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History out of sequence!

Janaki Jambunathan

Well-known member
Romila Thapar’s fantasy fiction: Claims Yudhisthira of Mahabharata was inspired by Mauryan emperor Ashoka

RomilaThapar your History is out of sequence . Next you would say Yudhishteer & Ashoka both were inspired by Sonia Gandhi who let go PM's seat for MMS.
🙃
😅

Reconfirming Nehru's blunder selecting you out of crores of Indians to mess up with our

 

prasad1

Well-known member
JJ ji,
Do you believe that the Mahabharata War was a historic event or fiction placed in a Historic Time frame?
If it is Historic Event then it must stand up to scientific inquiry.
On the other hand, If it is a fiction, it could have been written, rewritten, modified at any time.
The dates of Mahabharata is all over the place, but it can not be 4000 years old.

Arjuna and Karna had arrows of iron and steel, in the order of 60 million !

Kurukshetra war consisted of
21,870 chariots
21,870 elephants
65,610 cavalry
109,350 infantry

To supply weapons for such a large quantity, there should have been thousands and thousands of iron smiths making so much of iron weapons and weapons don't just disintegrate with time, they must leave an archeological trace and can be excavated.

Lets look at the realistic ages of metal

Stone age - 3.4 million years and ended between 8700 BCE and 2000 BCE
Bronze age - 3300–1200 BC
Iron age - 1200 BC - modern days

Iron age in India started around 1200 to 600 BCE so if Iron is used the Mahabharat then it can't be 5000 years old and if it was used at such massive scale of millions, then it should leave a large archeological evidence.

Use of Iron also brings forth stone sculpting, stone art, but no such evidence has been found, only soft stone(soap stone) art has been found eg Pashupati seal in Mohenjo-daro, made of soap stone.

The oldest idols of a religious nature are those of Buddha from the Kushana period, around 1 century CE, or around 2000 years ago. Hindu idols come later.

The oldest surviving temples are rock cut caves, but currently none of them are actively being worshiped. The oldest structural temples are around 500 CE, or 1500 years ago, but are very small brick structures unlike grand temples claimed in Mahabarat/Ramayana

Vedas
Mahabharat mentions that Hanuman learned Vedas, Vedas is dated at 1400BC, so Mahabharat can't be older than Vedas

Modern scholars estimate that Mahabharat to be not early than 400BCE and reached its final form in 4AD in Gupta Period. Thus It’s a great and very interesting epic but its age cannot be 5000 years old. And going by its realistic dates of 400BC to 4AD, we know exactly who were kings during those period and they were not from Mahabharat or Ramayan.

 

prasad1

Well-known member
But what interesting thing do we note here? We notice something very blasphemous for present day Hindus - there is not even one mention of the legendary Pāṇḍavas, Vyāsa or the holy Kṛṣṇa anywhere in Vedas, though there are mentions of people who were before them and who followed them. If Kurukṣetra war was such a catastrophic event that was “ancient India’s nuclear war”, why would Vedas or Brāhmaṇas miss it? I understand they don’t have historical intentions - but it would be highly unlikely to not have even one sparing mention of such notable personalities, who according to later scriptures were the hugest forces behind promotion of Vedic Brahmanism. Now, the interesting thing comes - Kṛṣṇa Āṅgirasa, the son of Devakī first appears as a student of Ghora Āṅgirasa in Chāndogya Upaniṣad, and is possibly the same Kṛṣṇa Āṅgirasa of Later Rigveda. His Guru has to his credit one verse or so in Rigveda. But again, both don’t have anything to do with Vāsudeva of the Vṛṣṇis/Śaurasenīs. From linguistic analysis, Mahābhārata is way later, so I don’t think I have to expound on that.

But even then, the stories in this later day creation are more or less a product of fertile and creative imagination rather than a historical account. I have already discussed many times how, for instance, the Vedic imagery of Indra being sārathi of Ārjuneya fighting Śuṣṇa the solar evil was appropriated into something else. Almost all stories involving Vedic personalities are scandals in Mahābhārata if one looks with the eyes of history. Though they are great myths and could impart a great knowledge of practical morality and living. But history? You cannot say that.

