14th day of Mahabharata War = Day of Krishna Chaturdashi?! – Part 4

Shri Phadnis writes…

“I would advise Shri. Oak to go to a village, and step out at midnight of a full moon, cloudless night and see for himself the amount of light thrown by the moon and then imagine it being converted to complete darkness due to ‘dust’ throughout the night.”

I totally reject Shri. Oak’s dusty explanation of the 14th day dark night.”

My Response…

Never mind my claim for the darkness at night on the 14th night of the war, based on Mahabharata descriptions of ‘dust causing the darkness’!

To wit, Mahabharata text is  describing ‘dust causing the darkness’  even during the day (when sun is in the sky).

Let’s look at the descriptions, shall we?

Drona Parva 187:1-3 (GP edition)

(Sanjay continued his narration to Dhritarashtra)

Both parties resumed the fighting with the sun-rise (day 15th of the Mahabharata War)

Drona Parva 187:26-32 (GP edition)

(Sanjay continued his narration to Dhritarashtra)

[This section provides interesting (and relevant) descriptions of warriors inability to see each other (during day time) due to dust, during bright daylight.]

As fighting continued, all warriors were soon covered by the dust raised during  the fighting.  As a result we (Sanjay and Co.) could not see Karna, Dronacharya, Pandava brothers, Satyaki, Dushasan, Ashwatthama, Kripa, Duryodhan, Shakuni, Shalya, Kritavarma and other warriors.  Never mind other warriors! we could not see our own self, nor the land or directions. (187:26-28)

Clouds of dust were so thick and severe, it appeared as if another night had already arrived  (187:29)

In that darkness, neither Kauravas or Panchal nor Pandvas could be distinguished. Directions, sky or land or the surroundings –nothing could be ascertained.(187:30)

Warriors were killing those who they could grab with their hands or touch, irrespective of the side (Kaurava or Pandava) they belonged to. (187:31)

Then wind started blowing which lifted some of the dust from the battleground while rest  of it settled to the ground mixed with blood of warriors. This led to clearing of dust from the battlefield. (187:32)

This is the description during the day (during sunlight) on the 15th day of the Mahabharata War.

If such a scenario can occur during the day time, what is impossible about believing such a scenario occurring during the night, even on the full moon night.

The descriptions of darkness (due to dust) at night (on the 14th night of the war) are below.

Drona Parva 186:17-19 (GP edition)

(Sanjay to Dhritarashtra, describing event of 14th night of the war)

At that time, shower of dust covered the battlefield along with the shower of arrows. Total darkness set in and the scene was scary. (186:17)

At that time, neither sky, nor land nor directions could be discerned.  Due to the dust raised by the army, the whole area had become dark. (186:18)

Warriors of the enemy side (Pandava side) and also warriors on our side (Kavarava side) could not recognize each other.  Thus they were fighting while announcing (shouting) their names to each other. (186.19)

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9 thoughts on “14th day of Mahabharata War = Day of Krishna Chaturdashi?! – Part 4

  1. It is entirely possible for dust to cause darkness. Videos of dust recent dust storms in Phoenix, AZ, USA area are available on Youtube which show this. I have also seen significantly dark days during bushfires where I live. Lord Krsna also creates the illusion of Sunset to kill Jayadratha. It is possible Krsna would have caused a special “dust storm” by his Sudarhsana cakra to create the illusion of Sunset. (Sun can appear differently on horizon depending on refractive indices and particle sizes in atmosphere). The effect could have lingered the following morning and the place could have been dark.

  2. Read also the description of the moon when it arose on the Eastern horizon and had the shape of karna’s bow! If it was a Poornima, and the moon became visible near the morning,after dust settled down, it would be a ‘full’ moon and would be on the Western horizon, nearer to setting position! Also, dust or no dust, the warriors earlier in the night had been able to carry on fighting in whatever light could be obtained by use of a large number of lamps lighted by both sides.

    • Moon rising in the ‘East’ is indeed mentioned which does conflict with position of the moon on the full moon day in the early morning (late night). On the other hand, the descriptions of the moon, its light and brightness created by the moon conflict with moon of Krishna Chaturdashi or even Trayodashi or Dwadashi.

      So one can not use this late night moon on the 14th day of War as ‘conclusive’ evidence for claiming that the War began near Purnima.

      Against this.. consider amount of non-corroboration one has to explain if one indeed assumes first day of war near purnima (full moon) day.

      • Well why not? Description of the moon and Location are Very Clear and clinching. No use downplaying them because they are against your theory! If lamps could give enough light to fight, dust was not enough to block full-moon moonlight. Also, after the moon rose, the fighters woke up and resumed fighting but before any serious combats started, ‘Arunodaya’ and then Suryodaya occurred.

  3. This is about Lunar Eclipse around the 14th day of the War as you write.

    Lord told Karna, after the negotiations failed that the War would start after the Solar Eclipse ( Lord Krishna had told Karna in the Uddyoga Parva that the War should start AFTER the Amavasya ( New Moon ) falling in the Jyeshtha nakshatra ). It does not mean the next day after the solar eclipse.

    Obviously, it would have taken some time for all to collect at Kurukshetra to fight the War.

    In a nut shell, it is highly unlikely the War to have started the next day – hence the Lunar Eclipse pn the 14th day of the War.

    • Per my proposed timeline ( 16 October – 2 November, 5561 BCE) Lunar eclipse occurred on the 15th day of the War, and was visible (or could have been visible) only during the sunset for about 90 minutes. There was no lunar eclipse on the 14th day of the war.

      • 15th day of the War would not be right because, the Solar eclipse on the Jyestha Amavasya preceded the Lunar Eclipse. The War, at the earliest had to start after the Solar Eclipse. Obviously, the War took plce in the eclipse season.

  4. Prof. Sharan, to your point…you made a while ago, we can go in circles if we are not careful. That is precisely the reason I asked about your interpretation of AV observation. Discussion of AV observation brings any discussion on Mahabharata either to a quick halt or continues around AV observation. Thus AV observation has to be crux of any ‘astronomy’ theory for the timing of Mahabharata War. By luck, I understood it some 20+ years ago and I did not allow me to deviate from that understanding.

  5. Shri Phadnis writes…”Well why not? Description of the moon and Location are Very Clear and clinching. No use downplaying them because they are against your theory! If lamps could give enough light to fight, dust was not enough to block full-moon moonlight. Also, after the moon rose, the fighters woke up and resumed fighting but before any serious combats started, ‘Arunodaya’ and then Suryodaya occurred.”

    I am not sure I understand. Do you mean why the evidence should not be treated as ‘conclusive’ for 14th day of War as close to Amawasya?

    Let me know and I will respond.

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