On forgetting The Mahabharata

January 16, 2007 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

Religious histories are based off direct recollection, who needs fact checking when you can just recite your entire history from memory? Hence the family lineages, lack of characterization, and emphaisis on action. The past could be recollected easily and was affable and hence who really needed archealogists? Who needed sudden histories of floods when a story already existed to explain? The loss of knowledge in The West though led to archaeology. Renaissance thinkers literally went about reconstructing the past, colonialists documented ruins and cultures, people had to engage in a new hobby reconstructing the past from the actuality of it’s remains and not it’s fables handed down. The West didn’t have religiously prescriped histories, it’s religion came from the middle east and didn’t bother to perserve saxon culture or germainic villages in it’s texts, history had less authority in the west where the past wasn’t entirely unknown, but no central authority was necessarily imposing a story of origons on it’s people. It occurs to me this arguement overlooks greek histories, persian histories, and other things. Many people were excellent scholars of history before the west’s reinvention, but perhaps it was the west’s own ignorance that let it rediscover itself anew and refreshed and perhaps refamilarizing itself with it’s best elements.

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Brhadaranyaka Upanisad Links Jan 17

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