[Standard reminder: Categories of ‘Tamasic sceptic’, ‘Superficial manipulator’, ‘Dharmic Superstar’ or ‘Preserver of Knowledge’ are about ‘specific actions’ in ‘specific context’ and not about individuals. Even then the reference to individuals can not be avoided and should not be avoided. It will be useful to keep in mind that the category classifies an individual’s attitude to a specific problem.]
I want to sincerely thank Shri Ganesh Puranik for his multiple comments to my blog. Anyone reading his comments will realize that he appears to be well-versed in the areas of Ramayana and Mahabharata.
When I began analyzing his comments, with the intent of gaining insights from his arguments which in turn would lead to the further growth of knowledge, I realized that his arguments can not be classified into one single category of either ‘Tamasic sceptic’ or ‘Superficial manipulator’.
I decided to designate this category as ‘Ardha Sceptic Manipulator’
Let’s explore some of the salient features of ‘Ardha Sceptic Manipulator’
(1) Manipulative and irrelevant digressions
He begins with a compliment
“Hi, keep up the great work you have been doing”
He appears to initiate discussion on the beginning of seasons in ancient times (meaningful), but right away jumps into ‘irrelevant and superficial’ references.
“I have a question about start of Ritu Shishira at winter solstice in ancient times. During the time when the extant Vedang Jyotish was written, this was true. But older texts point to Vasanta starting with spring equinox.”
While we have no reason to suspect that he has any ‘leftist’ streak, his mention of ‘older texts’ is worth pointing it out.
Likes of leftist writers and historians have this ‘manipulative’ habit of inserting casual assumptions (of theirs) as if they are proven and well established assertions. They are capable of generating enormous ‘Bullshit’ in a very short amount of time. And amount of effort required to make gullible reader aware of such BS is unimaginable. The best thing is to point it out and move on….
He quotes a verse from the Mahabharata text, that does not have any word that can be translated as referring to any specific lunar month of the calendar..
“Take for example:
Mahabharata Book 5 Chapter 81
ततॊ वयपेते तमसि सूर्ये विमल उद्गते
मैत्रे मुहूर्ते संप्राप्ते मृद्व अर्चिषि दिवाकरे
7 कौमुदे मासि रेवत्यां शरद अन्ते हिमागमे
सफीतसस्यमुखे काले कल्यः सत्त्ववतां वरः
8 मङ्गल्याः पुण्यनिर्घॊषा वाचः शृण्वंश च सूनृताः
बराह्मणानां परतीतानाम ऋषीणाम इव वासवः”
His own interpretation follows…
“Here The month of Kartika is starting with Hemant (after Sharad ritu is over). Margashirsha would start in the middle of Hemant. Margashirsha being Agrahayana will start in the middle of Hemant.”
This is utter falsehood. And now the ‘Tamasic’ in him comes to the fore.
‘Tamasic’ are extremely eager to send the ‘Dharmics’ on a distracting path.
“I have been looking for more definitive passages which describe when a year started in older texts and although I have found many indirect references, I haven’t found a more straight forward passage. Let me know if you have found any references that are clear.”
A person who is so familiar with Indic literature is capable of finding references. So that can not be his prime motive in asking me to do this work. We can only speculate his motive, and more likely, that is to distract and have some fun at someone’s expense.
However, let’s not forget the key characteristic of ‘Tamasic sceptic’ is to focus on ‘irrelevancies’.
He does not bother to elaborate how any of what he is discussing is relevant to the subject matter that I was discussing in the 25 min video on ‘Dating of Ramayana’.
(2) Superficial responses
I replied to Shri Ganesh Puranik…
“Where exactly do you see mention (or infer) for the beginning of Vasanta rutu with the point of Spring equinox in the above verse?”
His response is as superficial as it gets…
“I take the next sentence “The earth was covered with abundant crops all around” as a sign of harvest month.”
(3) Lack of ‘cogent argumentation’
It is easy to see that he is not serious about resolving the question he has raised. He jumped to other references of Mahabharata text, and while those references were extremely useful to me (since I was not aware of it, and I thanked Shri Puranik for that reference) they were irrelevant to the point he was seeking (or pretending) an answer for.
[Such ‘Ardha Sceptic Manipulators’ can indeed contribute to the production of knowledge by making others aware of ‘useful’ references from our vast ancient Indian literature and to that extent they are to be considered as ‘knowledge producers’.
That is why I consider both ‘Tamasic Sceptics’ and ‘Superficial Manipulators’ as ‘knowledge producers’ in spite ‘irrational’ nature of their motives.]
