“We can feel proud of what our country achieved in medical science at one point of time,” the prime minister told a gathering of doctors and other professionals at a hospital in Mumbai on Saturday. “We all read about Karna in the Mahabharata. If we think a little more, we realise that the Mahabharata says Karna was not born from his mother’s womb. This means that genetic science was present at that time. That is why Karna could be born outside his mother’s womb.”
Modi went on: “We worship Lord Ganesha. There must have been some plastic surgeon at that time who got an elephant’s head on the body of a human being and began the practice of plastic surgery.”
Similar statements were made by politicians and supporters about aeroplanes (Pushpak Viman) and nuclear weapon capabilities (Brahamastra etc) citing examples from Ramayan and Mahabharat.
For the purpose of this blog post, let's just agree to not refute any of these claims of technological advancements made in that era. We are also going to ignore why there was only selective application of these advanced scientific and technological tools in the Ramayan and Mahabharat narrative [Link].
Cool? Is the entire saffron brigade happy? Smiling? Good. Now, moving on.
Going further with the assumption that all of that and perhaps a lot of other events narrated in the scriptures / books are an example of outstanding scientific and technological advancements, what these supporters are successfully establishing (in addition to a wonderful glorious advanced ancient civilisation) is that there was absolutely nothing 'divine' about the characters / historic figures depicted in said scriptures or books!
IF one is to agree that science and technology was far more advanced at that time, then in effect one is stating that those people were really intelligent/advanced and there was nothing DIVINE / GODLY about them. They APPEARED to be GODLY because of their advanced scientific progress and further application of science.
What I am trying to say is, you can not have it both ways. Either you label them as intelligent beings and make libraries / universities honouring them OR you label them as divine beings and build temples / places of worship honouring them. As much as an intelligent individual commands respect and admiration, s/he is not revered or worshipped as a god. Or at least should not be.
So take your pick. Which version do you people want to go with? Scientific Geniuses or Divine Beings? Let's decide on one and THEN move forward.