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I'm a Hindu by religion. And I really respect my religion like I respect others. But from my childhood, I'm listening a lot of stories about Hindu Gods and Goddess which are interrelated to each other. But I'm thinking who wrote these stories, and any man/woman who first knew these stories, how did he/she get to know, because he/she was not God. So I want to know how and from where these stories came to mankind from God.

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+1. Welcome to the site. A very interesting question indeed. –  Sardathrion Oct 30 '12 at 9:39
@Sardathrion thanks, and yes it's really interesting 1 –  Shirish Herwade Oct 30 '12 at 9:46
You do understand that we deal with history here? History is a science that attempts to determine a one, single, coherent chain of events. It uses many old texts, without presuming any priority among them; they are equal in the beginning. Next, texts that don't stick to a version supported by the majority, we dump them into a large bag called "ahistoric", so they wouldn't bother us anymore. This is the nature of this science. You can use the texts for quite different purposes, but these are not called "history"; they are simply something else. –  kubanczyk Oct 30 '12 at 10:09
sorry, but just now a edit to this question is rejected by me. Because in that edit fist 2 lines of question was removed. And I can't afford that, I live in India, where lot of people are Hindus, so I think those lines are protecting me :) –  Shirish Herwade Oct 30 '12 at 14:22
@ShirishHerwade Just a suggestion but you can mark your question as a community question too. –  Monster Truck Jul 23 '13 at 12:00

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Many mythological stories we hear today have an oral tradition, that is, they were never explicitly written down anytime, but passed from generations through word of mouth.

To get some idea of "when", the Vedic age is approximately believed to be from 1700 BC - 150 BC and it is possible that the characters of Gods and the stories may have taken shape around that period.

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thank you for the answer –  Shirish Herwade Oct 31 '12 at 5:31
...then again, there are some common features between some of the Hindu gods and some of the gods and mythology found in the Greek and Norse pantheons. A common Indo-European origin could put some of it further back than 3700 BCE. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-European_religion –  T.E.D. Oct 31 '12 at 16:28
@T.E.D. Perhaps this comment should be merged in the main answer. –  Monster Truck Jul 24 '13 at 13:47

While the oral tradition mentioned by Shyam is correct, you can consider the 18 puranas as the formal documentation of the stories of Gods. The 18 puranas were written by Sage Veda Vyasa and were written at least 5000 years ago. The 5000 years calculation comes from the Hindu calendar which sets a specific time frame for each yuga, manvantara and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalpa_%28aeon%29. We are currently in the age of Kali or Kali Yuga and this started more than 4000 years ago.

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That does not sound right. The grammar and vocabulary indicate they were most probably written after the Gupta period. Furthermore, at least one of them "The Vishnu Puran" refers to all Gupta kings and describes in detail their fall. –  Monster Truck Jul 23 '13 at 11:51
The Bhagavata Purana and Bhavishyottara purana also tell stories of kings and kingdoms to come. The rise of Christ and Mohammed are also mentioned in these puranas but as harbingers to the future. That is not an indication of the age of the purana itself. –  moonstar2001 Jul 23 '13 at 14:26
Then more research needs to be done on the concepts of Hindu time and distance. Until then , the scientific mindset should at least give a theory the benefit of the doubt. –  moonstar2001 Jul 24 '13 at 3:12
edit I guess now my down vote is self explanatory. This is a history SE and we need evidence that is accepted widely by the scientific community. Calculating age from the Hindu Calendar is ok. But believing the fact that the puranas were written on a particular date in that calendar needs more proof. Philological evidence places most puranas during/post Gupta period and a few to around 500 BCE. That makes some of them at most 2000 years old --not 5000 years old. The rigveda has been dated back to 1700 BCE though by some. –  Monster Truck Jul 24 '13 at 13:49

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