आपणास माझे लेखन आवडते आहे असे ब्लॉगला भेट देणारांच्या वाढत्या संख्येवरून वाटते. विषेशकरून कर्णकथेला वाचक पुष्कळ मिळाले. आपल्या प्रतिक्रिया जरूर मिळावयास हव्यात! त्याशिवाय लिहीत राहण्याचा उत्साह कसा टिकून रहाणार?
I changed over from Marathi to English for my comments on Shri. Oak's book recently. I continue to get readers but there are no comments! Wonder whether I am boring!

Last Seven Days

माझी थोडी ओळख

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San Ramon and Mumbai, California and Maharashtra, United States
ज्येष्ठ नागरिक. साहित्य व संगीत प्रेमी. Senior Citizen

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Short Lunar Fortnight.

Vyasa has talked about a very short Lunar Fortnight from Previous Purnima to The Amavasya on the day just prior to the start of the Mahabharat War. That is the talk between Vyasa and Dhritarashtra when Vyasa describes many bad omens which he sees and which point to the disaster which is going to hit the Kuru dynasty. He says that the fortnight is only of 12 days from Purnima to Amavasya instead of the normal 14 days’ gap or a shorter, but not unusual, 13 days’ gap or even the rare 15 days’ gap. I stated in my earlier post describing what I would verify for any proposed war year, that the lunar fortnight ending on the Amavasya at the start of the war must match this description. The consensus is that it is an extremely unlikely event. Many attempts have been made to check whether this is possible without positive outcome.
I have a surprise for interested readers!
I happened to take a look at the Kalanirnay Calendar for August 2016 and was shocked to note a short fortnight right there!
1. On 17th Aug. it says it is Narali Purnima. Purnima begins ‘in the evening’ at 4-27 PM. Why Purnima then? Because Narali Purnima is an evening affair so you need to have Purnima in the evening. (That is how I understand it)
2. On 18th Aug. it says Shravan Purnima or Rakshabandhan. At sunrise it was a Purnima so it is a Purnima day. Purnima however ended at 2-56 PM.
3. On 19th and 20th Aug. calendar shows Pratipada and Dvitiya. Resp.
4. On 21st Aug. calendar says it is 3 and 4. It is called Sankashti Chaturthi with moonrise at 9-21 PM. Time for beginning of Chaturthi is 8-17 AM and end of Chaturthi is 29-43 PM or 5-43 AM on 22nd Aug. Chaturthi will end before sunrise on 22nd Aug. (These timings are shown on the back page of the calendar.)There is thus a tithi-kshaya here. (Two tithis on the same day.)
5. Then for next 9 days, from 22nd Aug. to 30th Aug. there are consecutive tithis from 5 to 13 (Krishna Panchami to Trayodashi)
6. On 31st Aug. Calendar shows 14th or Chaturdashi. It also shows the Chaturdashi ending and Amavasya beginning at 2-03 PM and calls the day Pithori Amavasya! ( I believe the Puja for Pithori is an Evening event.)
7. On 1st Sept. calendar shows Shravan Amavasya. It was Amavasya at sunrise but it ends at 2-32 PM.
18th August is Purnima and 31st Aug. is Amavasya. There are 12 days between the two!. One tithi, (4th – Chaturthi) has suffered a loss (tithi kshaya) which causes the short fortnight.
Surprisingly, there is a Lunar Eclipse shown on 17th August and Solar Eclipse on 1st Sept. (Both are not visible in India.) Vyasa also had talked of a Lunar Eclipse on the Purnima and a solar eclipse, indirectly hinted and vaguely described, on the first day of war which was a continuation of Amavasya. Of course, you can see a solar eclipse only after sunrise.
Events during this fortnight of August show a surprising similarity with what Vyasa says!
Let us calculate the period between end of Purnima and beginning of Amavasya here.
1. Purnima ended on 18th Aug. at 2-56 PM.
2. On 31st Aug., 13 days later, almost an hour earlier, at 2-03 PM, Amavasya began. The gap is 12 x 24 + 23 hours, or 311 hours. The average period for 14 tithis should be 14 x 24 = 336 hours less 6 hours since lunar month is about 29 1/2 days and not 30 days or say, 330 hrs).
3. The period from End of Purnima to End of Amavasya can also be checked. It is from 18th Aug. 2-56 PM to 1st Sept. 2-32 PM. i. e. 1/2 hour less than 14 full days or 335 1/2 hours against the average of 15 days less 6 hours or 354 hours.
It is clear, this fortnight is a ‘really short’ fortnight.
What Vyasa describes is thus definitely possible and being an unusual event, carefully noted down by Vyasa, any proposed war year under verification must show occurrence of it.
My demand for it is vindicated.
As a matter of curiosity I verified the length of the Krishna Fortnight (from start of Pratipada to End of Amavasya) for the past several months from the data given on Kalanirnay. I find the following figures in hours (rounded off to half hour)
