Our reader writes….
“Ref. no 6. – After Error Elimination Experiment no. 10. Oak says ‘Jupiter stayed in the region of Mula-UttaraAshadha, Saturn stayed in the region of Chitra-Uttara Phalguni.’
This was till first day of war. In fact Jupitar who was at Mula to begin with, had moved beyond Poorvashadha, i.e. farther from vishakha and Saturn who was in Hasta to begin with stayed between Chitra and Uttarashadha i. e. around Hasta. Neither has moved cloer to Vishakha during the one year. Still, Oak claims that as ‘satisfactory corroboration of this Mahabharata observation’ which states that both were समीप Vishakha.
The claim is not justified. A space of three or more nakshatras either side cant be dismissed lightly.”
The Mahabharata text has 3 specific astronomy references for planet Jupiter.
The Mahabharata text has 3 specific astronomy references for planet Saturn.
Any Mahabharata researcher who employs astronomy evidence must corrborate above 6 astronomy references of Jupiter and Saturn (besides 200+ other astronomy/chronology references).
With 3 notable exceptions (Shankar Balakrishna Dikshit, Lele-Shastri, Dr. P V Vartak), NO OTHER Mahabharata researcher has even dared – ‘make an attempt’,…. never mind corroboration!
The principle: Evaluation of ANY theory is always in the context of another theory (or other multiple theories). This is because, to us mortals, the best thing that we can ever reach is a ‘BETTER THEORY’.
Saturn & Jupiter evidence of Mahabharata text
(1) Saturn near ‘Bhaga’ (Purva Phalguni or Uttara Phalguni) nakshtra.
On 16 October 5561 BCE, Saturn is near nakshatra Chitra (between nakshatra Chitra and nakshatra Hasta).
RA (Righ Ascension) for Chitra: 6 hr 42 min
RA for Hasta: 5 hr 59 min
RA for U. Phalguni: 4 hr 15 min
If one simulates the nighty sky for a year (Oct 5561 – Oct 5562 BCE), going backwards, the Saturn moved from (RA = 6 hr 26 min, 16 October 5561 BCE) to all the way west (5 hr 13 min, March 19-April 19 5561 BCE).
A visual observer of the sky would state that Saturn is near Bhaga (U. Phalguni) if he he had observed Saturn during March 19-April 19 5561 BCE.
(2) Saturn afflicts Rohini
The straightforward meaning of ‘a planet’ doing something to ‘a nakshatra’ can be taken to mean the planet descibed is near a specific nakshatra.
Of course, when a planet (especially a SLOW moving planet) is desribed in the context of multiple nakshtras, separated by significant distance, one must think of alternate explanations for corrboration.
This is indeed the case with Saturn, around the time of Mahabharata War.
I (Oak) corrborated this observation of ‘Saturn afflicting nakshatra Rohini’ by referring to their positions ~opposite in the sky (but visible at the same time), i.e. one rising on the eastern horizon while another seting on the western horizon. The phonomenon (courtesy: K Chandra Hari) is described as ‘Yuddha’ or ‘Bheda’.
Mahabharata text has two references (Udyoga Parva and also Bhishma Parva) where Saturn is described as afflicting nakshatra Rohini, and one of these two instances, refer to the phenomenon as ‘Akashe Rohini Bhettum”.
On the first day of Mahabharata War – 16 October 5561 BCE, after midnight through sunrise, only planet visible was saturn, and an astronomer who also happens to be a poet, can describe this as ‘Saturn afflicting Rohini’.
(3) Jupiter afflicts Rohini, by becoming as bright as the Sun and the Moon.
This is the description of the sky, after sunset, on the 17th day of the War (1 November 5561 BCE), after Karna was killed. The description states that ‘Jupiter began afflicting nakshatra Rohini, by becoming as bright as the Sun and the moon.
Rohini was indeed on the eastern horizon and Jupiter was indeed on the western horizon, immediately after the sunset, on 1 November 5561 BCE, i.e. on the 17th day of the War.
(4) Jupiter went ‘vakri’ near Shravana
I have shown, in my book, why ‘vakri’ DID NOT MEAN ‘retrograde’ in Mahabharata times (Read twice vakri motions of Mars -near nakshatra Magha and again near nakshatras Jyeshtha/Anuradha, and vakri motion of Jupiter near nakshatra Shravana).
This observation of Jupiter provided lucky opportunity to test my hypothesis (for meaning of Vakri) and the hypothesis passed the test with flying colors.
During Mahabharata War time, Jupiter indeed ‘crossed the ecliptic in oblique fashion’ (my meaning of ‘vakri’) near nakshatra Shravana.
(5) & (6) Saturn and Jupiter shined brightly by becoming steady for a year, in the vicinity of nakshatra Vishakha
And finally to the reference where our reader’s ire is specifically directed.
Let’s begin from the east and list relevant nakshatras.
P. Phalguni – U. Phalguni -Hasta-Chitra-Swati-Vishakha-Anuradha-Jyeshtha-Moola-P Ashadha-U. Ashadha
On 16 October 5561 BCE, Jupiter was near nakshatra U. Ashadha and if we simulate backward in time, Jupiter was near nakshatra Moola on 16 October 5562 BCE (one year before the first day of Mahabharata War). Thus over a period of one year, leading to the first day of Mahabharata War, Jupiter was moving in the nakshatra space defined by Moola through Uttara Ashadha (~ three naskhatra space)
On 16 Octobrer 5561 BCE, Saturn was near nakshatra Chitra and if we simulate backward in time, Jupiter was near/between nakshtras Hasta & Uttara Phalguni. Thus over a period of one year, leading to the first day of Mahabharata War, Saturn was moving in the nakshatra space defined by Chitra through Uttara Phalguni (~3 nakshatra space).
Both of these planets are ‘slow moving and naked eye visible’ planets. An astronomer may express these celestial arrangments in various manner. In fact that is precisely what Mahabharata astronomer(s) have done. The movements of Jupiter and Saturn, for a year, leading to the first day of Mahabharata War, were described, in this case, in the context of a middle point nakshtra (Vishakha) for their (Jupiter and Saturn) descriptions.
Our reader writes…
“The claim is not justified. A space of three or more nakshatras either side cant be dismissed lightly.”
This is an excellent corrboration.
Our reader’s observation of space of three or more nakshatras (with reference to nakshatra Vishakha) for the positions of Jupiter or Saturn is factual. In fact the space was as far as 6 nakshatras, for Jupiter (between U. Ashadha and Shravana) on the first day of Mahabharata War.
Unfortunately, our reader, convinently, forgot that any theory/proposal has to corroborate total of 6 Mahabharata observations in the context of these two planets – Jupiter and Saturn, not just one combination of them being near nakshatra Vishakha.
And readers should not forget that in any scienfitic evaluation of a theory, the evaluation of a specific theory/proposal, is always – always, in the context of another theory (or theories).
I wonder, what theory/proposal, our reader had in mind, when he stated that the claim for corroboration (of Vishakha) is not justifed, or when he stated that space of 3+ nakshatra, by itself, suppose to pose an argument against my corroboration claim!
Any Mahabharata researchers out there, armed with their own proposals/theories, who dare to prove the mettle of their theories/proposals against astronomy observations of Mahabharata text?
So far (since 2011 CE) I only hear a defeaning silence!