Irrelevant digressions & Nitpicking (Upakhyan 1 – 58 vs 92+, Phadnis vs. Oak)

Shri Phadnis writes…

“Here Shri. Oak has not mentioned a significant earlier reference. (If he has mentioned, I have missed it). A little prior to entering Hastinapur, in Shanti – GP37 itself, shlokas12-16 say that Vyasa told Yudhishthira to meet Bheeshma and seek knowledge of Rajadharma ‘before he ends his life’. Yudhishthira replied that he was afraid of or ashamed of meeting him. He blamed himself for Bheeshma’s impending death. (Here Krishna also advises him to do what Vyasa said. Question is, Krishna was not accompanying Pandavas at Ganga. How he appears in the picture suddenly? This mention of Krishna appears a latter-day interpolation to give credit to Krishna for everything.) After this dialogue, Yudhishthir enters Hastinapur. Dhritarashtra, also Gandhari rode ahead of him on elephant. Kunti is not mentioned but must be there. It means that till now, entire Kurukula (or what was left of it) had abandoned the capital. There is no mention whatsoever of even anyone other than Pandavas going to meet Bheeshma till this day. This is a bit strange.

My Response…

Shri Phadnis have captured the gist of his newfound (and/or missed by me) Mahabharata reference that he considers significant.

The narrations is by Vaishampayan to King Janmejaya.  Vaishamapayan is recalling the events of Bhishma Nirvana:

Shanti Parva, Adhyaya 37:6-16

Vyasa asked Yudhishthir to approach Bhishma for discourse on subtle aspects of Dharma (37:6)

Vyasa reiterates/summarizes qualifications and suitability of Bhishma, to Yudhishthir (37:7-15)

Vyasa asked Yudhishthir to seek advice from Bhishma, before Bhishma leaves his body ( on upcoming day, or day after, of winter solstice) (37:16)

At this point, as stated by Shri Phadnis, Yudhishthira replied that he was afraid of or ashamed of meeting him. He blamed himself for Bheeshma’s impending death. (37:18-19)

This is when Krishna encouraged Yudhishthir to follow suggestion of Vyasa (to meet Bhishma) (37:21-25)

After this conversation, Yudhishthir, along with rest of the party, entered Hastinapur (37:26 onwards).

Shri Phadnis writes…

Question is, Krishna was not accompanying Pandavas at Ganga. How he appears in the picture suddenly? This mention of Krishna appears a latter-day interpolation to give credit to Krishna for everything.”

First, Shri Phadnis assumes (we don’t know how or why) Krishna was not accompanying Pandavas at Ganga.

Is there a specific reference of Krishna not accompanying Pandavas to Ganga that Shri Phadnis is aware of and one that rest of Mahabharata researchers (including yours truly) do not know?

Krishna was accompanying Pandavas from pre-war days and left for Dwarka, only after passing away of Bhishma, but before Ashwamedha Yajna of Pandavas (post-Mahabharata War). (Ashwamedhic Parva , Chapter 52).

Second, all Krishna is saying (37:21-25) is in essence further encouraging Yudhishthir.  Where comes the question of ‘giving credit to Krishna for everything’ or ‘Krishna Mahatmya’?

I would encourage readers to read 37:1-25, in the original.

Shri Phadnis writes…

Kunti is not mentioned but must be there.”

I fail to see relevance of the above comment for chronology of Bhishma Nirvana or otherwise. In any case, I will conclude by stating reference to Kunti (37:41) accompanying Pandavas as they entered Hastinapur, along with Dhritarashtra, Gandhari, Krishna, Satyaki, Yuyutsu, Draupadi and others.

Shri Phadnis  wrties…

It means that till now, entire Kurukula (or what was left of it) had abandoned the capital. There is no mention whatsoever of even anyone other than Pandavas going to meet Bheeshma till this day. This is a bit strange.

I fail to understand context of Shri Phadnis speculating above.

How is this relevant to Bhishma Nirvana?  Does it supports (in any way) his argument of Bhishma on bed of arrows for 58 nights? or weakens/falsifies my assertion of Bhishma on bed of arrows for 92+ days?

And what is strange about it?

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3 thoughts on “Irrelevant digressions & Nitpicking (Upakhyan 1 – 58 vs 92+, Phadnis vs. Oak)

  1. 1. I have mentioned a few things not directly related to no. of days spent by Bhishma on deathbed. If you want you can ignore them. 2. I accept Krishna was with Pandavas since I also have not seen any mention of him going to Dwarka or anywhere else. 3. No one going to meet Bhishma to enquire after him for so many days after end of war is definitely strange. Do you find it Normal? let us assume, Sanjaya or Yuyutsu or someone else may have gone but Vyasa did not consider it worthwhile to mention this.

  2. Regarding your point 3, it is not a question of finding it normal or abnormal. Rather the point is we can talk only of evidence we have. Besides, we can not take ‘lack of certain desired/expected incidents’, specifically mention of them, as some kind of evidence to suggest something goofy (conspiracy) is going on. Again, you may not have meant it, but laypeople will make mess of it, at a drop of a hat.

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