Quick response to comments of Shri Prabhakar Phadnis

A reader wrote asking me to respond to  ‘desired checklist’ for acceptance of claim(s) for the timing of Mahabharata war, generated by Shri Prabhakar Phadnis.

The ‘desired checklist’ of Shri Phadnis can be read at his blog, here..

http://mymahabharat.blogspot.com/2016/02/year-and-date-of-mahabharat-war.html

My responses are in bold and italics and at the end of each point made by Shri Phadnis, with brief reasoning in the (parentheses).

Here it goes…

 

Year and date of Mahabharat War.

I have examined in this blog two proposed years of the Mahabharat war, one by Shri. Oak and another by Shri. Achar. I have stated my arguments why I find both unacceptable. In case of Shri. Oak many of the astronomical references from the text do not match, particularly for the DATE proposed. As a keen but ordinary reader of Mahabharat, what are the minimum considerations which must be satisfied in my view, to accept a proposed year and Date of the great war? I will state my views on this point.

1. Shri. Oak has identified an Epoch when Arundhati was ahead of Vasishtha. Unless any researcher finds any factual error in the finding and modifies the period or concludes that there was no such period, I believe the proposed year should lie within the ‘Epoch’.

Shri Phadnis and Shri Oak are in 100% agreement on this point!

2. As soon as any particular year is proposed as the year of war, the Julian date of the Winter solstice gets automatically fixed. That becomes the date when Bhishma died. There is no choice!

Shri Phadnis and Shri Oak are in 100% agreement on this point!  This is also true for any other calendar used (e.g. Gregorian calendar).

3. I consider the statement by Bhishma, that he spent 58 painful nights on the bed of arrows as binding. There is no other mention of this period in the entire text and Vyasa has written nothing to discredit Bhishma, directly or indirectly. What Krishna has said actually supports Bhishma, if correctly interpreted. The Julian date when the war started thus gets automatically fixed, 67 days before the date of winter solstice already fixed.

This is incorrect. 

(Mahabharata text has multiple and specific references that assert that Bhishma was on the bed of arrows for >92 days)

4. The entire sequence between Krishna’s starting from Upaplavya for Shishtai and commencement of war, will have to fit between Autumnal Equinox and the first day determined as above. Commencement of war before end of rains as proposed by Shri. Oak is unnatural.

This is incorrect. 

(see my reasoning for point 3, above)

5. Among the many astronomical observations of Karna and Vyasa, there are some which must be corroborated. Others are not decisive.

This is incorrect. 

(Such a statement is only justified if Shri Phadnis provides which specific observations are decisive and which specific observations are not decisive and also reasoning behind them)

6. Vyasa has described a lunar eclipse in un-ambiguous terms, to have taken place on the Purnima prior to Shishtai day. It should be corroborated.

This is incorrect. 

(I am not aware of any specific un-ambiguous reference to lunar eclipse before Krishna Shishtai day.  Unless Shri Phadnis quotes the specific reference, this is incorrect)

7. Vyasa has very emphatically described an unusually short lunar fortnight, ending on Amavasya. He has stated that it was of only 13 days, not the normal 14 or 15 days or even 16 days. Therefore there should be only 12 days between the lunar eclipse and the following Amavasya.

This is correct. 

(I am not sure if Shri Phadnis realizes that such a possibility is technically not feasible (based on laws of cosmology, Newton, Kepler, Einstein, Aryabhatta, Mayasur, et al.  Likes of S Balakrishna has checked for such an occurrence and so far has not met with any success.  Of course, that does not mean it may not have happened.  As of now, among 130+ claims for the timing of Mahabharata, AFAIK, no Mahabharata researcher has shown gap of ONLY 12 days between the lunar eclipse and the following Amawasya for their proposed year of Mahabharata war.)

(Lacking this verification, alternate interpretation of this reference would be required.  One such interpretation is provided by yours truly).

8. Should the first day of war coincide with Amavasya? Not necessary. It could be one or more days after Amavasya.

This is correct. 

(However the first day can not be far removed from the day of Amawasya based on numerous astronomy references to phases and positions of the moon)

9. Need there be a Solar Eclipse on this Amavasya? Not necessary. Description of events is vague.

This is correct.

