Saturday, October 17, 2020

The Indian Obsession With Chronology

In the study of ancient history and philosophy, the need for accurate chronology cannot be denied, but in the case of ancient Hindu texts there is an inordinate amount of emphasis on chronology. For many present day Hindus chronology has become a way of glorifying their ancient heritage. Too often you encounter people who (without furnishing any evidence) boast about some texts being from the tenth or even fifteenth century BC. They are convinced that their culture is great because it is ancient. To my mind, the aspect of being ancient is not critical. The critical questions are: What are the key learnings from these ancient texts? What was the culture in which these texts came into being? What kind of people composed these texts? What is the relevance of these texts in our modern times?

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