30 December 2008, 06:24 AM
I have to say something important about Mahabharat.
We know that there are 100000 shaloks in it, but in my study books I read that This was a small book named Jay with 5000 shaloks, later it become Bharat with 8000 shaloks and later turned into Mahabharat with 100000 shaloks.
But later there was another wit - Mahabharat was the joint of two books - Jay with 24000 shloks and Bharat with 48000 shaloks a total or 72000 original shaloks.
A twist to second thought It says that in pre-islamic rule Emperor Bhoj there were originally 72000 shaloks in Mahabharat.
But again I come to know that there was a hindu temple built in the era between Maurya and Gupta period, it's pilliar contains all the 100000 shaloks written in Mahabharat.
So by this the conflation of Jay and Bharat seems like somebody made false story.
30 December 2008, 06:32 PM
If you look in the Mahābhārata, ādi parvan ( the 1st chapter or division), Vyāsa calls out multiple compilations:
24,000 verses - called the bhārata
150 verses ( first taught to his son Suka) - an introduction with chapters and contents.
Then Vyāsa created his complete work i.e. 600,000 verses - he breaks down the 600,000 into smaller sections i.e. for the world of the devā-s, pitṛi-s, gāndarva, to finally the 100,000 verses you mention for the world of man.The most complete work ( IMHO) as an English translation is offered in 4 volumes by Kisari Mohan Ganguli. This work can be found on-line, yet its web location escapes me at the moment. There are no doubt other authors that one may also consider. This one I find most useful.
31 December 2008, 08:28 AM
Here is an account with which Yajvan's explanation agrees:
The Mahabharata has a similar mystery of its own. Vyasa sung it of yore in 60 lakhs of stanzas, 30 of which the Angels kept to themselves; the Fathers appropriated 15; the Rakshasas and the Yakshas had to content themselves with 14; while we on this mortal earth were blessed but with the remaining lakh. Vaisampayana has preserved it for us. 24,000 stanzas make up the work, the numerous episodes excluded. But, there exists a compendium of the same in 150 stanzas and it is called the Anukramanika.--M.B.I.1.
(Source: The Ramayana of Valmeeki rendered into English with exhaustive notes by C.R.Sreenivasa Ayyangar. This book with over 800 pages can be downloaded at:
http://www.archive.org/details/ramayanaofvalmee035120mbp (40.7 MB)
31 December 2008, 09:20 AM
The Original Ramayana
Here is an elaborate account of the composition of The Ramayana from the book The Ramayana of Valmeeki rendered into English with exhaustive notes by C.R.Sreenivasa Ayyangar:
Brahma sung the life of Rama in a poem of 100 crores of stanzas and taught it to Narada and the other Rishis of this world.--G.R. Bala Kanda, G in his preface to his 'Notes on Bala Kanda'
It contains 9 lakhs of cantos, 900 lakhs of chapters and 100 crores of stanzas.--A.R. Manohara Kanda 17
In course of time, the holy sages received the inestimable gift and continued to recite the epic in their hermitages... Then began a mighty struggle among the denizens of the other worlds as to who should have exclusive position of the sacred epic. The Devas (Angles of Light) would have it in their bright homes on high; the Daityas (the Lords of Darkness) would not rest until their nether worlds resounded with the holy chant; but the Sages and Kings of the earth would have parted with their lives sooner. Hot was the discussion between the excited claimants; Brahma the Creator, Siva the Destroyer tried in vain to arbitrate; in the end they and the ambitious aspirants along with them proceeded by common consent to where the Lord Vishnu lay reclined on the folds of the Serpent of Eternity, gently lulled by the throbbing waves of the Ocean of Milk. They laid the case before him and besought a way out of the difficulty. Vishnu cut the Gordian knot by dividing the huge work equally and impartially among the three claimants, who, they averred, were all entitled to it.
