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Tidbits-21 (100 years age)

A man (or even an 'Avataar') living for thousand years is absolute gibberish.

The Rig Vedic Rishi wanted to live for 100 years - for example -
1. HYMN LXIV.14 - O Maruts, to the worshippers give glorious strength invincible in battle, brilliant, bringing wealth, /Praiseworthy, known to all men. May we foster well, during a hundred winters, son and progeny.
1.HYMN LXXIII.9 - Aided by thee, O Agni, may we conquer steeds with steeds, men with men, heroes with heroes,/ Lords of the wealth transmitted by our fathers: and may our princes live a hundred winters.

1.HYMN LXXXIX.9 - A hundred autumns stand before us, O ye Gods, within whose space ye bring our bodies to decay;/ Within whose space our sons become fathers in turn. Break ye not in the midst our course of fleeting life.

It is time we be rational. Let us read Kautilya to see how that 'old man' looked at myths. If Kautilya could be rational more than 2000 years back, are we not dishnouring him by believing in absurd concepts like 'yugas' and thousand year life-times?

OK, forget Kautilya...let us see what Krishn says - Krishn tells Yudhishthir


With regard to the topic at hand, the Braahman have held opinions of various kinds. Some say that success in the world to come depends upon work. Some declare that action should be shunned and that salvation is attainable by knowledge. The Brahman say--that though one may have a knowledge of eatable things, yet his hunger will not be appeased unless he actually eats. Those branches of knowledge that help the doing of work, bear fruit, but not other kinds, for the fruit of work is of ocular demonstration. A thirsty person drinks water, and by that act his thirst is allayed. This result proceeds, no doubt, from work. Therein lies the efficacy of work. If anyone thinks that something else is better than work, I deem, his work and his words are meaningless.

In Raamaayan, Jaabaali tells almost the same thing to Raam  -

sa na asti param ity eva kuru buddhim mahaa mate |
pratyaksham yat tad aatiShTha parokSham pR^iShThataH kuru || 2-108-17

"O, the highly wise! Arrive at a conclusion, therefore, that there is nothing beyond this Universe. Give precedence to that which meets the eye and turn your back on what is beyond our knowledge."
(Translation by Desiraju Hanumanto Rao at

Krishn's emphasis on Sense-perception is re-stated in Bauddhaayaan Dharm Shaastra

B1.1.1.6ab/ dharmeNa^adhigato yeSaaM vedaH saparibRMhaNaH /
B1.1.1.6cd/ ziSTaas tad.anumaana.jJaaH zruti.pratyakSa.hetavaH // iti // [also in Manu Samhita 12.109]

(Those are called) Sishtas who, in accordance with the sacred law, have studied the Ved together with its appendages, know how to draw inferences from that, (and) are able to adduce proofs perceptible by the senses from the revealed texts.)

Ved are not staticly absolute. They must be interpreted with concern to this worldly result "Pratyaksh hetavah".

Vashishth Dharm Shaastra defines "Sishta" and "Brahmana" as

Va.6.43 te ziSTaas^braahmaNaas^jJeyaas^zruti.pratyakSa.hetavas^(c)//

who are able to adduce proofs perceptible by the senses from the revealed texts, must be known to be Sishtas.

A true Braahman is capable of translating his action materially. Here too we find the phrase  "PratyakSa.hetavaH".

With such a rational tradition before us, why are we falling in the trap of some poets who harmed our tradition by their myth-making spree?

If we have such blind faith that mere "mention" in Mahaabhaarat has to be taken in face-value like thousand year life, Yug etc  then we are defying Rig Ved, isn't it? Besides, Mahaabhaarat is not a scripture as "the fifth Ved" is a revolutionary Ved that defies any definition.

If Rishi of Rig Vaidik age lived for 100 years, how can Ved Vyaas become physically immortal all of a sudden? Vyaas is immortal and that is a poetic metaphor,  immortal he certainly is! How can Raam Chandra who ran like a fool after a "golden deer" suddenly gain so many years? Again, Raam is immortal because he lives in our mind, not physically.

Well, at least for the time being I am in Vishnu's hand!



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/27/04
Updated on 02/22/13