Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

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Nilesh Oak
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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Nilesh Oak » 15 Dec 2014 23:23

asinh wrote:Kak is painting a very broad picture with intriguing snippets thrown in. I don't know if I should start quoting chapter and verse. He is also using archaeo astronomy somewhat on the lines of Nileshji. I discussed a couple of points with him on facebook messenger and he seems fine with it.

Left maths in 12th std with all the parabolas and hi-per bolas and tan thetas. Ancient love for maths showing eh? :rotfl:


Kak has done good work on many aspects of Indian history - Sulabhsutras, Egypt-India-Mittani- connection, Shapes of Yajna (e.g. Ashwamedha) and much more.

However, when it comes to exploring/defining/establishing/falsifying specific timelines for a given historic event or dating of a specific text, he is been less than orginal and for most part have resorted to casual handwaving.
--
Same can be said of Shrikant Talageri.. His work on 'The RigVeda - A Historical Analysis' is a masterpiece and so is (Rigveda and Avesta). However he has confused himself and others with his logic in determining absolute chronology of Rigveda.
--
Above are my assertions.. which means if one is willing to bring up specific chronological arguments (along with specific evidence) from either Kak or Talageri, I am willing to show the 'lack of logic' (or in some cases inductive fallacy) they have been trapped into.

In additon (and indepent of my above assertion) my two works on Ramayana and Mahabharata, by themselves, have created falsifying wall against most of the chronological claims of Kak or Talageri (and many other).

And although obvious, it is worth repeating.. I would be the happiest person in the world if someone can falsify (which also means propose/establish another and better timeline for Ramayana or Mahabharata than what I have established (12209 BCE and 5561 BCE). The above two are specific War years of Ramayana and Mahabharata, respectively.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Prem Kumar » 16 Dec 2014 01:15

An article in Swarajyamag today that talks about AIT, amongst others. Talks also about Talageri. For those not in the know, Swarajyamag is by the same people who used to run Centerright.in. Good, clean right-wing perspective with quality writing

Use Science, not Ideology, to Correct Historiography

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Prem Kumar » 16 Dec 2014 01:27

Nilesh Ji: can you clarify where you disagree with Talageri? If its with dates, I can understand. Your dates are earlier than his. At any rate, he says he can only provide lower-bounds for dates based on the Mittani text (& Iron). How early can the dates of RV be - who knows?

I would assume the upper bound depends on chariot usage in the world, but even there Kazanas disagrees on the AIT interpretation of Ratha. He says the word means a people-carrier & not a chariot. Kazanas believes in even earlier dates than Talageri.

Listen to Kazanas wonderful talk here: The Collapse of Aryan Invasion Theory and the prevalence of Indigenism

Of course, the antiquity (i.e. upper bound) of the RV dates does not, in any way, invalidate Talageri's work, which was to dismantle AIT

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Nilesh Oak » 16 Dec 2014 07:49

Prem Kumar wrote:Nilesh Ji: can you clarify where you disagree with Talageri? If its with dates, I can understand. Your dates are earlier than his. At any rate, he says he can only provide lower-bounds for dates based on the Mittani text (& Iron). How early can the dates of RV be - who knows?

I would assume the upper bound depends on chariot usage in the world, but even there Kazanas disagrees on the AIT interpretation of Ratha. He says the word means a people-carrier & not a chariot. Kazanas believes in even earlier dates than Talageri.

Listen to Kazanas wonderful talk here: The Collapse of Aryan Invasion Theory and the prevalence of Indigenism

Of course, the antiquity (i.e. upper bound) of the RV dates does not, in any way, invalidate Talageri's work, which was to dismantle AIT


Premkumar ji,

My disagreement with Shri Talageri is limited to ONLY ABSOLUTE chronology of Rigveda proposed by him. In his earlier books, he proposed only relative chronology, however in his latest work (Rigveda and Avesta) he claims that at this time he felt he was in a position to claim absolute chronology (at least for latter/younger portions) of RigVeda. His key reference is the timing of Mittani.

Frankly all it says is that RigVeda was written before Mittani (1500 BCE - 1800 BCE). Nothing less and nothing more. However Talageri has taken this Mittani timeline to be the end of composition (younger portions) of RigVeda.

Mittani references to Rigvedic deities simply mean that Mittanis were after RigVeda,.. it does not mean that timing of Mittani coincided with last portions of Rigveda.
--
I find his (Talageri) Rigveda- historical Analysis..brilliant ...because of its simplicity and testability. Anyone, without getting into content of RigVeda, can follow the logic of Anukramanika and corresponding Talageri explanation..and test it.. if they choose to.
--

I know KLP Ji has reservations about anyone employing Rigveda as historic document. While I do not agree with KLP ji, I do think he has made some very interesting points. Where I find problem is none of the arguments of his (KLP ji) are testable, ....rather the strength of his arguments lies in making everything non-testable. He did claim them to be testable (at one point he stated (old thread on this subject) that he would show how references related to Sararasvati are in fact not related to the river...or something of that nature (forgive me KLP ji if I misquoted you).. and I was excited to see something new.. unfortunately nothing dramatic came out of it. Frankly, nothing came out it.

Nilesh

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Nilesh Oak » 16 Dec 2014 07:53

PremKumar ji,

Talageri (and also Elst) misunderstand archeological evidence for chariots. Talageri mentions in one of his lectures (link provided by you) that Chariots are only from 3500 BCE (or something of that effect) and thus Rigveda can not be before that...etc.

This amounts to not knowing how to interpret archeological evidence.

If evidence of chariots is found for say 3500 BCE...some place in the world, all it means is that that place had chariots in 3500 BCE. The evidence has nothing to say about existence of chariots before and after 3500 BCE.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby KLP Dubey » 16 Dec 2014 15:22

Nilesh Oak wrote:I know KLP Ji has reservations about anyone employing Rigveda as historic document. While I do not agree with KLP ji, I do think he has made some very interesting points. Where I find problem is none of the arguments of his (KLP ji) are testable, ....rather the strength of his arguments lies in making everything non-testable. He did claim them to be testable (at one point he stated (old thread on this subject) that he would show how references related to Sararasvati are in fact not related to the river...or something of that nature (forgive me KLP ji if I misquoted you).. and I was excited to see something new.. unfortunately nothing dramatic came out of it. Frankly, nothing came out it.


The argument above is frankly nonsensical and I do not wish to revisit it in detail.

