Shri Prabhakar Phadnis writes..
“Shri. Oak had clarified in our e-mail exchanges that the date 16th Oct. is a date by Julian Calendar projected backwards from CE 1580 as per standard practice. He further said that Dr. Vartak also meant it to be so. In his book Svayambhu, Dr. Vartak says that he has selected ‘a date’ rather than a lunar month and tithi as the starting point of the war as the former will be easier for common man to appreciate in today’s context of dates and seasons etc. Actually, if the date is Julian, when one goes back 7000 years, relationship of dates and seasons cannot match today’s perception at all. I had my doubts whether Dr. Vartak has followed the standard practice to use Julian date or he meant Gregorian date,as that would retain the association of date and season in tact. Shri. Oak assured me that Dr. Vartak also means Julian date. I assume he had occasion to check the point with Dr. Vartak, since he asserts it. I still have my doubt because the days which Dr. Vartak counts between 16th Oct and Autumnal equinox, the day of Bhishma’s death, do not seem to agree with what Shri. Oak counts. (100 + ). However I will let it ride.”
Shri Phadnis writes (above)….
“I assume he had occasion to check the point with Dr. Vartak, since he asserts it.”
No, I did not have an occasion to check this point with Dr. Vartak. But there is no need for it since one can simply check this by using any decent astronomy software.
Since Dr. Vartak does assert that first day of War was ‘Amawasya‘ and that the day was 16 October 5561 BCE, it is rather a matter of simple check to convince oneself that Dr. Vartak is referring to Julian calendar. All one has to do is check it with the help of simple astronomy software.
Shri Phadnis writes (above) …
“I still have my doubt because the days which Dr. Vartak counts between 16th Oct and Autumnal equinox, the day of Bhishma’s death, do not seem to agree with what Shri. Oak counts. (100 + ). However I will let it ride.”
Shri Phadnis means ‘Winter solstice (Day of Bhishma’s death) when he writes ‘Autumnal equinox’.
Dr. Vartak did not truly count the days between 16th October and day of Bhishma’s death (day of Winter solstice). If he had truly done it, it would have amounted to more than 100+.
What Dr. Vartak rather did is that he tried to justify one reference of ‘Bhishma lying on bed of arrows for 58 days’ by stating that the day of winter solstice occurred on 22 December 5561 BCE. Unfortunately that is not the case at all. Per Julian calendar (to keep this consistent with 16 October 5561 BCE) the day of winter solstice (and thus Bhishma’ s death) occurred on 30/31 January 5560 BCE.
If one insists on using Gregorian calendar, the dates would simply move by about ~45 days…i.e. the first day of War would be in early September (of 5561 BCE) and the day of Winter solstice around ~16 December 5561 BCE.
(This Julian to Gregorian would shift the scale in terms our familiarity of English months. It would not have any effect whatsoever on duration of Bhishma on the bed of arrows or positions of planets in the sky for the year 5561 BCE).
I have addressed this issue in the past. Of course, this simply point remains confusing to many and thus has also attained a FAQ (frequently asked question) status.