33 crores, 33 lakhs, 33 thousands, 33 stanzas and 10 letters formed the portion of each. Maha Lakshmi, the Consort of Vishnu, Sesha, the Serpent of Eternity, and Garuda, the divine Bird were initiated by the Lord into the three mighty Mantras (Spells) built up of the last 10 letters above mentioned. Lakshmi shared her knowledge with the Angels on high. Seshas instructed the Dragons and the Asuras in the Nether worlds. From Garuda came the knowledge of the mighty Mantra to the mortals of this Earth. What these mantras and how they are to be utilised can best be leart from the Science that treats of them (The Mantra Sastra). Thus proceeding, two letters remained undivided and indivisible. Siva requested that they might be his portion. The Holy Name that they expressed, Rama, was reverently received by the Lord of the Kailasa; and for all times that he abides at the holy Kasi (Benaras), to whisper it into the right ear of those who exchange their mortal tenements for the Robe of Glory; and it takes them over safely through the tossing waves of material existence on to the shores of the Regions of Light.
Thereafter, the portion of the Earth was further divided among the seven spheres thereoff--Pushkara, Saka, Plaksha, Kusa, Krouncha, Salmah and Jambu. Each secured to itself 47,619,047 stanzas; but 4 remained invidisible. Whereupon, Brahma the Creator, begged hard of his father to be allowed to receive it. Later on, Narada learnt them from him.
"I was before this Universe began and no other. Being and Not-Being are the Kosmic Ultimates; but beyond them and behind them I remain. All else shall pass away and change--all Name and Form; but I remain. That which presents itself not as Truth, that which manifests itself not as the Self, verily that is Maya, the great Illusion cast upon the Supreme One like a mist, like a pall of darkness. The Great Elements permeate all Name and Form like warp and woof; but the Manifested and the Unmanifested live in Me and move and have their being. The Supreme is the Life and Light of the Universe; but for It, it is not. Know thou the above and you know Me." These are the Great Truths.
The inhabitants of the Pushkara Dweepa divided equally their share between the two Vashas (continents) that compose it; but the nine Varshas of our Jambu Dweepa received 5,291,005 stanzas each and a seven-lettered mantra.--Kuru, Hiranmaya, Ramyaka, Ketumala, Ilavrita, Bhadraswa, Hari, Kimpurusha and Bharata. But the letter 'Sri' that remained, was held in common by the nine Varshas.
Later on, the Lord took the form as Veda-Vyasa; the Kaliyuga will see the Brahmanas dull of intellect and short-lived; so, he divided the one eternal Veda (Divine Wisdom) into many branches (Sakhas) to suit their varied capacities. Hence his name Veda-Vyasa, 'He that adjusts or arranges the Vedas'. Further, he took what fell to the Bharata Varsha as its share of the Original Ramayana and based upon it the 17 Puranas, the Upapuranas, and the Maha Bharata. But, his soul knew not peace nor serenity. He sat with an aching heart on the banks of the swift-flowing Sarasvati when Narada came unto him and instructed him in the mysteries of the Self as contained in the four stanzas that constituted the Heart of all Wisdom. Veda-Vyasa assimilated it and embodied it in his famous Sri Bhagavata, the child of his mature wisdom and fullness of peace.
The great sages, that later on gave to the world the various standard works on the Science of words, Astronomy, Astrology, Phonetics, Prosody, the Rules of Ritual and the Vedic glossaries, drew their materials from the Original Ramayana; and there is not an episode, that embodies any truth, moral, social, religious or philosophical, but owes its origin to the same.--A.R. Yatra Kanta II.
Perhaps this account covers the earlier Manvantaras, Kalpas and other periods of time of the current Brahma, during which time Ramayana should have been enacted. What is astounding is the Advaita of the Absolute Truth that Brahma learnt from the remaining 4 stanzas he received from his father Vishu.
13 January 2009, 12:02 PM
Namaste Vajayan G and Saideo G,
Thanx for telling me a lot about it, That will certainly help to know more, I think more and more should come to know the truth, and students to be tought the truth about Historic Ramayan and Mahabharat
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