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"I very much liked
your version of the Mahabharata, but did all those things really
happen? I find it hard to believe. Most people think Mahabharata
is mythology. What do you say to that?" (Mrs S.J., London)
It is true that Mahabharata is largely seen as mythology,
but for me it is much more. First of all it contains the Bhagavad-gita,
and that text says that one who follows its teaching will gain
direct experience of its truth.
I can attest to the veracity of this statement,
having followed those teachings myself for sometime. It now matters
little to me what anyone says about the Bhagavad-gita, as I have
my own undeniable experience that what it says is true. I will
admit, however, that I don't have experience of everything described
in the Mahabharata, but I have no reason to doubt it, based on
my experience with at least one part of the book (the most important
Furthermore, it is usually on the basis of current
scientific knowledge that people deny the truth of books like
Mahabharata, but we can see that scientific knowledge is constantly
in flux. Some of the things known today would have been considered
magic and mysticism if suggested even a hundred years ago. We
have no idea what kind of scientific advances will take place
in the next hundred years.
Perhaps our understanding of some of the phenomena
described in the Mahabharata, which are hard to accept today,
will be common knowledge then, just as I believe it was 5000 years
"I was fascinated by
the events described in the Mahabharata. Are there any other books
I can read which will tell me more?" (Mark L., Chicago)
There are many more similar stories in the Puranas,
and I would recommend the Bhagavat Purana, or Srimad Bhagavatam,
which focuses on Krishna.
In particular the translation of A.C.Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada is excellent, presented in twelve volumes with
beautiful illustrations, the original Sanskrit text, English transliteration
and translation, and elaborate purports that explain the meaning.
to you involves my girlfriend who is Christian. My belief is that
if another person believes in another religion, who am I to say
that their religion is wrong. I feel that if I feel comfortable
with my faith and the other person is happy with theirs then let
it be. And in my head I see no way of saying that my religion is
the correct one and all others are wrong. She believes that there
MUST be only one religion and all others MUST be wrong. What would
you have to say about this?" (Sachin.V.)
My understanding of religion is that it is a means
by which man can come to know and love God. In that sense religion
is one, although it may be expressed variously. Thus we see different
rituals and belief systems, but the true test of any of them,
in my view, is seen in whether or not they aim at pleasing God.
Of course, God is pleased when we follow his directions,
and such following is surely the means by which we can know him,
as he reveals himself to those who sincerely seek him. But if
the aim within any religion is to satisfy the Lord then we should
not be too concerned about the external rituals.
There is a term for God in the Sanskrit language
'bhava grahi janardana', which means 'He who accepts the essence
of his worship', in other words the Lord is looking for our sincere
sentiment more than any rigid adherence to a set of rituals.
Sincere sentiment should naturally manifest as a
desire to obey the Lord's will, and for different classes of people
the divine will is understood differently. There should not be
any problem with that as long as the followers are properly following
their own path as given in their scripture.
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