If you have not read anything about the Indian viewpoint of the Veda, it is understandable why you keep harping upon "testability" (as if history is based upon "testable" hypotheses) and insist on finding history in the Veda. It seems like you are not able to kick these habits.

The problem with your historical interpretations of Veda is that they have simply no logical or even linguistic foundation to stand upon. This was amply shown in previous discussion.

If only you spent more time reading and thinking about OUR (as opposed to the Westerner's) views on Veda, you would not waste time in unproductive pursuits such as rivers and tribals in Veda.

Regarding the issues with "rivers in RV" and such, I have already posted on it. There was no response from you on any of my initial observations. You still have not told me why the anukramani (in which Talageri et al place great stock) has no accents, you still have not told me why my interpretation of RV 5.53 was wrong (yes, it included plenty of comments on "rivers"), and you still have not answered any of my questions about the names of "rishis" in RV who are apparently mentioned in anukramani.

I already posted earlier that I am not going to keep indulging your one-sided demands for information when you cannot even answer simple questions about the Veda. I am not going to join the "cottage industry" of writing copious amounts of material and conjuring up unreliable meanings from ancient Indian texts. Honestly, I think these guys are just a bunch of idiots who know next to nothing about the Veda and its sounds.

What your post above tries to do is to denounce the correct interpretation of Veda as "nothing came out of it" (actually plenty did come out, except that you are blind to it). In short, a bid to hastily hide the shallowness of the "historical Veda" arguments. My post now counters this nonsense yet again, and I will keep doing so again and again as required.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Agnimitra » 16 Dec 2014 15:27

KLP Dubey wrote:you still have not told me why my interpretation of RV 5.53 was wrong (yes, it included plenty of comments on "rivers")

KLPD ji, could you post a link to this post of yours? Unable to find it myself :(

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby KLP Dubey » 16 Dec 2014 15:41

Agnimitra wrote:
KLP Dubey wrote:you still have not told me why my interpretation of RV 5.53 was wrong (yes, it included plenty of comments on "rivers")

KLPD ji, could you post a link to this post of yours? Unable to find it myself :(


The discussion was seeded with the words "tatardAnAh sindhavah".

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Agnimitra » 16 Dec 2014 17:08

KLP Dubey wrote:
Agnimitra wrote:KLPD ji, could you post a link to this post of yours? Unable to find it myself


The discussion was seeded with the words "tatardAnAh sindhavah".

Many thanks, found it: viewtopic.php?p=1330294#p1330294
KLP Dubey wrote:RV 5.53 is one of a set of Suktas referring to the Maruts. If Talageri (or ManishH) claim that 5.53.9 is referring to an earthly river "sindhu", then they also need to tell us how (as mentioned in the SAME Sukta 5.53.7) the "Maruts" are releasing multiple "sindhus" (specifically, "tatardAnAh sindhavah"). While such an act makes no sense from an earthly point of view, it also deflates the claim that "sindhu" mentioned in 5.53.9 is a particular river "Sindhu" (Indus), since 5.53.7 clearly refers to a plural.

What about the argument that "sindhu" is a generic term for a large river or sea, but also used for a particular river? Sort of like the Persian "darya"...

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby KLP Dubey » 16 Dec 2014 18:08

Agnimitra wrote:What about the argument that "sindhu" is a generic term for a large river or sea, but also used for a particular river? Sort of like the Persian "darya"...


As already discussed elsewhere in the thread, there is no evidence that "sindhu" means "river" in the first place, so the question of whether it represents "any river" or specifically "Dat bigazz riva yondah" does not arise.

The same suktas mention rivers of milk in the sky, chariots drawn by deer that spring out of thin air, etc. Once sindhu is claimed to be a river, then come the extrapolations of other words such as "rasa", "anitabha" etc which are also claimed to be rivers. What kind of nonsense logic is this? It is just people clutching at straws to find something in the Veda that they can "relate to".

I am totally willing to agree that these type of interpretations are extrapolated by people over the ages (and as you can see these human attempts to assign and argue over earthly meanings are still continuing). But all this does not provide any historical information on its own, since the Veda is devoid of any such descriptions. This is the Indian sidhhanta as far as Veda is concerned. These guys just do not get it.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Agnimitra » 16 Dec 2014 18:23

KLP Dubey wrote:
Agnimitra wrote:What about the argument that "sindhu" is a generic term for a large river or sea, but also used for a particular river? Sort of like the Persian "darya"...


As already discussed elsewhere in the thread, there is no evidence that "sindhu" means "river" in the first place, so the question of whether it represents "any river" or specifically "Dat bigazz riva yondah" does not arise.

The same suktas mention rivers of milk in the sky, chariots drawn by deer that spring out of thin air, etc.

:lol: I see your point. But consider an extension of the argument that approaches a "mean" between what you're saying and what the "history"-mongers are saying:

The Veda does not represent any physical reality as physical reality. Rather, the Veda is to be understood with certain faculties such as synesthesia - rather than with discrete, mutually disconnected sense faculties. Read synesthetically, everything assumes a metaphorical significance, albeit including the physical dimension.

Even in physical references, metaphors, synecdoche (upalakshana) and similes are used. So "river of milk in the sky" could be galaxies - at a physical level -- and in synesthesia perception it would blossom a Gestalt whose prime significance is completely unconnected to any physical galaxy.

Thus, as long as it is understood that physical references are purely elemental and treated as part of a synesthetic manifold, it may be worthwhile speculating on a yantra-like "sacred model of space-time" with its geographical features and personalities...

Would such an argument hold water?

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby johneeG » 16 Dec 2014 18:32

X-posting an old post due to relevance:
johneeG wrote:

devesh wrote:
Agnimitra wrote:RajeshA ji you've been missed here.

I second that.


Satyam, Satyam, Punah Satyam. RajeshA saar, come back, no! :(( Atleast, in this thread. Similarly, Shiv saar, at least for this thread.

KLP Dubey wrote:
Dipanker wrote:Aren't you contradicting yourself? If as per you the meaning of veda (RigVeda) is not known, then how can one ( and I am including you in that category too) demonstrate one's knowledge about about something whose meaning is not known?


I'm not contradicting myself. "Knowledge" of the Veda does not mean that one has 'deciphered its meaning'. It means a correct knowledge of its sounds (shiksha), their arrangement (chandas), accent and grammatical aspects (vyakarana). These disciplines have been highly successful and created a great deal of useful knowledge which the Indians have disseminated to the rest of humanity.


