Archive for the ‘paleolithic’ Category

“Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam” – National seminar held at Vijayawada on October 14th and 15th, 2017.

October 16, 2017

“Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam” – National seminar held at Vijayawada on October 14th and 15th, 2017.

Location of Hyndavi, Vijayawada

“Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam” – National seminar held at Vijayawada: Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti[1](hereinafter mentioned as BISS), Andhra Pradesh conducted two National Seminars on Ramayanam – Historicity and Maha Bharatam – Historicity in 2013 and 2015 in Ongole and Rajamundhry respectively.  In 2017, the BISS conducted a national seminar at Vijayawada on October 14th and 15th on “Glimpses of Srimad Bhagavatam”. Now that “Historicity” was dropped might be noted. The venue was “Haindavi” Bhavan, Street besides Lotus Land Mark[2], Ramalingeswara Peta, Vijayawada-3. Actually, it is in Sector-5, and the location is known as “near Ice Factory”. Hyndavi building, Vijayawada - photo Rajesh PadmarOutstation delegates had some difficulty to reach the venue. Incidentally, the multi-storied building was built, completed and inaugurated last year[3]. Sri Siddheswarananda Bharati Swamy of Sri Siddheswari Peetham (Tamil Nadu) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) All India Organising Secretary Dattatreya Hosabale inaugurated the RSS’s regional office ‘Hyndavi’ at Ayodhya Nagar here on August 5th, 2016 (Thursday)[4]. RSS office inaugrated 05-08-2016 Vijayawada

The seminar hall has been equipped with Power point and other provisions. The organizers had made good arrangements – food, accommodation etc., for the delegates. Sri Koti Lakshmana Rao, secretary, BISS has been instrumental in bringing different researchers, scholars and others together.

Haindavi Bhawan -L-R view

Theme of the Seminar: Research Papers were received from scholars, Research Students and people who were interested in History of ancient India / Bharat and its culture, tradition, heritage and civilization. The organizers expressed in their circular specifically that the Samiti desired that the main focus of the presentations in the seminar should be on historical, geographical, political, social, and cultural as well as Dharmic and ethical perspectives. They suggested the following topics in the context:

1.       Viswa srushti

2.      Propositions on Dharma

3.      Astronomical perspectives

4.      Geographical references

5.      Rivers, Mountains, Forests

6.      Piligrimages

7.      Life style of forest dwellers, common people & kings (rulers)

8.     Status & significance of Women.

9.      Systems of Education

10.  Customs & Rituals

11.   Sculpture, Architecture & Fine Arts

12.  Kings, kingdoms, Royal dynasties,

13.  State craft & politics, Systems of State And Governance

14.  Sages, establishments and their influence

15.   Upakhyanas and their influence etc.,

16.  Other related topic also may be considered.

Bhagawata seminar banner on the gate

About 40 papers were presented on the topics suggested, but overlapping. Most of the papers delved upon the devotional, descriptive, narrative, legendary aspects and discourses of Bhagawatham. Perhaps, only one paper delved upon the historical perspective, which touched upon the “Archaeological Evidences for the existence of “Historical Krishna”. In the present-day context, as ideology has been working at the Universities, schools and all other academic institutions and forums, it could be answered and countered only by ideology and not by devotional discourses. Of course, it is required and may be mandatory also at earlier stages of curriculum, hitherto followed as “Moral period / class” provided till 1970s. The “Moral period” was removed and of course, the degradation of sacademics could be noted thereafter in different aspects.

