History of Mankind (Chapter 6)

Image of a Trojan Horse
Image of a Trojan Horse

This is the 6th Chapter of, History of Mankind. In this chapter read about, Two Epics of Greece, Story of writing, Life Of the Mind in India, Indian Philosophy.

TWO EPICS OF GREECE

Homer, the great writer of Greece.
Homer by British Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Homer, the legendary poet of Greece, lived about 850 years before the birth of Christ. He composed two renowned epics -the Iliad and the Odyssey. He describes in Iliad how beautiful Helen was carried across the sea by the Trojans and how the Greek king assisted by Odysseus captured the city of Troy to rescue Helen.

You can also watch the Hollywood Movie named TROY. Read about it on Wikipedia Link.

Odyssey, a saga of restless soul, adventurous and untiring, can be interpreted as the symbol of ever active human spirit.

In Homer, the Greek art and culture are expressed in all its depth and vision. The two epics have left indelible mark on the western literary thoughts.

STORY OF WRITING

A cave painting
A cave painting showing a Bison

Man began to express himself in signs, sounds and words many thousands of years before writing could be developed. Ages ago when man lived in caves, he drew pictures of animals on the walls. The idea of using a picture to represent a sound instead of a thing might have at first occurred to some talented man. And then gradually samples of alphabets were worked out from these pictures. This was really a significant achievement and a landmark.

The ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Indians and Chinese had all separately come to know the use of alphabets. In those days every letter had to be chiselled or engraved on stone, wood, clay, wax or skins. Books were written on papyrus, parchment rolls or palm-leaves with quill or brush. The Vedas and the Upanishads are the few of the oldest manuscripts that exist even to-day as part of our oriental heritage.

LIFE OF THE MIND IN INDIA, INDIAN PHILOSOPHY

Atharva Veda Page, Written on Papyrus
Atharva Veda Page, Written on Papyrus

The ancient philosophers of India emphasised on the life of the mind and produced such wonderful scriptures as the Vedas and the Upanishads. These scriptures are full of precious lessons both practical and theoretical for the guidance of man.

The message of the Upanishads has been to develop within us a rational attitude of the mind strengthened by a spirit of enquiry into the mysteries of the universe. Contrary to general belief, these sacred books do not want us to perform rituals and ceremonials without understanding their meaning and symbolism. They are not ‘Shastras’ in the sense of codes of conduct and forms-at once rigid and eternal.

Bhagwat Geeta is one of the highest philosophy. Though it has been related to Hinduism, in my views it is for a better life and thinking. The message is just not confined to a particular religion. It is a philosophy for a better mind and better life.

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