Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


MAHABHARATA - A HINDU SCRIPTURE EXAMINED BY A CRITIC

The Truth About The Gita – A Closer Look at Hindu Scripture: V.R.Narla (Intro by)
Innaiah Narisetti (2010) [230P] ISBN: 161641832 www.prometheus.com

Book Review: Kavneet Singh

Ventakeswara Rao Narla an essayist, journalist and author who has written over 30 books in Telugu and English on religion, history and current events. He was the editor of the Andhra Prabha daily and the editor of the Andhra Joyti. A rationalist and an humanist who could be called Andhra Pradesh’s greatest ‘critical thinker’ of the 20th century.

V.R.Narla has gone through the section of the Mahabharata epic called Bhagvad Gita with a sharp scalpel and has spared no effort to get to the true interpolation which practically everyone else seems to shy away so as not to upset the status quo or are simply afraid of the consequences.

[Here we are leaving out his findings on the Gita and Krishna to focus on the wider scripture - the Mahabharata]

Chapter 1 – Doubtful War

From our material it is impossible to say where the great theme-battles of the two epics Ramayana and Mahabharata were fought, let alone when – if indeed they represent any historical events at all……….[Page 46] Narla, quoting D.D.Kosambi hits the nail on the head from the get go. The Gita has been andled with kid gloves for so long that there seems to be no one willing to critically examine it and face the wrath of the teeming followers.

Out of the forty-one contributors, not even half a dozen show any capacity to think boldly, rationally, originally. And one or two of them have such a fuddled mind as to argue in all seriousness that what millions of people have believed for thousands of years as true cannot be fictitious……….[Page 47]

It is the educated in India who lead the charge of claiming the Hindu texts as ‘true’ which borders on imbecility. In the sphere of religion, critical thinking has rarely been applied with force so as to get to the ‘truth’. No wonder there is stunted growth in the realm of critical examination of religion which has drastic digressive ramifications nationwide.

Chapter 2 – False Signposts

The Vikram Era, for instance, is said to have begun in 58-57 B.C. Who is this Vikram after whom the Era is named?......The 2000th anniversary of Vikram was celebrated with due pomp in 1943……None of the mutually contradictory essays in such volumes proves anything beyond the will to believe…….When the chronology of ancient India is so uncertain, so hazy, even when we come down to historical times, is it not useless to try to fix a period for the persons and events mentioned in our two epics…….[Pages 48-49] It is extremely clear that there is no proof of valid dates anywhere in the Hindu epics yet

the word ‘yug’ is used many times. The word ‘yug’ literally means millions of years, when the fact is that modern man only existed, starting around 200,000 years ago.

And they end up by laying down stringent rules which govern a man’s life…..for they tell him how to find his way to heaven, and once there, how to make a beeline for the gorgeous bedroom of a gorgeous Ramba or a Maneka or a Tilottama or a Varudgini of – well, he has a wide choice……[Page 50]

The end result of man, according to the Hindu texts is, if he apparently does land in ‘heaven’ is to have ravenous sex with all the heavenly maidens available for his pleasure.

Through all myths and mythologies, to whichever nation they may belong, are intrinsically nasty, ours are easily the worst from a moral point of view. Furthermore, they are most undependable as sources of history……[Page 51]

Religions can only be measured against the touchstone of morals and ethics. If Hindu religious texts are to be examined with that yardstick then they become mostly obscene to the profane with extremely little left of value for the betterment of mankind.

No valid distinction between history and mythology and naturally there was a tendency to Confuse the two, to mythologize history and to give mythology an historical garb. We can thus see why there was a total lack of historical sense among the Brahmans who composed the brahminical literature…….[Page 53]

Brahmins when it comes to their Religion have a dirty habit of suddenly pretending to lose all their faculties, instead painting all the Hindu texts with a broad brush of historical truth when absolutely none exists.

Chapter 3 – Duel with Dates

As if this confusion is not enough, some scholars do not accept the synchronism of the Kurukshetra War and the beginning of the Kali age……….[Page 58]

As mentioned by Narla various astronomers imposed their authority and arbitrarily set dates which are scientifically untenable.