Dubey ji,

how can you claim that the words of Veda are not Sanskrit when Vyakarna(Grammer) is a Veda-anga? How can you say that Vedic words are meaningless when Vyakarna(Grammer) is a Veda-anga?

KLP Dubey wrote:It also means a knowledge of the various meanings that humans have assigned to its sounds (nirukta). Note, nirukta is not a study of reliable meanings of the Veda or its interpretation. It is basically a catalog of previously suggested meanings. This discipline has had no clear success.



Saar,
I think this is a disingenuous position. On one hand you are saying that people should not ignore what Hindhus have been saying for more than 5000 years, on the other hand you are yourself trying to undermine Niruktha just because its presence undermines your position?

KLP Dubey wrote:The other two vedangas are concerned with trying to interpret its sounds - which contain universally valid information - in terms of their effects on the human condition (kalpa and jyotish). The 'success' of these disciplines is dependent on your epistemological viewpoint.


But, the basic point is that Vedhas do contain a lot of knowledge(and they are not some meaningless mumble jumble). And to decode(or to understand) this knowledge, knowledge of Vedha-angas are required. One of the Vedha-angas being Kalpa(which deals with rituals, creation of altars, ...etc), it is obvious that Vedhas contain knowledge related to rituals or atleast, knowledge about rituals is required to understand the wisdom of Vedhas.

And since, Jyothishya is also a Vedha-anga, knowledge of Jyothishya is required to understand Vaidik wisdom.


And there are also Upa-Vedhas:

Medicine (Āyurvedha), associated with the Rigvedha
Archery (Dhanurvedha), associated with the Yajurvedha
Music and sacred dance (Gāndharva-vedha), associated with the Saamavedha
Military science (Shastrashastra), associated with the Atharvavedha

Upa-Vedha could mean knowledge branches derived from the Vedhas or it could also mean applied(i.e. practical) knowledge derived from the Vedhas. It is also clearly given which branch was derived from which Vedha.

This is also traditionally being studied by the Hindhus for more than 5000 years.

BTW, I wonder where the colonial EJ 'indologists' got 5000 year mark from? Just the good old creation day mentioned in THE BOOK?

KLP Dubey wrote:There is no successful discipline concerned with "decphering the meaning" of the Veda (i.e. the Rgveda Samhita) in terms of history, geography, and human civilization. All previous and current attempts have failed and give absurd results. Moreover, the successful darshanas (mimansa and vedanta) have shown that the sounds of the Veda cannot be assumed to be anything but eternal and impersonal.


They are eternal and impersonal, alright.

KLP Dubey wrote:As also mentioned previously, the ancient Indians were no fools. There is a clear division between Veda, Purana, and Itihasa. The latter two deal with human history and myth. The Veda is separate from these and this has been common knowledge from time immemorial. It is only after the western colonization of India that the politically motivated urge to find history and geography in the Veda has begun (AIT, AMT, OIT, etc).

KL


I think this is a much better position. Vedhas have always been considered a storehouse of knowledge. The word 'Vedha' itself means 'knowledge'. The dhatu 'Vidh' denotes 'knowledge'. This is found in another word 'Vidh-van' which means 'scholar'. In sanskrit, 'vidh' is used even as a verb, correct me if I am wrong.

But, it has never been claimed(either in Vedhas Itself or by Vedha-angas or by Puranas or by Ithihaasas or by other Darshanas) that Vedha is a historical record.

It was the colonial EJ 'indologists' who came up with this new and revolutionary idea that Vedha is a historical record. I don't know whether Buddhists ever made this claim about Vedhas.

But, how can anyone just make an absurd claim without any reason when the traditions associated with the Vedhas nor Vedhas themselves support this claim(that Vedhas area historical record)? In fact, it has been explicitly said that Vedhas contain a lot of knowledge that is eternal(basically saying that Vedhas are not related to any one single location, time, circumstance or personality). This itself is an emphatic claim that Vedhas are not a historical record.

There are six-darshanas that accept the Vaidhik authority(which means that they derive their branch from the Vedhas.):

Nyaya: By Gauthama. It is based on logic(Tharka).
Vaisheshika: By Kanadha. It proposes atomic(kanam) structure of the elements.
Sankhya: By Kapila. It suggests the negation of all the things(Prakruthi) to arrive at the remainder(Purusha) which is eternal and impersonal.
Yoga: By Pathanjali. It deals with Physical and Mental exercises to control the mind(Chittha vritthi nirodha)
Mimamsa: By Vyasa->Jaimini->Kumarilla. It proposes the prominence of rituals.
Vedanta (or Uttara "later" Mimamsa): By Vyasa->Shankara. It talks about Moksha(liberation).

None of the above darshanas even suggest that Vedhas could be historical or geographical records.

Some events maybe mentioned in Vedhas while conveying a point. The point that the Vedha is trying to convey is the important thing, the event is a side-note. That event need not be historical at all because no one claims it to be history. It could be fiction/prediction/imagination/history/history mixed with imagination/prediction based upon past/...etc. It could be anything. The vital point is what Vedha is conveying. By ignoring the main point and concentrating on the side-note based on the presumption that it is a historical record leads to the strange narratives. Such narratives can be spun dime a dozen by anyone with some imagination, after all there is no need to base it on anything. One can come up with whatever one want to.

Hindhus have their historical records: Puraanas and Ithihaasas.
Ithihaasas, as the name clarifies, are precise historical records.
Puraanas, as the name suggests, are very old historical records which may have many omissions and commissions in the story telling due to the fact that they are very very old. MB, for example, is primarily a Ithihaasa. But it contains several Puraanas within it. So, it means the primary story of Paandavas and Kauravas is a Ithihaasa while the various other stories told within MB like Nala-Dhamayanthi, birth of Garooda-Naga, ...etc are Puraanas.

What the colonials have done is that they have completely reversed this.
Those records that Hindhus claim as their histories are dismissed as myths by the colonial EJs.
Those records that Hindhus claim as eternal knowledge(i.e. not historical) are claimed by the colonial EJs as historical records.

Its upside down. Its like, if I say, "X is my bro and Y is my grandfather and I pray to Z. Z is my Goddess."
Then the colonials say, "no you are lying. X cannot be your bro. Y must be your bro and Z must be your grandmother." And these colonials have no reason to make these claims except their own prejudice.

