Shri Phadnis wrote..
“The description leaves no doubt whatsoever in any reader’s mind that there was complete and heavy darkness for almost whole night, until, early morning, Moon rose a little before the Sun. The words in the description of moonrise, point out that it rose In The East (Direction presided over by Indra). Moon is ‘full arched’ and like Karna’s bow or a crescent in other words. It cannot, by any stretch of imagination be considered as a (nearly) full moon becoming visible after dust settled down. If it was a full moon, obscured by dust the whole night, it would, when freed from dust, reappear early morning near the western horizon and not in the east. It would also not be a crescent.
The description matches a moonrise on Krishna Chaturdashi in timing, shape and place.”
The descriptions Shri Phadnis refers to are below. I have copied Ganguli translation, since Shri Phadnis is employing Ganguli translation. I will mention where I differ from Ganguli translation and why.
The moon is described as rising ‘Mahendri’. And taking ‘Mahendri= East’, the moon then indeed rose (or became visible) in the east direction. I agree that this reference and interpretation conflicts/contradicts with my proposal for 14th day of war to be near or on the full moon day.
Let’s look at illumination provided by moon of Vadya/Krishna Chaturdashi.
I have selected the time of 4 AM and time of upcoming Krishna/Vadya Chaturdashi (to simulate for late night/early morning) of 14 th day of War.
Amawasya (13 September 2015) – The illumination (although moon would not be visible in the sky) = 0.1%
Krishna/Vadya Chaturdashi (12 September 2015) – 1.5%
Krishna/Vadya Trayodashi (11 September 2015) – 4.7%
Krishna/Vadya Dwadashi (10 September 2015) – 9.6%
Never mind Vadya/Krishna Chaturdashi, even if one goes back as far as Krishna/Vadya Dwadashii, the minimal illumination of the moon (not to exceed 10%) would not justify the descriptions and ability of the moon to brighten the night, as described in the Mahabharata text (for the 14th night of the War) below..
– tearing to pieces thick gloom (darkness) of the night
– shedding brighter rays around
– moon emitted brighter light that resembled the splendor of gold
– the place was illuminated and all the darkness was completely gone.
I will leave it to readers to read all the analogies offered for the moon, in the original.
I will return to problem of ‘ full arched’ and ‘crescent’ moon in the next part.
Drona Parva 184: 46-56
तत: कुमुदनाथेन कामिनी गण्डपांडुना
नेत्रांदेन चन्द्रेण माहेन्द्री दिगलङ्क्रुता
(Then the moon, that delighter of eye and lord of lilies, of hue white as the checks of a.
beautiful lady, rose, adorning the direction presided over by Indra)
(Indeed, like a lion of the Udaya hills, with rays constituting his manes of brilliant yellow, he issued out of his cave in the east, tearing to pieces the thick gloom of night resembling an extensive herd of elephants)
(That lover of all assemblage of lilies (in the world), bright as the body of Mahadeva’s excellent bull, full-arched and radiant as Karna’s bow, and delightful and charming as the smile on the lips of a bashful bride, bloomed in the firmament)
ततो मुहूर्ताद भगवान पुरस्ताच्छशलक्षण:
अरुणं दर्शयामास ग्रसन ज्योति:प्रभा: प्रभु:
(Soon, however, that divine lord having the hare for his mark showed himself shedding brighter rays around.)
अरुणस्य तु तस्यानु जातरूपसमप्रभं
रश्मिजालं महच्चन्द्रो मन्दं मन्दमवासृजत
( Indeed, the moon, after this seemed to gradually emit a bright halo of far-reaching light that resembled the splendour of gold. )
उत्सारयन्त: प्रभया तमस्ते चन्द्ररश्मय:
पर्यगच्छञ्छनै: सर्वा दिश: खं च क्षितिं तथा
(Then the rays of that luminary, dispelling the darkness by their splendour, slowly spread themselves over all the quarters, the welkin, and the earth. )
ततो मुहूर्ताद भुवनं ज्योतिर्भूतमिवाभवत
अप्रख्यमप्रकाशं च जगामाशु तमस्तथा
(Soon, therefore, the world became illuminated. The unspeakable darkness that
had hidden everything quickly fled away.)
प्रतिप्रकाशिते लोके दिवाभूते निशाकरे
विचेरुर्न विचेरुश्र्च राजन नक्तञ्चरास्तत:
(When the world was thus illuminated into almost daylight by the moon, amongst the creatures that wander at night, some continued to roam about and some abstained. )
बोध्यमानं तु तत सैन्यं राजंश्र्चन्द्रस्य रश्मिभि:
बुबुधे शतपत्राणां वनं सूर्यांशुभिर्यथा
(That host, O king, awakened by the rays of the sun. Indeed, that sea of troops was awakened by the rays of the moon bloomed (into life) like an assemblage of lotuses expanded by the rays of the sun. )
यथा चन्द्रोदयोद्भूत: क्षुभित: सागरोsभवत
तथा चन्द्रोदयोद्भूत: स बभूव बलार्णव:
(Indeed, that sea of troops was awakened by the risen moon like the ocean swelling up in
agitated surges at the rise of that luminary.)
तत: प्रववृते युद्धं पुनरेव विशाम्पते
लोके लोकविनाशाय परं लोकमभीप्सतां
( Then, O king, the battle once more commenced on earth, for the destruction of the earth’s
population, between men that desired to attain to heaven.)
To be continued…