rkmurthy at gmail.com
Fri Dec 16 00:13:45 CST 2005
On 16/12/05, murali mohan <murali_mohan at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Sorry, I have heard the Bhagavatha several times but no one has said it was a dream.
> That way one can say all bhagavatham, puranas, ramayana, mahabharatha etc were all >stories that never physically happened on earth but were written, like jataka tales or >something, for conveying some philosophy.
While I am not in a position to give you a direct or complete answer
to your question, here is one point that might help you.
rAmAyaNa and mahAbhArata are categorized as itihAsa, meaning
"history". My own understanding is that the events described are based
on a historical core with some "embellishments" (such as hanumAn
having lifted up the mountain).
However, the purANa-s are not historical in quite the same sense. They
can only be described as allegorical, metaphorical, etc. Things like
the samudra-ma.nthana, how SrI gaNeSa got the head of an elephant, etc
cannot really be taken as historical events.
Basically, I'm suggesting that the itihAsa-s are more "historical"
than the purANa-s.
Specific to the rAsaliilA, I understand that the story became really
popular only after jaideva wrote his gIta-govinda, though there are
references to the same in older texts. I dont think the rAsaliilA has
ever been interpreted, by *any* school, as a historical event.
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