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Thread: Were the Itihasas actual historical events?

  1. #21
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    Re: Were the Itihasas actual historical events?

    Vannakkam all:

    Reading all the various interpretations regarding timelines, who wrote what when, and events has strengthened my agnosticism towards history.

    My answer to it all is "I don't know." Anyone here who believes it is literal history absolutely has my best wishes in regards to proving it. Even recent history gets distorted, let alone the ancient stuff.

    Rationalists will tell you flat out that the 'bridge' between Lanka and India is just hearsay, and that the low seawater levels are a natural phenomena. My answer to them is also "I don't know." Even the conjecture that the Bering Strait was once a land bridge is a conjecture. All the various migrations, and when and where things happened is conjecture. Carbon dating has helped but look at the AIT and the debates that happened over it.

    I recall talking with a Vietnam vet. He said his small 'on the front' platoon made a pact to keep themselves alive. They would go out each day, fire off a few rounds into the nearby bushes, then head back to the safety of where they were camped. Each evening they would radio in how many rounds, and how many Viet Cong they had encountered and killed. The whole thing was a total lie, but they all came back alive to their loved ones. So war stats get terribly biased.

    History, the yugas, all of it is conjecture to some degree. Many psychics including my own Guru (Lemurian Scrolls) have been able to access or have claimed to have accessed the great akashic library where the history of the universe is kept. They often point to soul's migrating to this planet from another one, and speak of many yugas, cycles, and dimensions. Much of it comes in sporadically.

    There are stories from ancient Europe like the knights Templar, King Arthur, and Robin Hood, that I feel the same way about. I don't know.

    It remains to me... "How can I apply this to my life today to benefit the purpose of life on this planet: self-realisation?

    Aum Namasivaya

  2. #22
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    Re: Were the Itihasas actual historical events?

    Pranam all

    Thanks EM for best wishes, i need no proof nor do i need to to prove it to anyone, i agree recent history is strewn with distortion with wested interest.
    i like to think Valmiki and Vyasdev had no such personal gain other then spiritual upliftment of the masses.

    sure there are a lot of events that are well beyond my understanding, as you say it does not matter because it should not impact our search for the truth or for that matter striving to be a better Hindu, in the end it is our karma or niskam karma that would help us cross over.

    unlike your agnostic stance i like to think this were events that took place, however difficult to digest that an event like churning off ocean, if i question the validity of it, then i have to question Neelkhant Mahadeva drinking the poison also,

    so best luck to you too.

    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.

  3. #23

    Re: Were the Itihasas actual historical events?

    Namaste,

    After reading all of your replies and thinking long and hard about it, I am leaning towards thinking that the Itihasas were actual historical events that literally took place on here on Earth. The main reason I am thinking this is because I am a Vaishnavite, and I believe in the avatars of Lord Vishnu. If the Ramayana did not literally happen, then Lord Rama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, was not literally on this Earth. If the Mahabharata did not literally happen, then Lord Krishna was not literally on this Earth and he did not literally speak the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna.

    Eastern Mind, I would like to know what you specifically think about this. I know that you are a Saivte, but do you still believe in the avatars of Lord Vishnu. Do you still believe that those avatars were present here on Earth?

    Hare Krishna

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    Re: Were the Itihasas actual historical events?

    You have the fruit to eat. You are hungry. Will you try to ascertain whether it actually grew on a tree or you will simply eat it ?

    It is not really important whether it "actually happend" -- because "actually" is not always what you learn through history.

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

  5. #25
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    Re: Were the Itihasas actual historical events?

    Dear Rama Krishna,

    It is really a surprise that you have the Heros of these two epics as your id but not sure whether to believe their leela or not. . I think Shri Samaranam has already elaborated a lot about this topic and i would like to just add few points.

