July 14, 2023 at 10:46 am #15440
Hare Krishna prabhuji
I really appreciate the recent blogs, specially the one on shame vs shyness.
I had a question from the recent blog on The great deluge. In the blog it’s written “The historical narrations of Itihāsa are only about the last occurrence of a Yuga. For instance, the history in Rāmāyana is about the last Treta-Yuga while the history in Mahābhārata is about the last Dvapara-Yuga.”
But there are sources which say differently about Lord Ram’s appearance. “According to Vayu Purana and Matsya Purana, Rama appeared in the 24th Yuga Cycle. According to Padma Purana, Rama also appeared in the 27th Yuga Cycle of the 6th (previous) manvantara”
This is the 7th Manvantar so how does Ramayan describe about the last occurrence of Treta Yuga.July 14, 2023 at 11:44 am #15442
We know for sure that all incarnations of the Lord do not appear in all Manavantara and all Yuga. They appear in some Manavantara and some Yuga and not in others. This much we know for sure. What I (personally) don’t know is which incarnation comes in which Manavantara and Yuga. This is also a science based on qualities. It is not random. We can scientifically know when the incarnation occurs. But at the moment, my understanding of this science is not great to tell precisely what happens when. Ideally, a good astrologer should be able to predict the incarnations of the Lord based on the time and place. But we don’t have good astrologers either. So we don’t know.
When we don’t know then we have to exclusively rely on the statements of Acharyas. We cannot prove them by reason and science. But I see no reason to doubt them when they are right on so many other things. This is the best answer I have right now.
Regarding the nature of Itihāsa and Purāṇa, the general principle I outlined in the post is how I understand. They are both history. But Purāṇa is non-chronological history while Itihāsa is chronological history. Purāṇa tell only exceptional stories while Itihāsa tell both exceptional and non-exceptional stories. Thus, Purāṇa is more perfect than Itihāsa from the standpoint of our purification. Both of them are authentic and true. But remembering perfection is a faster way to purify than remembering perfection along with imperfection. Of course, when people are imperfect, they cannot relate to perfection. They need some entertaining characters like Shakuni, Dhritarashtra, Duryodhana, Kaikeyi, Ravana, Kumbhakarana, and so on. Otherwise, everything becomes very serious. To avoid this seriousness, entertaining characters are added. Hence, Itihāsa means “in this way laugh”. It is entertainment with education.
I will correct the above statement to “The historical narrations of Itihāsa are largely chronological occurrences while those of the Purāṇa are non-chronological”. Honestly, I was not aware that the incarnations of Lord Ramachandra are noted to not be from this yuga cycle. The reality is that people are trying to trace Lanka based on a place just a few thousand years ago when even the last Treta-Yuga would mean more than a million years ago. If it happened in previous Yuga cycles, then it is many times older. Amazing are the devotees of the Lord who can tell precisely which yuga He appeared in. I am nothing in comparison, so I stand corrected. Thank you for pointing this out.
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