Shri Phadnis writes…
“One can clearly see that the various references and days mentioned or estimated are repetitive, meandering and confusing.”
“A definitive time line of events between end of war and Bhishma’s death can not be built based on these various references.”
This assessment of Shri Phadnis regarding chronology of Bhishma Nirvana is incorrect. Reader will recognize that none of the references or days mentioned or estimated are repeatitive, meandering and confusing.
Of course, I encourage readers to comment (or write) if they find any of the references stated below, confusing.
Chronology of Bhishma Nirvana (specifically, minimum number of days for Bhishma to be on the bed of arrows) can be calculated with the help of four (4) crisp, non-repeatitive, non-confusing and non-meandering statements.
I present here short version of Bhishma Nirvana timeline.
(1) We will begin with 9 days/nights of Bhishma on the bed of arrows (from 10th day of war when Bhishma fell down in the war through last day (18th day of war) of the war. (9 days)
(2) After this, Pandava party spent about a month long time on the bank of Ganga. Taking this duration, by conservative estimate, equal to 27 days (sidereal lunar month). It could be up to ~ 30 (29.53) days (synodic lunar month). (27 days)
(3) Pandava party returned to Hastinapur, Yudhishthir had Rajyabhishek and then went to meet Bhishma. We do not know exact number of days spent in these activities. Let’s call them ‘X’ days (X days)
(4) When Pandava party met Bhishma, Krishna stated that Bhishma had 56 more days to live. (56 days)
Let’s do the addition.
Number of days Bhishma remained on the bed of arrows = 9 + 27 + X = 56 = 92 + X = >92 days
Minimum number of days Bhishma remained on the bed of arrows = 92 days