Did Pandavas complete 13 years of Exile? Potential solution…subject to additional corrboration

My arguement in the last part of Virata parva is this.

If Bhisma calculated using the concept of adhikamaasa that the Pandavas had the exile period five months earlier than the Uttara Go grahana, then Kichaka vadh/Draupadi’s harrassment 15 days before that was not needed. Also why didnt Bhisma say this before they started on the mission to ‘out’ the Pandavas?

Also did the calender change in that period of exile? Why was there a discrepancy between the bad guys and good guys?

This is an interesting question. I scratched my head for last few days/weeks but could not come up with an answer. I still don’t have it. May never have it.

It appears that certainly there was confusion. There is a reference in MBH where Bhima asks for patience of Draupadi for ~15 days (fortnight…or 13 days or something like that) and thus per Bhima’s calculations ‘time of Go-grahana’ was exact end of 13 years. But then this contradicts Bhishma’s calculation of Pandava spending 4+ months beyond 13 years (based on lunar year calculations).

Bhima’s statement from Virata Parva.. referring to 15 days remaining for completion of 13 years. The timing of this is the timing of Kichaka-Vadha (or day before).

In effect..Time was more than 13 years (per lunar year calculations) and shorter than 13 years (per solar year calculations). Bhima’s assertion seems to match with the exact time of ‘Go-grahana” = completion of 13 years. Question arises.. What calendar Bhima was following and rationale behind it? Mystery only deepens.
Added later….

My tentative solution (subject to additional corroboration from Mahabharata text)…

It appears to me that Pandavas completed 13 solar years in exile (12 of Vanavas and last one year in incognito). The timing of Uttara-Go-grahana when they were identified by Kauravas appears to me right at the end of 13 solar years (based on above assertion of Bhima – Virata 21:17).

Bhishma’s statement may be to convince Duryodhana that Pandavas had indeed completed 13 years….whichever way one looked at it.. i.e. 13 years per solar year calculations and 13+ years per lunar year calculations.

We know that Abhimanyu -Uttara wedding took place immediately after this incident (Virat) and based on Uttara’s statement (after death of Abhimanyu) that they were married for ~6 months, we can infer that the timing of Go-grahana was that of Vasanta season (Since timing of War was that of Sharad season).

Out task then is to find out corroborative (or contradicting) references from Mahabharata text to identify the season (Ritu) when Pandavas lost ‘Game of Dice’ second time and began their exile…..


2 thoughts on “Did Pandavas complete 13 years of Exile? Potential solution…subject to additional corrboration

    • And while there is no final and conclusive word, based on,

      (1) Bhima keeping track of time right from the beginning to the end
      (2) Additional description of MBH text
      (3) Bhishma comment (with or without this comment)

      It can be concluded that they indeed completed 13 years.

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