Are GODs just symbolic ???

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at YAHOO.COM
Thu Jul 18 13:50:29 CDT 2002

--- "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> wrote:
> On Tue, 16 Jul 2002, Srikrishna Ghadiyaram wrote:
> > The Swami repeatedly said, "there are only two
> type of accounts, one
> > Historical and the other Symbolic. There is no
> mythological account." On
> > several occassions, the talks conveyed that even
> the story of Bali,
> > Prahlada, and churning of milk ocean etc. is only
> symbolic. However, the
> > swami classifies Rama and Krishna as Historic.
> >
> This doesn't make any sense.  For a start symbolism
> and historicity are
> orthogonal.  For example the Jalianwalabagh massacre
> was a historic event
> which had a great symbolic significance for the
> independance movement as a
> symbol of colonial perfidy.  Other historical ones
> have no symbolic value
> and other symbolic ones have no historic value.
> Secondly his
> classification seems rather arbitrary.  What
> historical evidence do we
> really have of Rama or Krishna?  Is it because the
> idea of a King of
> Dwarka or Ayodhya seems more plausible than an ocean
> of milk?

Maybe the swami takes the PuraNa-s to be "symbolic"
and the itihaasa-s to be "historic". After all, we do
see a difference between itihaasa (e.g. RamaayaNa,
Mahaabhaarata) and PuraNa (e.g. VishNu purANa), though
I've never understood the difference between the two.



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