Itihasas and Puranas

       Ithihasas and Puranas are one among the other words in Sanskrit that are widely mis-understood in the modern world.

Puranas in Sanskrit means "belonging to ancient or olden times".

Itihasa- In Sanskrit, Itihasa means history

The above definitions are exactly correct, but the understanding of the general public in modern India and the rest of the globe is wrong. Both Purana and Ithihasa  are information about past events, but there are differences between the two.

Puranic (Mythical) Itihasic (Historical) Characters:

       There are human character's in both Puaranas (Mythical) and itihasas (historical) characters. There are human life incidents in both. For example, we have mythical characters like, Surya Bhagavan or Sun-God, who rides on Seven horses with the central chariot in green color.

         There are Ithihasic or Historical characters like Rama and Krishna.

Both Mythical and Historical characters are real, BUT. The Historical characters Rama and Krishna lived in human blood and flesh form and also their incidents happened in the land of India.  

    The mythical characters are also real but did not live in blood and flesh form. Puranic characters or Mythical characters are representation of Universal phenomenon and their life incidents are real because they represent the Cosmic events.

   This mis-understanding has lead great confusion, especially in this time of Rama's Sethu bridge controversy events occurring in 2007.  

On what ground is the above fact based?

   In the earlier pages we have discussed how Rishi's  studied the body and mind of the human and discovered the mysteries of the Cosmic body or Universe. What they found is that the physical nature of human body is similar to the physical characteristics of the universe and the Human mind and the events occurring in the Universe are also similar. Among these two facts, the fact the physical body is similar to the Cosmic physical nature is proved by modern scientists also (See work of Florida University). It may take some more years for Modern science to prove the other fact that the mind of human is the same as cosmic events.

    Look how our ancient rishi's told us the Cosmic events through Puranic or Mythical characters. Let us take the same Sun's example.

    Over In the puranas, a character called Surya Bhagavan (Sun-God) rides on a green chariot with seven horses at a speed of 22,02 Yoganas in half a Nimisha. Is this Sun-God a mythical character and does not exist?

  Sun do exist, but not as a human and not riding on a chariot driven by seven horses. These symbolic images convey scientific information on color spectrum of light and on the speed of the light. Speed of light was known to modern scientists only in the late 18th century. But Ancient Indian Rishi's has given that information in Vedic and Puranic texts. The seven horses represents seven colors of light spectrum - VIBGYOR (Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red). The chariot is green because it comes in the center color. 

Speed of light:   Next interesting fact is about the speed of the Sun's chariot, which is nothing but the symbolic of speed of light. The chariot moves at a speed of about 22,02 Yoganas in half a Nimisha, which when converted into western measurements units will read as 189547 miles per second !! As per the modern science speed of light is 186000 miles per second.

Another criticism is that these facts are interpreted as sicentific after modern scientific discoveries were made in the past centuries. This is not correct. Sayana who was a minister in the court of Bukka of the great Vijayanagar Empire of Karnataka in South India (in early 14th century) interpreted this information well before modern scientist in west could comprehend.

The above example should help to clearly distinct Purana characters from Historical characters like Rama and Krishna, who lived in blood and flesh in human form. Mythical characters like Sun-god are real but do not exist in human form. They are given in human form because the Rishi's understood that the Human body and mind are not different from the Universe.

   The beauty of Rishi's finding is that the events occurring in the human is the same in the universe.

       Yatha Pindae (Human Body) , Thatha Brahmandae (Universe).

     As is the human body so is the cosmic body. - As is the Microcosm (Human) so is the macrocosm (Universe).

 This is our strongest connection to the Universe. This became the foundation for Puranas, Ithihasas and Astrology.

Knowing this fundamental basic we will understand whether puranic characters and ithishasic characters are fictional or not. Two legendary heroes Rama and Krishna are ithihasic characters and not mythical.

Why is there then Puranic elements in Ithihasas too?

 Click here to continue reading  Itihasa  to know Why there are Puranic elements in Ithihasas too?

For more details

1. "Journey to the Source" by Pradheep Chhalliyil

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