Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The word ‘mythology’ has been defined by various scholars and dictionaries to mean the following Big B

SSSS , S                       Nov  6 ,  2011                Sun  2 : 32 PM
  A respondent and a member of our Extended Family , Kiran, had posted a matter which was of concern to him/her , and I thought it to be relevant enough to get it investigated. The comment was regarding the putting of questions related to the game show KBC, and of one such genre which was irking Kiran. This is what Kiran had to say -

  1. Kiran says:  
  2. (kiranparmar2@yahoo.co.uk)
  3. November 4,  2011 at 2:58 am  Edit <http://bigb.bigadda.com/wp-admin/comment.php?action=editcomment&c=2389659>  | Delete <http://bigb.bigadda.com/wp-admin/comment.php?action=deletecomment&p=8688&c=2389659&_wpnonce=95dd61e1bd>  
  6. Is KBC ever  going to stop falsyfying our religion?
  10. Are you not  concerned Amitabhji?
  14. Do you not  feel shameful when you have to read the questions?
  18. Is KBC ever  going to stop falsyfying our religion?
  22. Are you not  concerned Amitabhji?
  26. 3~’ 
There were two aspects of the above which came to my mind. One that either the questions being put by the ‘computer’ were too mythology centric and that Kiran was uneasy about it, or two, that the questions related to the Hindu religion, were being treated or announced as mythological and not as a religion.
I assumed that the latter was what was disturbing Kiran and so had it investigated.
Kiran, you must first understand that I do not per se put up the questions. The questions are put on the computer by a very proficient team from BigSynergy, the Company that manages this aspect of the game, headed by Siddharth Basu. I merely read them out to the contestant and play along with him, which is the format of the game and which I perform as the anchor of KBC. My job is to act out the game show according to the rules of the format, much like acting out my role in a film that I perform in.
On putting this worry or your reaction to the issue this is what BigSynergy had to say :
 The post on your blog by Kiran Parmar, shows an erroneous understanding of the term mythology, and deliberately sees a debunking of religion where there is none.
A cursory glance at any dictionary or thesaurus would show our usage of the term ‘mythology’ is entirely correct and unexceptionable, which is further always amply clarified in Hindi translation, as “Hindu maanyata”, or “pauranic maanyata”..
Mythology is essentially a term for ancient, religious and traditional narratives. This is clearly distinguished from everyday usage of the term ‘myth’ as ‘false’.
Please see the note below from our research and content team -
The word ‘mythology’ has been defined by various scholars and dictionaries to mean the following:
Mythology – A myth is defined as a sacred narrative explaining how the world and human kind came to be in their present form.. in a very broad form sense, the word can refer to any story originating within traditions”
Hindu mythology – Rather than one consistent, monolithic structure, it is a range of diverse traditions, developed by different sects, people and philosophical schools, which are not necessarily held by all Hindus to be literal accounts of historical events, but are taken to have deeper, often symbolic meaning, and have been given a complex range of interpretations”
www.en.wikipedia.org <http://www.en.wikipedia.org>
Mythology – 1. A body or collection of myths belonging to a people and addressing their origin, history, deities, ancestors, and heroes. 2. The field of scholarship dealing with the systematic collection and study of myths.
ARef: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/mythology<http://www.thefreedictionary.com/mythology>

A· · C. Rajagopalachari in his preface to the Mahabharata says: “ Mythology is an integral part of religion. It is as necessary for religion and national culture as the skin and the skeleton which preserve a fruit with its juice and taste”
· Myth is a sacred narrative explaining how the world and man came to be in their present form.
Ref: Sacred narrative, readings in the theory of myth By Alan Dundes
Devdutt Pattanaik, the author of ‘A Handbook of Hindu Mythology’ defines myth as a ‘truth which is subjective, intuitive, cultural and grounded in faith’.
… in the context of ancient cultures and traditions, myth or mythology is taken to mean a sacred narrative explaining some aspect of the world or man. What differentiates ‘mythology’ from folklore is that the mythological stories are believed to be true in certain religious or cultural traditions.
· Myth- A traditional story concerning the early history of a people or explaining a natural or social fact.
Ref: Oxford Dictionary Thesaurus, P- 589

· It is vital to give a question a particular context, for the sake of greater accuracy, more so when it cannot be ascribed to a single or specific text or source. We use the expression ‘According to Hindu mythology’ or ‘According to the Puranas’ to aid contextualisation eg.
· According to Hindu mythology, which of these is the son of Surya and Chhaya? OR हिंदू पौराणिक मान्यताओं के अनुसार, इनमें से कौन सूर्य और छाया के पुत्र हैं?
As is evident, if we remove the reference to Hindu mythology, it could be any Surya or Chhaya in any work.
Similarly, these questions:
· In Hindu mythology, who is the wife of King Dushyanta and mother of Emperor Bharat? ORहिन्दू पौराणिक मान्यता के अनुसार राजा दुष्यंत की पत्नी और सम्राट भरत की माता कौन थी?
· According to the Puranas, which king was cursed that he would die of a serpent bite? ORपुराणों के अनुसार, किस राजा को यह श्राप मिला था कि उसकी मृत्यु सांप के काटने से होगी?
Where questions can be located to specific texts, we use ‘According to the Mahabharata/Ramayana/ Ramacharitmanas/Bhagavad Purana etc.’· According to the Ramayana, who attempted to stop Ravana from abducting Sita? OR रामायण में, सीता अपहरण के दौरान इनमें से किसने रावण को रोकने की कोशिश की थी?
· According to the Mahabharata, who was reborn as Shikhandi? OR महाभारत के अनुसार किनका पुनर्जन्म शिखंडी के रूप में हुआ था? 

I do hope Kiran that your query has been adequately answered. I have spent some time and space on this because I felt it needed to be explained at length ..
My regards and love …
Amitabh Bachchan 

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