-----
Dubey ji,
I had a doubt. How does one differentiate between adjective and noun in Sanskruth? And how to know whether a word is a common noun or proper noun?

For example, if it is said that Krushnah Sundharah.
How does one know whether Krushnah(black male) and Sundharah(beautiful male) is a common noun or adjective or proper noun?

I think that explanation would be on topic on this thread and also useful. Thanks in Advance.
----
end of X-post:
Link to post

----
I accept that Vedhas have no history. But, I can't understand the argument that Vedhas have no meaning when clearly Grammar(Vyakarna) is a Vedhanga and Niruktha is also Vedhanga.

Vedhas will indeed be meaningless if one attempts to decipher them without the knowledge of Vedhanga as far as I understand.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Nilesh Oak » 16 Dec 2014 23:50

I wrote..

Nilesh Oak wrote:I know KLP Ji has reservations about anyone employing Rigveda as historic document. While I do not agree with KLP ji, I do think he has made some very interesting points. Where I find problem is none of the arguments of his (KLP ji) are testable, ....rather the strength of his arguments lies in making everything non-testable. He did claim them to be testable (at one point he stated (old thread on this subject) that he would show how references related to Sararasvati are in fact not related to the river...or something of that nature (forgive me KLP ji if I misquoted you).. and I was excited to see something new.. unfortunately nothing dramatic came out of it. Frankly, nothing came out it.


KLP ji wrote...

If you have not read anything about the Indian viewpoint of the Veda, it is understandable why you keep harping upon "testability" (as if history is based upon "testable" hypotheses) and insist on finding history in the Veda. It seems like you are not able to kick these habits.


Don't assume what others have read or not, but then choice is entirely yours. As far as testability is concerned, I am glad I am not able to kick this habit.

KLP ji also wrote..

The problem with your historical interpretations of Veda is that they have simply no logical or even linguistic foundation to stand upon. This was amply shown in previous discussion.

If only you spent more time reading and thinking about OUR (as opposed to the Westerner's) views on Veda, you would not waste time in unproductive pursuits such as rivers and tribals in Veda.


This is not my theory. I was simply commenting on work on Shri Talageri. Of course, using 'testability' as a criteria, his work is on solid ground (it may be all wrong.. but not until someone comes up with a better explanation than his).

KLP ji wrote..

Regarding the issues with "rivers in RV" and such, I have already posted on it. There was no response from you on any of my initial observations. You still have not told me why the anukramani (in which Talageri et al place great stock) has no accents, you still have not told me why my interpretation of RV 5.53 was wrong (yes, it included plenty of comments on "rivers"), and you still have not answered any of my questions about the names of "rishis" in RV who are apparently mentioned in anukramani.


It was my understanding that you were going to show how references to Ganga, Yamuna, Satlaj, Ravi, Sarasvati were in fact not references to rivers at all. It was not my demand (btw).. rather it was your comment (old OIT thread) and you never delivered. That is all I was saying. Again I nowhere claimed to be knowlegeble of Veda. Very reason myself and many others were looking at likes of you to enlighten.

Apparently your advice seems to be for us to study Veda from Indian point of view .....until we stop asking question? or stop disagreeing with you?.. I am not sure.

KLP ji

I already posted earlier that I am not going to keep indulging your one-sided demands for information when you cannot even answer simple questions about the Veda. I am not going to join the "cottage industry" of writing copious amounts of material and conjuring up unreliable meanings from ancient Indian texts. Honestly, I think these guys are just a bunch of idiots who know next to nothing about the Veda and its sounds.


Fair. I did not insist on your indulgence. I have no clue what you are talking here... In any case, if you see them as one-sided demands for information, simply ignore my comments and don't bother answering.

KLP ji

What your post above tries to do is to denounce the correct interpretation of Veda as "nothing came out of it" (actually plenty did come out, except that you are blind to it). In short, a bid to hastily hide the shallowness of the "historical Veda" arguments. My post now counters this nonsense yet again, and I will keep doing so again and again as required.


Yes, a lot of useful stuff did result due to your positon and your contribution. Thank you. My comment 'nothing came out of it' was specific to alternate interpretation (other than rivers) for so called interpretations of rivers (by Indologists but also likes of Talageri and others)... Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati, etc....and thus by extension geographical/geological descriptions from pages of Rigveda.

Warm Regards,

Nilesh

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Nilesh Oak » 17 Dec 2014 04:38

johneeG wrote:Some events maybe mentioned in Vedhas while conveying a point. The point that the Vedha is trying to convey is the important thing, the event is a side-note. That event need not be historical at all because no one claims it to be history. It could be fiction/prediction/imagination/history/history mixed with imagination/prediction based upon past/...etc. It could be anything. The vital point is what Vedha is conveying. By ignoring the main point and concentrating on the side-note based on the presumption that it is a historical record leads to the strange narratives. Such narratives can be spun dime a dozen by anyone with some imagination, after all there is no need to base it on anything. One can come up with whatever one want to.

Hindhus have their historical records: Puraanas and Ithihaasas.
Ithihaasas, as the name clarifies, are precise historical records.
Puraanas, as the name suggests, are very old historical records which may have many omissions and commissions in the story telling due to the fact that they are very very old. MB, for example, is primarily a Ithihaasa. But it contains several Puraanas within it. So, it means the primary story of Paandavas and Kauravas is a Ithihaasa while the various other stories told within MB like Nala-Dhamayanthi, birth of Garooda-Naga, ...etc are Puraanas.

What the colonials have done is that they have completely reversed this.
Those records that Hindhus claim as their histories are dismissed as myths by the colonial EJs.
Those records that Hindhus claim as eternal knowledge(i.e. not historical) are claimed by the colonial EJs as historical records.

Its upside down. Its like, if I say, "X is my bro and Y is my grandfather and I pray to Z. Z is my Goddess."
Then the colonials say, "no you are lying. X cannot be your bro. Y must be your bro and Z must be your grandmother." And these colonials have no reason to make these claims except their own prejudice.
----
I accept that Vedhas have no history. But, I can't understand the argument that Vedhas have no meaning when clearly Grammar(Vyakarna) is a Vedhanga and Niruktha is also Vedhanga.

Vedhas will indeed be meaningless if one attempts to decipher them without the knowledge of Vedhanga as far as I understand.


