for Vaishnavas there is no controversy at all. At same time, another sampraday, like Shaivas believe Lord Shiva is the Supreme-most, and will interpret accordingly, thus Lord Krsna uvacha will for them be understood as of the eternal which they understand as Shiva nama. This is philosophical disagreement only since such persons are according highest respect to Mahabharat and it's jewel Bhagavad-Gita and interpreting to their school of understanding.

    After reading these kinds of controversial questions have got a very basic question. Should we consider our epics as Vaishnava scripture or Shiva scripture?
    They are scripture. To Vaishnavas, of course read as self-evident as technically Vaishnava scripture, clearly central to all schools of Vaishnavism. To any other school, Shaiva, Shakta, Smarta, Yogic, Tantric, Advaitic, whatever, who interprets as scripture, it belongs also to them, since God is speaking (Shri Krsna uvacha understood according to their personal understanding of Paramatman). To every Indian, it belongs as point of heritage and direct Bharatiya history and transmitter of Sanskriti, or culture. To world, it belongs as message of eternal truths. The particular understandings and interpretations of course will differ based on the mind of the person who reads it. Message will be in a way the person can best understand. Without doubt, most persons who are not Mahabhagavats or have attained Turiya consciousness, do not fully understand the fullest teachings. But something is there for everyone. So in one sense, these itihasas belong to the whole world and not just a particular school.

    Point of dismay comes when certain politically motivated anti-Vaishnavas begin to rudely deride such important scriptures as invalid, unnecessary, Abrahamically altered or to impute various modern political problems like anti-feminism, anti-Shaiva etc, to the message and promote division agenda.

    And such discussion when twisted become fodder for anti Hindus and anti nationalists.
    Indeed.

    -please forgive my mistakes
    uttama hañā vaiṣṇava habe nirabhimāna
    jīve sammāna dibe jāni' 'kṛṣṇa'-adhiṣṭhāna

    "Although a Vaiṣṇava is a most exalted person, he is prideless and gives
    all respect to everyone, knowing everyone to be the resting place of Kṛṣṇa."
    -Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Antya 20.25

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    Re: Controversies in our epics.

    Namaste Omkara,

    Hopefully I did not offend anyone's sentiment here and that was not my intention. I want to make my reply as short as possible without missing the crux.

    Let me answer the question you have asked first...

    Feeling pride about a thing is different from being authentic to comment or explain the same. As an Indian proud of our recent achievement. But my citizenship alone do not provide necessary skill set to comment or criticize or debate on the technical aspect of cryogenic engines.

    I started this thread with 2 expectations in mind.

    #1. to learn more about Sreeman Naaraayana
    #2. to weed out the unauthentic/false representation of HIS history

    In the past, had been praying to all devatas and visiting different temples. Steadily my devotion to Sreeman Naaraayan started growing. With due respect to other Shakhas let me tell you, at some in time my heart got fixed to Sreeman Naaraayan. And thus became a Vaishnavite.

    I find some Vaishnavites mixing up Shaivism and Vaishnavism. I think this is quite a recent effect probably began with the Islamic invaders or during Buddha / Jaina period.My belief is if we weed out our epics (as they are the recorded history of our beloved country) we ll be doing a great service to our kids.

    Accept it or not, We (SD followers) become a laughing stock due to this Kichadi. So when ever I find discrepancies ask the members politely to share their wisdom.
    Anirudh...

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    Re: Controversies in our epics.

    Namaste,

    I just read your reply. Thank you very much Devi Dasa for sharing your wisdom. I found your explanation logical and informative. If I have more doubts will add it to the same post later today.
    Anirudh...

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    Re: Controversies in our epics.

    Namaste Anirudh

    As a non-Shaiva and a non-vaishnav and as a non-denominational Hindu, I do not see any controversies in our epics. The epics to me represent how to deal with various situations in life. I am not very close to sri Krishna so never feel emotionally attached to Mahabharata. But sri Ramchandra represents one of the most ultimate person to me along with Shiva/Parvati. I see him as truly a great person who upheld maryada and morality under testing conditions.

    Obviously if one were to see these texts in light of personal God then one can have various interpretations. Epics contain Adityahridayam , Vishnu sahasranama as well as Shiva sahasranama eulogizing various Gods as Brahman. So one category of people won't really see it as divide between sects but in fact opposite of that. Further to give my own opinion I do not take everything in these texts as literal truth. As a person who believes in darwins theory and who has opposed creationist views of Christians/Muslims, I personally do not believe that there was a time 100000 years back as has been described as various yugas in which there was enough developed homo sapiens to believe in literal truth of the texts. I see the epics as allegorical way of teaching dharma.
    Last edited by isavasya; 05 January 2014 at 08:27 PM.
    When the light has risen, there is no day, no night, neither existence nor non-existence; Siva alone is there. That is the eternal, the adorable light of Savitri, - and the ancient wisdom proceeded thence (Svetasvatara Upanishad IV-18). :)

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    Re: Controversies in our epics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Omkara View Post
    The Ramayana and Mahabharata belong to every Hindu and every Indian. If Muslim Egyptians can take pride in Rameses, Hathsepsut and Cleopatra despite these ancient Egyptians not being Muslim, if Greeks can take pride in Achilles and Leonides despite these ancient Greeks not being Christian, why can't all Indians take pride in Rama and Krishna? same?
    +1 I fully agree

    I agree with Devi Dasi too.

    I remember what Appayya Dikshita has said, 'What can be said when Brahma Sutra is capable of multiple interpretations'.

