5561 BCE vs. Purana claims of 10-15th Century BCE

“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined irreverent and original manner possible.”

– Richard Feynman

A visitor to my blog commented…

“According to Vayu , Brahmanda, and some others, Puranas, the war happened 1050 or 1015 years before the coronation of the first Purana. That gives you ~1400BE. How do you reconcile with that?”

He also added…..

“The genealogy in several Puranas give a date between the 10th and 15th century.”

In essence…

His question is how does one (or I) reconcile Purana claim of Mahabharata War occurring sometime during 10-15th Century BCE?

My Response…

There are more than 130 ( based on an approximate count I made last time) different claims for the year of Mahabharata war, ranging from 500 BCE to 7300 BCE.

This time interval (500 BCE – 7300 BCE) includes the time interval claimed by Puranas (10-15th Century BCE).

So let’s turn this into a broader question:

How does one reconcile any specific claim with any other claim?

This is a worthy exercise, however I would like to caution that even if one can answer this question, it would still turn it into relativism (this can get one into immense trouble and infinite regresss), still,  I am willing to admit, that to an extent this would/could be a progress.

But we do not have to stop here.

We can improve our question further….

How does a given claim (based on Purana statement, genealogies of Kings, archeological evidence, geological evidence, engravings and inscriptions and also post Mahabharata literature including commentaries on Mahabharata) can be reconciled against a golden standard?

While we do not have a golden standard (not necessarily limited to historical research.. in fact.. much of scientific development in other fields in riddled with the identical problem), we do have what is close to the gold standard…. The Mahabharata text itself !

So a better (improved) question would be….

How does a given claim (for the year of Mahabharata War) reconcile (corroborate, validate, contradict, etc.) against the evidence and descriptions (archeology, technology, astronomy, Ecology, Environment/Weather, Geology, cultural and social development) of the Mahabharata text?

No matter which path one chooses (Archeology, Genetics, Paleo-geology, Astronomy and archeo-astronomy, linguistics and social developments); for anyone daring enough to venture on one of these paths, an exciting world of discoveries awaits!

Which one of these paths are you willing to explore?


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