+108

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby KLP Dubey » 17 Dec 2014 20:17

johneeG wrote:I accept that Vedhas have no history. But, I can't understand the argument that Vedhas have no meaning when clearly Grammar(Vyakarna) is a Vedhanga and Niruktha is also Vedhanga.

Vedhas will indeed be meaningless if one attempts to decipher them without the knowledge of Vedhanga as far as I understand.


With all due respect, please stop asking these same old questions all over again. I have already discussed multiple times with others and given the answers. In short, I never said the "Veda has no meaning". I have no idea why you keep harping on this. Please read previous posts.

I have been the singular votary in this thread of the importance of Vedanga in "understanding" the Veda. Instead of asking same old questions, read my previous posts in which I commented on the usefulness (and accomplishments and limitations) of each of the Vedangas.

I have already tested the understanding of some of these guys regarding Vedanga and I find they are near-total zeros. Even before we get to Nirukta (which I have discussed as needed), it is clear these guys have not even the haziest understanding of shiksha (phonetics and phonology), vyakarana (grammar), or chhandas (meter).

For example, my basic questions to Oak were all regarding the Vedangas (e.g., why no accents on the anukramani ? why no analysis of anukramani in Mimamsa or any Vedanga ? why sindhu is seen in both singular and plural in the same sukta ? how do accented compounds determine common nouns versus proper nouns?). He has no answers, and probably never will, because he knows that he will have to start studying the Veda. He does not want to do that - he is more interested in promoting quackery based upon "history in Veda".

In one case there was a hilarious bout of tomfoolery when he forwarded one of my questions to Talageri, who responded saying that "whether or not the anukramani is accented, the fact is they give the names of rishis". What can one say to these type of fellows ?

I also discussed Mimamsa (which is not a Vedanga). This gets into epistemology and pramanas, another important areas. This time it was another guy (I forgot his name) who kept asking nonsensical questions even after I gave the answers repeatedly.

In short, there is a whole group of people who have not the foggiest idea of Veda and its branches of study, but are busy promoting historical quackery based upon it.

I am despairing for the future of Indian thought and scholarship. Damn it.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby peter » 18 Dec 2014 06:29

KLP Dubey wrote:........
In short, there is a whole group of people who have not the foggiest idea of Veda and its branches of study, but are busy promoting historical quackery based upon it.

I am despairing for the future of Indian thought and scholarship. Damn it.

Some time back you had mentioned this: https://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewtopic.php?p=1338094#p1338094 as a response to this:
Here is the Rg Veda 10:75:5:
इमं मे गङ्गे यमुने सरस्वति शुतुद्रि स्तोमं सचता परुष्ण्या ।
असिक्न्या मरुद्वृधे वितस्तयार्जीकीये शृणुह्या सुषोमया ॥५॥

How is it that Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Sutlej etc are mentioned in the exact order that they exist even today? Who ever created/heard this hymn knew his/her geography rather well.



Have you had a chance to post about RV 10.75?

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Dipanker » 18 Dec 2014 07:10

KLP Dubey wrote: In short, I never said the "Veda has no meaning". .


If Veda has meaning, is there a good translation available? What translated work you would recommend?

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 18 Dec 2014 08:15

Dipanker wrote:
KLP Dubey wrote: In short, I never said the "Veda has no meaning". .


If Veda has meaning, is there a good translation available? What translated work you would recommend?


After the Vedas were handed down, many people over several centuries have developed a body of literature to understand the Vedas and share the meaning. I suggest some good books on Vedanta. Plenty are available.

Veda-anta include the Upanishads. Aurobindo's writings on the Upanishads are available free online here
http://www.aurobindo.ru/workings/sa/12/index_e.htm


The "direct, literal" translation of the Rig Veda by the Mullers and Joneses was based roughly on an interpretation of the Rig Veda by one Sayana who apparently lived around 1300. Aurobindo is quite critical of the inconsistency in Sayana's interpretation which have led to translations that sound like the ramblings of a drug addict in parts, explained away by European scholars as the way "primitive people" can be expected to write poetry. The Rig Veda is an archaic form of Sanskrit whose real meanings have been lost, and what is left can be obtained from the Upanishads and the Vedanta.

An alternative is to simply learn to recite the Vedas - because the sound of the recitation itself (when recited properly) has meaning - something that post-Macaulay minds find hard to swallow. Personally I find it very relaxing simply to listen to the Rig Veda being chanted.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby member_20317 » 18 Dec 2014 14:10

You are going to start a new star wars shiv ji.

Because the question was addressed to a man who keeps deriding even Vedanta which you seem quite keen on. The only support that he provided is for testimony/Vedanga or part of Veda itself. He will probably take the stance that Vedanta are also like the efforts of Sanskrit grammarians (best efforts of their times and also as far into the future as known today, and that is it) in understanding the eternal vedas. I cannot hold it against him. After all if you really want the, real life or evidence, to be meaningful to you, for your purposes then you have to:
1) come up with either a pre-existing logic (to which then the evidence is shown as faithful) which in our case does not exists for Vedas; or
2) come up with universal laws of logic (to which then the evidence is shown as faithful) which in our case is a work in progress and which is where your Vedanta could aspire to come in.

Also I don't think that those who invented Sanskrit (grammar rules) ever claimed that Rig Veda is the archaic form of their invention. I think all they referred to were the existence of earlier grammars and their own latest and subsequent efforts at formalizing the then usage of language. And that is it. Seems like they mostly had nothing to do with the shabda level rules except that they could have taken some inspiration from Pratisakhyas without adopting it fully (I am not sure). In fact most people deeply into sanskrit are also deeply into Indian logic and traditions and they would instead of pedestalizing an invention would rather pedestalize the eternal (Anadi-Anant). It was a sacrifice they were willing to live with.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby UlanBatori » 18 Dec 2014 16:05

If Veda has meaning, is there a good translation available? What translated work you would recommend?


BG.

Maha Rshi Dev Anand in "Hare Krshna Hare Ram"

Jeet lo Man ko patH kar Gita
8)

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby sudarshan » 19 Dec 2014 07:18

<OT> Rajesh ji, hope you saw my e-khat (sent Dec. 1st). </OT>

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby RajeshA » 19 Dec 2014 16:27

sudarshan wrote:<OT> Rajesh ji, hope you saw my e-khat (sent Dec. 1st). </OT>


Ow! Haven't been checking that account! Will get back to you soon!