Bhagawata seminar - breafast

Critical edition of Bhagawatam has to be brought out: Critical editions of Ramayana and Mahabharat have been prepared and published by the Baroda Oriental Rearch Institute and Bhandarkar Oriental Rearch Institute respectively[5]. Similarly, critical edition of Bhagawatapurana should be published, so that researchers, scholars and students could conduct their research in the historical perspective. Approaching Bhagawatam in Sanskrit and other regional languages show how the work had been so popular and common among the common people for 2000 years. Though, the narrative, legendary and mythical details vary, the core of the subject matter remains intact and specific. The study / process of manuscripts to determine the original or most authoritative form of a text, especially of a piece of literature and thus arriving at an acceptable version and publication of it is known as “critical edition”. In Literary criticism it is stressing close reading and detailed analysis of a particular text. In such determination of determining the original or most authoritative form of a text, all the available manuscripts are subjected to study. Notably, in “India”(pre-colonial, pre-Mohammedan) thousands and millions of manuscripts had been available, as they were nothing but just like present-day printed books. In spite of the taking away, looting and burning libraries of temples, mutts and Universities, still millions of manuscript are available in thousands of archives, libraries – prove the fact. Perhaps, no other literature of any nation, language or society has been existing in this manner. Therefore, the variance found in Indian literature has been unique, interpolations incidental (other than internal nature of Jains, Buddhists etc) and differences inadvertent. Thus, a critical edition can be prepared.

Bhagawata seminar - hall where held

The hall where seminar was held.

Bhagawata seminar - Limited audience

Limited audience – LHS view.

Bhagawata seminar - Limited audience.RHS

Limited audience – RHS view.

Bhagawata seminar - Mohana, Balamukund, Koti, TVR

Inaguration of the seminar by lighting a lamp.

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters

Scholars presenting papers.

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters.more

Researchers presenting papers.

Demythologization in Indian context: In Indian historiographical context, much of “demythologization” is also required. Demythologization as a hermeneutic approach to religious texts seeks to separate cosmological and historic claims from philosophical, ethical and theological teachings. Rudolf Bultmann (1884-1976) introduced the term demythologization (in German: Entmythologisierung) in this context[6]. It is to provide an explanation of something, or to present something, in a way that removes any mystery surrounding it. Here, actually, history has been mythologized to reach all and common people with easy understanding. The following have been generally noted as feature of mythologization of different aspects and subjects of humanity:

  1. Deification of personalities raising them to Godhead and God.
  2. Attributing miracles, grand feats, great exploitation, controlling nature etc.
  3. Recording Natural disasters (floods, volcanic eruptions, earth-quakes, submergence of land mass and other land disturbances) in their own fashion of divine scourge, punishment of God and so on.
  4. Good would always prevail over Bad, evil, injustice etc.
  5. “Cakravarti-kshetra” i.e, a king ruling vast area with unlimited or traditional boundaries (Himalsyas in the north, Kanyakumari / ocean in the south, Eastern Ocean in the east and the western ocean in the west)[7].
  6. Concept of dwelling land, continent changing from island (Jambudwipam, Navalanthivu) to the above boundaries.
  7. Movement of asterisms, planets etc., and their attribution to great personalities and gods.
  8. Synchronization of rites, festivals and celebrations with days, weeks, 15-days, 30-days, year and so on (Lunar calendar).
  9. Attribution of cyclic periods, growth of plants and trees, flowers and fruits top a particular god or Goddess.
  10. Existence of personalities for many years – 100, 1,000 etc., denoting existence of such ashrams, mutt etc.

Bhagawata seminar - second day started with prayer

Second day seminar – starting with a prayer.

Bhagawata seminar - second day -audience

Methodology adopted and adapted by the Puranic writers – a way of historiography: They are nothing but Puranas and they were updated during the course of time many times. The updating is nothing but adding details upto the date of updating, thus, if one Purana was uptated in 1500 CE, it would contain details upto 1500 CE from the beginning. Revising, renewing and modernizing Puranas was considered as imortant in those days. All the above topics would havealso been updated depending upon the acumen of the updating experts. However, reading such revised editions of Puranas (in manuscript forms), the wesern researchers and European colonial history writers presumed that such and such Purana was written in 1500 CE instead of 300 BCE, 500 BCE or even 1000 BCE. The Jaina[8] and Buddhists[9] had resorted to update in their own fashion by including their affairs and thus, they could bee seen in the manuscripts of Ramayana and Mahabharat also. But, no historian would accept that the dates of Jainism and Buddhism could go back to those periods. Though, the date of Ramayana has been entangled with “Yuga” calculations, the date of Mahabharat has been fixed to c.3102 BCE[10].

