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It is more likely to be imagination rather than being true as archaeological findings do not fully support the rich palaces, horses, chariots, weapons described in the Mahabharata as belonging to the age in which the story is set. It is also possible that we have not yet fully unearthed to support Mahabharata as as a true story.
Forget about finding out whether it is a true story or imagination just enjoy the rich imagination, the lessons contained in it and the core values and beliefs that it stands for. One undeniable fact is that this tale is so rich that it has survived about 3000 years of history and we should be proud that such an epic should belong to us.
The historicity of Mahabharata can not be completely brush aside as a mythological fabrication. Recent under water exploration and excavations at the off coast of Dwraka in Gujarat have revealed some important artifacts assignable to circa 200 B C to 300 A.D.Dwaraka played an important role in the epic.No one has influenced the course of indian history ,religion and art as krishna.
this might help make up your oun mind
Mahabharat: A Myth or a Reality
By Prasad Gokhale
It has been believed by some historians and laymen that Mahabharat is just a fictitious fable emerged from the fantastic brain of the Sage Ved Vyas. It has been contended that such a 'war' could not have occured owing to the detailed description of various facets of the 'epic'. However, tradition as well as many Bharatiya scholars have all along maintained that Mahabharat did actually occur and is a complete reality.
Mahabharat is not just a story, but the detailed account of a event occured in the past. The few points are noted below that indicate a few differences in what is 'reality' and 'myth'.
1. It has been written in the epic from time to time that Mahabharat is a "itihas" which exclusively means "thus occured". The words "Puraan" and "Itihas" were specifically coined by the Arya people to catagorize the "ancient" and "recent" events. Both the words denote history that has occured at different times.
2. It is mentioned in Aadiparva, Adhyaya 62 that the annals of the Bharat-Dynasty are recorded in the work.
3. It has been clearly stated in the Aadiparva, Bheeshmaparva etc. that this is "itihas". If the intentions of the writer were to write a poem or a work of fiction, he would have stated it to be a "mahakavya" or "katha".
4. It would to absurd to say that the Mahabharat is not a "itihas" due to its poetic nature. It was a custom in those days to write everything in poetic form.
5. Ved Vyas had decided to write down the "itihas" even before the initiation of the Mahabharat War. Therefore during the course of the War, Vyas meticulously noted down all the possible details. If it were a work of fiction, why would a person like Vyas want to fill his work with such minute and unnecessary details ?
6. A number of dynasties with their lond lineage of kings have been presented in the work. More than 50 kings from King Barhi to the Pandava King have been recorded. Additional information about the King, his wife, his scions, his relations, etc. have been accounted in great detail. If it were just fiction, only 4-5 kings would have sufficed to build the story on. Then why such mind-boggling details ?
7. The dynasties recorded in the Ramayan and the Mahabharat concur without a difference. Even the relations between different kings and their dynasties in both the great "epics" match with each other. If both were mere "epics" written by two entirely different at two different times, why would everything match even upto minor details ?
Mahabharat is of a later date than the Ramayan. Why would the author of the Mahabharat borrow the same ideas and characters as those of the author of Ramayan ?
8. Usually, the story of any "Maha-Kaavya" circulates about one or two main characters. If this were the case with Mahabharat, who would then be considered the "hero" of the drama ?
9. Many events mentioned in the Ramayan and Mahabharat are the same. Eg.: The mother of (latter) King Sagar was poisoned by his step-mother so that her child would be aborted. But the child was born nevertheless, who was therefore named Sagar.
10. The cities established by certain kings has been noted in detail.
11. All the characters in the "epic" are well-portrayed. Even single facet of their character and important events in their life have been recorded. Are such detailed accounts important in a "Maha-kavya"?
12. The weapons mentioned in the Ramayan and the Mahabharat are somewhat same. Infact, some weapons in the Ramayan are not mentioned in the latter "epic". (eg. Soorya'stra, Yamya'stra, Shoolva'stra..etc.) [ Considering the true occurance of the two great events, the above mentioned weapons might have disappreared in the era in-between the two events took place].
13. If it were a poetic fiction, such comprehensive account of the events on the battle-field would'nt have been given. For a poem, it is far-fetched. It will only serve the purpose of boring the reader to death!
14. The description of such myriad of characters is astonishing. It is impossible for one single-mind to be the genesis of that number of personality-types. It could only be true if the Mahabharat is the recording of a real-life drama.
15. The time and place of events have been accurately recorded. All such recordings are redudant for a "Maha-kavya".
16. Not much poetic description of the flora-and-fauna is given. Such description in ornate language is only used in fictional works and not while recording history.
17. Vyas mentions to have written this "itihas" after the death of King Dhrutarashtra. Why would he write so ? Did Shakespeare say that he wrote "Hamlet" after the death of Hamlet himself ?
18. The Greek historian Megasthenes has stated that Chandragupta Maurya was the 138 King in the lineage of Shri Krishna. This means that
Truth exists but not imagination.How 3000 yrs it existed? If it is imagination that too is perfect as all the characters depicted has a similarity with down to earth characters.Lust,greed,molestation,rape,w... et all.Some events also are becoming reality.
The advent of the holy Gita is the miracle.It says all.Only TRUTH survive.
If you ask it to be a story which is truth, then it is correct. Because this is a story or epic which is more realistic in approach to our life style.It teaches us the us the basic standards of life.
I think some part is true. But lots are added to it by some great mind.
75% true and rest imagination
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is mahabharatha a true story or an imagination?