Fall of Abhijit – 4 श्लोक & 3 Interpretations (Part 2 of 4)

In this part 2 of 4, I discuss my (improvised) interpretation. I will specifically mention the area of ‘improvisation’.

Shri Phadnis provided alternate interpretation (more about this in part 3) and that rejuvenated my interest to revisit my own interpretation.

I will reproduce translation of Dr. Vartak (as listed by Shri Phadnis) and then state my interpretation/reinterpretation.

Translation by Dr. Vartak (Shri Phadnis has accepted translation of Dr. Vartak as directionally correct. I am also ok with accepting Dr. Vartak’s translation as directionally correct.)

1. अभिजित्स्पर्धमाना तु रोहिण्याः कन्यसी स्वसा इच्छन्ती ज्येष्ठतां देवी तपस्तप्तं वनं गता.

‘Daughterlike (younger) sister of rohini, DEVI, contesting with abhijit for seniority has gone to water heated by hot season.’

Nilesh re-interpretation:

Daughterlike (younger) sister of Rohini, Devi (nakshatra Dhanishtha), contesting with Abhijit for seniority, had gone to water heated by hot season

i.e. The point of summer solstice approached nakshatra Dhanistha.

(My previous interpretation was, “daughterlike (younger sister of Rohini, Devi (nakshatra Abhjit), contesting with Rohini for seniority, had gone to Vana (away from the celestial equator and thus social life of 27 nakshatras/days and fortnights, months and years -aka time reckoning) to do Tapa (become steady in one place by becoming north Pole star).

I still find merit in my previous interpretation as it explains vividly Abhijit becoming pole star with analogy of Abhijit going to Vana for Tapa.

However, I am suggesting alternate interpretation with ‘nakshatra Dhanistha’ as one competing with Abhijit. I will explain the relevance of this metaphor/interpretation when we consider all three interpretations in part 3.

2. तत्र मूढोस्मि भद्रं ते नक्षत्रं गगनाच्च्युतम् कालंत्विमं परं स्कंद ब्रह्मणासह चिन्तय

‘Here I am confused, bless you, (also) Nakshatra has fallen (or moved) from sky Skanda, please think of this time (event) along with Brahma (discuss with him)’

Nilesh interpretation:

I am confused/puzzled now that nakshatra (nakshatra Abhjit) had fallen from the sky. O Skandha, please consult with Brahma.

When nakshatra Abhijit is closet to the celestial equator (about 39 degree of declination), it is more or less above one’s head (at night. Of course this will change with location on the earth. I have stated the observation per visual observation(s) of Atlanta sky.

On the other hand, when nakshatra Abhijit was near the point of NCP (North celestial pole), it would have been seen, essentially where Polaris is, in our times, i.e. towards the horizon in the north.

This is the Fall of Abhijit (per my or per Dr. Vartak’s interpretation).

3. धनिष्ठादिस्तदा कालो ब्रह्मणा परिनिर्मितः रोहिण्याद्यः अभवत्पूर्वम् एवम् संख्या समाभवत्

‘Bhrahma had then created time beginning from Dhanishtha. Earlier, beginning from Rohini also happened. This is the available information.’

Nilesh interpretation:

Brahma recalibrated calendar system with Nakshatra Dhanistha as the first nakshatra. A calendar system with nakshatra Rohini as first nakshtra, existed in the past (or prior to this change).

While it is difficult to pinpoint exact timing of this correction to calendar, I state that it was sometime during the 14th millennium BCE (15000 BCE – 14000 BCE).

4. एवमुक्ते तु शक्रेण त्रिदिवं कृत्तिकागताः नक्षत्रं शकटाकारं भाति तद्वन्हिदैवतम्

‘ On Shakra (Indra) saying this, Krittikas came to heaven (आगताः) The nakshatra having Agni as devata and of chariot shape shines.’

Nilesh interpretation:

When Indra said this (to Skandha?), nakshatra Krittka went to heaven (त्रिदिवं – highest heaven or highest third heaven). This nakshatra (Krittka) with Agni as its Devata and with a shape of a cart/chariot, shines (in the sky).

I have interpreted this to mean ‘Krittka began rising at ‘True East”. I interpreted it this way simply because I could not make sense out of reference to Krittka and thus I tried to check what was peculiar with nakshatra Krittka at my proposed timing (14602 BCE).

Alternate meanings and specific context of त्रिदिवं might further help explore the meaning of this last verse. For example, Did त्रिदिवं referred to ‘True East’? or specific cardinal point? (summer solstice in case of Vartak interpretation, fall equinox in case of Oak interpretation and winter solstice in case of Phadnis interpretation).

The timing for nakshatra Krittka rising at ‘True East’ is that of 14963 BCE.

I want to note down specific observation, for what it may be worth, for the benefit of future researhers’. At this time (14963 BCE) the celestial points (CP) were about 30 min (of RA or ~7 degrees) away from key Yogatara(s) – Dhanishtha (summer solstice), Krittika (fall equinox) Magha (winter solstice) and Vishakha (spring equinox).

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