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The Indian Style of Recording History
|by Rati Hegde|
Throughout my life I have heard people wondering whether the Ramayana and Mahabharata are just stories or whether they are real events which have been recorded in a story form. Throughout ages, the history of the world has been recorded in various forms like sculptures, books, paintings, etc. In most parts of the world, one has been able to fathom the past history of the region chronologically. If one were to see Greek or Roman history, one would be able to put a date to most events excepting those which related to mythology or Gods.
But in India, our history was never recorded chronologically. So much so that one does not even know whether the Chandragupta Maurya of our history books was the same as the legendary King Vikramaditya! We do not know for sure whether the great poet Kalidasa was a poet in the court of Vikramaditya or Chandragupta or Raja Bhoj (This is so because his lifetime is described as being a courtier of Vikramaditya but stories of his death say that Raja Bhoja was inconsolable on his death). If one looks at the various temples and water tanks all over India, one would be sure that Rama existed and was a great king. Similarly there are various places which are associated with Sri Krishna and the Pandava’s life. But still the Ramayana and Mahabharata are considered to be just myths. We are not even able to say with surety the date of the birth of Adi Shankaracharya, though He was born after the birth of Christ. Why this confusion regarding our history?
The answer lies in the way we recorded our achievements throughout the ages. If one were to look at the shlokas in the Vedas, one can see that they were the work of many Rishis and Sages. But the Vedas themselves are considered to be words of God. Then again, they are not the words of only one God form. Why? This is because we consider Mantras as not just words. They are words which are formed from our collective consciousness which exist beyond the physical plane; every Mantra brings out a subtle form, each different from one another and this is visible only to those who have experienced going beyond the physical and mind consciousness.
For those who are skeptical about what I have written, I request you to go through the science of Cymatics – a sample link for the same on YouTube
What I am trying to say is that these Rishis did not give much credit for their findings because they thought that it was the grace of the God of the Mantra which they saw during their meditation trances. Thus they neither took any credit for it nor recording their findings date-wise. They also thought that this was the property of all beings through the ages and thus did not waste time copyrighting it and they shared their knowledge freely with all those who were sincere seekers of knowledge.
When we talk about the tales in the Ramayana too, one notices a recurrent theme – the high moral stand taken by all the kings in the Ikshavaku clan or the Suryavanshis. Every ruler of this ‘Vansh’ (clan) has shown fortitude, adherence to truth and sacrifice of family for the sake of his ‘Praja’ (subjects) and to uphold Dharma.
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