Why did the Indians not record history correctly?

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Closed
Mar 2013
410
India
Recording history is natural to all the civilizations of the world, but still the Indians never had the habit of recording history properly. But I believe that it was not the habit of recording history that the Indians had, but the intention of the Indo-Aryan Brahmins was to destroy original Indian history and spread myths in place of history. Thus, the existence of so many Puranas with all the mythology.

Buddhist history of India is almost completely obliterated. To an outsider it would seem that India had never been Buddhist. Most of the Indians, even today, believe that mythologies like Ramayana and Mahabharata was history.
 
May 2013
793
usa
Recording history is natural to all the civilizations of the world, but still the Indians never had the habit of recording history properly. But I believe that it was not the habit of recording history that the Indians had, but the intention of the Indo-Aryan Brahmins was to destroy original Indian history and spread myths in place of history. Thus, the existence of so many Puranas with all the mythology.

Buddhist history of India is almost completely obliterated. To an outsider it would seem that India had never been Buddhist. Most of the Indians, even today, believe that mythologies like Ramayana and Mahabharata was history.
There's like 2-3 billion people that believe war god of moses.
Given chance, I would believe 5 billion people would celebrate fake christ's birthday.
 
Mar 2013
410
India
There's like 2-3 billion people that believe war god of moses.
Given chance, I would believe 5 billion people would celebrate fake christ's birthday.

What do you think was the population of India during the birth of the Christ?

Indian history is almost completely reconstructed through the efforts of European Indologists/historians. Most Indians did not know of Indus Valley civilization or Ashoka or Mauryas etc before the Britishers showed up. It means that there had been an effort to destroy the history of India prior to that.


Also, "Indians" do not form a constant ethnicity like other civilizations. "Indians", by 5th century included the Australoids of India (natives), the Caucasian Brahmins, the Caucasian Kushans, YueChi, the Caucasian Indo-scythians and Hunas.


In contemporary times, the Caucasians Indo-Aryans, Indo-Scythians, Hunas and Kushans dominate the state polity just like how the Caucasian Europeans dominate the state polity of South America.
 

tornada

Ad Honoris
Mar 2013
15,392
India
Recording history is natural to all the civilizations of the world, but still the Indians never had the habit of recording history properly. But I believe that it was not the habit of recording history that the Indians had, but the intention of the Indo-Aryan Brahmins was to destroy original Indian history and spread myths in place of history. Thus, the existence of so many Puranas with all the mythology.

Buddhist history of India is almost completely obliterated. To an outsider it would seem that India had never been Buddhist. Most of the Indians, even today, believe that mythologies like Ramayana and Mahabharata was history.


Actually only the Romano-Greek tradition places a heavy emphasis on history. The Egyptians weren't concerned with History so much as glorifying who-ever had money to paint walls, the Celts and Gauls and Germans had no written historical traditions, mostly oral, ditto for a large part of the mesopotamian cultures before Persia. The Chinese recorded history, but the Latin Americans and Africans did not. Thus India is not unique in the absence of pure historical tradition.

Also many ancient indian texts were destroyed by invading forces, particularly during the Islamic Invasions. The same happened to other cultures such as Egyptians records from the Library of Alexandria. Europe on the other hand never suffered as much destruction of records.

I really don't understand what beef you have with Brahmins. Yes the caste system is bad today, but all ancient cultures had some sort of system whereby large parts of the population were subservient to a small elite. Atleast the lower castes in India were never as badly off as the slaves in Greece or Rome.

The Indo-Aryan Brahmins recorded what they felt to be their beliefs and histories. So to did the Buddhists. And yes there was some conflict between the two over the ages, and i am sure the historical traditions reflect that. But Buddhism in Ancient India was concentrated largely in Northern India, and so their texts suffered more damage because many of the Hindu texts and histories survived in the Hindu Kingdoms which existed during and after the Sultanate and its vassals.