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby ShauryaT » 19 Dec 2014 17:03

shiv wrote:An alternative is to simply learn to recite the Vedas - because the sound of the recitation itself (when recited properly) has meaning - something that post-Macaulay minds find hard to swallow. Personally I find it very relaxing simply to listen to the Rig Veda being chanted.
True. Also not all is lost. The Brahmanas are actually well preserved. It is the Karma Kaand aspect of the Rig. Performing rituals yourself is a great way to connect to these aspects of the Rig Ved. For non-sanskrit speakers, do not worry too much about the actual pronounciations, recite them as you perform these Karma Kaands yourself and new vistas of understanding will open up. Also, the Samhitas which is what Sayana neglected and their meanings can be recovered only through an understanding of the Brahmanas and the Upanishads. It has to be an inspired constructed meaning and not literal or it will sound like the poetry of drug addicts. If one studies Vedanta and/or Mimamsa and conducts Karma Kaands themselves the mysteries of the Samhitas can open up, through an inspired interpretation rooted in vedanta and mimamsa, IMO.

Apart from Sri Aurobindo, the works of Dayananda Sarasvati (Arya Samaj) and not direct translations but works of David Frawley and Ram Swarup can shed light. In local languages, then the works of many, many others also are open to understanding the vedas. Just have to step away from the Griffith translations.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby KLP Dubey » 19 Dec 2014 18:25

ShauryaT wrote:
shiv wrote:An alternative is to simply learn to recite the Vedas - because the sound of the recitation itself (when recited properly) has meaning - something that post-Macaulay minds find hard to swallow. Personally I find it very relaxing simply to listen to the Rig Veda being chanted.
True. Also not all is lost. The Brahmanas are actually well preserved. It is the Karma Kaand aspect of the Rig. Performing rituals yourself is a great way to connect to these aspects of the Rig Ved.


Excellent post. A key aspect is for Indians to "reclaim" the Vedic ritual from "brahmanical" so-called guardians. By carefully reading the brahmanas and shrauta sutras, consulting knowledgeable people, and using modern conveniences like overhead TV (to display the correct mantras and procedures at the correct times), one can perform Yajnas with precision using a small number of participants. No need for any brahmans who claim to be specialists (most of them simply repeat mechanically what they learned as apprentices, and very few have much understanding of Kalpa vedanga).

A more radical alternative is offered by Arya Samaj yajnas which are based upon the interpretations and paddhati suggested by Dayananda.

All this is truly "OUT OF INDIA", and not the fantasies about tribals, rivers, etc in the Veda.

For non-sanskrit speakers, do not worry too much about the actual pronounciations, recite them as you perform these Karma Kaands yourself and new vistas of understanding will open up.


Correct. It is irrelevant whether one knows Skt (though of course very helpful if you do). The key is to pronounce the sounds correctly with the correct accent and meter.

Also, the Samhitas which is what Sayana neglected and their meanings can be recovered only through an understanding of the Brahmanas and the Upanishads. It has to be an inspired constructed meaning and not literal or it will sound like the poetry of drug addicts. If one studies Vedanta and/or Mimamsa and conducts Karma Kaands themselves the mysteries of the Samhitas can open up, through an inspired interpretation rooted in vedanta and mimamsa, IMO.

Apart from Sri Aurobindo, the works of Dayananda Sarasvati (Arya Samaj) and not direct translations but works of David Frawley and Ram Swarup can shed light. In local languages, then the works of many, many others also are open to understanding the vedas. Just have to step away from the Griffith translations.


The Veda (i.e., Samhita) certainly has meaning, but that "true" meaning is yet to be discovered. Discovering the meaning should be certainly a pursuit. Several attempts have been made to figure out the "true meaning" of the Veda (and examples have been listed by posters above), but all these are at best crude approximations at the moment. They should by no means be considered "correct" or "definitive". We have a long way to go and we know very little. Finding a consistent meaning of the Veda will require a large project, and cannot be done by just a few guys sitting at home with a copy of the text and a vivid imagination.

Neither Mimamsa nor Vedanta offers us detailed insight into the meaning of the Samhita (and indeed this is NOT their purpose). But through their epistemology and reasoning, they certainly fix important parameters about the Samhita. One crucial point is that the sounds of the Veda are *literally* eternal, impersonal, universal, and have no specific connection to any events, people, or cultures that may have existed on this planet. Whatever such connections may seem to exist, have been derived by humans by fitting Vedic sounds to objects in their physical or social environment over the ages.

As a result of this careful work done by many thinkers over thousands of years (again, truly OUT-OF-INDIA stuff), we can safely say that there is NO HUMAN HISTORY IN THE VEDA. Those who are running after history in Rgveda are simply ignorant of our vast literature on the subject, and they have no idea what they are talking about.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby ShauryaT » 19 Dec 2014 18:36

^^Dubey ji: I am a novice on the matters. BTW: Purchased your recommendations of Ganganath Jha's two volumes on Kumarila Bhatta. Still have to read them though. TIA.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Prem » 20 Dec 2014 03:18

UlanBatori wrote:
If Veda has meaning, is there a good translation available? What translated work you would recommend?

BG. Maha Rshi Dev Anand in "Hare Krshna Hare Ram"
Jeet lo Man ko patH kar Gita
8)


Rakhi Sey Jo Haara, Jeenat Amaan Ko Jiita
Sunn Bhai Miita,Kya kusch Seekha ?
From Hema Malini in Sita owrr Gita.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby peter » 20 Dec 2014 18:30

KLP Dubey wrote:....One crucial point is that the sounds of the Veda are *literally* eternal, impersonal, universal, and have no specific connection to any events, people, or cultures that may have existed on this planet.

And you say this on whose authority?
KLP Dubey wrote:Whatever such connections may seem to exist, have been derived by humans by fitting Vedic sounds to objects in their physical or social environment over the ages.

As a result of this careful work done by many thinkers over thousands of years (again, truly OUT-OF-INDIA stuff), [b]we can safely say that there is NO HUMAN HISTORY IN THE VEDA. Those who are running after history in Rgveda are simply ignorant of our vast literature on the subject, and they have no idea what they are talking about.

This is rather preposterous. You won't enagage in a specific debate about a specific Rk from the Rg Ved and instead make these silly hand waving arguments.

Remember one thing very clearly that if Indians do not interpret Rg Ved then others *will* interpret it for you. And if all Indians are *stupid* enough that they cannot interpret or understand Rg Veda then they should all go jump in chullu bhar paani.