    So take what appeals you. Admittedly there may be interpolations here and there, that does no make the whole of our shastra-s bogus. Their aim is to cultivate bhakti (and Jnana), which they do.

    Hari OM
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

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    Re: Controversies in our epics.

    Pranam

    Never viewed anything other then Ithihas, only humans get tangled in the web off me and mine.
    Great instructions in Dharma and the way of correct conduct in society.

    Jai Shree Krishna
    Rig Veda list only 33 devas, they are all propitiated, worthy off our worship, all other names of gods are derivative from this 33 originals,
    Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
    The world disappears in him. He is the peaceful, the good, the one without a second.

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    Re: Controversies in our epics.

    Namaste,

    Local stories related to Sri Rama and Shiva Linga, which are not found in Valmiki Ramayana are found in either Sthala Puranas or in other versions of Ramayana like Anand Ramayana, Adbhuta Ramayana, which some say fill in the gaps in original ramayana.

    but in Some versions of Ramayana, mostly Adbhuta Ramayana, it is said that Sita was daughter of Ravan and Mandodari.

    I remember Kanchi Paramacharya citing certain Shala purana-s in which describe 3 places about 150 Km away from each other, where Bhagavan Rama installed Shiva Linga (3 in total).

    btw, Anirudh bhai, I think you are becoming a pakkA Vaishnava , dont mind (just an observation since you posted in a thread directing to Mahapashupatastra blog)

    <of topic>
    I hope AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) is an opportunity that you may be looking for, sorry for side tracking the thread.
    </of topic>

    Jai Shri Rama
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

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    Re: Controversies in our epics.

    Namaste

    There were no Sanskrit inscriptions found
    at Mohanjodaro or Harrappa sites. Despite interpretations as to the date of this civilization aside certainly all agree it is very ancient, so does that mean Indus Valley civilization was not "Hindu" if as some claim Sanskrit is the definitive marker of "Hinduism" (scripture, "language" of the "Gods" etc.)?

    The events of History described in the Ramayana and MB, were they before, during or after the age of this Indus Valley civilization?

    I would argue before. But we find no evidence of Vaishnava specific sect such as in carved depictions at those sites. Why?
    Were there Vaishnavs then at that time in this region of India of that civilization? What parts of India was Bharat then?

    Who were the human Vaishnavas before Ram and Krishna, what avatar murti did they worship in temples? Varaha was before Ram and Krishna, I made mention of Sri and Bhu in another post, I will say in my understanding the consort of Varaha was Bhu Devi, and She is not exactly the same as Lakshmi but She is of the Earth and a manifestation of Vishnu's Sakti, Vishnu had more than one "consort", Bhu is the universal Earth and all things of "wealth" found thereof and Sri is the personal Reward of protecting Bhu. On Bhumi, lives the humans. Sri is on the Chest of Vishnu, He possesses the personal "reward" of Sri as Lakshmi because He protects the universal Bhu the Devi of Bhumi where humans live, meaning whenever adharma reigns in this realm of humans, Narayana comes down here to save us. Of course, events of Vishnu and the Devatas span regions much broader than this one place where me and you and billions of other humans live, but we can see that this Earth is perhaps a special place.

    It may be unique as far as the universe is concerned, we humans perhaps are very lucky to live here in one way. Now let us take the time of Rama. This may not be your understanding, it is my undedstanding, but we are both Hindus:

    Lanka is on Bhumi. It was once ruled by Kubera who is a Shree Deva and Vedic. In my opinion, He was the (step)-brother of Ravana, who essentially stole the rulership of Lanka and it's realm from Kuvera, Kub considered the Chamber Lord of Earth treasures. For in Lanka are found Hiras or a type of jewels also known as Shiva Hiras (Saiva stones) which today we have the word sapphires (Saiv Hiras). You may sometimes find Kubera standing right next to, and worshipped with, Lakshmi.

    Rama then came down to this Earth due to the need to protect dharma, but also to protect Bhumi which is, IMHO, a special place. After all, Ravan was reeking havoc on many lokas, and not just here on Bhumi. Yet it was this place when it was that Rama would come. Here. This place. Which humans live. Which is special.

    Now I am going to say something which some may find controversial. We call that time as documented in History as the Ramayana. It was not just Rama Who came here, to Bhumi.

    Many, many Devatas came. Many. Sheshnag came. Bhu Devi came (Sita). Shiva came, too. Many others. When Rama was "born", it is my understanding that He is half-human and half-Vishnu.

    Of course, He is also fully Vishnu.

    This seems a contradiction, But not to my understanding. Two truths can seem opposite side-by-side, but both can be true. Rama was half-human and could actually feel the pain of the humans, yet He can also be fully Vishnu at the same moment. He is the Perfect Man. Man is also human.

    Rama came and protected this rather remote place we call Bhumi. This was not the first time Narayana would do so, nor would it be the last. Many Others came too, at that time.

    Just think how lucky we are, actually.

    The Ramayana does not "belong" to Vaishnavas. It is a scripture and History of what happened. Many came. Some are still here. Many had a part to play. The Ramayana belongs to all Hindus. There are many, many "threads" in the Ramayana. They intersect and weave across all of Hinduism and all "sects".

    There is much to be said of the time of Krishna as well, but for now I have to get ready for another day on Bhumi Mother Earth, so I might comment some other time but I am just a lay Hindu, a common Hindu, a village Hindu, a populist Hindu, living in a lucky place in one way. I have to get ready for another day.

    Om Namah Sivaya

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