I had covered many points in detail in my blog (now turned to a defunct Space by our great Quora) - Debunking Purāṇas.

Now what is funny? The story of Vāsudeva first appears closer to a familiar form, first in Jātaka. It is also the first place where the Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana is also mentioned. Also Pāṇḍavas appear close to recognizable positions - but the story is really funny. In the story, Pāṇḍavas renounce the kingdom as they are vexed with Draupadī’s unfaithfulness, and her relations with a “deformed slave person” - as wicked as Buddhists could get it!

It is only contemporary or at most slightly before Jātaka that the connections Kṛṣṇa - Vāsudeva - Vyāsa - Pāṇḍavas - Kauravas - Bhīṣma with the Vedic characters Śantanu - Parikṣit - Janamejaya - Parāśara will be cemented by Mahābhārata. It would not be a sin to assume much of the Mahābhārata was finalized in such a period. As Jātaka still shows huge unfamiliarity with the crux of legend.

Now, regarding Romila’s assertion - well she has the liberty to twist it like that. But in fact, Aśoka did not renounce his kingdom, but only “war”. So technically it is incorrect. But it cannot be false that the narrative in Mahābhārata was an attempt to prove the pointlessness of Buddhism wrong. If you want to take lessons from Mahābhārata on Dharma, you have it there. That view of Dharma was concrete enough to destroy the other appropriations of Dhamma.

 

prasad1

Well-known member
According to Mahabharata by C. Rajagopalachari. In the first chapter, the author says that Sage Vyasa decided to write this grand epic called the Mahabharata and so he went in search of someone who could pen his thoughts. For this task, Sage Vyasa eventually found Lord Ganesh.

According to the author, Mahabharata was a story of fiction that was narrated by Sage Vyasa to Lord Ganesh. The purpose of the story was to spread the philosophy of dharma, karma, and other good things a human should do and also show that evil deeds do not go unpunished.


So is Mahabharata fact or fiction, Did Mahabharata really happen?
We are trying to verify the truth of the narrative here, not the setting itself. The way to verify a narrative will be to:

  1. Remove any poetic license, hyperbole and religious faith here.
  2. Seek credible independent sources which document the narrative with evidence
  3. Find archaeological evidence, artifacts and documentation that can be clearly traced back to the events of the narrative
We don’t have very strong evidence for Mahabharata as of today on the given parameters. Our evidence available till date establishes

  • It is an iron age narrative
  • It was set in a universe that has no bearing on scientific reality as we know it – magic and demigods were an integral part of the narrative with various supernatural (believed to be at present) powers and events.
  • The authors, redactors, and the re-tellers of the epics may have changed the original story, clearly demonstrating that they were aware of the fictional nature of these stories; refer to Jain and Buddhist text which have competing narratives.
  • The usual things provided as evidence have mostly been falsified
    • The Indus Valley civilization was strictly Bronze Age and had nothing to do with the epics
    • The Gulf of Khambhat has been officially dismissed by the Govt. of India, and their funding revoked and research erased
    • The submerged part of Dwarka was a post-Mauryan site
    • In fact all geographical locations associated with the epics are strictly post-Buddha and largely Puranic
So is Mahabharata real, did Mahabharata really happen as we know today? We have presented positive evidence that points to the fact that it is a work of fiction inspired by real incidents and perhaps real people. However, the narrative is full of fantasies with no evidence to substantiate the facts and therefore not “real”.

As it is often said “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”

Without a shred of doubt, Mahabharata is the greatest epic written but the entire narrative cannot be said to be real, based on the present evidence and facts available.

 

Iyest

Active member
JJ ji,
Do you believe that the Mahabharata War was a historic event or fiction placed in a Historic Time frame?
If it is Historic Event then it must stand up to scientific inquiry.
On the other hand, If it is a fiction, it could have been written, rewritten, modified at any time.
The dates of Mahabharata is all over the place, but it can not be 4000 years old.

