Debating evidence, method & Inferences: Oak vs Koch – Part 10

Dieter Koch writes,

“Now what I found really bizarre was your following statement:

I will certainly respond to his (i.e. D. Koch’s; DK) criticism. However, these observations are what I term ‘near earth phenomena’ and thus there is no point in critiquing his analysis until the issue of broad interval for the plausible year of Mahabharata war is settled. The analogy might help. Imagine measuring the size of an object using Vernier Caliper (shown below). Vernier Caliper has two scales. Vernier Caliper has two scales – Crude scale (main) and Finder Scale (Vernier). If the main scale is not employed properly, accurate measurement of Vernier (finer) scale would still lead to a WRONG answer!

“You cannot be serious!”

My response, 

I am very serious!

As of now, ‘AV observation’ and ‘set of observations related to Bhishma Nirvana’ are two sets of astronomy observations that exclusively and without referring to other observations (astronomy or otherwise) establish, without hesitation, ~4500 BCE as the lower boundary/limit on the timing of Mahabharata war.
Any attempt and any date, that falls after 4500 BCE is instantaneously falsified by these two sets of observations! NO IFS and NO BUTS.

Dieter Koch writes,

The situation is extremely simple: When your date, i.e. 16 October 5561 BCE, does not show “Jupiter and Saturn near Vishakha for one year”, which you assert it does, then this date is not “corroborated”, although you claim it is!

My response,

Shri Koch, as far as our discussion is concerned, I have not said a word, yet, about any planetary observations and how they corroborate for my proposed date of 5561 BCE! If we ever get there, I will certainly be happy to explain it. You may agree or disagree with my explanation at that time.
And I have no intention of prematurely jumping into numerous astronomy observations of Mahabharata text. Rest assured, I will not skip even a single observation and will follow the methodical path of logical deductive reasoning guided by objectively testable evidence.

To vet your appetite, here are links to my YouTube monologues that discuss all specific planetary observations of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, and not just one selective and specific observation of Jupiter and Saturn that you have repeated in your two responses.

Purva Paksha – Saturn observations of Mahabharata text

Purva Paksha – Jupiter observations of Mahabharata text

Purva-Paksha – Mars observations of Mahabharata text

Dieter Koch writes,

Whether or not we agree on the interval of 11000 – 4500 BCE is absolutely irrelevant here. And the same holds for all my (or Mr. Phadnis’) other arguments.
If you were ready to look at the matter on this very down-to-earth level, you would immediately find the falsification1 of your theory, because, indeed, it is falsifiable like a real scientific theory. In fact, I am quite astonished that this falsification has not taken place or borne fruit yet.

My response,

Sorry! I could not make a head or tail out of above passage.

Dieter Koch writes,

Yesterday, Shri Prabhakar Phadnis informed me about his book “Mahabharat War – Year and Date 16th Oct. 5561 BCE ?: Critical Comments On The book of Mr. Nilesh Oak – When did the Mahabharat War Happen? The Mystery of Arundhati.” (Readers who don’t know this book can download it free of charge as a Kindle book here: . )
I looked into the book and found, indeed, that Mr. Phadnis’ arguments against October 5561 as the date of the war are in very good agreement with mine, and he raises even many more questions than I do.

My response,

I encourage Mahabharata researchers and other enthusiasts to download the book of Shri Phadnis. Shri Phadnis has certainly raised many more questions than Shri Koch has.

Dieter Koch writes,

Also, I have to add that Mr. Phadnis has a good understanding not only of astronomy but also of Sanskrit grammar, so he sees where Mr. Oak’s (or even Gangooli’s) renderings are wrong.

My response,

Good to know of your opinion regarding Shri Phadnis and his understanding of astronomy and Sanskrit grammar. If it becomes relevant in our future discussion, I will certainly comment on it.

Dieter Koch writes,

I am really astonished that several years of contact with Shri Phadnis did not help you, Mr. Oak, to let go of your errors.

