Vartak vs. Oak: 5561 BCE – Part 5 of 6

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.”

My Response…

In this part, I will focus on our reader’s comments in bold. Before I do that, I want to put another small matter to rest. Our reader still thinks that Dr. P V Vartak indeed had ‘Gregorian calendar in mind when Dr. Vartak stated 16 October 5561 BCE, as the first day of the War.

I guess, some misunderstandings (e.g. Gregorian vs. Julian, First day of MBH War – Amawasya or close to Full moon, Bhihsma on bed of arrows for >92 days or only for 58 days) are hard to correct. But we can always try.

I already stated that 16 October 5561 BCE (per Julian calendar) was Amawasya. Dr. Vartak does claim the first day of Mahabharata War to be that of Amawasya. The same day, per Gregorian calendar, would arrive on 2 Sepetember 5561 BCE, and not surprisingly, was Amawasya.

Now, if one insists that Dr. Vartak’s first day of Mahabharata War – 16 October 5561 BCE, was per Gregorian calendar…then one must understand that the day was not that of Amawasya. We will find out the exact lunar day in a minute. But we really don’t even have to do this. Above Julian and Gregorian dates had gap of about 45 days between them. This means 16 October (per Gregorian) would be about 45 days after 16 October (per Julian). If this all confused you, remember the following.

16 October 5561 BCE, PER GREGORIAN CALENDAR (29 November 5561 BCE, per Julian Calendar) was not the day of AMAWASYA, but rather the day of near full moon day.

I have no idea what our reader means when he states that “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.”

This may or may not be the case, since our reader has not supplied the evidence in support of his conjecture. In any case I do not see what ‘building of Krishna Mahatmya’ has anything to do with timeline of Bhishma Nirvana.

I am, again, at loss to understand what our reader is referring to when he states, “Many of these inclusions are repetitive and sometimes irrelevant. Same appears to be the case here.”

Now the part I do understand..

Our reader states, “No one, either Bhishma or Pandavas or Rishis present had asked Krishna to say how much of Bhishma’s life remained from that day.”
 

My response…

This is correct. But then this ‘TRIVIAL’ fact is also true when Vaishampayan states that Panadavas spent a month long period, after the war, on the bank of Ganga, before returning to Hastinapur and before meeting Bhishma at Kurukshetra (GP Shanti parva 1:2), or when Bhishma stated that he remained on bed of arrows for 58 days, or when Bhishma asks Yudhishthir to go back to Hastinapur (after Yudhishthir-Bhishma Samvad), or when Vaishampayan states that Yudhishthir stayed in Hastinapur for 50 nights, before returning to Bhishma for the one final time (GP Anushasan 167:5).

Then our reader states, “His (Krishna) 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.”

My response…

Either one of them would be proved silly (I don’t know how or why, but we will go with the argument of our reader) or we have to provide a reasonable explanation. And reasonable explanation, we shall provide, in due course of time.

Our reader states, “On the other hand, if taken to mean ‘ from the 10th day of war’, there is no contradiction.”

My response…

Our reader is essentially stating that if Krishna’s statement of Bhishma having 56 more days to live, is taken as stated on the 10th day of the War (when Bhishma fell down in the battle); our reader thinks that all the contradictions would be resolved.

Unfortunately.. Not so, and not so fast! However I do want readers to note down ‘ingenious’ attempt by our reader to resolve the contradiction. Readers will see the importance of this in due course of time.

But for now, we all must understand that Krishna has not stated his reference of 56 days on the 10th day of the War.  The War had ended, Ashwatthama had been humbled, Pandavas spent month long on the bank of Ganga, Pandavas returned to Hastinapur and Yudhisthir was crowned a King and only at this point Pandavas visited Bhishma, along with Krishna and this is when Krishna stated his ’56 days’ reference.

Anyone claiming otherwise has to provide alternate explanation for all these distinct references and also a timeline that can match Bhishma on bed of arrows for 58 days, with all accompanying ‘enchilada’ (i.e. day of Winter solstice and much more).

Our reader states, “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.”

My response…

This is correct.  But then this ‘TRIVIAL’ fact is also true when Vaishampayan states that Panadavas spent a month long period, after the war, on the bank of Ganga, before returning to Hastinapur and before meeting Bhishma at Kurukshetra (GP Shanti parva 1:2), or when Krishna stated that Bhishma had 56 more days to live, or when Bhishma asks Yudhishthir to go back to Hastinapur (after Yudhishthir-Bhishma Samvad), or when Vaishampayan states that Yudhishthir stayed in Hastinapur for 50 nights, before returning to Bhishma for the one final time (GP Anushasan 167:5).

To be continued…

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