It’s almost like an established tradition today that the super-science and the mind-boggling stories of historical value found in the ancient Vedic texts, called the Vedas and Puranas, are considered mythology. In other words, all that goes beyond our intellectual reach becomes mythology in this age.
Funny, right? Not really.
I wouldn’t call it funny. It’s rather a matter of concern that even Indians think that the Vedas and Puranas are mythology. At one point in life, I also was taught that the English word for Vedic scriptures is Mythology. I didn’t even doubt the intention behind such a translation of our great history. This is one reason when I see people calling Vedas and Puranas “mythology”, I don’t get annoyed. Rather I feel sorry for them because they have been systematically deprived of the knowledge of their great heritage.
Not all Western scholars who learned Sanskrit language were unable to understand the actual meaning of Puranas, nor were all Indians. In fact a very few did it. The reason for their failure is described in the Veda itself. Vedic knowledge cannot be understood just by reading or dictionary meaning but by hearing and practicing it under the able guidance of a bona fide spiritual master. If the question is why is it so, the short answer is, because that’s how it is built and prescribed in the Vedas.
If one has to accept the rules laid out by a university just to learn some ordinary worldly science, it only makes sense that one must accept the rules laid out in the Vedas to learn Vedic science or to acquire Vedic knowledge, which culminates in the highest spiritual realization. There are many injunctions in the Vedic scriptures emphasizing on the acceptance of a bona fide spiritual master. Muṇḍaka Upanishad (1.2.12) says tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet, meaning one must approach a spiritual master. These scriptures also clearly define the qualifications of such a person. It’s all very well explained without any ambiguity.
However, inability to comprehend the actual meaning of the Vedas does not mean there don’t exist speculations and misinterpretations. Such attempts do more harm than help, and that’s what has happened to India and the world today as people with absolutely no spiritual realization and with a shallow grasp of Vedic knowledge have started proudly teaching it. Not only that, such people are honored as spiritualists, scholars and intellectuals.
This only shows how poor the population is today in understanding the purpose of learning the Vedas and its conclusion.
Some of these scholars did understand that the presentation of historical events found in the Puranas cannot be mere imaginations or mythology, because these events are tightly connected to other events. Not only that, even the characters mentioned are interconnected with verifiable dynastical detail. And on top of that, although there are descriptions of people living on other planets, almost all the sages, kings, and events mentioned in the ancient Vedic texts have their footprints on this planet and, even today, are available to see and study with archeological evidences.
Despite all this, they presented the Vedas to the world as mythology because they were working for a different purpose; the purpose to ridicule the Vedas and Puranas, and to systematically diminish people’s faith in them thereby eventually destroying their faith in God. That’s their ultimate goal because only Godless society can be enslaved by unscrupulous rulers. By “they” I am referring to those who are of demoniac nature and working tirelessly to control the world.
They had realized that the best way to control and enslave people was to first make them bankrupt in Vedic knowledge.
They came up with terms like Indian mythology, Greek mythology, Mayan mythology, and so on. However, what they are unable to explain is, if it is all mythology only then why all of them have similarity in them? They cannot satisfactorily answer this because if they say that it was written by a group of poets then the next questions they would face is, how come all those poets in different parts of the world had the same imagination? And if they say it was imagined by one person and followed by others, the even more difficult question staring at them is, how come one person’s thought spread all over the world when, according to them, civilized human beings and science didn’t exist a few thousand years ago. The fact is, this conspirators were and are wrong in stamping religious scriptures as mythology. Unfortunately, by their centuries of hard work, they have almost successfully misguided the world and the chaos we see today is the result of that success.
To be fair to those who erroneously call Vedas and Puranas Indian mythology without thinking much about its implications, and to those who learned in their schools that the English word for religious books is mythology, I want to say that they need to get out of that habit, at least for the sake of history and for the sake of their audience because not doing so constitutes a grave injustice to history and to entire human civilization. It is a denial of reality that our ancestors have seen and experienced first hand.
Their mistake may seem justifiable when we talk, for example, of Lord Ram building a bridge floating on the ocean with the help of monkeys, Lord Krishna lifting Govardhan Hill with His little finger, demon Hiranyaksha hiding the Earth in Garbhodaka ocean, Hanuman flying many miles while carrying a great mountain, Sun god visiting Kunti Devi, Bhima having the strength of ten thousand elephants, etc. And what about Lord Vishnu breathing out innumerable universes like bubbles; simply by breathing (wow!), and the mind boggling gigantic form of Lord Ananta Shesha carrying all the universes on His innumerable heads and yet not feeling the weight!
Hmm… If God and His powerful assistants known as Devatas, or demigods, stationed across the multitude of universes for managing cosmic affairs, were not able to do things impossible for human beings and inconceivable to human intelligence then why would they be worshiped and looked up to with reverence by human beings since millenniums? Don’t we see people giving respect to state ministers and trying to get their favors? Why? Because they can do things that all citizens cannot. Similarly, there are records in the Puranas of human beings meeting God, demigods and other celestial beings, and achieving super-natural powers. Why call it mythology? The argument that people believe in God due to fear or fantasy has come up only since a few hundred years due to the influence of Kaliyuga. Such propaganda hold no scientific basis.
Rest assured, everything stated in the Vedas and Puranas is cent percent true. What is not true is the belief that something that is beyond human intelligence cannot be true.
Thanks to the brilliat, truly bold and most authentic explanations of the Vedas and Puranas given by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder-acharya of ISKCON, today’s generation is taking previously written English versions of the Vedic scriptures with a pinch of salt and questioning their authority. Yes, there is a class of so-called scholars and award winning intellectuals who are still bent on misinterpreting the sacred text, but their number will diminish soon.
As a matter of fact, any sincere person who is not envious of God, and who analytically studies the events described in the Puranas and Vedas under the guidance of a bona fide guru, will understand that the events and science described in the Vedic scriptures is all for real; it’s not mythology. We have to accept that God is de facto the supreme person and He has outlined certain rules if someone wants to understand His creation, His science, His pastimes and Him as He is, and no one, with no exception, can overrule His rule. This may sound fanatic or too blunt but that’s how it is for all good reasons.
Surrendering to the Supreme Lord through His true representatives is the way to go if one is serious about receiving this transcendental knowledge. Unless this is accepted, we will keep hearing the same misconception about the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas and all such Vedic texts. Naming such books as mythology is the biggest of all myths. The need to spread awareness of this truth is of paramount importance.