While researching for a post about the true timeline of Indian civilization that is corroborated by a maximum number of factors but most notably what our scripture says without distorting the translation. I came across Vedveer Arya’s research. To sum up the answer
Hindu mythology is not mythology. It is the true history of the Indian subcontinent and beyond. As pointed out in Vedveer Arya’s research, Vedic civilization is at least 18000 years old.
To tell you the truth, this is the most convincing and thorough research that I have ever come across in the field of dating various historical figures of Indian history like Rama, Krishana, Mahadeva Shiva, Brahma, etc. Western scholarship has tagged the Indian Itihasa (history) literature like Ramayana & Mahabharata as mythology because the Indian timeline didn’t fit well into their understanding of the history at that time.
What is Mythology?
Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. It is widely used to imply that a story is not objectively true.
English world Myth is derived from Sanskrit word मिथ्या which means something that is false. So terming Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Puranas as mythology had a very detrimental effect on the amount of scholarship that went into the study of Indian thought, philosophy, history, etc.
What are some other mythologies?
There are many civilizations whose history has been termed mythology in modern, especially by Western historians. Please bear in mind that I am not saying everything that is written in so-called mythologies is true, but neither is it false. So we should accord them at least some sincere inquiry.
Roman, Greek, and Norse civilizations are long dead. They were run over by the expansionist Christianity or Church. So no one is there to defend and carry out research from the point of view of those civilizations. But Indian civilization however wounded and distorted it may have become is living. So Indian scholars should come forward and tell our stories from our point of view.
The scientific advancements have brought back some sanity to Western (Christian world) civilization.
Mythologies of the world
There were many civilizations in the world before the advent of three Abrahamic religions viz. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Though Buddhism was the first major sect that had my way or the highway attitude, still it was much more accommodative compared to the successive religions it influenced through Zoroastrianism.
With the advent of most religions, they unleashed hell on following civilizations that were much more accommodative and pluralistic. So all of the below civilizations, as a thought or tradition, were wiped barring Indian civilization.
- Hindu mythology
- Greek mythology
- Roman mythology
- Norse mythology
- Egyptian mythology
- Persian mythology
What were the problems with Hindu history?
There were many problems some on their part and some on ours. Let’s discuss some of their problems first:
- They considered the Noah deluge (great flood) as the greatest and they assumed nothing had survived this great flood.
- Puranas contained dynasties that went way beyond 4004 BCE, which according to Christianity was the year when God created the world.
- Most of the Indologists of the time were European and Christian. So even if some of them were not too religious, still they had a very myopic view of the world.
- Puranas and Itihasa contained information like Rama ruled for 11000 years which without an understanding of Hinduism’s Yuga theory is completely perplexing for any mind and seems beyond logic.
- They couldn’t reconcile Indian, European, Persian, and Chinese history. So they made many kings legendary and Ramayana & Mahabharata as mythology.
But we (Indian scholars) also had many problems on our part like:
- There were enough Indian scholars that were studying Indian history and civilization.
- There was a discontinuity in the learning tradition of Hinduism due to the continuous attacks by Muslims on educational traditions & institutions of Hindus. Many of them were destroyed.
- Hindu scholars due to the abovementioned discontinuity couldn’t explain the statements of people doing penance or ruling for thousands of years which gave western scholars a chance to dismiss most of Indian history as mythology.
Hindu mythology is the oldest
As outlined in our post about the Timeline of Hindu history, the Indian civilization has a history of at least 18000 years. So it is correct to say that the Hindu or Indian so-called mythology is the oldest in the world as of now. There is no other civilizational memory that even comes close to Hindu civilization.
Frequently Asked Questions
How old is Hinduism?
Hinduism is the oldest living religion that is the true inheritor of Vedic heritage. According to research conducted by scholars like Vedveer Arya, Nilesh Oak, etc., it has at least a history of 16000 years.
Consider reading our post, if you want to read more about How old is Hinduism and what are the alternative theories.