10. Need there be another lunar eclipse on the next Purnima? Nothing is mentioned in the text so has no relevance.

This is correct

(except note my objection to Shri Phadnis claim for the timing of Lunar eclipse for point 6, above)

11. About the positions of various planets, mentioned by Karna and Vyasa, I believe Saturn at Rohini should be met as it is a very bad omen for the ruler and mentioned by both Karna and Vyasa.

This is incorrect. 

(Mahabharata text has 3 specific references to Saturn and its corresponding position with respect to 3 different nakshatras.  There is no valid reason to consider one of the three references more critical than others.  I have not seen rationale argument in support of such conjecture).

12. About other planets, or the movement of Mars through various Nakshatras, we can keep an open mind. More of the positions matching, the better! It is clear that multiple positions for Saturn or Jupiter cannot be met. Also Mars cannot go Vakri or Vakra at three places, one after another. However the researcher should verify all these positions and record his findings.

This is a mixed baggage and thus I have split it in few parts for the sake of clarity.

12-a

About other planets, or the movement of Mars through various Nakshatras, we can keep an open mind. More of the positions matching, the better!

Fair.  Directionally correct.

12-b

It is clear that multiple positions for Saturn or Jupiter cannot be met.

This is incorrect.

(I have shown excellent corroboration for year 5561 BCE for all observations of Saturn and Jupiter.)

12-c

Also Mars cannot go Vakri or Vakra at three places, one after another. However the researcher should verify all these positions and record his findings.

This is incorrect.

(I have shown with repeatable consistency that meaning of ‘Vakri’ during Mahabharata times is not ‘retrograde’ and that all ‘Vakri’ observations of Mahabharata text are corroborated for year 5561 BCE.  In addition, truly ‘retrograde’ motions of planets – Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, are corroborated for year 5561 BCE.  These ‘retrograde motions of these planets are described in Mahabharata text as ‘Parikrama’, ‘Upasavya movement while becoming steady (Dhruva)’, ‘Sthayi’ and ‘Sthayi’ , respectively.)

13. About Darkness on 14th night, Balaram Tirthyatra and other unresolved issues, whatever any researcher proposes will need to be examined. It will not affect the acceptability of the year or date of war.

Fair.  Directionally correct.

I had kept an open mind about year of war proposed by Shri. Oak. It does not meet the conditions I have stated above. Saturn was not at Rohini. Short Fortnight ending on Amavasya is not seen. I am therefore not able to accept his year. His date is of course not at all acceptable as it is earlier than Autumnal Equinox. Lunar eclipse is also not Near Total or Total so does not match Vyasa’s description. I have already rejected his claim of Bhishma spending 95 days on death bed.

(Saturn better not be near Rohini!  No other Mahabharata researcher (among more than 130) has shown a short fortnight Shri Phadnis is demanding.  Mayasur through Einstein, et al are confirming that no such short fortnight – at least as interpreted by Shri Phadnis is a possibility.    Mahabharata text and numerous references demand first day of war to be before the day of autumn equinox.  Vyasa’s descriptions for the timing of lunar eclipse is anything but certain.  It is not clear, on what basis Shir Phadnis has rejected my assertion for Bhishma on the bed of arrows for >92 days.)

I admit that my ideas and understanding of some of the above points were not so un-ambiguous to begin with. As i have exchanged a lot of points and arguments with Shri. Oak on this blog, on his blog and e-mails, I have come to conclusions stated above.

(I admit that the criticism provided by Shri Phadnis is the best to this day and his criticism did result in certain revisions of my ‘error elimination experiments’.  His criticism of my explanation for ‘Fall of Abhijit’ also allowed me to improve/modify my original explanation.  My latest explanation, I assert, is the best (not necessarily the last word on this subject,…there is never a last word on anything in science) among three explanations provided by Dr. Vartak, Shri. Phadnis and yours truly.

