Our reader also wrote….
“5.Vartak’s date being after Autumnal Equinox, matches Krishna’s endorsement as a suitable date for commencing the war, rains being over. ‘शरदान्ते, हिमागमे’ as time of Krishashishtai is not violated. Oak’s date carries the big question mark of being way too earlier than the Autumnal Equinox, well in the rainy season. ‘शरदान्ते हिमागमे’ is conveniently ignored. It also violently contradicts what Bhishma said on his deathbed of having spent 58 nights thereon. Oak’s elaborate calculation of 91+ days is mainly based on Krishna’s saying to Bhishma that he had to face ‘further 56 days’suffering on death-bed. This statement is very much controversial and open to other interpretation. If the context of earlier and later text is taken into account it is clear that it is a part of Krishna Mahatmya build up, as in many other places in Mahabharata text. Many of these inclusions are repetitive and sometimes irrelevant. Same appears to be the case here. No one, either Bhishma or Pandavas or Rishis present had asked Krishna to say how much of Bhishma’s life remained from that day. His Su Moto statement of 56 days from that day onwards, if taken literally, places one out of three, himself, Bhishma or Vyasa, to be proved silly. On the other hand, if taken to mean ‘ from the 10th day of war’, there is no contradiction. One must also note that no one from Pandavas, or Rishis, Brahmins etc. present at the time and place has contradicted Bhishma’s death-bed statement of 58 nights. If it was violently wrong, why Vyasa has allowed it to be included in the text? There is no contradiction from Vyasa also.”
I will split my response in few sections.
Let’s begin with portion of what our reader wrote…
“Vartak’s date being after Autumnal Equinox, matches Krishna’s endorsement as a suitable date for commencing the war, rains being over. ‘शरदान्ते, हिमागमे’ as time of Krishashishtai is not violated. Oak’s date carries the big question mark of being way too earlier than the Autumnal Equinox, well in the rainy season. ‘शरदान्ते हिमागमे’ is conveniently ignored.”
As I have previously shown in this series that first of day of Mahabharata War proposed by Vartak (16 October 5561 BCE, per Julian calendar) is what I have borrowed, readers must understand that the date (first day of War) indeed falls before Autumnal equinox. The day of autumnal equinox in 5561 BCE was on 31 October 5561 BCE, i.e. it occurred around 16th day of the War.
Thus the problem of Krishna’s statement (rain is over, ample grass and no mud) conflicting with first day of Mahabharata War (per Vartak, and thus Oak) or reference of ‘शरदान्ते हिमागमे’, quoted by our reader, does not go away. There are NO TWO claims (by Vartak and Oak) for the fist day of Mahabharata War.
If Oak or Vartak should be given credit for, and what makes them stand apart from ‘psychological and/or inductive theory crowd’ is that both these individuals, proactively, dig for references which might contradict with their theories. That is indeed the method of deductive reasoning and method of science and hope of rationality in historical research.
Last thing Oak would do is conveniently ignore, anything.
Our reader also wrote…
“It also violently contradicts what Bhishma said on his deathbed of having spent 58 nights thereon. Oak’s elaborate calculation of 91+ days is mainly based on Krishna’s saying to Bhishma that he had to face ‘further 56 days’suffering on death-bed. This statement is very much controversial and open to other interpretation.”
First day of the Mahabharata War, proposed by Vartak (and borrowed by Oak) does (violently…in the words of our reader) contradicts with one statement of Bhishma (58 nights on the bed of arrows). At a minimum, it does contradict with mainstream interpretation of this 58 days reference.
So far so good.
Now our reader jumps into, a forgivable, but irrational ‘Psychological theory’ of Oak proposal.
Our reader is stating that elaborate calculation of Oak for 91+ (actually >92 days…to be precise) days is mainly based on Krishna’s statement of 56 days.
The reality is exactly the opposite of what our reader is stating…
Readers may read this (link), to understand what made me dig for chronological references (an arduous task that took 6+ months of my time, and thus delay in publishing of my first book) in the context of Bhishma Nirvnana from 8 of 18 Parvas of Mahabharata text.
The statement of Krishna (that Bhishma had additional 56 days to live..i.e. day of winter solstice was 56 more days away) rather corroborated Oak’s assertion of Bhishma on bed of arrows for 98 days, if one has to accept 16 October 5561 BCE as the first day of War. NO IFS AND BUTS.
In addition, Oak’s assertion for Bhishma on bed of arrows for 98 days (>92 is what can be corroborated based on multiple Mahabharata references) is based on 20-23 specific chronological Mahabharata references. And all of them together, and few of them -individually, falsify ‘Bhishma on the bed of arrows for 58 days’.
Oak formula for duration of Bhishma on the bed of arrows is: 9 + 27-30 + X + 56
If one chooses to ignore the reference of Krishna’s 56 days (only as a thought experiment, akin to step wise regression where a data point is omitted, to see the effect of omitted point on regression equation);
the modified formula would be: 9 + 27-30 + X + Y + 50
Where Y = (duration of Bhishma-Yudhishthir Samvad)
and 50 days = (Mahabharata reference of duration Yudhishthir spent in Hastinapur before returning to Bhishma, after Bhishma-Yudhishthir samvad):
i.e., 9 + 27-30 + X + Y + 50 = 86 + X + Y days (at a minimum)
Our reader does not tell us why he (our reader) thinks Krishna’s statement of ’56 days’ is very much controversial!
All statements are open to other interpretations. No issues there. But our reader has not provided any other interpretation.
After this, our reader jumps into the world of ‘Psychological theories’ (not unlike those of Dr. Koenraad Elst or Shri Shrikant Talageri in the context of criticism of AV observation). I will respond to these ‘Psychological ruminations’ in the next part of this series.
To be continued….