Debating evidence, method & Inferences: Oak vs Koch – Part 7

continued from part 6….

Dieter Koch writes,

Actually, I would have given first priority to the latter, because the public will be more interested in the question whether this is a tenable year for the war.

My response…

Public is indeed very eager and want all Mahabharata researchers to gather together, discuss all claims rationally and scientifically and reach an agreement.  In principle, all Mahabharata researchers may not disagree with this desire of public.  But this surface agreement of Mahabharata researchers should not be equated with their willingness to do what is right.  When this process finally does take place, and it has indeed begun (our discussion is very much part of this process and I thank you), many skeletons (dogma, non-scientific inferences, inductive and thus faulty inferences, application of only arbitrary or selective evidence, hiding of crucial evidence, hiding of obvious falsification of specific claims, glorification of superficial research and proposals and much more) are going to roll out of the closet.  By luck, public will able to see that ‘many emperors have no clothes’.  And for that very reason, expect resistance or digression coming from various quarters that will not allow logical, rational, consistent and scientific discussion of this subject.  Despite these realities, I remain extremely optimistic and what I am stating are obvious roadblocks that one should be aware of.

The point I want to emphasize is that if the method is not sound, we should not give in to public desire for a quick resolution.  It won’t be resolution anyways.   Our eagerness to meet public demand may lead to more confusion on their part.  This is not a speculation but my humble submission based on numerous such discussions and debates I have participated (forums, in person, conferences, one on one, social media, etc.) over last 20+ years.  The confusion is not limited to public and exists in equal proportion among Mahabharata researchers.

I am glad that you recognize that there must be indeed a priority in which we discuss the evidence.

Mbh Observations 215

I have divided observations of Mahabharata text into two groups.  One group includes all observations due to near earth phenomenon and thus those that recur frequently.  This group includes positions and conjunctions of planets, positions and phases of the moon and full moon & Amawasya, solar and lunar eclipses and comets.  The second group includes all observations that are due to the long term (still cyclical) phenomenon of ‘the precession of equinoxes’.  The visual representation is below.

The observations in the blue (left side) should be tested for their inference first before testing observations on the yellow (right side).

When all Mahabharata researchers had shown inability to objectively test AV observation (until 2009 CE), it was understandable if Mahabharata researchers either began with say Bhishma Nirvana observations (they were certainly testable) or with planetary observations – especially multiple observations of slow moving planets such as Saturn and Jupiter.  For example, Mahabharata text has 2 observations for Saturn, 2 observations for Jupiter and 1 additional observation for Saturn and Jupiter together (the last observation you have written a lot about in both of your responses and one I am extremely eager to discuss, along with the other 2 observations each for Jupiter & Saturn).

Majority (if not all) Mahabharata researchers have provided only lip service to ‘extremely important and critical set of observations’ of Bhishma Nirvana.  This set of observations is as epoch making as AV observation.

I am currently writing a book totally dedicated to ‘Bhishma Nirvana observations’ which asserts that Bhishma was on the bed of arrows for >92 days and this also means the timing of Mahabharata war can-not be any time after ~4700 BCE!

My hope is that you will see the deductive force of AV observation for the lower limit of 4508 BCE and in which case there would be no need (at least in our discussion here) for me to elaborate through Bhishma Nirvana observations to assert the same point (i.e. lower limit of 4700 BCE on the timing of Mahabharata war). However, if that is what it takes, I am willing to do it.

Once I can resolve all your concerns related to AV observation (astronomy or Nimitta (signs, indication or omen) aspect of this observation), I will quickly jump into planetary observations of Mahabharata text.

You showed your willingness to assume (for this discussion) that historical year of Mahabharata war would fall, anywhere between 11091 BCE through 4508 BCE. That is great.  We can move on to the next logical set of evidence.  However, you have also continued your suspicion about the inference of AV observation (for the timing of Mahabharata war) below.

This by itself is not an issue for me.  However, we can-not proceed further unless we have at least a tentative agreement above the inference of AV observation.

Dieter Koch writes,

As to the astronomical observation of Vasishtha’s and Arundhati’s meridian transits, you write:


(quote below is from my first book – When did the Mahabharata war happen)

So, I solved the problem. In a scientific jargon, it would not have mattered how long this phenomenon was occurring. It would also not matter by how much distance/separation, Arundhati was ahead of Vasistha. So before we get into additional exploration and explanations, it is important to realize that this discovery is a great breakthrough. It is revolutionary in its implications and various objections people have raised have no implication whatsoever on the ‘scientific’ nature of this discovery. If Newton had discovered this and if people had put the above questions to him, he would have simply answered, “Hypothesis non Fingo” ( in layperson’s language – I don’t know). The discoverer is not required to answer these questions. One may claim that these concerns are real and they may be. But these new problems are in fact the result of the revolutionary discovery of ‘Epoch of Arundhati ‘(11091 BCE – 4508 BCE). One must understand this and then, and only then, one can begin to explore answers to the new questions raised.

(end of quote)

Dieter Koch continues his comment..

So this means that in your opinion your interpretation of Arundhati going before Vasishtha as referring to their meridian transits (or difference in right ascension) must be considered correct in any case, independently of all the questions that have been raised by myself and others. [emphasis mine]

My response…

This is not my opinion.  My explanation, interpretation and testing is the ONLY objectively testable (and therefore scientific) explanation of AV observation. If someone, in future, comes up with alternate and objectively testable explanation of AV observation, the research community would have to decide which of the two explanations is a better and testable of the two alternatives (i.e. higher degree of corroboration) and which of the two explanations lead to conflicting/contradicting inferences.

In the absence of alternate viable explanation, my explanation should be considered correct, albeit tentative and open to future falsification.

I have answered, for last 5+ years, all questions related to this AV observation.  I will continue to do the same and in fact I insist that people do not rush to other observations of Mahabharata until they are convinced of the deductive force of AV observation.  This is because if they move on to the other astronomy observations of Mahabharata prematurely, they will face tremendous confusion in comprehending them and/or arguments/explanations/justifications of Mahabharata researchers for those observations.

To be continued…




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