Whatever we call history will become myth someday in future, and whatever we call as myth “possibly” had a history at some point in the past. Harvard University is going to offer classes on Ramayana and Mahabharata in the upcoming fall semester with the course titled, “Indian Religions Through Their Narrative Literatures”.
“The Indian epics are long and complex narratives that speak to virtually every aspect of human experience. While the Mahabharata is a sobering tale of cataclysmic war and loss, the Ramayana is one of India’s great love stories”, says the course coordinator Anne E Monius. Yet, we are having very hard time in believing them.
Everybody is very vocal either in favor or against the historical accuracy of two of the greatest epics world has ever produced, Ramayana and Mahabharata. I don’t know to which category you belong to, but, I strongly believe both Ramayana and Mahabharata are not just figments of hyper-imaginative minds but an artful depiction of exceptional stories, with a little bit artistic freedom. It’s impossible to tell a story like Mahabharata with thousands of characters, without any history behind it. Whenever a poet tells a story, there will always be author’s liberty. He may exaggerate things or he may give importance to one character or he may ignore other. But it’s a pity that the nation, Ramayana and Mahabharat find its origin in, The Land of Ayodhya and Hastinapur, Mithila and Panchal, Kosal and Dwarka, Magadha and Anga and Kashi and Madra and Chitrakoot and Kishkindha and Kurkshetra call these two epics “Mythology”.
Here’s why I believe Mahabharata and Ramayana are Ancient Indian History and not Mythology and Westerners call them:
After modern humans were able to send satellites to the space to take the pictures of Earth from above, world came to know there is a bridge that connects India and Sri Lanka, which Ramayana referred as Rama Sethu.
Sundara Kanda states that Hanuman saw four tusked elephants guarding the palaces of Ravana, in fact, there did exist four tusked elephants in the past and modern scientists call them as ‘Gomphotheriidae’ (Yes, search for it in google). Every geographic reference that were made in Ramayana is very accurate and we can still identify the path Rama took to locate Sita after abduction. We are talking about the times of 3000 BC or earlier, it was near to impossible to travel across India extensively to make those references with such accuracy and to build temples along the path to enhance the credibility.
In 1975 the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) unearthed fourteen pillar bases of kasauti stone with Hindu motifs near the mosque at Ayodhya; reports of the excavations are available with the ASI. Emperor Ashoka was much closer to the period of Rama than we can ever be, and he erected a pillar in Lumbini to with inscription referring to visits of both Rama and Buddha to Lumbini. That means, he believed in Rama’s existence. Just because leftist historians rubbed off the archeology, history and traditions, history will not become mythology. Nobody believed Iliyad was true till troy was discovered after extensive archeology.
Ramayana explains thiti of Lord Rama’s birth time as, ‘Rama was born on the Navami tithi of Shukla Paksha of Chaitra masa (9th day of the increasing phase of the moon in the lunar month of Chaitra). At that time, the nakshatra was Punarvasu, and Sun, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus were in Aries, Capricorn, Libra, Cancer and Pisces respectively. Lagna was Cancer and Jupiter & Moon were shining together.’ According to planetarium software, birth date of Lord Rama is, 10 January 5114 BCE at 12.30 PM. Using the same software and planetary positions mentioned in Mahabharata, it has been established that Lord Krishna was born on 21st of July 3228 BCE. Those two dates cannot be some random number as we already know Rama precedes Krishna. And those detailed planetary positions can’t be imagined just to throw some date. Yes, there may be some disputes on the dates provided by planetarium software, but, dates provided by any software or any methods don’t differ by a century from the above mentioned dates. And, a century is minute when we are talking about millennials.
I don’t even know where to start to provide you with the historical evidences when it comes to Mahabharata, there are so many that one can write a book on itself. I will start with Dwaraka, kingdom of Lord Krishna, the ultimate strategist. Dwaraka was a ‘mythological’ kingdom till it was discovered under sea during 1983-1990. So, Dwaraka had been mythological city for thousands of years, while the actual city was sleeping under water for thousands of years as said by Mahabharata. Yes, in accordance with Mahabharata, Dwaraka city was drowned due to the great flood and we didn’t care to search underwater till 1983. It’s not just Dwaraka, more than 35 sites which were described in Mahabharata yielded some or other ancient items when archeologists did excavation. Indraprastha, Hastinapur and every other city that was mentioned in Mahabharata are real and exists till date. The Greek historian Megasthenes stated Chandragupta was the 138th king in the lineage of Lord Krishna.
And then, there is Kurukshetra, a battle of epic proportions. There is a divergence amongst the historians when it comes to dating the epics, however, the most agreed upon date for Kurukshetra is, 3102 BCE. Excavations in Kurukshetra which is now in Haryana yielded iron arrows and spearheads dated by thermoluminence test to 3100 BCE which is very closer to the dates arrived by the planetary positions described for Kurukshetra.
References to the Brahmastra, modern atomic bomb, was found in several occasions in both Ramayana and Mahabharata, particularly in Mahabharata. Mahabharata describes Brahmastra as, ‘An incandescent column of smoke and flame, as bright as ten thousand suns, rose with all its splendor. It was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death, which reduced to ashes the entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas. The corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable’. The present day excavations find that the stones in Kurukshetra were exposed to radioactive energy thousands of years ago.
We accept Maurya, Gupta and other ancient dynasties just because they found place in Greek history along with ours. What about our history that existed before Greeks? Won’t we believe our own history just because other part of the world doesn’t know how to read or write at that time? 400 years ago, we didn’t have any problem in believing Mahabharata and Ramayana actually happened. Two and half centuries of colonial rule, leftist ideology, and adulterated books have made us to question the accuracy of our own history.
Unfortunately, in India, we are still debating whether the Ramayana/Mahabharata had actually happened or not instead of digging in the right places that were mentioned in Ramayana and Mahabharata. May be, leftist historians are scared that the actual evidence will be unearthed and their centuries long propaganda will be shattered. Lack of archeological existence is no excuse to deny the history.