© Vedaprakash

16-10-2017

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters receiving certificate-1

The paper presenters were given certificates.

Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters receiving certificate-2

This lady-researcher from Rastriya Sanskrit Vidhyapit, Tirupati presented paper in Sanskrit.Bhagawata seminar - paper presenters receiving certificate-3

This researcher from Rastriya Sanskrit Vidhyapit, Tirupati also presented paper in Sanskrit.  His way of presentaion, expression and body language had been so articulative conveying mesage to the listeners.

[1] A society for collection of data for history writing for Bharat, that is India.

[2] This created confusion for auto drivers and they took the coming delegates in opposite direction and the reaching the venue.

[3] The Hindu, RSS’s regional office ‘Hyndavi’ inaugurated, Vijayawada, August, 05, 2016 00:00 IST; Updated. August, 05, 2016 06:06 IST

[4] http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/RSS%E2%80%99s-regional-office-%E2%80%98Hyndavi%E2%80%99-inaugurated/article14552939.ece

[5] Critical edition is an authorized sort of version of Itihasa, after going through available thousands of manuscripts by hundreds of Pundits, scholars, historians etc., separating interpolated verses and arriving at acceptable version.

[6] Though, he used in the biblical context, in India, we can use in Indian context. For us, the Puranic writers have themselves have shown the methodology of mythologization and demythologization of history for the different groups of audience.

[7] D. C. Sircar pointed out in his book on epigraphy.

[8] Jains created 24-tirtankaras and made them existing in Ramayana and Mahabharat periods.

[9] Buddhists had created the concept of “Adi Buddha” existing in every yuga.

[10] This has traditional date but recorded in inscriptions and now proven by atronomical and planetary pisition software. Incidentally, this date has been associated with – starting of Kaliyuga, subnergence of Dwaraka, Niryana of Krishna, and other events.

Problems in Historiography

May 9, 2007

In spite of having vast area with millions of monuments, inscriptions, palm-leaf books on various subjects, oldest languages, periodical celebration of festivals and ceremonies, culture, heritage, tradition and civilization, India has been accused of not having “history” before “Mauryas”.

At one side, Indian children and youth are taught about their thousands of years old culture, tradition etc., with c.3500 BCE old Sanskrit literature etc., whereas at the other side, historians write that before c.300 BCE, India had no history.

Then what happened in India?

Were Indians roaming as megalithic, neolithic, mesolithic, and paleolithic men here and there before c.300 BCE?

How then, the Egypts, Persians and Greeks were getting Gold and Iron from these barbarians ad uncivilized stone-age brutes?

Why the Egyptian, Assyrian, Sumerian and other ancient civilizations had been after India to get Indian goods?

How they could have obtained gold, iron, nice rice, fine teak, beautiful peacock, shining pearls, soft textiles etc., from them?

From IVC to Mauryan period, what happened?

How then, the poor Indians have been carrying over the same stories of Ramayana ad Mahabharata over more than 2000 years?

Were the ancient Tamil / “Sangam” poets liars to record and carry over such myth?

How these Indians living language without script, mathematics without numbers, sculptures without geometry, calendar without time-reckoning, astronomy without any observation, philosophy without thinking (by being stone-age men), navigation without ships, etc?

If one has to believe Herodotus, the “Father of History”, Indians were having two heads, three eyes, ants with dog-size, trees with growing wool, etc. So in such “fairy land”, the barbaria Indiandd should have exported all their goods catrering to their needs.

So, it is clear that something is wrong somewhere in Indian history?

How it has happened without diagnosis?

Why it is continuing?

Like this, many questions are to be answered.