BTW for the record I believe you are totally wrong. Rg Ved has history, geography and a whole host of stuff in it and humans have known it for thousands of years.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby ShauryaT » 21 Dec 2014 00:47

peter wrote:BTW for the record I believe you are totally wrong. Rg Ved has history, geography and a whole host of stuff in it and humans have known it for thousands of years.
Have you read Sri Aurobindo's take on it? He does not denote History or Geography to the names in the Rig but makes the argument that they are symbolic representations. It seems constructive and coherent that way.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Pulikeshi » 21 Dec 2014 06:33

peter wrote:Remember one thing very clearly that if Indians do not interpret Rg Ved then others *will* interpret it for you. And if all Indians are *stupid* enough that they cannot interpret or understand Rg Veda then they should all go jump in chullu bhar paani.

BTW for the record I believe you are totally wrong. Rg Ved has history, geography and a whole host of stuff in it and humans have known it for thousands of years.


Interpreting or trying to understand the Vedas from its own framework is a laudable activity even if done by those not Indian.

To seek history (A protestant western idea) in the Veda will be opposed by several of the traditionalist who consider the path followed by most Hindus to be Sanathana (Eternal) Dharma. Dharma is Sanathana (Eternal) onlee because the Vedas are eternal and with no known authors. That which is eternal cannot be bound by something as silly as history, your or anyone else's disagreement is really irrelevant. The Vedas have no origin and have no end. Some of us were fortunate to be receivers, some of us reciters and few others listeners or interpreters. The rest are unworthy of mention. History seekers are doomed to fail as much as the PIE dealers.
The traditionalist have not deviated from this position since humans have existed and it will not change post.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby peter » 21 Dec 2014 06:53

ShauryaT wrote:
peter wrote:BTW for the record I believe you are totally wrong. Rg Ved has history, geography and a whole host of stuff in it and humans have known it for thousands of years.
Have you read Sri Aurobindo's take on it? He does not denote History or Geography to the names in the Rig but makes the argument that they are symbolic representations. It seems constructive and coherent that way.

Arguments about he said she said are irrelevant. Discuss specific examples. I have put forth a rk in an earlier post about Indian rivers. Do you have a point which contradicts what I am saying?

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby peter » 21 Dec 2014 06:54

Pulikeshi wrote:
peter wrote:Remember one thing very clearly that if Indians do not interpret Rg Ved then others *will* interpret it for you. And if all Indians are *stupid* enough that they cannot interpret or understand Rg Veda then they should all go jump in chullu bhar paani.

BTW for the record I believe you are totally wrong. Rg Ved has history, geography and a whole host of stuff in it and humans have known it for thousands of years.


Interpreting or trying to understand the Vedas from its own framework is a laudable activity even if done by those not Indian.

To seek history (A protestant western idea) in the Veda will be opposed by several of the traditionalist who consider the path followed by most Hindus to be Sanathana (Eternal) Dharma. Dharma is Sanathana (Eternal) onlee because the Vedas are eternal and with no known authors. That which is eternal cannot be bound by something as silly as history, your or anyone else's disagreement is really irrelevant. The Vedas have no origin and have no end. Some of us were fortunate to be receivers, some of us reciters and few others listeners or interpreters. The rest are unworthy of mention. History seekers are doomed to fail as much as the PIE dealers.
The traditionalist have not deviated from this position since humans have existed and it will not change post.

Great! Mahabharata has no history and neither anything Indians wrote!

Wow no difference between your stance and those of JNU/AMU and western historians

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 21 Dec 2014 10:45

Anyone tried this page?
Image

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Pulikeshi » 21 Dec 2014 12:50

peter wrote:Great! Mahabharata has no history and neither anything Indians wrote!

Wow no difference between your stance and those of JNU/AMU and western historians


There is a specific traditional claim made by Hindus (read those that follow Sanathana Dharma) on the Vedas -
That they are eternal with no author with no origin or an end. You are either in this tent pissing out or otherwise...

Mahabharata and the other puranas are Itihasa, so no history there either, but they are Itihasa to be listened to and learnt from...
If you cannot tell the difference between Itihasa and History - there is plenty of material in this and the WU thread.
I will make it simple for you - History is to prove a certain belief (Christian), Itihasa is to teach Dharmic action.
(PS: I do differ from Balu on the purpose of Itihasa, but agree on several of his points and consider him a pioneer)


I am not beholden to any historians or history - scientific facts on dating bones, artifacts etc. are all acceptable, but the idea of writing history is not acceptable. If we truly wrote papers in scientific terms about the past, we would have one dry paper after another with no story to tell - like AIT, OIT, Aryan/Dravidian, etc.
History is a story to fit the Christian belief into this world.
I suggest you look at your own assumptions and urgency to prove something.
Last edited by Pulikeshi on 21 Dec 2014 13:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby RajeshA » 21 Dec 2014 12:58

Ramayana, Mahabharata and some parts of Puranas are philosophized history. Other parts of Puranas are historified philosophy.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Pulikeshi » 21 Dec 2014 13:04

RajeshA wrote:Ramayana, Mahabharata and some parts of Puranas are philosophized history. Other parts of Puranas are historified philosophy.


Ignoring History for what it really is, is wishful thinking... the framework has to be identified for what it is...
Even today the dates are based on History - what with couching it as BCE and what not...

PS: Lets try to use Indian words for Indian ideas even if we use English to communicate. Itihasa is just that... Dharma the same...
Words are important, confusing Dharma with Religion or Ethics or Philosophy is as bad as Itihasa for History, etc.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby RajeshA » 21 Dec 2014 13:20

Pulikeshi wrote:
RajeshA wrote:Ramayana, Mahabharata and some parts of Puranas are philosophized history. Other parts of Puranas are historified philosophy.


Ignoring History for what it really is, is wishful thinking... the framework has to be identified for what it is...
Even today the dates are based on History - what with couching it as BCE and what not...

PS: Lets try to use Indian words for Indian ideas even if we use English to communicate. Itihasa is just that... Dharma the same...
Words are important, confusing Dharma with Religion or Ethics or Philosophy is as bad as Itihasa for History, etc.


1) Yes we should use Indian words, use these Non-Translatables instead of English words.

However people misunderstand this dictum. It does not mean that the semantics of these Indian concepts are incomprehensible in English and cannot be translated into English. It is just that this cannot be done using one-word synonyms.

