Continued from Part I ( Refer : http://goo.gl/3wktyl )
These Mythologies were written by great ancient sages centuries ago. Today, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata have spread across various countries in Asia with further translation into various regional languages. While majority of these diverse narrations share the same basic story, there are additions that have been made over a period of time in order to suit the ideologies and beliefs of a particular culture. For instance, while some end the Ramayana with Ram and Sita going back to their kingdom, Ayodhya and ruling, others end the same with Ram banishing Sita who eventually gives birth to two sons, Luv and Khush who in the end return to Ayodhya to narrate the story of Ramayana. So while one version portrayed a fairly happy ending the other highlighted a sense of conflict and tension in the story.
Similarly, the Mahabharata has also been written down in hundreds of different manuscripts and passed down through innumerable oral traditions. While most of these versions remain loyal to the central idea of the story, additions have been made in order to bring out the morals and events that are suitable to the ethos of one particular time and region. One such speculation included that ‘Krishna’ as character in the Mahabharata had been added centuries after the original tale was written, in order to include a heroic and a Godly figure. While others compared the great Lord to the mighty Greek hero Hercules. These mythologies over years have been altered so that mankind can relate to the morals drawn from them and at the same time generations have added their own philosophical insights, which is why today these are being considered as myths!
While these Mythologies have gradually evolved in terms of the stories that they narrate, their propagation has also seen a drastic change in today’s modern society. Historically, these were handed down either through written manuscripts or oral traditions. But with the growing change in technology, it has become easier to disseminate these tales today.
Some of the commonly used mediums today are- television shows which include a sense of dramatization , theatre acts across various states and countries in their respective languages, oral narration in temples, paintings and sculptures, through animated movies and shows for children such as ‘Chotta Bheem’ etc.
With the further evolution of mankind, the true essence of these mythologies is sure to fade in time. While the main focus of these great ancient tales was to bring out a sense of morality and the need to do what is right, this has gradually shifted over time where these epics are merely seen as stories today. Whether these are fictional or factual is simply a question. The focus should now be diverted towards the need for preserving the true essence of these epics, ensuring that they represent what the rich heritage of ancient India truly held within itself.