In addition, I may mention that beyond his criticism of my book, Shri Phadnis has contributed to the Mahabharata research that can be only compared with the efforts of Nilakantha Chaturdhar, Lokamanya B G Tilak, great astronomer Shankar Balakrishna Dixit, Bharatratna Pandurag Waman Kane or Dr. Padmakar Vishnu Vartak. It is fair to say that I might have missed names of few other exceptional Mahahabharata researchers of last 700 years.)

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11 thoughts on “Quick response to comments of Shri Prabhakar Phadnis

  1. I have commented in detail on all points in my book now available on Amazon Kindle. I will say a few things here in short just to keep the record straight.
    1. Shri. Oak may or may not agree with my views. he has no business to say correct or incorrect!
    2.There are NO specific mentions of the days spent by Bhishma on deathbed other than what Bhishma said or Krishna said. All other so called references are pertaining to time line from end of war to first visit by Pandavas and krishna to Bhishma on his death-bed. Your statement about multiple mentions is misleading. Who else has said anything about the days? Pl. quote.
    3.No year will meet all points from Karna and Vyasa so discretion is a must. I have disputed many of your so-called corroborations and conjectures.
    4.About lunar eclipse of Kartika Purnima, Vyasa’s description is very specific. अलक्ष्यः, प्रभयाहीनः, रक्तवर्णः moon.
    5. VYASA has talked about the ‘unusually short fortnight, not me! I also dont see how Purnima and amavasya can have only 12 days between them. Do you realize your dates for the two are 14 days apart! Unusually LONG fortnight. of 16 days! The next purnima is irrelevant and Vyasa did not talk about it to Dhritarashtra.
    6.Three positions of Saturn cannot be met. Your year meets NONE of the three. Saturn at Rohini gets my first vote like Shri. Achar. (Not that I accept his claim that other locations are of Comets.) Your claim that you have met all three is laughable and so I have laughed at Saturn troubling Rohini from ‘somewhere’!
    7. I have said that Mars cannot go Vakri three times, one after other in the traditional sense – retrograde. Your different meaning of वक्र (as against वक्री) deserves consideration. However your videos dont match the location. Mars does not cross ecliptic at Maghaa! Same problem with Jupiter. In fact I have suggested another explanation that वक्र may mean noticeable change of direction of movement. I am not able to verify that possibility and have left it to you to check it if you like.
    8. I DO NOT DESERVE to be counted among the great scholars mentioned by you and I am not saying this out of modesty. (I am hardly modest.) Let me remain a commonsense reader and lover of mahabharata.

    • (1) IMHO, ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’ are to be used when someone is commenting on one’s ‘OPINION’. In addition, I do make a distinction between ‘someone is incorrect’ and ‘someone is wrong’. In the first case, when I state that someone is ‘incorrect’, I am simply commenting on ‘factually incorrect’ statement made by someone. There is no sense of me being superior than the other person or anything like that. To err is human and I do them all the time and am glad when someone points out my error and I feel glad to stand corrected.
      (2) I have written few blogs on this duration of Bhishma on the bed of arrows. You can read them (and I will be happy to point them out).

      Again, what you are saying above in point (2) is not something I disagree with. I am rather saying that what you are stating about Bhishma Nirvana references is ‘incorrect’.

      Since the issue at stake is very important… I will write this summary, that can be reused.

      (A) We both can agree that Bhishma fell in the battle on the 10th day of War and since then he was on the bed of arrows.
      (B) We can also agree that War continued for 8 more days (total of 18). Thus Bhishma was on the bed of arrows for 9 days when war ended.
      (C) After the activities of ‘Sauptic Parva’ and ‘Stri Parva’, Pandavas left for the bank of Ganga (Shoucha) and lived there for a month.

      This specific reference occurs at the beginning of Shanti Parva. It is stated by ‘VAISHAMPAYAN’

      (D) After spending a month on the bank of Ganga, Pandavas returned to Hastinapur. (detailed descriptions of this and all the following events can be found in the Mahabharata text)

      (E) Yudhishthir became a king, assigned ministers, honored Krishna and then went to see Bhishma

      (F) When Yudhishthir, his brothers, Sanjay, Kripa, Krishna, Satyaki et al met Bhishma, Krishna said that Bhsihma had 56 more days to live.

