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History and Mythlogy in context with India

“Go back to Vedas” Swami Vivekansnd
Introduction – Some people turn to history to prove their biased views and thus derive a sense of self-importance. A rational combination of history and mythology can teach people to be free from prejudices and to weed out what is false and irrelevant. History gives objective truth about the past on data: archeology, epigraphy and contemporary records. How the data is processed remains speculative and differs depending on the perspective of historians. Such as some historians view events of 1857 as ‘Mutiny’, while others as ‘beginning of National Movement’. History accepts only incidents which appeals to reason.
What is Mythology? – Mythology derived from a Greek word mythos meaning story. Mythology derived from a Greek word mythos meaning story. Mythology gives a subjective truth of people through their stories, symbols and rituals. By its very nature, it depends on emotions and not on rationality. Different tribes, communities and religions have their own version of reality.
Rejection of mythology during Post Independent India – Post renaissance period all over the world gave importance to logic and rejected mythology. During British rule in India Imperial powers with a sense of technological and intellectual superiority (European scholars like James Frazer, Max Mueller, Robert Graves, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Claude Levi-Strauss, Mircea Eliade, defined myths as false stories that these narratives are falsehood and uneducated people believed to be true.
Changed Scenario – The definition of Mythology changed since the rise of postmodern studies in 1970’s. People now desire to know how folk stories/narratives play a key role in shaping the mind of common-men, binds communities and creates identity politics. People identify with the help of these narratives to which culture they belong to. The cultural prejudice of historians has now been revealed. Mythology is now study of subjective truth of a people expressed through stories, symbols and rituals. It gives an insight of the cultural view to the world.

In the context of Independent India – As far as Post independent India is concerned, majority of educated Indians adopted colonial attitude of qualifying Indian mythology as ‘false knowledge of uneducated’. They valued history and cumulative scientific temper more and dismissed Hindu mythology as false, Hindu social structure, systems, values and traditions and religion as discriminatory.
Resented by Indian Reformers – Hindu culture is 5000 years old and Christianity is 2000 years old. When somebody say ‘Hindu’ it does not necessarily mean a religion. It is a culture and way of living of the people settled beyond Sindh River. Whenever there is any controversy about Indian scriptures, for Indians, belief/faith matters more than logic.
A political conspiracy let down the self-esteem of Hindu society – The views of European scholars appeared to many Indian reformers as a political conspiracy to systematically let down the self-worth and self-esteem of Hindu society. They resented their sacred stories (mythology) being viewed as ‘false, and irrelevant’ for Indian history. They argue how anybody can question about the things which are eternal/timeless and infinite. They allege that British Orientalists had purposely/intentionally highlighted everything anti-Hindu: i.e. Budhism,, Monuments of Islamic kings. They defamed Indian scriptures and its caste system. For Indians, reason matters. The result was that Indians were drifted away from their roots and culture. Noticing all this Swami Vivekanand had advised Indians to “go back to Vedas”.

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August 26, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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