Shri Ganesh Puranik quoted…
“The Mahabharata, Book 12: Santi Parva: Apaddharmanusasana Parva: Section CLXXI
तासु ते पूजिता राज्ञा निषण्णा द्विजसत्तमाः | व्यराजन्त महाराज नक्षत्रपतयो यथा ||१३||
ततो जाम्बूनदाः पात्रीर्वज्राङ्का विमलाः शुभाः | वरान्नपूर्णा विप्रेभ्यः प्रादान्मधुघृताप्लुताः ||१४||
तस्य नित्यं तथाषाढ्यां माघ्यां च बहवो द्विजाः | ईप्सितं भोजनवरं लभन्ते सत्कृतं सदा ||१५||
विशेषतस्तु कार्त्तिक्यां द्विजेभ्यः सम्प्रयच्छति | शरद्व्यपाये रत्नानि पौर्णमास्यामिति श्रुतिः ||१६|| </b?
सुवर्णं रजतं चैव मणीनथ च मौक्तिकम् | वज्रान्महाधनांश्चैव वैडूर्याजिनराङ्कवान् ||१७|| “
Now he puts words in my mouth that I never stated or intended (emphasized in bold below)
“Now with my question:
In your very interesting video, I hear you mentioning that Chaitra starts in middle of Spring. I have been looking for clear references of when the ancient Indians started of the year. The year may have started at various points during different ages (1) spring/vernal equinox, (2) summer solstice, (3) autumn equinox, (4) start of sisira (either (a) 61 days before spring equinox and Vasanta starting with spring equinox or (b) sisira and autumn equinox starting together and Vasanta starting earlier than spring equinox)”
He concludes with his recurring aim of “to distract and have some fun at someone’s expense”
“I was curious if you have found any clear citings of any of the above and would like to be aware of them.”
(4) Manipulation of evidence but also manipulation of other’s sensibilities
These Ardha Sceptic Manipulators worry that their fun would be over if their target understands that they are being manipulated. Ardha Sceptic Manipulators get this ‘high’ from this engagement with ‘Dharmic superstars’ and from attempts at successful (or perceived) distractions. They do not want this ‘high’ to end. Therefore, to minimize this obvious manipulation (of distraction, irrelevancies, etc.) these Ardha Sceptics are suave manipulators and thus they don’t forget to add occasional praises…
“BTW, great job on the analysis leading to “Epoch of Arundhati”!”
We will, soon, see how ‘insincere‘ is this compliment.
(5) More irrelevancies, attempt at distractions & lack of congent argumentation
Now our Ardha Sceptic Manipulator jumps to Ramayana.
The fact that they are talking ‘more or less’ of same/similar subject is enough to confuse ordinary readers. Ordinary readers may still think that same subject is being discussed. The reality is otherwise.
Shri Ganesh Puranik now quotes from Valmiki Ramayana.
“Here is another indirect reference to Aagraayana rituals underway in Hemamnta from Ramayana. There may need to be minor adjustment if your calculations are based on Start of Shishira = winter solstice.
He insinuates in this comment that “I may have to make minor adjustment to my timeline of Ramayana” based on his assumption that I have employed key criteria of ‘start of shishira season = day of winter solstice’.
Again, such helpful sounding advice is provided with prime aim of distracting and adding to further irrelevancies.
I presume you are referring to this verse..
नव आग्रयण पूजाभिर् अभ्यर्च्य पितृ देवताः |
कृत आग्रयणकाः काले सन्तो विगत कल्मषाः || ४-१६-६
What is it about this reference (or total of 6 verses you have quoted) that leads to , in your mind, a need for minor change to my timeline?
No, my calculations are not based on beginning of Shishir rutu = day of winter solstice.
In addition, I have not come across any other reference (within or outside Ramayana) that tells me why beginning of Shishir Rutu should not be counted from the day of winter solstice.
May be you are trying to make some critical point (which could be of immense importance). Unfortunately, I am failing to understand it.
(6) Distractions, going on tangents & further manipulations
Now our Ardha Sceptic Manipulator, true to his designation, dabbles partly in scepticism and partly in manipulations. He also wants to dabble into Ramayana and Mahabharata evidence, simultaneously.
“I speed-read through your books about Mahabharata and Ramayana dating.”
Speed-reading of works in the hands of able readers is a great and efficient thing indeed! In the hands of Ardha Sceptic Manipulators, it assuredly leads to a disaster (either ignorant or deliberate).
Notice how he reaches hasty (and wrong) conclusions….