History is whatever ancient people recorded. And all groups destroy each others history to some extent. The Brahmins did not destroy original Indian History. There is no such thing as original Indian History. History must encompass ALL sources left behind. Once you start making qualitative judgements as to what constitutes original history and what is "fake" history manufactured by whatever group you are biased against then you are simply propagating an ideology and not the study of history
 
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Vajra

Ad Honorem
May 2013
4,332
India
Recording history is natural to all the civilizations of the world, but still the Indians never had the habit of recording history properly. But I believe that it was not the habit of recording history that the Indians had, but the intention of the Indo-Aryan Brahmins was to destroy original Indian history and spread myths in place of history. Thus, the existence of so many Puranas with all the mythology.
AFAIK the author of Rajatarangini,recording history of Kashmir was Kalhana,a Brahmin.

Buddhist history of India is almost completely obliterated. To an outsider it would seem that India had never been Buddhist. Most of the Indians, even today, believe that mythologies like Ramayana and Mahabharata was history.



Same was the case with the Trojan war.
 

tornada

Ad Honoris
Mar 2013
15,392
India
This Rakshasaa guy misses the point anyway..
If you read the title of his post, then you can sympathize. As a people we had a fairly shoddy way of writing history (circuitous and woolly). There are exceptions of-course ( the Rajtarangini being an excellent work of history) and it is possible that we did have proper historical traditions but it was destroyed by invaders. The Arabs it has been noted focused on destroying historical texts because it was deemed heretical.

They were perhaps not as rigorous on the Puranas because they were more widespread due to their more religious nature. (This is speculation on my part, i am not basing this on historical fact)\

But when you read the text of the guy's post you realize that he's pushing a very specific agenda of Hindu/Brahman Bashing (especially with regard to bizarrely misplaced Buddhist sympathies) that he's pushed in the past in different threads.


I do however believe that it is a valid discussion. We should try and explore why we Indians never tried to establish a proper historical tradition, instead writing the Puranans as we did. The Puranans are often so vaguely written that we can derive little to no historical data from them. Which is why Indology is so dependent on foreign texts. Even our Buddhist and Jain traditions invariably mix mythology with history, even when describing contemporary events as late as 600 AD.

My own opinion is that due to the establishment of a well educated elite, the presence of a long oral tradition, the deliberate attempts to suppress the education of the poor, and the constant need to legitimize onself (for the kings) led to a hotch-potch of myth and contemporary writing in our Puranas and Buddhist Texts. The greatest inaccuracies are witnessed in genealogies where kings are almost always traced to some famous folk-hero and then pass through a whole bunch of famous rulers (often across dynasties).

This is a good discussion to have, even if its started of on the wrong note
 
May 2011
98
Cornwall/Java
It means that there had been an effort to destroy the history of India prior to that.
Not to destroy; simply neglect, and there is nothing unique about India in that respect. As others have noted you'd find the same scenario in the west itself until comparitively recently. In Britain there's an obvious and vast void following the departure of the Romans; into the medieval period people were explaining the relics of the Bronze and Iron ages as the work of elves and giants and pre-Roman occupation we have essentially no documentary sources for the entire of northwest Europe, which is less than can be said for the Indian Subcontinent.

Europe - and thereby the subsequent "West" in general simply had a closer cultural link and better linguistic access to the Greco-Roman scholar traditions that formed the foundation of Western scholarship post-Enlightenment.
 

tornada

Ad Honoris
Mar 2013
15,392
India
Not to destroy; simply neglect, and there is nothing unique about India in that respect. As others have noted you'd find the same scenario in the west itself until comparitively recently. In Britain there's an obvious and vast void following the departure of the Romans; into the medieval period people were explaining the relics of the Bronze and Iron ages as the work of elves and giants and pre-Roman occupation we have essentially no documentary sources for the entire of northwest Europe, which is less than can be said for the Indian Subcontinent.

Europe - and thereby the subsequent "West" in general simply had a closer cultural link and better linguistic access to the Greco-Roman scholar traditions that formed the foundation of Western scholarship post-Enlightenment.
Good point. Medieval Europe is an excellent example of void in history. The Arthurian Legends are an oddly mythical construct in between periods of very well documented history
 
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