According to the Hindu Vegas, there are many historical figures and events in Hinduism. Perhaps, the most popular one is the Mahabharata that was penned by Srila Vyasadeva. The Mahabharata is an epic poem that describes the lives of Pandavas and relatives of Lord Krishna. It also covers other topics, such as politics, history and military strategies.
The Mahabharata covers the story of good and evil, and how good wins in the end. The Pandavas were 5 pious brothers and were considered the rightful heirs to the throne of the kingdom in north India. However, the 100 Kuru brothers, who were the cousins of Pandavas, usurped the throne and sent the 5 brothers on an exile into the forest.
While in exile, the 5 brothers try to look for ways to regain their kingdom. However, the two dynasties are forced to confront each other on the battle field of Kurukshetra. This battle lasted for 18 days, with the Pandavas coming out victorious. It is in this event that Lord Krishna talks about the Bhagavad Gita to one of the Pandavas, Arjun. This conversation occurs just before the fighting begins.
It is in the Mahabharata that a person can also find the Bhagavad Gita. Today, this is considered to be a part of classic Indian literature. The Bhagavad Gita is important to all Hindus, as it guides them along the spiritual way as they make their way to God. The Gita talks about the soul, karma, rebirth, becoming one with god and finding out what the purpose is of human being’s life. The Gita claims that a person can achieve supremacy by following the path of devotion and becoming aware of the relationship he/she shares with god. It is claimed that the Mahabharata’s purpose could be to bring people towards Bhagavad Gita.
Another event that highlights historical figures in Hindusim is the Ramayana. This epic was penned down by Valmiki, who was a sage and poet, and it talks about the life of Lord Rama, his wife Sita, and their exile of 14 years in the forest.The Ramayana talks about how Sita was abducted by Ravana, who was a demon, and how Lord Rama with his monkey army goes to rescue his wife. Again this story highlights good and evil and how good can always prevail over evil.
Similarly, there are many historical figures and events in Hinduism which the followers accept without question. All these figures and events are mentioned in religious texts and scriptures, so Hindus believe that the figures actually lived in the ancient times and the events actually occurred during those times.
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About.com: Hinduism: The Itihasas or Histories