I was not been able to match your Mahabharata analysis using Stellarium (stellarium.org). I have bought Voyager 4.5 and waiting for its delivery. What this means is not all sky mapping softwares will match your analysis. It will depend on the data the software uses to map the positions of planets in the past.
Some praise (manipulation), some suggestions for improvement (tamasic) and arbitrary criticism without providing specific evidence (lack of cogent argumentation) follows…
I was pleased to see that in the Ramayana related book you included refernced shlokas and figures “inline”. It was quiet cumbersome to follow the notes at the end of the book in Mahabharata related book. It would have been better if you had also included the translation. The number of the shloka is also missing in a few places making it difficult to find the meaning.
I can certainly agree that the books can be improved in many ways.
(7) Entering realm of testable and superficial quadrant but with Tamasic & sceptical attitude
Now, he jumps into Ramayana and claims that he is quoting ‘opposing’ evidence and in the process ‘falsifying’ his claim that he read my books.
In Ramayana dating you seem to have concluded that Chaitra was around fall. I would like to attract your attention to the following passages in Kishkindha Kanda which suggests quiet the opposite. I couldn’t follow clearly how you concluded Chaitra in fall. I think the following passage is very clear, indicating vernal equinox near Phaluguni pornima.
Anyone reading my books (even speed-reading) should not miss the chapters (in both books) on ‘CONFLICTING OBSERVATIONS’.
And ‘Tamasic secptic’ must read these chapters carefully. But then don’t foget that we have much complex case of ‘Ardha Sceptic Manipulator’.
At this point, I request our Ardha Sceptic Manipulator to focus on one subject at a time…
We will discuss one at a time. Which Mahabharata references of mine are not matched by Stellarium?
Our Ardha Sceptic Manipular is already on ‘high’ and incapable of comprehending what the other person is suggsting and why….
He goes on to test, in a wrong fashion, arbitrary (or selective) set of evidence from the Mahabharata text, and not surprisingly, goes to gagaland.
(He is known to have this chronic habit of irresponsible testing of astronomy evidence and he is incapble of comprehending any assistance from able astronomers. Now, please don’t ask me how I know about this! )
Another reader jumps in to assist our Ardha Sceptic Manipulator, but his advice falls on deaf ears.
I make another attempt to bring some sense by stating….
Once we nail down proper correspondence between Stellarium and Voyager (e.g. 5560 BCE of Stellarium is same as 5561 BCE of Voyager)…we will look at individual observations.
We will begin with 2 non-planetary observations.
(1) AV observation
(2) Duration between Fall of Bhishma and Bhishma Nirvana for year 5561 BCE and my claimed date for fall of Bhishma (25 October 5561 BCE)
And once both of us are on the same page.. we will go to slow moving planets… Saturn and Jupiter.
Then Mars and so on…
Our Ardha Sceptic Manipulator is on ‘super high’ and refuses to listen to any sane advice.
He goes on to test arbitrary (or selective) set of data using Stellarium (astronomy software). He does reach few ‘very critical’ conclusions and in that sense (as defined by me) he is an occassional (incidental and coincidental) knowledge producer.
Let’s note down his contributions…
चतुर्दशीं पञ्चदशीं भूतपूर्वां च षोडशीम् |
इमां तु नाभिजानामि अमावास्यां त्रयोदशीम् ||२८||
A lunar fortnight had hitherto consisted of fourteen days, or fifteen days (as usual), or sixteen days.
This, however, I never knew that the day of new-moon would be on the thirteenth day from the first lunation,
or the day of full-moon on the thirteenth day from the same.
Comment: I think thirteenth day eclipses probably occur more than 10% of the time. not that uncommon. Out of 16382 eclipses in 5000 year catalog by NASA, 1935 happened within 14 days from previous eclipse (which means they probably happened on 13th paksha day). There would be certainly still more eclipses that happened on 13th day but didn’t have an eclipse before prior pratipada.
Two consecutive eclipses both on thirteenth day is truly rare to impossible.
चन्द्रसूर्यावुभौ ग्रस्तावेकमासे त्रयोदशीम् |
अपर्वणि ग्रहावेतौ प्रजाः सङ्क्षपयिष्यतः ||२९||
And yet in course of the same month both the Moon and the Sun have undergone eclipses on the thirteenth days from the day of the first lunation.
5561 BC does not satisfy this – First eclipse is on 13th day but second eclipse is on 15th day. I believe it is impossible to have consecutive eclipses on 13th day.
The Sun and the Moon therefore, by undergoing eclipses on unusual days, 4 will cause a great slaughter of the creatures of the earth
Note: According to Stellarium software, the solar eclipse is partial from India and may have been annular or full in Indonesia.
