Strange world of Mahabharata researchers

Shri Prabhakar Phadnis writes..

“I will now move on to the next chapter of Shri. Oak’s book.

I must say that I found this chapter most fascinating. The way Shri. Oak relentlessly followed up his idea that Arundhati may possibly have been actually ‘ahead’ of Vasishtha at some time in the past, since Vyasa says so is most commendable. He has the advantage over the old scholars of access to modern technical tools. I am sure if Dr. Vartak had the same, he would not have left it to Shri. Oak to solve the puzzle. He did the next best thing. He invited new young scholars to unravel it and Shri. Oak has done the rest.

When I first came to know that someone has used computer and software for research in Mahabharat, I was amazed. I had been taking keen interest in Mahabharat since we purchased the Marathi translation volumes and I retired and had time on my hand. My own interest was in many new aspects of all old and familiar stories, which I started to notice. I made notes, gave lectures and ran a blog (this same one, earlier in Marathi), but I had taken no interest in the astronomical references. My blog proved quite of interest for readers, especially younger ones, and I was happy. Then one reader drew my attention to Shri. Oak’s book. My own old acquaintance with astronomy had gone quite rusty which Shri. Oak helped me brush up. I could then understand his unraveling of the ‘Mystery of Arundhati.’ His identification of the time-span when Arundhati was actually ahead of Vasishtha is convincing. Whether the world of Mahabharat Researchers will accept his conclusion and the insistence that the war must have taken place only within that time –span or Epoch as Shri. Oak calls it, is another matter.   More about this later.”

The link to his original blog is here..

Samvad between Acharya Vinoba and one Ayurveda Vaidya (doctor) may be appropriate…

Once Vinoba asked a well known Ayurvedic doctor if Ayurveda saves all those who are terminally ill and what is the success rate of its (Ayurveda) efficacy.

The learned and humble Vaidya responded, ” those who are able to recover do recover, those who are not, die.  however, in either cases, Ayurveda eases/lowers the pain and especially suffering for not only the sick but also his/her relatives and friends.”

So is with ‘deductive scientific method’.  Many of its outcomes are so decisive (such as AV observation) that its rational criticism leads to further growth of knowledge (e.g. Shrikant Talageri objection due to his insistence on theory of Omens), while researchers busy in the business of justification for their own timeline simply remain clueless and thus their reaction is that of utter silence or as is said in Marathi, “मूग गिळून गप्प”!  This is how majority of Mahabharata researchers have responded.

Deductive logic also has many parallels with ‘Design of experiments’ ( Fisher, Taguchi , et al).  What it means is that a conclusion arrived at via deduction leads to newer problems of higher complexity and thus further growth of knowledge.  On the other hand, majority of Mahabharata researchers (they being in inductive/justificatory camp) feel cocksure about their own proposal (and thus nothing more to be researched and no problems unsolved) with no rational method to argue against another’s proposal and in no position to defend their own, and precisely for these very reasons – “मूग गिळून गप्प”!

Unfortunately, words of Noble Laureate Max Planck, uttered some 100 years ago, very well describe the Mahabharata research scenario.

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because…a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”
     – Max Planck


2 thoughts on “Strange world of Mahabharata researchers

  1. There are lot of mis-interpretations about Goddess Draupadi (Mahabharathi – the heroine of Mahabharath) )on the web, maybe because of the individual’s assumptions or what they think polyandry is. In fact, She cannot be compared with anyone/ anything, nor do we have that standard to comment on Her. Please read the content in this URL and I hope you will understand who She is.

    “Draupadi Amman Thunai” – Meaning, may Goddess Draupadi’s Blessing be on you all, always.

    Know more about one of the diving shrines/ temples of Goddess Draupadi in KONDAL village, near Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu.

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