Do astika schools of thought in Hinduism believe that itihaas(Ramayan and Mahabharata) are really historic and not mythology?

This question asks whether scripture regards the epics as real.

But the default status of all narratives in all scripture seems to be that it really happened.

Are there stories in scripture that are explicitly said to be fictional or imaginary or mythological?

  • hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/45332/19211 Does this help you sir? Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 13:31
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    @SethuSrivatsaKoduru I don't think so, since @ SK wants a story which is explicitly mentioned by the Purana/Itihasa as fictional, which means it never ever happened even according to the Purana.
    – Surya
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 13:44
  • @Surya Thankyou ! Will write an answer then! Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 13:48
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    @SethuSrivatsaKoduru Puranjana?
    – Surya
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 14:10
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    Exactly! @Surya Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


There is a story in Bhagavata (Skanda 4 Chapters 25-29) that narrate an allegorical story

The great saint Nārada said "In this connection I wish to narrate an old history connected with the character of a king called Purañjana. Please try to hear me with great attention." (SB 4.25.9)

After narrating the story, Narada Muni explains symbolic meanings -

In that city [the material body] there are five gardens, nine gates, one protector, three apartments, six families, five stores, five material elements, and one woman who is lord of the house. My dear friend, the five gardens are the five objects of sense enjoyment, and the protector is the life air, which passes through the nine gates. The three apartments are the chief ingredients — fire, water and earth. The six families are the aggregate total of the mind and five senses. The five stores are the five working sensory organs. They transact their business through the combined forces of the five elements, which are eternal. Behind all this activity is the soul (SB 4.28.56-58)

The allegory of King Purañjana, described herein according to authority, was heard by me from my spiritual master, and it is full of spiritual knowledge. If one can understand the purpose of this allegory, he will certainly be relieved from the bodily conception and will clearly understand life after death. Although one may not understand what transmigration of the soul actually is, one can fully understand it by studying this narration.(SB 4.29.85)

  • Perhaps you could give a summary of the actual story so that the context is clear.
    – Surya
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 14:31
  • It goes very very long @Surya Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 14:50
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    Yes I know, it's Narada's debut in fiction, so he goes into the details, but is it possible to highlight the key points such as Puranjani, Chandavega, Mrutyu's sister, Vaidarbhi and Avijnata? It's a beautiful story nevertheless!
    – Surya
    Commented Apr 13, 2021 at 14:57

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