The very concept of the Kali Age is based not on reason but faith. Faith and fabrication go together, just as reason and truth march together……[Page 59]

All rationality has been thrown to the winds to fabricate the most absurd timeline called Kali Yug and many other ‘yugs. A real time and place is required to make something true otherwise it is simply a myth. Hundreds of scholars of all hues are still trying to rationalize something that is completely irrational akin to the Greek myths of yore.

Chapter 4 – Fear of Disillusionment

Let us admit uncompromisingly that no Aryan culture has been isolated anywhere in India as a material and recognizable phenomenon……[Page 61]

Mortimer Wheeler a famous archeologist after much research could not find any evidence to show any great Aryan culture which can shed light on the wondrous Hindu epics at all.

Hundreds of other archeologists have tried their best to prove that these epics are real history but fall short on evidence leaving a big question mark on the validity of the same.

What does all this show? It shows that the historicity of the Kurukshetra War is doubtful; the long list of its participant kingdoms is doubtful; the extent and ferocity are doubtful; indeed, everything about it is doubtful including the singing of the Song Celestial by Krishna……..[Page 66]

Nothing has been found with the help of carbon dating methodology so far! Even with the help of the Institute of Chronology more akin to the Institute of Astrology, absolutely no agreement has been reached on any definite dates of these mythical events of the Mahabharata.

Chapter 5 – A Fraud of Monstrous Size

The sheer bulk and weight of the Mahabharata, and its sheer nonsense, crushes out all commonsense, even all common decency, from Indian life and thought……internal evidence shows the handiwork of three scribes, Vysa, Vaisampayana and Souti….But the truth is that, apart from these three, there were many more nameless scribes and scribblers, fabricators and forgers, who put their finger into the prodigious pie.[Page 68]

This seems to be the most fantastic fairytale ever written by Brahmins to co-opt and enslave all the natives of the Indian sub-continent in perpetuity. A small ballad ended up being heavily padded and tampered to create one heck of a religious monstrosity. All this helped make Buddhism develop rapidly as a major threat to Vedism or Brahminism, as some would prefer to call it. To counter-attack it was necessary to create a rival. After trial and error, the folk hero of a tribe of cowherds in and around Madhura proved handy. But about the third or fourth century B.C., he was built up into a god……[Page 73]

The obscure dark skinned local folk hero like Krishna is propped up into a religious deity over time. Next a pro-Karuva slant is changed to a pro-Pandva slant due to the sacrifice at Janamejaya who was supposedly a Pandva descendant and lavished gifts. Third there was very serious editing done by hordes of Brahmins to elevate the priestly class to the top of the social ladder permanently.

And with every revision, that influence has become more reactionary, more deadly. A part of that revision, let me add, is the Bhagvad Gita, the Song Celestial, with the exhortation to kill, to kill in cold blood, to kill as a matter of caste duty…...[Page 75]

The critical key to the entire Song Celestial is the understanding of the dark lord Krishna’s brainwashing of Arjuna the warrior, so that Arjuna becomes a killing machine without a conscience. What could be a more violent and vile scripture than that!

Chapter 6 – Outer Citadel and Inner Fort

“It is difficult to excel”, as P.D.Metha says, “the Hindu sense of dramatic in religion….The poet author of the Gita could hardly have chosen a more arresting opening scene for his philosophical song……..[Page 77]

The essence of the Mahabharata is in the Gita and it is the Gita’s convoluted sense of righteousness which is the most troubling factor. Sutas or poet-ballad singers the real originators of the small Mahabharata going back in time, which got rewritten and rehashed to make it into a voluminous piece of second class literature.

Now for the Mahabharata being a work of moral grandeur, it is (to put it mildly) a preposterous claim. To us who are ordinary mortals without any esoteric powers, the mortals of the Mahabharata are muddy, crude, revolting……..[Page 78]

After thoroughly examining the Mahabharata anyone who does not get revolted by the sheer immorality and highly unethical traits of the characters in this fairytale which is being passed off as religion needs to stop, pause and critically rethink, why Brahmins need to justify their amorphous text and their anomalous position.