Arjuna and Karna had arrows of iron and steel, in the order of 60 million !

Kurukshetra war consisted of
21,870 chariots
21,870 elephants
65,610 cavalry
109,350 infantry

To supply weapons for such a large quantity, there should have been thousands and thousands of iron smiths making so much of iron weapons and weapons don't just disintegrate with time, they must leave an archeological trace and can be excavated.

Lets look at the realistic ages of metal

Stone age - 3.4 million years and ended between 8700 BCE and 2000 BCE
Bronze age - 3300–1200 BC
Iron age - 1200 BC - modern days

Iron age in India started around 1200 to 600 BCE so if Iron is used the Mahabharat then it can't be 5000 years old and if it was used at such massive scale of millions, then it should leave a large archeological evidence.

Use of Iron also brings forth stone sculpting, stone art, but no such evidence has been found, only soft stone(soap stone) art has been found eg Pashupati seal in Mohenjo-daro, made of soap stone.

The oldest idols of a religious nature are those of Buddha from the Kushana period, around 1 century CE, or around 2000 years ago. Hindu idols come later.

The oldest surviving temples are rock cut caves, but currently none of them are actively being worshiped. The oldest structural temples are around 500 CE, or 1500 years ago, but are very small brick structures unlike grand temples claimed in Mahabarat/Ramayana

Vedas
Mahabharat mentions that Hanuman learned Vedas, Vedas is dated at 1400BC, so Mahabharat can't be older than Vedas

Modern scholars estimate that Mahabharat to be not early than 400BCE and reached its final form in 4AD in Gupta Period. Thus It’s a great and very interesting epic but its age cannot be 5000 years old. And going by its realistic dates of 400BC to 4AD, we know exactly who were kings during those period and they were not from Mahabharat or Ramayan.



IMO, Every modern historian tries to come up with his own version of history. Invariably there are holes in the new propositions just like in the existing 'accepted' versions.

For example, Panini mentions murtis or idols. Since he lived in the 4th century BC there must have been idols during his time. This is only by inference. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murti

The attempt to 'reason' incidents in epics like Mahabharatha by pointing to iron age etc will not resolve anything. It may place the Mahabharatha at 1000 BC. But by the same logic, Ramayana must be placed in the 20th century since it mentions Pushpaka Vimana or airplane and we did not have them until recently.

Thinga are best left to people. Even the distiction between history and story is blurred and will remain that way.
 

Janaki Jambunathan

Well-known member
If it is Historic Event then it must stand up to scientific inquiry.(#2)

Scientist observe Stem cell technology in Pandvas birth

Historian observe - Pandavas Dharma of renouncing is inspired by Ashoka!

Latest observation of an historian

Gujarat, though economically advanced, is culturally a backward province… Bengal, in contrast, is economically backward but culturally advanced: Philip Spratt writing in 1939.”

In two lines, Guha thus reduced both Gujarat and Bengal to caricatures, but the storm was entirely about Gujarat. Are Bengalis not offended by Guha’s reference to the state as economically backward – and that too in 1939, when Jawaharlal Nehru’s policies and mindless unionism were yet to ruin Bengal’s industrial promise?

These observation of these (pseudo) Scientists and Historians need no further inquiries ! They have an agenda.
 

Raman74

Active member
It may not be a surprise if someone come and say that Valmiki wrote Ramayana with ‘Avengers’ in mind !! and Vysar wrote Mahabaratha with ‘Terminator’ in mind.!! LOL

Who is bothered about ‘Time line’.

There may be minds which selectively forget ‘Time line’ and target the punching bag thus create controversy to ensure one is in the lime light.

Perhaps observation of these (pseudo) Scientists and Historians have an hidden agenda.
 

Iyest

Active member
@
"If it is Historic Event then it must stand up to scientific inquiry ."
"Perhaps observation of these (pseudo) Scientists and Historians have an hidden agenda."