2) True, Religion != Dharma, Law != Nyaya, but let's not try to overdo these inequalities, because we may end up harming ourselves.

Itihas is "Indeed as it happened". Dharma is the constant thread and perspective running through our history narration. This does not take away from the fact that it is history.

Itihas is thus instrumentalized history - instrumentalized to teach Dharma. Western history also is instrumentalized history - instrumentalized to morally justify victors and indict losers.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby Pulikeshi » 21 Dec 2014 13:27

RajeshA wrote:Itihas is "Indeed as it happened". Dharma is the constant thread and perspective running through our history narration. This does not take away from the fact that it is history.


We can agree to disagree on this - there is no history (except the one created to prove Christian belief).
Itihasa requires no proof. It is a framework confusion one suffers from when one seeks to find history.
Why play by a game that is alien to one's framework?

The world would be less violent if we quit teaching history and taught more Itihasa. :mrgreen:

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby RajeshA » 21 Dec 2014 13:36

Pulikeshi wrote:
RajeshA wrote:Itihas is "Indeed as it happened". Dharma is the constant thread and perspective running through our history narration. This does not take away from the fact that it is history.


We can agree to disagree on this - there is no history (except the one created to prove Christian belief).
Itihasa requires no proof. It is a framework confusion one suffers from when one seeks to find history.
Why play by a game that is alien to one's framework?

The world would be less violent if we quit teaching history and taught more Itihasa. :mrgreen:


Yes we can agree to disagree on this.

I don't wish to give others the impression that our Itihas is simply a work of fiction like Harry Potter.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby shiv » 21 Dec 2014 13:50

RajeshA wrote:I don't wish to give others the idea that our Itihas is simply a work of fiction like Harry Potter.


There are three different things here
1. History (which could be fiction) but is written, to differentiate it from "pre-history", with no social function except to declare all pre-history as fake unless provable by archaeology.
2. Fiction (Harry Potter)
3. Itihaasa which is an account of our past, and includes written history as well as non written pre-history and a positive social function for Hindus

The statement you have made could give "others" the impression that all history is non fiction and that pre-history cannot be included. You need to say whom you are thinking of when you refer to "others" and what "others" understand by the words "history", "pre-history" and how YOU have been made to imagine that all "history" is non fiction - a fact that you have unwittingly exposed in your post.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth: Part 2

Postby RajeshA » 21 Dec 2014 19:39

shiv wrote:
RajeshA wrote:I don't wish to give others the idea that our Itihas is simply a work of fiction like Harry Potter.


There are three different things here
1. History (which could be fiction) but is written, to differentiate it from "pre-history", with no social function except to declare all pre-history as fake unless provable by archaeology.
2. Fiction (Harry Potter)
3. Itihaasa which is an account of our past, and includes written history as well as non written pre-history and a positive social function for Hindus


Re: only written records

History is a record of past events, with dating information, as put together by historians based on their understanding of cause and effect.

Wikipedia quotes one historian from 1961

E.H. Carr wrote:History begins with the handing down of tradition; and tradition means the carrying of the habits and lessons of the past into the future. Records of the past begin to be kept for the benefit of future generations.


At least this definition does not really distinguish between prehistory and history, a difference according to some is

writing is the marker that separates history from what comes before.


Now may be other places on Earth did not have such a powerful system of loss-less oral transmission of knowledge as we had through Sanskrit, guidelines on composition meters, organized traditions of strict transfer of knowledge through oral means, etc., but Bharat had this possibility and as such history is not tied to "written records" but oral traditions are just as valid.

Re: truthfulness of transmitted records

The question is of "Pramāṇa" ~evidence.

Vedanta considers Śabda (verbal testimony) to be a valid Pramāṇa.

Śabda can however be given in written form. It does not make a difference whether something is written or passed on verbally through a tradition of preservation and loss-less transmission.

Now it is true, that considering the concept of karmic causality in our tradition, Itihas has been narrated keeping that in view, which is used to weave together the broader narrative but it does not do so at the cost of truthfulness of the events per se. Places in the narration where claims of technology and life-forms are made which do not make sense from our current stand of knowledge of the past and evolution of mankind, should simply be treated as either as historian's privilege of embellishment and poetic exaggeration or our inability to understand the semantics or our failure to grasp our past properly.

Re: dating of events

This relates to both calendars and correct time-keeping. Unless one is using atomic clocks, the usual method of time-keeping has been a combination of astronomical observation and clocks.

Many of our texts are time-stamped with astronomical phenomenon, phase in various astronomical cycles and various kinds of calendars like Yugas, Sakas, etc. So one can't really make the case that the historians who recorded those events in the past, did not include any dating. Yes they did not put everything according to the Gregorian Calendar.

It is up to us to interpret the given dating information in our reference frame, e.g. say the Gregorian Calendar.

Let's also not forget that even history as is written by Westerners, often dating information may simply be a time range or tentative suggestions and vague.

shiv wrote:The statement you have made could give "others" the impression that all history is non fiction and that pre-history cannot be included. You need to say whom you are thinking of when you refer to "others" and what "others" understand by the words "history", "pre-history" and how YOU have been made to imagine that all "history" is non fiction - a fact that you have unwittingly exposed in your post.


- 'Others' are those who question the truthfulness of our past.

- What 'others', let's say it refers to majority of Western historians and history students, understand as the demarcation line between "history" and "prehistory" is still a matter of debate, nothing that has been written in stone for all time.

Wikipedia says,
By "prehistory", historians mean the recovery of knowledge of the past in an area where no written records exist, or where the writing of a culture is not understood.


- Giving up our claims on "truthfulness of records of past events" based on simply whether the information we have, was part of "written" transmission or "loss-less oral" transmission, is simply running away from the scene because the dog barked once. No need to concede on this.

Yes we too have prehistory - paintings in the Bhimbetka caves constitute our prehistory, but not what we have as part of our Itihas.

- Some history may simply be made up. That is always a theoretical possibility. Sometimes often our understanding of the past is revised. But that is something valid for us just as it is valid for others. This does not stop people from claiming something as "history", so how does that affect our claims on historicity of something?

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What perhaps need to be emphasized here is that

Westerners called our Dharmic Panths as Religions, just as they called Christianity as Religion, even though they are not. When it came to History, they took the other line. They claimed to have History, but they denied us of having any!

So perhaps one should not throw Religion, Law and History all in one pot and say they all need to be treated equally, that we should reject these words, as they are understood only in the "Western sense".


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