Shri Phadnis writes…
“Ref. 64. The lunar eclipse, if it took place, on 13th day after the solar eclipse had occurred well before the war started as Vyasa mentions it prior to war. On 17th day of war, it was an old story! It is just an Upama although a good one.
I have dealt with the various references which are strictly not astronomical like those from Karna-Krishna dialogue or from Vyasa-Dhritarashtra dialogue. All these are just Upamas. Some match some don’t. Makes no difference really.
Important point is that war started one month after Jyeshthaa Amavasya if you want an Amavasya. In any case it started after the so called second lunar eclipse, on 13th day after the solar one, since Vyasa, before war, has referred to it as an event already taken place. So all checking done by Shri. Oak taking Jyeshthaa Amavasya as first day, needs to be revised! “
Shri Phadnis has raised many pertinent issues in this comment. I will deal with them in few parts.
Per Shri Phadnis, if Vyasa mentions a ‘specific astronomy observation’, then the timing of that astronomy observation is to be considered either in the past (or at a minimum – contemporary) with respect to the timing of incident when such astronomy observation is mentioned (as part of dreams, omens, factual descriptions or analogies).
This is a logical, albeit a new postulate (by Shri Phadnis). However until he or someone else proposes a timeline based on this assertion, for the timing of Mahabharata War, it will remain a postulate that is neither falsified nor corroborated by any evidence of Mahabharata. As a suggestion to Mahabharata researchers, this can certainly be counted as a logical suggestion, but then there is no dearth of suggestions. What is usually lacking is availability of willing and able researchers of Mahabharata.
(To wit, my theory of visual astronomy observations remained just a theory…for 15+ years, because until then I could not explain how visually Arundhati could be seen walking ahead of Vasistha,)
I want to emphasize that that is not how I defined the statement(s) of my theory. I simply defined it as astronomy evidence of that specific time period (interval) without placing additional constraint such as suggested by Shri Phadnis.
If someone – Shri Phadnis or a future researcher(s) can explain the evidence in the fashion demanded/suggested by Shri Phadnis, it will certainly (and should be) be considered an improvement over my theory and/or proposed timeline for the Mahabharata War, until then my theory (visual astronomy observations) and my proposal (16 October – 2 November 5561 BCE for 18 days of War, 30/31 January 5560 BCE, etc.) remains the best theory/proposal on the timing of Mahabharata War.