    Most of us have staunch faith in recent advancement in science but we rarely question ourselves about rationality behind this faith of ours. If this modern science says that mountains cannot fly because, to fly these these criteria blah blah has to be there etc. we believe it with out questioning it for two reasons. First, we have tons of faith on such science verdicts and we do not question them. Secondly, we do not know really "all about all" and so whatever we know little is big enough for us to believe that whatever the science says it ultimatum and that's the only truth. For this reason only we brand this kind of science as "Material Science" where the whole attention and focus is only on knowing the characteristics of matter and interaction of matter with other matter. And this science is evolving, imperfect still, not complete but we ignore all such symptoms but put our total faith on this as end of Truth.

    Since most of here are believing in something called "consciousness", how utopian it is to reason out various thing with the view of "consciousness" manipulating the matter? For example, someone wonder here how a mountain can fly? But, the same person if shown a flying aircraft of today which is as big as a little mountain in weight, he will believe it with out any doubt or compromises. Why can't the believers of "consciousness" can utilize such evidences to believe that "mountains" also might have been flying but under the direction of a personality with "consciousness". This is the whole idea in the Vedas and Puranas and most of us believe in personalities like Sun God, Moon God, Indra etc. and they basically ruled the matter they have dominion over.

    My opinion on the great epics is, they must have happened and they were real. If you read MTBN of Shri Madhva, ( Who was a witness in both the Epics as Shri Hanuman and as Shri Bheema Sena) you will realize that Mahabaratha happened for real and GuruKshetra is for real and such knowledge from a witness will give you lot of accurate details for your rational quest. Faith is in fact dependent on your source of information as well as your level of discrimination capacity. As Devotee said, the fruits ( epics) are there and they are described as sweet, powerful and resourceful for your eternal elevation. Are you Hungry? Or going to behave like "No no these grapes are sour" or " No no they are just imaginations"?

    Its all again individual's choice. Whats yours?

    Hare Krshna!

  6. #26
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    Re: Were the Itihasas actual historical events?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramakrishna View Post

    Eastern Mind, I would like to know what you specifically think about this. I know that you are a Saivte, but do you still believe in the avatars of Lord Vishnu. Do you still believe that those avatars were present here on Earth?

    Hare Krishna
    Vannakkam Ranakrishna:

    I an still an agnostic in these matters. Its not part of traditional Saiva lore, just as the Bible (from other threads) isn`t part of SD. But I must say after this thread I am closer to believing it may have happened than before. Such is the reason for discussion. At least now I understand the Vaishnava perspective better. We all have the right to believe whatever we want. I would prefer to focus on commonalities of the many paths within Hinduism. But you have to understand that the sects of Hinduism: Vaishnava, Saiva, Shakta, Smarta, etc, are as different as the Abrahamic religions are to each other.

    If you claim to be a Vaishnava, then my opinion shouldn't matter much now should it?

    I just received a recently published book on the 63 Nayanmars, or Saiva Saints. I don't expect you to want to read it.


    Aum Namasivaya
    Last edited by Eastern Mind; 27 May 2010 at 08:08 AM.

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    Re: Were the Itihasas actual historical events?

    Vishnu has taken the responsibility to take avatars in order to save humanity. (yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata...) Shiva does not take birth, but he appears in different forms when his devotees need him. His anshas has appeared as Hanuman and Virabhadra.

    Its not part of traditional Saiva lore, just as the Bible (from other threads) isn`t part of HD.


    I think this is a matter of emphasis, rather than complete denial of other Gods or avatar within Hinduism.
    Last edited by Sahasranama; 27 May 2010 at 07:52 AM.

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    Re: Were the Itihasas actual historical events?

    Pranam ji

    Quote Originally Posted by grames View Post
    For example, someone wonder here how a mountain can fly? But, the same person if shown a flying aircraft of today which is as big as a little mountain in weight, he will believe it with out any doubt or compromises. Why can't the believers of "consciousness" can utilize such evidences to believe that "mountains" also might have been flying but under the direction of a personality with "consciousness".
    That someone would be me!
    i may wonder how, but if you read in between the line, for me it is all or nothing barring extrapolation, do i claim to understand it all? NO

    but thanks for your explaination anyway.

    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.