      This statements is part of the narration of ‘VAISHAMPAYAN’. The Mahahabharata text does have ‘Vasudev uvacha’.

      (G) There are descriptions of Yudhishthir visiting Bhishma and then returning at the end of the day to Hanstinapur for next few days …leading to the day when Bhishma recited ‘Vishnu Sahasranama’.

      On this day, Bhishma asked Yudhishthir to return to Hastinapur and not return to Bhishma until the sun turned northward (day of winter solstice).

      (H) Yudhishthir returned to Hastinapur, became busy in the affairs of the state and lived in Hastinapur for 50 nights

      This is narrated by ‘VAISHAMPAYAN’

      (I) In this same Adhyaya of Anushasan parva (same as reference (H)), appears the much discussed references of Bhishma spending 58 nights on the bed of arrows.

      This is narrated by ‘VAISHAMPAYAN’.

      In summary…

      All these Bhishma Nirvana references are narrated by ‘VAISHAMPAYAN’. To be technically correct, the reference of Krishna stating 56 days does fall under ‘Vasudev Uvacha’. Otherwise all other references are from the narration of ‘VAISHAMPAYAN’ uvacha.

      Bhishma, has said NOTHING – DIRECTLY THAT IS -about duration of his stay on the bed of arrows.

      Thus from a simple principle of consistency of a narration/theory/logic…etc.

      All the evidence leads to …..9 + ~27 + 56 + X = (92 + X) days for Bhishma on the bed of arrows.

      If one removes (Only for the sake of argument) reference made by Krishna of 56 days …

      still…
      All the remaining evidence leads to …. 9 + ~27 + Y + 50 + X = (86 + X + Y) days for Bhishma on the bed of arrows.

      Here Y refers to number of days between first day Yudhishthir met Bhishma until the day when Bhishma recited ‘Vishnu Sahasranama’to all.

      And of course, X refers to number of days between the days when Yudhishthir returned to Hastinapur (from the bank of Ganga) and until the day when he met Bhishma for the first time (on bed of arrows) after returning from the bank of Ganga.

      Not to mention that Krishna’s statement of 56 days is further validated from detailed evidence of Yudhishthir visiting Bhishma for ~ 5 consecutive days followed by his living in Hastinapur for additional 50 days.

      Where comes the question of agreeing or disagreeing!

      I will comment on other points of Shri Phadnis in another response note, here.

      Regards,

      Nilesh

      • Are you now differentiating between what Vaishampayana said and what Vyasa said? Vaishampayana has narrated the whole text. Do you claim that Bhishma has NOT said that he spent 58 painful nights? Then who said it or nobody said it? Has anybody OTHER THAN KRISHNA said anything about ‘how many days Bhishma spent on bed of arrows?’ All references where you have taken Vaishampayana’s name pertain to actions of Pandavas prior to Yudhishthir and Krishna met Bhishma for the first time after end of war. We have gone over that and have mostly agreed with the period. It makes no difference. What remains is ‘Krishna said 56 days, Bhishma says 57 days. Did krishna mean from that day onwards or total days? His statement is open to both meanings.

    • Quick comment on point (8) made by Shri Phadnis…

      He writes…

      “8. I DO NOT DESERVE to be counted among the great scholars mentioned by you and I am not saying this out of modesty. (I am hardly modest.) Let me remain a commonsense reader and lover of mahabharata.”

      This remains my opinion. And thus you may wholeheartedly agree or disagree with it. 🙂

    • Shri Phadnis writes…

      “3.No year will meet all points from Karna and Vyasa so discretion is a must. I have disputed many of your so-called corroborations and conjectures.”

      I consider this ‘incorrect’ for multiple reasons

      (A) I have shown that all of them corroborate well for Year 5561 BCE and the specific days/timeline I have proposed (or as appropriate.. 18 days of the war….borrowed from Dr. Vartak).

      (B) You have every right to dispute them and I have every right to defend these corroborations. I have repeatedly emphasized that the quality and degree of corroboration can only be discussed by comparing with another claim for corroboration…especially if there are differing views for the same piece of evidence. I never claim my attempt at corroboration as the last word. But in the absence of comparison between two proposals, the issue of acceptable or better corroboration can not be settled.

