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The details of this primitive war have been in like manner exaggerated beyond all credibility. The leading warriors, whilst fighting with all the bloodthirsty desperation of savages, and burning with all the frenzied wrath of demons, are endowed with superhuman strength and skill which raise them to the rank of demigods.

Magical weapons are employed which are said to have been received from the gods, but which could only have existed in the wild imaginations of Brahmanical bards who were totally ignorant of the practice of war.

The above quote is taken from this answer here: https://hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/38004/4732 This is some historian giving his opinion about the Mahabharata war. He is calling the author of the epic (Rishi Vyasa) ignorant and accusing him of spreading false stories which are only wild imaginations (of the Rishi) according to the historian, besides of course calling the Rishi just a bard (a story teller).

  • Are users here okay with such insult of Hindu scriptures, Rishis, which/who are considered as authority on this site? Should not the answer be deleted?
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    The references mentioned in the post have nothing to do with the scriptures we are following on this site. So, the answer is nope. – Mr_Green Sep 21 at 11:16
  • I am unable to find that answer in the link you provided. – user17987 Sep 21 at 11:19
  • The answer is just now deleted.@idolworshipper – Rickross Sep 21 at 11:21
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    Critical analysis, using one's own research, is nothing wrong in my view. However, demeaning of Rishies of this land is not warranted. Not only about weapons used in wars, but even in respect of some incidents like non-uterine births of Sita, Draupadi, etc, some members had made comments and posted answers. The thin line where one should stop, though very difficult to draw yet required, in my view, for this site. – Srimannarayana K V Sep 21 at 13:40
  • @srimannarayanakv That is a very mature comment. – user17987 Sep 21 at 14:10
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    The problem with those members, who quote some authors opinion, is that neither the authors nor these members bother to understand the intricacies of the Veda,brAhmanAs, EPICs, etc. Someone like Max Müller of 1850s, make some research, gains half-baked knowledge and writes some history of India to fit to the dates of Westerners opinion of origin of the Universe. If I remembered correctly, it was 4000 bce. And, those historians with half-baked knowledge decides the period of composition of the Rig Veda as 1900- 1200 BCE and that subsequent literature like brAhmanAs, etc (1/2) – Srimannarayana K V Sep 21 at 15:07
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    The Indian historians like Romila Thapar, with Indian body but with western and communist minds, simply mimic those western historians like Max Müller. What a pity? Even now, we are studying the books written by those historians with half-baked knowledge. They could not differentiate between SPIRITUALITY as enunciated in the Rig Veda and Religious principles of Western religions. It is because they do not get the opportunity to get exposed to the pure SPIRITUAL aspects. The saddest part is that the Indians read those histories and start arguing with fellow Indians. (2/2) – Srimannarayana K V Sep 21 at 15:13
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    Why should we blame a few members alone, who are using those references, for posting questions and answers? Having undergone the western oriented education, most of the Indians could not think beyond what was written in EPICs, Puranas, etc. The discovery of statue of lion-man should give us a clue that Nrisimha, as mentioned in Puranas , has a basis of history 35,000 old. The statue is telling us that there existed a civilisation, which made it. That itself indicates that our ancestors did know about that civilisation. – Srimannarayana K V Sep 21 at 15:28
  • I agree with @SrimannarayanaKV on his point about where to draw the line. Each one of us has different beliefs, both in society and on this site. As long as those beliefs are backed up by a traditionally accepted guru ('traditional' as determined by common sense of users of this site), then they are simply repeating that guru's opinion, so we cannot fault the user for also having those opinions. But if the users come up with their own opinions without any backing, then it amounts to disrespect. – ram Sep 22 at 5:21
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Yes, it is tolerable the same way we tolerate Swami Vivekananda who said pretty much the same thing about the writers of Smṛtis and Purāṇas in a different context:

The Smritis and the Puranas are productions of men of limited intelligence and are full of fallacies, errors, the feelings of class and malice. Only parts of them breathing broadness of spirit and love are acceptable, the rest are to be rejected. The Upanishads and the Gita are the true scriptures; Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Chaitanya, Nanak, Kabir, and so on are the true Avataras, for they had their hearts broad as the sky — and above all, Ramakrishna.

The above is already quoted in a few answers:

Is Swami Vivekananda an authority on this site? Would it make you feel better if I replaced one of my citations with the above?

Can I cite Swami Dayananda Saraswati on this site? Is he an authority? Speaking about weapons like Brahmāstra that can be launched out of thin air, he said:

Question — Is it true what is written in Sanskrit books about the arts of fire-arms ? Were there guns and muskets in the ancient time ?

Answer — Yes; it is. There were these fire-arms, for they are the outcome of physical science.