Absolutely. The westerners always had an agenda to present themselves as most 'scientific'. But we have only ourselves to blame for allowing scientific falsehoods to be taught as truth in our textbooks in schools and colleges.

Since we are nearing a solar eclipse in a few days let me narrate an incident.
Back in the 70s I was in an astronomy class taught by a famous professor in a reputed college in Madras. The text book was written by a renowned Indian author as well. There was this uncomfortable topic of discoveries in astronomy. The professor backed by the text book lectured that one Kepler discovered the laws of planetary motion. According to 'scientific reasoning' planets were observed closely only after the discovery of the telescope and so these laws were formulated only in the 16th century!

A few students questioned the professor who was visibly uncomfortable. Yet this was the 'truth' by virtue of being stated in our text book. Never mind that our pundits and ancient astrologers not only knew about planetary motions but were able to calculate planetary transits and eclipses with remarable precision centuries earlier. All without a telescope.

Moral here is that absence of telescope does not mean absence of knowledge about astronomy.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
IMO, Every modern historian tries to come up with his own version of history. Invariably there are holes in the new propositions just like in the existing 'accepted' versions.

For example, Panini mentions murtis or idols. Since he lived in the 4th century BC there must have been idols during his time. This is only by inference. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murti

The ancient religions of India apparently had no use of cult images. While the Vedic literature of Hinduism is extensive in the form of Samhitas, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads, and have been dated to have been composed over a period of centuries (1500 BC to 200 BC), there is no mention of temples or worship of cult images in them. Beyond the textual evidence, no very early temples have yet been discovered in archaeological sites of ancient India that suggest the use of cult images. The early Buddhist and Jain (pre-200 BC) traditions similarly suggest no evidence of idolatry. The Vedic literature mention many gods and goddesses, as well as the use of Homa (votive ritual using fire), but it does not mention images or their worship. The ancient Buddhist, Hindu and Jaina texts discuss the nature of existence, whether there is or is not a creator deity such as in the Nasadiya Sukta of the Rigveda, they describe meditation, they recommend the pursuit of simple monastic life and self-knowledge, they debate the nature of absolute reality as Brahman or Śūnyatā, yet the ancient Indian texts mention no use of images. Indologists such as the Max Muller, Jan Gonda, Pandurang Vaman Kane, Ramchandra Narayan Dandekar, Horace Hayman Wilson, Stephanie Jamison and other scholars state that "there is no evidence for icons or images representing god(s)" in the ancient religions of India. Idolatry developed among the Indian religions later.

According to John Grimes, a professor of Indian philosophy, Indian thought denied even dogmatic idolatry of its scriptures. Everything has been left to challenge, arguments and inquiry, with the medieval Indian scholar Vācaspati Miśra stating that scripture is not authoritative, only purportful scripture is.




The attempt to 'reason' incidents in epics like Mahabharatha by pointing to iron age etc will not resolve anything. It may place the Mahabharatha at 1000 BC. But by the same logic, Ramayana must be placed in the 20th century since it mentions Pushpaka Vimana or airplane and we did not have them until recently.

Imagination is not a reality.
In the movie Space Odyssey 2001, there was a talking computer imagined called HAL that film was made in 1968. There were no talking computers then, that predates Siri by 40 odd years. It does not mean that Space Odyssey was made in 2010. Storytellers have the poetic license to imagine and write it, but they are not Historical.
Just because there is mention of a flying chariot in Ramayana (again mythology, which by the way is not at all aerodynamic, and could not have become airborne), so has to be dated in the 20th Century. Ramayana could have been written in 6 BCE or any other time.


Thinga are best left to people. Even the distiction between history and story is blurred and will remain that way.
My answers are in Blue.
You seem to be irritated by counter-argument. This is purely an opinion. You might have another perspective but that alone is not the truth.
You are welcome to your opinion but at the same time I too can have an opinion.
 