      [This can also be understood in the language of Gage R&R. If there is no GOLDEN STANDARD, and there is no GOLD standard in this case (also goes by the names as reference standard, standard for calibration, and so on). This is precisely the reason discussion and criticism of corroboration can rarely take place in the absence of at least two proposals.]

      (C) I have no idea what ‘discretion’ you are referring to.

      (D) I do not know what ‘Conjecture’ of mine you have disputed? I have only one conjecture – “All astronomy evidence of Mahabharata text is either factual and/or visual observations of the sky”.

      Copernicus could not get rid of circular orbits or epicycles and still his theory was considered a better theory over all past attempts

      Kepler could not explained why planets moved in elliptical orbits, and still his theory was considered a better theory over all past attempts

      Ditto for Newton, Einstein….

      The ‘Better’ aspect of their theories/proposals could be determined because their theory was compared with some other theory or theories (of the past).

      Your criticism has tremendous value for me, since it is criticism of my theory/proposal/corroboration etc. It has no value in claiming it as ‘not acceptable’ or removing the status of my theory/proposal as ‘better’ theory.

      • Your claims of corroboration are questionable and I have pointed out many such problems. In particular your claims about positions of Saturn are unacceptable. Your claim that corroboration can be challenged by only another case of ‘better’ corroboration is pointless. Corroboration should be claimed on its own merits. Saturn and Jupiter several nakshatras away from required position cannot be considered as corroborating. It is not the duty of a critic like me to show another year showing a better match. (Unless of course you claim that a better match is ‘impossible’ !).

    • Shri Phadnis wrote….

      “4.About lunar eclipse of Kartika Purnima, Vyasa’s description is very specific. अलक्ष्यः, प्रभयाहीनः, रक्तवर्णः moon.”

      Here, you are confusing many issues.

      You had claimed the following…. (in your blog.. ‘Checklist”)

      (A) That the above description of the lunar eclipse occurred before (or during) KrishnaShishtai (Krishna in Hastinapur).

      My position is….

      (B) This description by itself does not PROVE that there was a lunar eclipse. On the other hand, if someone shows and thus claims a lunar eclipse (for their timeline) on Karitka purnima, above references provides an EXCELLENT corroboration. This must be understood. Otherwise confusion may continue.

      In essence, I am saying, this can be discussed meaningfully, only when my proposal is compared with some other proposal in which this other researcher claims lunar eclipse on the Kartika full moon day. He will indeed score a point on corroboration.

      There is lot more to be said of difference between corroboration and non-corroboration and also falsification and non-falsification and further how non-corroboration is NOT Same as falsification….etc.

      But let’s move on

      (C) Now the above point in (B) is distinct from the timing of this lunar eclipse in the context of Krishna Shishthai. If someone assumes ONLY 7 days between Krishna Karna meeting and the first day of MBH war, this is all fine and I have no objections.

      In fact, If there is no demand to corroborate reference of Balarama Tirthayatra (42 days.. which he left for after Krishna returned to Upapalvya and then showed up on 18th day of war), I WOULD NOT HAVE conjectured (as done by many other researchers…P V Holay, Mohan Gupta, Achar, Raghavan, on and on) additional lunar month + 7 between Krishna-Karna meeting and the first day of the war.

      Anyone assuming ONLY 7 days between Krishna-Karna dialogue and the first day of War WILL NOT ABLE TO corroborate ’42 day duration’ of Balarama Tirthayatra, never mind the start and stop nakshatras as mentioned in Mahabharata. Now I am not saying that this observation of ‘Balarama Tirthayatra’ must be corroborated. However the point is, while it is easy for someone who is not proposing his/her own date to pick and choose any one or more observations of Mahabharata text, overall quality of a specific proposal (as better than others) can not be determined via this approach.

      This is precisely the reason, why two claims must be compared to decide quality and degree of corroboration. Someone who has not gone through the effort of corroborating all astronomy/chronology references of Mahabharata text may not comprehend all the issues/difficulties of proposing a model/theory and also a timeline.

