Bengaluru: Jnanpith Award-winning writer Girish Karnad has warned against picking out details and characters from ancient Indian mythology to argue that they are proof of scientific advance in ancient times.
Participating in a discussion organised by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) here on Saturday, the writer said that those who attempt to find proof of scientific advance in scriptures are indeed insulting and mocking mythical imagination.
Making an oblique reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who linked medical science to mythology recently by stating that the creation of Ganesha is proof of the existence of plastic surgeons thousands of years ago, Mr. Karnad said such claims amounted to mocking and falsifying the “mythical imagination and symbolism” of our ancient writers. Mythologies across the world were rich in such symbolisms, he added.
he said claims on 2,000-year-old texts providing answers to all present-day problems amounted to “freezing” ourselves in a historical past. He recalled that Gandhiji, who revered the Bhagavad Gita , said that only 33 shlokas in it were relevant to him. “We should pick what is relevant to us from our past and discard the rest,” he said.
On the Hindi film PK around which the discussion was organised, Mr. Karnad said the Rajkumar Hirani production showed a remarkable “rationalist courage”.