Janaki Jambunathan

Well-known member
Left liberals feel if you talk about Hinduism with positive perceptions you are Facist and not secularist forgetting that they are selective or puedo secularists being silent on atrocities against Hindus

 

prasad1

Well-known member
Left liberals feel if you talk about Hinduism with positive perceptions you are Facist and not secularist forgetting that they are selective or puedo secularists being silent on atrocities against Hindus

JJJi,
I assumed you are older a wiser now. We are not in grade school, calling people names is not going to win any argument.
If I do not believe in superstitions I am not a pseudo-Secularist.
Romila Thaper is selling books, that is her goal. She has a controversial opinion and that helps her sells her books. Nothing wrong in it.

Hinduism is too wast and deep. If some section of Hindus questions An ignorant section of other Hindus, that is not an attack on Hinduism.

Adi Shankaracharya, Swami Dayananda, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda. Mahatma Gandi spoke against some practices in Hinduism that is not an attack on Hinduism.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
@

Since we are nearing a solar eclipse in a few days let me narrate an incident.
Back in the 70s I was in an astronomy class taught by a famous professor in a reputed college in Madras. The text book was written by a renowned Indian author as well. There was this uncomfortable topic of discoveries in astronomy. The professor backed by the text book lectured that one Kepler discovered the laws of planetary motion. According to 'scientific reasoning' planets were observed closely only after the discovery of the telescope and so these laws were formulated only in the 16th century!

A few students questioned the professor who was visibly uncomfortable. Yet this was the 'truth' by virtue of being stated in our text book. Never mind that our pundits and ancient astrologers not only knew about planetary motions but were able to calculate planetary transits and eclipses with remarable precision centuries earlier. All without a telescope.

For your information:

Indian astronomy has a long history stretching from pre-historic to modern times. Some of the earliest roots of Indian astronomy can be dated to the period of Indus Valley Civilization or earlier. Astronomy later developed as a discipline of Vedanga or one of the "auxiliary disciplines" associated with the study of the Vedas, dating 1500 BCE or older. The oldest known text is the Vedanga Jyotisha, dated to 1400–1200 BCE (with the extant form possibly from 700–600 BCE).

Indian astronomy was influenced by Greek astronomy beginning in the 4th century BCE and through the early centuries of the Common Era, for example by the Yavanajataka and the Romaka Siddhanta, a Sanskrit translation of a Greek text disseminated from the 2nd century.

Indian astronomy flowered in the 5th–6th century, with Aryabhata, whose Aryabhatiya represented the pinnacle of astronomical knowledge at the time. Later the Indian astronomy significantly influenced Muslim astronomy, Chinese astronomy, European astronomy, and others. Other astronomers of the classical era who further elaborated on Aryabhata's work include Brahmagupta, Varahamihira and Lalla.

An identifiable native Indian astronomical tradition remained active throughout the medieval period and into the 16th or 17th century, especially within the Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics.
Moral here is that absence of telescope does not mean absence of knowledge about astronomy.

More so we were told that Rahu and Ketu (the mythical planets) gobble up Sun and Moon during the eclipse.
We had more superstitions and less of science.
Greek astronomical ideas began to enter India in the 4th century BCE following the conquests of Alexander the Great. By the early centuries of the Common Era, Indo-Greek influence on the astronomical tradition is visible, with texts such as the Yavanajataka] and Romaka Siddhanta. Later astronomers mention the existence of various Siddhanta's during this period, among them a text known as the Surya Siddhanta. These were not fixed texts but rather an oral tradition of knowledge, and their content is not extant. The text today known as Surya Siddhanta dates to the Gupta period and was received by Aryabhata.

The classical era of Indian astronomy begins in the late Gupta era, in the 5th to 6th centuries. The Pañcasiddhāntikā by Varāhamihira (505 CE) approximates the method for determination of the meridian direction from any three positions of the shadow using a gnomon. By the time of Aryabhata the motion of planets was treated to be elliptical rather than circular. Other topics included definitions of different units of time, eccentric models of planetary motion, epicyclic models of planetary motion, and planetary longitude corrections for various terrestrial locations.
 