      (D) A moon can be seen as reddish, coppery, etc (especially around full moon days) even when there is no eclipse. I have seen it many times. Since you are also a skywatcher… try to observe it at the time of sunrise…setting moon in the west. Even (or especially) 1-3 days after the full moon day are also good day to watch this (subject to prevailing of other suitable conditions) at the time of sunrise while full moonlike moon still up in the sky on the western horizon.

      Again, my point is, while this verse provides an excellent corroboration for lunar eclipse of Kartika, if one proposes such a timeline, lack of lunar eclipse on Kartika full moon for someone else’s timeline is not a falsification of it.

    • Shri Phadnis writes..

      “5. VYASA has talked about the ‘unusually short fortnight, not me! I also dont see how Purnima and amavasya can have only 12 days between them.”

      Excellent.

      But if this is the case, then the rest of the discussion related to gap between two eclipses is a mute point.

      It does not matter, if there are 13 or 14 or 15 days between eclipse in the proposal of a specific (me or someone else) researcher.

      Rather the point to note is…(assuming we stick with your interpretation of Vyasa’s unusually short fortnight) the observation/reference is NOT TESTABLE (based on our current knowledge of astronomy/cosmology).

    • Shri Phadnis writes…

      “6.Three positions of Saturn cannot be met. Your year meets NONE of the three. Saturn at Rohini gets my first vote like Shri. Achar. (Not that I accept his claim that other locations are of Comets.) Your claim that you have met all three is laughable and so I have laughed at Saturn troubling Rohini from ‘somewhere’!”

      Let’s state what is factually correct….

      (A) There are three positions of Saturn described in Mahabharata text in the context of MBH war

      (B) Saturn is the slowest moving visible planet (orbital period of ~30 years) and thus one can not play games with the position(s) of this planet….over a short span of few months.

      (C) I claim that I have corroborated all 3 positions of Saturn

      (D) You claim that I have corroborated NONE of the (3) positions of Saturn. I also acknowledge/recognize that you consider my claim laughable.

      So far so good.

      Now, I know of only one other researcher – Dr. P V Vartak, who claimed to have also explained all three positions of Saturn.

      He used

      (1) Factual position (near Phalguni) to explain 1 of 3 positions
      (2) His logic/explanation of Sayana and Nirayana positions of Saturn to explain it near nakshatra Rohini but also near Vishakha
      (3) He did recognize (not explicitly) weaker argument in (2) and thus provided few additional explanations to explain ‘Saturn near Vishakha” and ‘Saturn afflicting Rohini’.

      In fact, he did explain ‘Jupiter and Saturn near Vishakha’ very well. I simply borrowed his explanation. This is purely based on factual positions of Jupiter and Saturn on the both sides of Vishakha.

      Interestingly, he also offered alternate explanations (even when not required) for the same. This could be in his attempt to explain ‘Saturn afflicting Rohini’.

      While I do not accept his explanations (especially those of Sayana-Nirayana.. due to it’s Inconsistency), I admire his scientific acumen to recognize that all of them must be corroborated.

      Be it as it may….

      Achar does not explain why only he stuck to 1 of 3 observation of Saturn.

      (Actual explanation is not stated but is very obvious. You will able to figure it out. If not, I will be happy to state it. Let me know).

      You explain that only this should be considered (or gets priority) because of omen character of Saturn in Rohini.

      But based on what? Mahabharata has nothing…NADA to state any such thing.

      And that still does not explain why other 2 observations of Saturn show up in MBH text. All of them in the 2 chapters of Bhishma Nirvana and 2 of them in the very same chapter.

      So laugh as much as you may like….but that won’t solve the problem of 3 observations of Saturn. In fact one can determine few potential combinations (a priori) which may explain these 3 observations of Saturn.

      I will write a blog article on this soon….

      Yuddha or Bheda is a astronomy phenomenon referred to by many astronomers (Indian). I do not know the original reference. But this is even mentioned by those who have nothing to do with Mahabharata.

      This refers to planet being very close to a nakshatra but also almost at the opposite end of the sky.

      This is been made use of by numerous Mahabharata researchers – Lele Shastri, Shankar Balakrishna Dikshit, Mohan Gupta, P V Holay, P V Vartak and others to explain/corroborate an ancient (read – Mahabharata, Ramayana) observations for their timeline.

