Shri Phadnis writes…
“Regarding Ref.6 ‘Jupiter and Saturn near Vishakha’ on 1st day, I want to stress that the factual position as given by Shri. Oak, of Jupiter in Uttarashadha and Saturn in Hasta, is far from satisfactory. If this reference is to be taken seriously, a search for an year when the condition is met is called for, unless Shri. Oak claims that no such year can be found,within the main period of ‘epoch of arundhati’ when Arundhati was very significantly ahead of vasishtha, from say 5000 BCE to 7500 BCE. Saturn being slow moving, once an year in which it was at Vishakha is found, other years will be located and for those years, position of Jupiter will need to be checked. (I have no capability to do this. Mr. Achar has got rid of this reference by dubbing Saturn and Jupiter (as in this reference) to be referring to comets. He has of course given his reasoning for doing so. I am not commenting on them here.”
He also states…
“Regarding Ref. 10 also, Saturn was in Bhaga, 2 years prior to war but by first day, it had moved away almost through Hasta. How can it be described as giving PEEDA to Bhaga any more? Also, the tense used, (Peedyate) is present tense. I want to stress that the reference cannot be considered as corroborated.”
For a minute, let’s assume that that Shri Phadnis’s criticism is valid for the positions of Saturn/Jupiter for year 5561 BCE.
Shri Phadnis insists that other potential years when Saturn is very near nakshatra Vishakha (within the Epoch of Arundhati) should be explored. This is indeed logical and reasonable suggestion. He also suggests a time interval of 5000 BCE through 7500 BCE for such a search, which is also very logical.
While these may be necessary constraints, they are not sufficient….
This is because…
Saturn is described as (1) ‘afflicting nakshatra Bhaga’, (2) ‘steady in the vicinity of nakshatra Vishakha for a year’, and (3) ‘afflicting nakshatra Rohini.
Jupiter is described as (1) ‘steady in the vicinity of nakshatra Vishakha (along with Saturn) for a year’, (2) ‘going vakri (whatever that may mean – retrograde or oblique or otherwise) near nakshatra Sharvana and also (3) ‘afflicting nakshatra Ronhini’ on the 17 th day of the war.
7 planets are seen together at least 3 times during the 18 days of the war (or during that year) and it is reasonable to assume that these two visible planets should also be part of that list, if one has to corroborate these references.
With such esoteric constraints in mind, I wonder what sky positions Shir Phadnis would come up with for Saturn and Jupiter, that would corroborate all above descriptions.
Since his suggestion is for identifying those instances (He has suggested appropriate method, i.e. fixing the position of slowest moving (visible) planet – Saturn – first) when Saturn is having a conjunction with nakshatra Vishakha, I would be curious to know how he would explain (corroborate) other Mahabharata observations such as (1) Saturn afflicting nakshatra Bhaga (P or U. Phalguni), (2) Jupiter going vakri near nakshatra Shravana while also being near nakshatra Vishakha, (3) Saturn afflicting nakshtra Rohini and (4) Jupiter afflicting nakshatra Rohini, on the 17th day of the War.
For reference – Ave. orbital periods of Jupiter and Saturn are 12 and 29.5 years, respectively. This means, Jupiter travels about ~2.5 nakshatra space each year and Saturn travels less than ~1 nakshatra space each year. Nakshatra Sharvana and Vishakha are 6 nakshatra space away from each other, Vishakha and Bhaga are 4 nakshatra space away from each other while Vishakha and Rohini are 11 nakshatra space away from each other).