16 October 5561 BCE – Julian or Gregorian?

Before readers jump into the ‘Samvad’ between Shri Phadnis and yours truly, they will do well to understand that Shri Phadnis comprehends the inference of AV observation (which majority of living Mahabharata researchers fail to comprehend) and is also of the view that  a possible date of Mahabharata war should be searched in the region of  5800 BCE +/- 200 years.  The range Shri Phadnis specifies is based on the fact that this is the time range when separation of Arundhati and Vasishtha was at its highest, with Arundhati walking ahead of Vasishtha.

Readers can also visit his (Shri Phadnis blog) here.


Shri Phadnis wrote (on 9 Feb 2017)

Shri. Oak has assumed 16th Oct., the date proposed by Dr. Vartak to be Julian but obviously, it is not so. It is Gregorian. Based on 16th Oct to be Julian date Shri. Oak has noted down various planet positions for that date. He has claimed in his book and on his blog and on facebook repeatedly, that they match the astronomical references in Mahabharat. I do not accept the claim in many cases and have written extensively on this blog, giving my reasons.
There is a gap of almost 40 days between 16th Oct. Julian and 16th Oct Gregorian. Within those 40 days there may be no major change in the positions of the planets. I believe, if positions on the Julian date can be considered corroborated, so can be those, for the Gregorian 16th Oct. I wonder whether Shri. Oak agrees or finds any major problems.
16th Oct Julian, accrding to Shri. Oak, was an Amavasya. If so 16th Oct., Gregorian, will not be an Amavasya. Dr. Vartak in his book has claimed that it could have been an amavasya. He does this based on a 39 years cycle for repetition of a particular combination of date and tithi. Is the tithi of a particular date, 7500 years back, given by Software really reliable? If not what margin of error is likely? What was the tithi of 16th Oct. Greg.?
What does Shri. Oak say?
My response….
I have written about this ‘apparent chaos’ either directly to Shri Phadnis vis private communication in the past or via some blog notes on my blog.


Vartak calculated positions of planets via their orbital periods. which can show reasonable accuracy for slower planets -e..g Saturn ( and may be Jupiter). As one goes to other planets, orbital period calculations are not sufficient.

As to 16 October of Vartak.. whether he (Vartak) meant per Julian or Gregorian, I would encourage Shri Phadnis to try multiple different ways until he is convinced of his own position or of Dr. Vartak or mine..

(1) Test sun and moon position on 16 October (Julian) and 16 October (Gregorian).. in year 5561 BCE

(2) Test day of winter solstice for that year per Julian (30/31 January 5560 BCE) or about 18 December (Gregorian).

These are simple calculations however Shir Phadnis is unnecessarily confusing himself. If mine is wrong, it is responsibility of others to show how it is so. No point, asking me to recheck my calculations, repeatedly.

Julian calendar

16 October 5561 BCE – Day of Amawasya

30/31 January 5560 BCE – Day of winter solstice

Gregorian Calendar

16 October 5561 BCE – Day of Full moon (Pornima)

17 December 5561 BCE – Day of Winter solstice

What this means is if Gregorian calendar is assumed (as assumed by Shri Phadnis)…There would be only 53/54 Days for Bhishma on the bed of arrows (25 October through 16/17 December).
Regardding the whole problem of Vartak’s estimate for day of Bhishma Nirvana, I have written in meticulous detail in my book (chapter 9 and also chapter 10) – When did the Mahabharata War happen? The Mystery of Arundhati.
In brief…

Vartak assumed 16 October (Julian) for the first day of War (correctly)

But jumped to assumed but incorrect 22 December (per Gregorian in his mind) day of winter solstice for the day of Bhishma Nirvana.. without making the required correction of ~40 days for Julian to Gregorian jump.

In reality.. things are even bit more complex than he (Vartak) assumed or Shri Phadnis assumes… but their elaboration is beyond the scope of this note, here.

Shri Prabhakar Phadnis responded…
I have not claimed any date for start of war. You have claimed 16th Oct. Julian as Dr. Vartak’s date and checked it. Dr. Vartak has obviously claimed it as Gregorian as he arrives at this date working backwards from 22nd December as winter solstice, again, as per his assumption. So, if you want to claim 16th Oct Julian, as the first day, claim it as your own, not as Dr. Vartak’s claim. That is all I am saying. About your claim of validating planet positions of 16th Oct. Julian as mathing Mahabharat, we have exchanged our views and I stick to mine.
My response….
I would love to claim it as my own claim – 16 October (Julian) as the first day of war.. and claimed by me and me alone and the first one to do it.

More feathers in my caps, eh!

I won’t do it only because Dr. Vartak has done it and while it is my duty (as a child on his shoulders) to point out his error for the day of Bhishma Nirvana, Dr. Vartak is to be credited with the correct claim of 16 October (Julian) for stating as the first day of Mahabharata war.. even when his descriptions of planetary positions are off (which was due to back of the envelope orbital calculations)

Shri Phadnis,

If you refuse to comprehend, not much can be done.

(1) Dr. Vartak did not arrive at 16 October (Julian) by beginning with 22 December as day of Bhishma Nirvnana!

And assuming he did (for a min, let’s assume your claim is correct), then he should have begun from 17 December (day of winter solstice in year 5561 BCE) and gone backwards to count 58 days …and thus arrived at 11 October (Gregorian). He did not.

(2) Once he tried to explain/validate/justify 16 October (Julian) as first day of war, he tried to justify 22 December (Gregorian) as the day of winter solstice.

This resulted in ROYAL MESS.

(3) Indirectly, he was made aware of it when some critique brought up the issue of ‘Leap year calculations ” (very much due to Julian/Gregorian computation difference). Dr. Vartak acknowledged it and tried to explain that planets would not move much (which is true for Saturn/Jupiter ). However, he did not comprehend the implication of this gap of 40-50-55 days between Julian and Gregorian computations. I have shown and explained it in great detail in my book.

More coming in my next book ‘Bhishma Nirvana‘.


One thought on “16 October 5561 BCE – Julian or Gregorian?

  1. The date 16 Oct 5561 BCE is definitely according to Julian calendar and there shouldn’t be any second thought to it. However, some may find it difficult to grasp and digest. I request all of them to try Voyager using the link given below:-


    Anyone can download, install and test any claim of any researcher using Voyager. There are different options for calendar systems and it’s very easy to switch between them. The more you explore, more will be the fun in using it.

    Once someone shows willingness to explore the subject, the path can be found out if it’s not already clear. But, for those who are reluctant to show such a willingness, not much can be done. I hope I made myself clear !

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