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Iyest

Active member
You seem to be irritated by counter-argument. This is purely an opinion. You might have another perspective but that alone is not the truth.
You are welcome to your opinion but at the same time I too can have an opinion.
There is no irritation. I began with IMO. You are free to discard it.

In any case your seem to accept that Kepler was not the originator of planetary laws as our students are being brainwashed to believe. We also know that Greece, China, and probably Persia had knowledge of astronomy as well. Long before most of Europe realized that planets orbit the sun.
 

Janaki Jambunathan

Well-known member
Hinduism is too wast and deep. If some section of Hindus questions An ignorant section of other Hindus, that is not an attack on Hinduism.(#11)

The ignorant section as presumed may be more intelligent & knowledgeable than the questioning Hindu - and show him the mirror and expose - arguing against is not but selectively arguing and keeping மௌனம் when you have to question loudly , to appease minority is pseudo secularism for sure!
 

K.k.kannan

New member
why should sri romila thapar say that yudhishtira was later than asoka. he should empahtically state that yuhishtira is yet to come and he is much yothapar and other juandiced lfet political historian
 

prasad1

Well-known member
There is no irritation. I began with IMO. You are free to discard it.

In any case your seem to accept that Kepler was not the originator of planetary laws as our students are being brainwashed to believe. We also know that Greece, China, and probably Persia had knowledge of astronomy as well. Long before most of Europe realized that planets orbit the sun.

I fully agree with you, there is nothing Original. We, Research and find what was already there.
Isaac Newton in 1675: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." Even that statement is a translation of earlier Greek sayings.
 

Janaki Jambunathan

Well-known member
fully agree with you, there is nothing Original. We, Research and find what was already there. (#16)

Only recycled or reinventing wheel again - This is true for opinions as well - cut and paste

Reinventing wheel - nothing original -.like cut and paste research!
 

prasad1

Well-known member
fully agree with you, there is nothing Original. We, Research and find what was already there. (#16)

Only recycled or reinventing wheel again - This is true for opinions as well - cut and paste

Reinventing wheel - nothing original -.like cut and paste research!
Oh Medhavi, as if you have contributed anything at all.
But thanks for the backhanded compliment. I at least give credit to my source. Instead of just posting some links that may not work for others, I copy-paste so it makes it easier to read.

Show some class or show some volume. Some people are here to insult other members. They only participate to Call other some names, indulging in elementary school children type of prank.

Please grow up, you are not getting any younger. Grayness in hair is not enough, grow some Gray cells in the brain.
 

Janaki Jambunathan

Well-known member
Oh Medhavi, as if you have contributed anything at all.
But thanks for the backhanded compliment. I at least give credit to my source. Instead of just posting some links that may not work for others, I copy-paste so it makes it easier to read.

Show some class or show some volume. Some people are here to insult other members. They only participate to Call other some names, indulging in elementary school children type of prank.

Please grow up, you are not getting any younger. Grayness in hair is not enough, grow some Gray cells in the brain.
Congrats ! for your attempt with no cut & paste stuff. But quality?

You have arrogated your self with superior intelligence and others as ignorant Hindus.

(Hinduism is too wast and deep. If some section of Hindus questions An ignorant section of other Hindus, that is not an attack on Hinduism.#11)

(Inspired by Krishna a tribal God you may think ) - We can tolerate 100 insults from Sisupals. Was Krishna also inspired by Ashoka?

Show some class or show some volume. (#18)

Body health is not because of volume consumed but on how much digested and absorbed - Class and intelligence is based not on volume of reading and further C & P but on the amount of absorption by the grey matter of brain.!

Gluttons with agenda are moron or imbecile!
 
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Iyest

Active member
fully agree with you, there is nothing Original. We, Research and find what was already there. (#16)

Only recycled or reinventing wheel again - This is true for opinions as well - cut and paste

Reinventing wheel - nothing original -.like cut and paste research!

Originality in stealing and plagarising is certainly there. Even in simple things like trying to patent Basmati rice, Keezhvanalli for curing hepatitis etc etc.
 
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