Local & Non-local Corroboration

I published my second book only four days ago. As it happened, thanks to the technology and Kindle, many readers have it in their hands already and are reading it. Some of them are already writing me emails and asking questions.

One reader found certain aspects of my criticism of the research of other Ramayana researchers confusing.

For example, when a day proposed by another researcher for the day of Rama-Janma is not the lunar month and Tithi of Chaitra Shudda Navami, what I invariably do is to check for a day in the vicinity of the day proposed by that researcher to see if a small shift of few days would allow corroboration of researcher’s proposed date. When I do that, I state something like, “we can shift the day by 2 days and now the researcher’s proposed date corroborates timing of Rama-Janma.

This is what confuses our reader. Am I saying that if we move the day for 2 days, we can accept proposed timeline of another researcher?

No, I am not saying that at all.

What I am saying is that by shifting a date by few days , we can ‘LOCALLY’ corroborate proposal of a specific researcher.
First,  what is corroboration?

Copying couple of paragraphs from, ‘The Historic Rama’

Corroboration is confirmation or support of a claim/evidence through independent, authoritative and credible evidence. In a scientific investigation, we don’t question the theory itself, but rather consequences of the theory and corroborative evidence presented in the context of these consequences of the theory. Corroborative evidence is evidence that tends to support a proposition (theory and/or consequences of a theory) that is already supported by some initial evidence and thus confirming the proposition.

Corroboration does not prove anything. Good corroboration simply asserts that specific evidence that was tested in the context of a theory (and consequences resulting from that theory) failed to disprove that theory.
Local Corrboration

Few illustrations

(1) A mechanical wall clock that has stopped working still corroborates accurately time of the day, twice, in any 24 hour period.

(2) Any researcher claiming any timeline for say Rama-Janma, if s/he matches the day of Rama-Janma with the day of Chaitra Shuddha 9, then the day does corroborate with Valmiki Ramayana day (Lunar tithi) of Rama-Janma. This does not mean it necessarily corroborate YEAR, or SEASON or GRAHA-STHITI as described in Valmiki Ramayana

(3) Any researcher claiming day of Bhishma Nirvana, if s/he matches the day with the day of Winter Solstice, then the only one aspect (day of winter solstice) is corroborated with the evidence of Mahabharata. This does not mean it necessarily corroborated rest of necessary conditions as stated in Mahabharata text (e.g. Bhishma on bed of arrows for >92 days, day of Bhishma Nirvana to be that of Magha Shudda 4, Magha Shuddha 8 or Magha Krishna 4).

Non –local corroboration

A given proposal not only has local corroboration but also has the following

(1) Year, season, Lunar tithi, and other such relevant observations are also corroborated

(2) If all observations are not corroborated, the degree of corroboration is better than those shown by other researchers for their own proposals

(3) Does not lead to contradictions with other independent observations

In a scientific research, we are looking for a non-local corroboration (which also include local corroboration) for our theory (and proposal).  Limiting ourselves to a local corroboration is to revert to inductive methodology and thus to get on slippery slopes, from where it is hard to come back.

A good illustration of this Non-local corroboration is set of observations (total of 23) of Mahabharata text, related to Bhishma Nirvana, that lead to the conclusion that Bhishma was lying on the bed of arrows for >92 days.


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