Shri Phadnis writes…
“After a cycle of 58 lunar months, in the normal sequence of Chatra Vaishakh etc, two lunar months, nameless, would follow and the the normal sequence of names would resume from where it was at the end of 58 months. Today also we follow the same method except that we take one nameless month a time. If cycle of 58 month began with Chaitra, 58th month will be Poush and 61st month will be Magh. The new cycle of 58 months begins with Magh so will end at Kartik and after 2 nameless months will resume with Margashirsha. All this is so obvious.
I do not claim that Bhishma’s system was accurate, but that is what he has clearly stated and accurate or not, it has to be accepted as the then prevailing system. “
Shri Phadnis theory (based on his translation/interpretation of Bhishma reference) is that 2 consecutive months were taken as ‘adhika masa’ after 58 consecutive months. And the cycle was repeated.
All months are lunar.
(of course this is also true for Luni-solar calendar, but magic of synchronization is due to position of adhik masa, i.e. where Adhika masa is inserted. And for this very reason, the problems of Shri Phadnis interpretation is very much due to this position (and his case – 2 consecutive Adhik masa) for insertion of adhika masa)
This means 60 lunar months in a series. At this point a new cycle of another 60 months was repeated. Thus a cycle of 60 lunar months repeats. Each cycle of such 60 lunar months, in modern times, would be equivalent to Islamic Calendar. Because Islamic calendar follows purely lunar year of 12 lunar months, the month of Ramadan (month of prayer and fasting for followers of Islam) keeps on moving through all the seasons of the year and completes a full circle in about 36 years. That is why if month of Ramadan occurs in a given year – say during the peak of summer, 18 years from that point, the month of Ramadan would occur at the peak of winter.
Thus, if we have to accept interpretation of Shri Phadnis for words of Bhishma, in essence we have to accept that Mahabharata calendar was purely Lunar calendar.
Where comes the question of ‘Intercalary month’ (Adhika masa?)
The very verses (both of them) are talking of Adhika masa (intercalary months) in defense of Pandavas completing 13 years of exile per agreement.
Thus the very evidence (both shlok) and mere mention of Adhika masa goes against the theory/interpretation of Shri Phadnis.