Q — Were they made and used by the influence of gods' incantation?

A — No; it was rules and methods, called the mantras in Sanskrit, according to which the different missiles and weapons were manufactured. These mantras are a number of words, which cannot produce any material object. If a man asserts that a mantra or charm produces fire, he should be told that it will burn the tongue and throat of the man who pronounces or mutters that mantra. He goes to kill his enemy, so to speak, but he is himself destroyed. The truth is, that the mantra is the secret as in rajmantri, which means the person who holds the secrets of a state. So a mantra is the knowledge of certain objects of the world, the application of which afterwards produces various kinds of things, industries and arts.

The way I see it, you don't have a problem with Hindu gurus criticizing Hindu scriptures and their authors but with historians criticizing them. The more Western these historians are the more problematic it is for you to digest some of the things they say. So, instead of responding to their criticism in a mature way, you want to ban and censor them.


To those trying to delete my answer for all the wrong reasons, I strongly suggest they refrain from doing so. Remember that it only takes 3 votes to undelete it. Also, we really don't want to get into a situation where we start downvoting and silently deleting each other's answers by inventing arbitrary reasons when the real reason is that we don't like certain answers/references and we somehow want to censor them.

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  • "If a man asserts that a mantra or charm produces fire, he should be told that it will burn the tongue and throat of the man who pronounces or mutters that mantra." - How does this statement insult Rishis? I think Dayananda is saying that someone who pronounces the mantra will be destroyed by that mantra itself. – Ikshvaku Sep 21 at 20:41
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    The reason the neo-Hindus accept criticism of Rishis by neo-Hindu acharyas (like Vivekananda) is because they are all supporters of Hinduism, whereas Indologists are atheists and try to disprove Hindu beliefs. Moreover, the OP is not a neo-Hindu, and disagrees with Vivekananda's criticism of Rishis. – Ikshvaku Sep 21 at 20:47
  • 'whereas Indologists are atheists and try to disprove Hindu beliefs' - is that why V. S. Sukthankar included the 'nārāyaṇaṃ namaskṛtya' verse in the BORI CE of MBH? He says: "No orthodox Hindu work can begin without a maṅgala; and this edition of the Mahābhārata, critical though it be, is and remains a Hindu work which could not dispense with a maṅgala." Did Sukthankar pass your "Hinduness" test now? @Ikshvaku – sv. Sep 21 at 21:14
  • Textual criticism isn't atheist/anti-Hindu, there's even a critical edition of Ramcharitmanas prepared by a Hindu guru and a lawsuit was filed against him because he apparently "tampered with" some spurious verses. @Ikshvaku – sv. Sep 21 at 21:20
  • 'How does this statement insult Rishis?' - it is an insult to Rama and his followers. Ramayana talks about Rama launching a Brahmāstra on a crow using grass and just some mantras. So Dayananda Saraswati is indirectly saying that Rama must have burnt his tongue because mantras and a piece of grass don't produce Brahmāstras. And since Valmiki is reporting this incident as if it really happened, it must have burnt Valmiki's tongue also. Also, all the Vaishnava acharyas who just keep narrating this story. @Ikshvaku – sv. Sep 21 at 21:30
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    1) Sukthankar's statement is not saying anything about whether he believes in the "narayana namaskrtya" verse or not; he is simply saying a Hindu work has to have it. In any case, Indology is based upon secular/atheist opinions about religion and the origins of humanity. 2) As I said before, orthodox scholars don't assume a text they received from tradition lineage is highly interpolated. They are very conservative with labeling things as interpolations; they might consider a verse or two interpolated, which is is not to say that it's a false verse (it could be interpolated from another text). – Ikshvaku Sep 22 at 12:42
  • 'Madhvacharya has mentioned that the Mahabharata versions in circulation then are highly corrupted' - do you have reference for this? @idolworshipper – sv. Sep 23 at 18:22
  • @idolworshipper Well, he's talking about a different kind of a interpolation when he says "Though the works are really indestructible, they must be deemed to be mostly altered. Mostly all of them have disappeared and not even one crore (out of several crores of slokas) now exists." I really doubt if Mahabharata had more than 100,000 shlokas at any point. – sv. Sep 24 at 3:05
  • Sorry, if you felt I am targetting you. I am not doing so. Just doing as per my understanding which I explained to you in a recent answer. – Mr_Green Sep 24 at 18:34
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    I didn't think you were targeting me. It's better to have open discussions on these things. But I do take objection to you deleting my answer before arriving at a consensus on meta. This is the sort of thing that usually leads to revenge-downvoting/deleting. @Mr_Green – sv. Sep 24 at 20:43
  • Yes, agreed. Better not to do so till we arrive at a point. – Mr_Green Sep 25 at 3:47

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