RV: Now that i know you do support science. Do you think Mahabharta took place and do you think Bheema was as powerful as hundred elephants. And what about Kunti’s sons before marriage? She gave birth to three sons from three different men/gods. one of them Surya devta or Sun which is not a living thing I would want to hear the philosophy behind this.
My take: I think science and society were advanced back then. Sex before marriage was not a taboo but a recreational stuff. People were free to think and write what they wanted. But then I also feel that may be Sage Vyasa was writing a poem and visualized a society as advanced as his treatise. It is a beautiful thought that one’s child is so bright that he would be imagined to be conceived as Sun’s god but taking it too seriously is like taking Harry Potter too seriously.
Philosophy in bhagvad geeta is beautiful and I think it was projected as god’s words so that lay man follows it sincerely but people, as usual, have ignored bhagvad gita and only remember Sri Krishna for his politics which is truly awesome. Only few like you have read Bhagvad Gita (i am assuming).
VR: Mahabharata and Ramayana actually happened. But Vyasa & Valmiki composed them in their poetic form. Poets are free to use their imagination in poetry. Our Puranas, Epics & Scriptures are a blend of Spiritual science, Poetry & Symbolism. We need to learn them in the right way to understand them properly.
Why they used imagination or exaggeration is a question asked by many? If you have seen movies based on true stories, how the directors use some masala so that the viewers can grasp the ‘essence’ from it? Our minds accept things if they are encapsulated in stories. Even today we enjoy reading comics, don’t we? Stories go a long way. Through stories, unknowningly the values go inside. That is more important.
The way our earlier teachers taught subjects was also interesting. If we take the case of Mathematics…there was no separate subject like Mathematics. It was imbibed in Astronomy, Astrology, Construction of Yagnashalas, etc. Its like have Tea. The essence is tea. But how many of us can enjoy tea if we eat tea leaves? So, for the essence to go inside we may use water, milk & sugar along with tea. There’s no harm in taking tea this way.
Our scriptures are like sugar-coated tablets. What’s inside cannot be known easily by the common man, but they do have their good effects. As you rightly said, very few people have rightly understood scriptures like Bhagavad Gita or Krishna correctly. One reason is because of the problems caused by our own people who wanted power didn’t transfer this knowledge to everybody. They gave different interpretations of scriptures and caste systems. This way, the caste systems became impure and the knowledge came into the hands of a few who themselves did not understand it properly. Another factor is the change in our educational system. Till a few centuries ago, we had the Gurukul system. The British educational system made a big difference. Now that you are in Boston doing your research, you might understand the difference in educational system of India and US or UK. The British made the educational system for us so that they can produce only clerical class and they themselves follow a different approach. Still our people excel in various fronts (thanks to the genes of our forefathers that we carry).
As I see it, there’s no point now blaming different people of the past. The question is, if we know how useful our ancient knowledge was, we should be asking this question to us – What are WE doing about it? What is OUR contribution (however little it may be) to protect it?
RV: Good answer! 🙂