Is the Mahabharata Authentic?


Is the Mahabharata written by Vyasa 100% authentic and true? What were Yoganandaji‘s views on this? If its not 100 % true can any evidence be offered?

—Niraj, India


Dear Niraj,

Paramhansa Yogananda said that the main characters in the Mahabharata were actual historical figures, and that there was indeed such a conflict over a kingdom. Yoganandaji further stated that Arjuna was one of his own earlier incarnations, that Babaji was Krishna, and that James Lynn (Yoganandaji’s most advanced disciple) was Nakula.

While Yoganandaji said that the bare essentials of the story do reflect historical events (you can visit Kurukshetra, after all), even a cursory reading of the Mahabharata shows that (a) the vast majority of it is not history, but rather spiritual allegory or overt spiritual teaching, and (b) even if it were history, that aspect would be of little value compared to the immense spiritual value of the Mahabharata’s teaching.

May the blessings of the masters who consent to play these roles in the outward drama of this world, be with you always.