My response,

Shri Koch, your astonishment is due to your ignorance of the effect of Shri Phadnis’s critique of my work.  I have immensely benefited from his critical analysis of my work. It will be impossible to capture it in this short note. So simply to illustrate the point, here is a link that talks of three specific examples of how his criticism led to either modification or refinement of my existing theory or corroboration of specific references:

Dieter Koch writes,

This book is a precious present for you, but you do not appreciate it.

My response,

I like to see a ‘testable’ evidence in support of your claim!  Until then, it remains a pure and useless speculation.

Dieter Koch writes,

This makes me very pessimistic about our present encounter. Also your above statement gives me the impression that you are determined to evade my arguments against October 5561 BCE. But your errors are too obvious. You could ask any astrologer or astronomer who understands to calculate ancient astronomical configurations whether Jupiter and Saturn were “near Vishakha” (ι Librae) during that year. It was simply not the case!

My response,

I do not know what this means! I have no time for such meaningless statements.
I feel optimistic that Mahabharata research community is at the tipping point of deciding on the bounded interval for the timing of Mahabharata war and with some additional efforts and luck, possibly even nailing down the year of Mahabharata war.
We end up spending an enormous amount of time reading the analysis of others, doing our own and then writing responses. All this while balancing our duties to oneself, family and society. This can only happen (or should happen) if one sees value in it. If you feel pessimistic or very pessimistic, we can stop at any time. Your time is precious and so is mine. And we should be equally grateful to those who are reading and participating in this discussion.

In Summary:

(1) If you have still lingering doubts about the way I have drawn inference based on testing of AV observation (Epoch of Arundhati) or if there are questions about its ‘Nimitta’ characteristic, or if any other issue (how, when, why, etc.), I would like to address them before we move to the next set of astronomy evidence of Mahabharata text.
(2) I am more than happy to walk you through the evidence of Bhishma Nirvana which leads to similar inference as that of AV observations, especially for the lower limit of ~4500 BCE for the chronology of Mahabharata war. I am ok with going through this critical set of evidence but I am also ok with skipping it (since it leads to the same conclusion, and, also to save time). You let me know.
(3) Observations of Saturn (2) and Jupiter (2) and 1 additional observation of Jupiter & Saturn together would be the natural set of evidence to go next. This is natural because while a Mahabharata researcher can manipulate, twist and turn evidence or interpretation in explaining positions of fast-moving planets such as Mercury, Venus or Mars, such tricks can-not be easily employed in the case of Jupiter and Saturn.
(4) Upon satisfactory discussion of above 5 observations of Jupiter and Saturn, we will move on to 6 specific observations of Mars
(5) Next, we will cover 2 observations of Venus and 2 observations of Mercury.
(6) Next, we will mention few generic (not specifically identified) planetary observations
(7) Next, we will move to all observations for the positions and phases of the moon
(8) Next, we will look at all the observations of seasons and some specific sky observations (seven planets in the context of Sun (twice) and in the context of the moon (once). Of course, these can be discussed after step (5) above (i.e. after Venus and Mercury) or after step (6).
(9) Next, we will discuss eclipses, solar and lunar, mention of a gap of 13 days, the timing of these eclipses etc.
(10) Next, we will discuss the lone description of comet near nakshatra Pushya.
Of course, there is still a lot more evidence (even astronomy related – e.g. Tirthayatra of Balarama, Late moon rise on the 14th night of the war, numerous pre-war instances leading to the day of the war, etc.). I am eager, open and enthusiastic to discuss all of them if so desired by you.

I have already explained the logic and rationale for the sequence I have described above (in my email). However, I am reproducing that diagram below.

MBH War - Testability & Relevance

The sequence has the natural flow of beginning with highly testable (and thus less disputable) evidence first. It so happens that that evidence is also the one that allows us to define the boundaries for the timing of Mahabharata war and allows us to proceed towards plausible year (and then the month and then the day/Tithi) of the Mahabharata war.

I look forward to your response.

Warm regards,
Nilesh Oak


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