I treat the Mahabharata and the Ramayana as History, not as mere Stories boron out of the imaginations of Vyasa and Valmiki.
If people take as History that
Jesus lived and preached, The Old Testament based on a Book compiled by a Conclave of Cardinals assembled by King Constantine afer three hundred years of the death of Christ
Mohammed ascended to Heaven,guided by an Angel, directed by God to look at the Rules embedded in a rock(as though God can not remember),
I believe the Mahabharata and the Ramayana to be true as
The city of Hastinapur , and Dwaraka are found,
Kurukshetra nad other descriptions of the places mentioned are correct on date, especially Kurukshetra is found to be slightly tilted as explained in the Puranas,
The birth date of Rama and his ascension to throne are verified and proved.
As also his travel routes-refer my posts on these and Dwaraka .
Now I had a nagging doubt whether Sanjaya reported the Mahabharata war Live to Dhritarashtra or recollected and reported.
The Mahabharata Bhishma Parva states
Its first chapter beings with –‘Narayanam namaskrtya……’, a
benedictory verse, after which, it begins with a question asked by the king
Janamejaya to Vaishampayana, as to how the Kauravas, who gathered for the
battle in Kurukshetra, fought with the kings, who supported Pandavas. While
giving a reply, the arrangements to stay in the camp with all the facilities were
arranged by Vaishampayana. The way the Kauravas, Pandavas and Samakas
made the special rules for the battle is a special feature of this chapter, which
explores the principles of the battle field. The rules such as, no enmity should
be observed after the sunset, the existence of mutual love, battle of speech
should be done only with those who are indulged in it, killing a person, who is
out of the army is condemned. A foot-soldier, a horse-soldier and an elephantsoldier should fight with their equals only. One should make an enemy alert
and fight with him alone, who is equal to him in ability, zeal and strength. One
should not fight with the person who is not unprepared or with a scared person.
The war is condemned with a person, who is fighting with others, a refugee, a
person who is out of war and a person with tainted weapons. A charioteer, the
player of kettle drum, a conch-blower and the supplier of weapons should not
be attacked. The second chapter begins with the arrival of Vyasa Maharshi.
He informs the death time of Kauravas. He also conveys Dhrtarashtra that he
could provide him the ability to see the battle, for which, Dhrtarashtra
expresses his unwillingness, as he doesn’t want to see the death of his sons.
After knowing the interest of Dhrtarashtra to listen the details of the battle,
Sanjaya, the charioteer of Dhrtarashtra was provided with the divine vision by
Vyasa Maharshi. Many more scary incidents are also depicted.”
The first sloka of the Bhagavad Gita starts with
Dharamashetre Kurukshetre…. bu Dhritharashtra asking sanjaya to inform him of what happened in the Bharata Battle.
Sanjaya replies with the second verse..
Pasyaithaam pandu puthraanaam…
Sanjaya , according to mahabharata and all puraanas was granted the Divine vision to see things from the distance.
In fact The Bhishma parva states that Sanjaya was endowed with the power of Knowing the past, present and future.
Then why do I have a doubt?
The Bhisma parva Section XIV declares
“Dhritarashtra said,–’How hath Bhishma, that bull among the Kurus, been slain by Sikhandin? How did my father, who resembled Vasava himself, fall down from his car? What became of my sons, O Sanjaya, when they were deprived of the mighty Bhishma who was like unto a celestial, and who led life of Brahmacharyya for the sake of his father? 2 Upon the fall of that tiger among men who was endued with great wisdom, great capacity for exertion, great might and great energy, how did our warriors feel? Hearing that bull amongst the Kurus, that foremost of men, that unwavering hero is slain, great is the grief that pierceth my heart. While advancing (against the foe), who followed him and who proceeded ahead? Who stayed by his side? Who proceeded with him? What brave combatants followed behind (protecting his rear) that tiger among car-warriors, that wonderful archer, that bull among Kshatriyas, while he penetrated into the divisions of the foe? 1 While seizing the hostile ranks, what warriors opposed that slayer of foes resembling the luminary of thousand rays, who spreading terror among the foe destroyed their ranks like the Sun destroying darkness, and who achieved in battle amongst the ranks of Pandu’s sons feats exceedingly difficult of accomplishment? How, indeed, O Sanjaya, did the Pandavas oppose in battle the son of Santanu, that accomplished and invincible warrior when he approached them smiting? Slaughtering the (hostile) ranks, having arrows for his teeth, and full of energy, with the bow for his wide-open mouth, and with the terrible sword for his tongue, and invincible, a very tiger among men, endued with modesty…..
‘Sanjaya said,–”Deserving as thou art, this question is, indeed, worthy of thee, O great king. It behoveth thee not, however, to impute this fault to Duryodhana. The man who incurreth evil as the consequence of his own misconduct, should not attribute that misconduct to others. O great king, the man that doth every kind of injury to other men, deserveth to be slain by all men in consequence of those censurable deeds of his. The Pandavas unacquainted with the ways of wickedness had, for a long time, with their friends and counsellors, looking up to thy face, borne the injuries (done to them) and forgiven them, dwelling in the woods.’
“Thereafter, in the 13thchapter, the Bhagavadgita parva begins, which is continued till 42nd
chapter. It begins with Sanjaya, who returns from the battle
field and conveys the news of Bhishma’s death to Dhrtharashtra. Listening to
which, Dhrtharashtra, while lamenting, expresses his intention to know about
the death of Bhishma in detail.’
This, to me, appears to indicate that the War was not reported Live but by a recollection.
The whole conversation is as said by Vaisampayana to Janamejaya.
Will some body clarify?