  9. #29
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    Re: Were the Itihasas actual historical events?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahasranama View Post


    I think this is a matter of emphasis, rather than complete denial of other Gods or avatar within Hinduism.
    [/font][/color]
    Vannakkam:

    Absolutely ... An example is if I'm travelling in America, and feel the need to worship God, I would go to whatever Hindu temple is in town, be it ISKCON, a Kali Bar or any other. It's a place to feel at home in the presence of God. Ultimately he is the Nameless one.


    Aum Namasivaya

  10. #30

    Re: Were the Itihasas actual historical events?

    Quote Originally Posted by grames View Post
    Dear Rama Krishna,

    It is really a surprise that you have the Heros of these two epics as your id but not sure whether to believe their leela or not. . I think Shri Samaranam has already elaborated a lot about this topic and i would like to just add few points.

    Most of us have staunch faith in recent advancement in science but we rarely question ourselves about rationality behind this faith of ours. If this modern science says that mountains cannot fly because, to fly these these criteria blah blah has to be there etc. we believe it with out questioning it for two reasons. First, we have tons of faith on such science verdicts and we do not question them. Secondly, we do not know really "all about all" and so whatever we know little is big enough for us to believe that whatever the science says it ultimatum and that's the only truth. For this reason only we brand this kind of science as "Material Science" where the whole attention and focus is only on knowing the characteristics of matter and interaction of matter with other matter. And this science is evolving, imperfect still, not complete but we ignore all such symptoms but put our total faith on this as end of Truth.

    Since most of here are believing in something called "consciousness", how utopian it is to reason out various thing with the view of "consciousness" manipulating the matter? For example, someone wonder here how a mountain can fly? But, the same person if shown a flying aircraft of today which is as big as a little mountain in weight, he will believe it with out any doubt or compromises. Why can't the believers of "consciousness" can utilize such evidences to believe that "mountains" also might have been flying but under the direction of a personality with "consciousness". This is the whole idea in the Vedas and Puranas and most of us believe in personalities like Sun God, Moon God, Indra etc. and they basically ruled the matter they have dominion over.

    My opinion on the great epics is, they must have happened and they were real. If you read MTBN of Shri Madhva, ( Who was a witness in both the Epics as Shri Hanuman and as Shri Bheema Sena) you will realize that Mahabaratha happened for real and GuruKshetra is for real and such knowledge from a witness will give you lot of accurate details for your rational quest. Faith is in fact dependent on your source of information as well as your level of discrimination capacity. As Devotee said, the fruits ( epics) are there and they are described as sweet, powerful and resourceful for your eternal elevation. Are you Hungry? Or going to behave like "No no these grapes are sour" or " No no they are just imaginations"?

    Its all again individual's choice. Whats yours?

    Hare Krshna!
    Namaste grames,

    Thank you for that explanation, it was very helpful. I now believe with certainty that all of the events in the Itihasas were actual, historical events that literally took place here on Earth.

    I know this may not sound like such a huge issue to others, but it really is very important for me whether the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are records of actual historical events or symbolic and allegorical stories. As I've said before, one of the biggest problems I have with Christianity is how a lot of Christians literally believe that the Earth is 6,000-10,000 years old, man was created in that same time period, there was a giant flood that destroyed nearly all life on Earth just a few thousand years ago, somebody built a giant boat that had two of every creature, etc. None of these events literally happened on Earth, and science, whether material science or any other science, completely disproves those events. However, I suppose events such as flying mountains and Krishna lifting the govardhan with his pinky could have happened here on Earth. Again, I really do believe that anything is possible with God, but to me it's just a question as to whether these things actually happened and occurred here on Earth. I am much more inclined to believe that Hanuman (who was divine) lifted and moved an entire mountain, than I am to believe that God created a massive flood that destroyed nearly all life on Earth and that Noah (who was not divine) built a giant boat and put two of every animal on board. The Bible does not say that God built that boat or that Noah had god-like powers. Noah was just an ordinary human being, and therefore I don't believe that he was able to built a giant boat like that. However, I do believe that God can lift an entire mountain or lift the govardhan with his pinky.

    I hope everyone understands what I am trying to say. If not, I would love to clarify my viewpoint.

    Hare Krishna


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