Mythology vs itihasa?


We need to see what term is used for those scriptures in our scriptures. We should stick to it.

The word used is "Itihasa" only. Here are various references from various scriptures:

One should make them [i.e., the invited Brahmanas] listen to the Vedic recitations, Dharma-Sastras, Itihasas (History) Puranas, and the most beautiful portion [of the S'astras] dealing with [the performance of] the S'raddha. (66)

Usana smriti, Chapter 5 , Verse 66

By reading the principal and minor aphorisms, the Puranas and Itihasas (Histories) daily, one gratifies them with streams of meat, thickened milk, oudana (barley cakes) and honey, (11)

Katyayana Smriti, Chapter 14, Verse 11

The pilferer of learning and books is born dumb. He should give unto, a Brahmana, works on Nyaya (Logic) and Itihasa (History) with money presents. (22)

Satatapa Smriti, Chapter 4, Verse 22

Then the best of Brahmanas should study the Vedas, histories (Itihasas), and the kindred branches of knowledge (Vedangas), give instructions to his own pupils, and feed the good Brahmanas. (4)

Vyasa Smriti, Chapter 3, Verse 4

So, either we have to use the word Itihasa or we can try to find an English equivalent. Now, for many scriptural terms we don't have English equivalents like for Purana we simply use Purana. For Veda, Tantra it's the same.

However, for Itihasa we do have an English word which is History. Hindu scriptures don't define what mythology is. The stories that are found in scriptures are depicted as incidents that had happened in ancient past. They also give the Yuga and time periods when those incidents occurred.

Note: “The question: Mythology vs itihasa?” is licensed by Stack Exchange Inc (; user contributions licensed under CC BY-SA.