I wanted to recognize his contribution and thus I wrote…
Ganesh ji, Great effort.
But I also want to point out his ‘insincerity‘ regarding his backhand compliments on ‘Epoch of Arundhati’
He had written, in the same note…
“या चैषा विश्रुता राजंस्त्रैलोक्ये साधुसंमता |
अरुन्धती तयाप्येष वसिष्ठः पृष्ठतः कृतः ||३१||
She, O king, who is celebrated over the three worlds and is applauded by the righteous,
even that (constellation) Arundhati keepeth (her lord) Vasistha on her back.
Sounds like a temporary situation. Like Arundhati was following Vasishtha until recently. I had mistakenly thought that the context was different. I thought Bhishma was telling Pandavas how to kill him. “Approach me hiding behind Shikhandi, like Vasishtha behind Arundhati” or something like that.”
In this context, Vyasa seems to be saying everything is going crazy (now) – even Arundhati is putting Vasishtha in the back.
Such statement makes sense at the beginning of the epoch of Arundhati, but almost 5000 years after the epoch started, it doesn’t make sense.”
No reader who truly comprehends ‘Epoch of Arudhati’ would either make such jackass arguments or reach such dumb conclusion.
I wanted to point out his manipulative and tamasic (inaction) attitute….
However you missed the crucial point I made in my response to you in this very blog article. Please check.
It is very crucial that you comprehend the simplicity and thus high degree of testability and high prior nonprobability of AV observation. You very much missed this critical point.
The problem with your speculation (that it was ok at the beginning of Epoch of Arundhati but not ok after 5000 years)is that you have already jumped into ‘psychoanalysis’ either of Vyasa or your interpretation of it.
The issue is rather simple…
Mahabharata text states that Arundhati was walking ahead of Vasistha at the time of Mahabharata war.
Arundhati was walking ahead of Vasistha fomr 11091 BCE through 4508 BCE.
Thus any year proposed during this time interval will corroborate AV observation for that year.
Now, if someone proposes a year that falls at the beginning of Epoch of Arundhati, that is all fine and well. But then one needs to propose one. Until then the point is mute.
He is not the first one to get into this irrational and psychoanalytical nightmare.
This is very common point of misunderstanding and it has made to the list of FAQ. You may read number of articles right here on my blog site (type keywords such as Talageri, Elst, Virendra) to find out numerous blog articles where I discuss this point.
The very reason I bothered to write the book was because of AV observation. Otherwise I was researching our ancient Indian history for 15+ years when I wrote the book, but I had not found anything worth writing.
I encouraged him to follow the process of rational criticism and scientific progress, with illustrations from cosmology….
Once we are on the same page with the inferences of (conclusions due to) AV observation, then next thing we should discuss is another simple, and thus highly testable observation(s) for the duration of Bhishma on the bed of arrows.
Then, we should look at set of observations related to slow moving (visible) planet of Saturn, followed for another set of observations related to next to Saturn, slow moving planet of Jupiter..
and not the forget the last critical part of scientific process, i.e. to discuss my theory/proposal in the context of existing (by 2011 CE) proposal for Mahabharata war that was considered a best proposal, based on some criteria or of your choice.
Copernicus proposal was celebrated, not because it was perfect (in fact it had many problems) but because it made significant improvement over the existing and accepted proposal of Ptolemy.
The same sequence followed when Cosmology models were further improved by Tycho Brahe, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Einstein…
And his response…?
(6) Bullshitters par excellence
Ardha Sceptic Manipulators are bullshitters par excellence!
Shri Ganesh Purnaik responded…
I am not psychoanalyzing Vyasa, and I don’t intend to.
All I am saying is 5561 BC does not explain:
(7) Futher digressions…
Because Mahabharata was first written as Jaya, then expanded to Bharata, and then to Mahabharata.
There are multiple areas of texts added at multiple times. So I can understand that different sections will map to different timeframes.
And then here comes the ringer…. the most idiotic statement, unless of course it is a simple typographical error…
I would expect Bhishma parva references to point to the war year. But if sufficient references do converge to one particular year I am quiet comfortable in assuming it is not possible to decide when the war took place, or in the least when the text was actually written.
And he concludes, after his random flights, digressions, wavering and refusal to listen to sane advice…
No we aren’t on the same page, and it is probably not possible for us to get on the same page.
I did ask him to clarify if he meant something differnt (what I termed – most idiotic statement, unless a simple typographical error).
Well, this time our prolific Ardha Sceptic Manipulator went silent.