      Nuf said.

  2. Shri Prabhakar Phadnis writes…

    “Are you now differentiating between what Vaishampayana said and what Vyasa said? Vaishampayana has narrated the whole text. Do you claim that Bhishma has NOT said that he spent 58 painful nights? Then who said it or nobody said it? Has anybody OTHER THAN KRISHNA said anything about ‘how many days Bhishma spent on bed of arrows?’ All references where you have taken Vaishampayana’s name pertain to actions of Pandavas prior to Yudhishthir and Krishna met Bhishma for the first time after end of war. We have gone over that and have mostly agreed with the period. It makes no difference. What remains is ‘Krishna said 56 days, Bhishma says 57 days. Did krishna mean from that day onwards or total days? His statement is open to both meanings.”

    My response…

    I will repeat my theory – “All astronomy observations of Mahabharata text are visual and/or factual observations of the sky”

    Period. NO IFS and BUTS

    So where comes the question of me ‘differentiating’ between WHO said WHAT to WHO.

    Rather, I emphasized that all statements of chronology (27-30, 56, 50, 58) are rather stated by Vaishampayan.

    It was your claim (made multiple times via your blog and here) that Bhishma can not be wrong, Krishna’s statement could be by Krishna bhakta or that there is only ONE reference of chronology (58 days).

    To show that all of these claims of yours are without any basis, I provided the details.


    Even in your above comment, you are repeating your error….when you say that “All references where you have taken Vaishampayana’s name pertain to actions of Pandavas prior to Yudhishthir and Krishna met Bhishma for the first time after end of war.”

    This is incorrect.

    Vaishampaayan refers to Yudhishthir returning to Hastinapur (after Yudhishthir’s second last meeting with Bhishma) and spends 50 nights in Hastinapur before retrurning, for the last time to Bhishma, on the day of Bhishma Nirvana.

    It makes all the difference.

  3. Shri Prabhakar Phadnis writes..

    “Your claims of corroboration are questionable and I have pointed out many such problems. In particular your claims about positions of Saturn are unacceptable. Your claim that corroboration can be challenged by only another case of ‘better’ corroboration is pointless. Corroboration should be claimed on its own merits. Saturn and Jupiter several nakshatras away from required position cannot be considered as corroborating. It is not the duty of a critic like me to show another year showing a better match. (Unless of course you claim that a better match is ‘impossible’ !).”

    My response…

    In that case, you understand neither ‘corroboration’ nor ‘falsification’!

    Both of them are always in the context of a specific problem and always in the context of at least two propsosals.

    To wit…

    (1) If two proposed dates for Mahabharata war are say 3067 BCE (Raghavan/Achar) and 5561 BCE (Vartak/Oak).

    In this case AV observation FALSIFIES 3067 BCE

    And AV observation would corroborate year 5561 BCE.

    (2) If two proposed dates for Mahabharata war are say 5228 BCE (Lele shastri) and 5561 BCE (Vartak/Oak)

    In this case, AV observation does not falsify either proposed dates (5528 BCE or 5561 BCE)

    AV observation would corroborate both years (5528 BCE and 5561 BCE)

    Thus, in spite of all the excitement of AV observation, if two or multiple proposals fall within Epoch of Arundhati (11091 BCE – 4508 BCE), the value of AV observation for their falsification or corroboration is minimal.

    And one would have to look and analyze other observations to differentiate between these proposals to determine which among them should be deemed as better proposal.

    Business of science is not to generate ‘certain well established statements’ in isolation nor to reach towards some ‘finality’ in isolation. The best one can have is a ‘better theory and a better proposal’.

    No exceptions.

    (3) If all but 2 (Vartak/Oak) Mahabharata researchers run away from 2 of 3 observations of Saturn, they disqualify even before the comparison begins. Thus no question of testing ‘degree of corroboration’ of their proposals with that of Vartak/Oak.

    Now proposals of Vartak and Oak can be compared to see whose corroboration is better, since both of them tried to explain all 3 observations of Saturn…

    Hope this helps…

    Nilesh Oak

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