Traditional Tithis: Bhishma Ekadashi, Bhishma Nirvana, Gita-Jayanti

Prof. Anand Sharan who proposed 2156 BCE for the year of Mahabharata war writes…

“Shukla Paksha 8 can be ruled out as Bhishma Ekadasi occurs in the Shukla Paksha and Bhishma obviously obtained Nirvana after that in the Krisna Paksha.”

He was writing in the context of my blog article, here.

My Response…

I have written previously in the context of ‘traditional tithis’ for celebration of ancient events and their value (and also limitations/conflict) with internal evidence of the epics.

Gita Jayanti

If one believes the traditional tithi of Margashirsha Shukla 11 as the first day of Mahabharata war and hence Gita-Jayanti, that would mean Bhishma fell in the battle around Margashirsha Vadya 5, which in turn means these believers would have to discard the second traditional tithi of Bhishma-Nirvana as that of Magha Shukla 8.  This is because the duration of Bhishma on the bed of arrows would only add up to 48 days.

Bhishma Ekadashi

If one believes the traditional tithi of Magha Shukla 11 as the day of Bhishma Ekadashi, one would not have to give up  the belief of Gita-Jayanti (= Margashirsha Shukla 11) but would have to give up the belief of Bhishma Nirvana (= Magha Shukla 8).

Per popular but falsified claim of Bhishma on bed of arrow for 58 nights, the tithi, in this case, would be Magha Vadya/Krishna 3 or 4.


14 thoughts on “Traditional Tithis: Bhishma Ekadashi, Bhishma Nirvana, Gita-Jayanti

  1. I have followed the Mahabharata published by the Geeta Press Gorakhpur, and written in Hindi. The events that I have stated in my paper matched with the description in this published epic. So, 58 days on the bed of arrows from this. Secondly, the planetary configuration on Kartik Purnima, just before the War is clearly given. So, any claim of the Mahabharata Year of War needs to show this in terms of errors defined in my paper. Thirdly, the existence of Jyestha Amavasys on that year is also necessary which vaguely as I remember, you mention in your work.
    Normally, people have discussed their MBH Year in the Hinducivilization website where I did not see your details. I do not live in India, so I could not get hold of your book to see the details.

    • Which paper of yours you are referring to? I only have come across one where you have proposed 2156 BCE as the year of Mahabharata war. If you send me the paper or papers written by you (, I would be happy to provide critique of it and you may respond to my critique.


      • The paper is available at:
        I thought you have read it based on your comments.

        The planetary configuration on Kartik Purnima will bring out clearly whether or not Bhishma was on the bed of arrows for 58 days which majority have written or 92 days and it will also clarify Shukla Ashthami as the day of his Nirvana.

        I have done this for 2156 BC in the paper.


        Anand M Sharan

    • If your proposed day for first day of War is Amawasya (which I suppose is what you claimed) and if you also believe in 58 days for Bhishma, then why does it not align with Magha Shukla 8?

      Of course bigger question is how you explain 21+ chronology and astronomy references related to Bhishma nirvana (all of them in GP or CE edition), if you insist on 58 days

      • The planetary Configuration on Kartik Purnima pins down the year of the War. Otherwise the discussions can go on and on. These planetary Configurations are unique.

  2. Furthermore, the Geeta Press Mahabharata clearly writes that 1/4 of the Paksha was over and 3/4 was remaining thereby eliminating the possibility of Shukla 8 as the day of Bhaishma’s Nirvana

    • I am not making a case for any specific Tithi for the day of Bhishma Nirvana. While multiple interpretations exists for Tithi of Bhishma Nirvana, series of Mahabharata text observations leads to the conclusion that Bhishma was on the bed of arrows for >92 days (not even a day less than 92).

  3. And so are … (1) Pandava brothers spending month long on the bank of Ganga, followed by Yudhishthir Rajyabhishek, followed by their visiting Bhishma when Krishna stated that Bhishma had 56 more days to live…..thus leading to 9 plus 27 plus X plus 56 equal to more than 92 days for Bhishma on bed of arrows.

  4. Prof. Anand Sharan,

    Yes, I had read the same paper you provided link to. Keeping aside the duration of Bhishma for now (we will return to it if required), How do you explain AV (Arundhati-Vasistha observation) of Bhishma Parva 2:31 for your proposed year of Mahabharata War?


  5. Prof. Anand Sharan writes…

    “The planetary Configuration on Kartik Purnima pins down the year of the War. Otherwise the discussions can go on and on. These planetary Configurations are unique.”

    My question…

    What specific planetary configurations of Kartik Purnima are you referring to? Please let us know with specific Mahabharata text references. (Gita Press editions is fine).

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