1. Shaka 1936 Pousha - 368.5 hrs.
2. Magha - 360.5 hrs.
3. Falgun - 351.5 hrs.
4. Shaka 1937 Chaitra - 344.0 hrs.
5. Vaishakh - 336.5 hrs.
6. Jyeshtha - 334.0 hrs.
7. Adhik Ashadh - 336.0 hrs.
8. Nija Ashadha - 340.0 hrs.
9. Shravan - 348.0 hrs.
10. Bhadrapad - 357.0 hrs.
11. Ashvin - 366.0 hrs.
12. Kartik - 372.0 hrs.
13. Margashirsha - 374.0 hrs.
14. Pousha - 373.0 hrs.
15. Magha - 367.5 hrs.
16. Falgun - 359.5 hrs.
17.Shaka 1938 Chaitra - 350.0 hrs.
18. Vaishakh - 341.5 hrs.
19. Jyeshtha - 336.0 hrs.
20. Ashadh - 334.0 hrs.
21. Shravan - 335.0 hrs.
One can see a pattern of increasing and decreasing length of the paksha as compared to 15 days less 6hrs or 354 hrs. Jyeshtha of Shaka 1937 also had a short Krishnapaksha of 334 hrs. Calendar shows 2nd June as Purnima and it continues till 9.48 PM. Amavasya however is shown on 16th June and it continues till 9.35 PM. There are 13 days between these two dates so it does not match with Vyasa's description. Also there were no eclipses on either day. So out of short Krishnapakshas of 334/335 hours which will occur from time to time, only very few will match Vyasa's description. I am amazed that, accidentally, I noted that Shravan of Shaka 1938 matches it in all respects.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Year of Mahabharata War.
I have no access to any software for Astronomical Research on this subject. If I can get it, how will I go about trying to determine the year? My line of action will be as follows.
1. I would concentrate on the period when Arundhati was maximum ahead of Vasishtha, based on data generated by Shri. Nilesh Oak, say 7000BCE to 5000 BCE, to begin with.
2. Then note down the years within this range when Saturn was in Rohini. As Saturn takes more than one year to cross a nakshatra, the years so noted +/- 1 would also suit.
3. For any year taken up for further verification, the date of Winter Solstice and Autumnal Equinox get established.
4. Working backwards from date of Winter Solstice, based on the fact that Bhishma spent 57 days on the bed of arrows, the date of his fall and the date of commencement of war will be established.
5. With the first day of war thus fixed, I will verify whether it was an Amavasya day or not later than 3rd day after Amavasya.
6. If that is satisfied, I will check the previous Purnima. Was there a total or near total Lunar Eclipse on that day?
7. If so, what was the length of the Paksha? It should be short, at least not exceeding 14 days. (A paksha of 13 days as described by Vyasa appears difficult to find.)
8. If ok so far, which is the Revati day, after the Purnima? That will be the day for Krishna to start from Upaplavya. It has to be, say, not later than 2 or 3 days after Purnima so that Krishna returns on 4th day and both armies move to Kurukshetra on Pushya day, 8th day from Revati day.
9. Was there a solar eclipse on the Amavasya? Need not be,
10. If all above are satisfied, the motion of Mars will have to be checked for Vakra or Apasavya motion, position on the first day of war etc. vis a vis description in the Text.
11. Similarly, Jupiter’s motion prior to first day of war and end position should be checked. Does it end up in Shravan?
12. Movement of Venus also needs to be checked similarly for comparing with what the text says.
13. If any year under verification meets the above requirements, it can be considered as a Candidate year.
14. If no year can be determined as a Candidate, I would go further 500 years back (in desperation), and then give up!
15. I would still call the qualifying year or years as only Candidates and offer them to researchers and others for developing a consensus.
I would welcome views of interested readers on this program!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

I wrote some posts here about a monograph by Shri. Narahari Achar on his use of Planetarium Software for validating the year 3067 BCE determined by Shri. Raghavan earlier as the year of Mahabharat War. I have consolidated, edited and published my critical comments in a book form and published it on Amazon Kindle self publishing. Interested readers can read it there or I can send them a WORD file by e-mail if they request for it. Prabhakar Phadnis pkphadnis@yahoo.com

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I have written many posts here and commented upon the book of Shri. Nilesh Oak. Shri. Oak's book has been widely read by Indian and other readers. I am not aware whether it has been extensively commented upon, after critically examining his many claims. I have stated on this blog, my observations and disagreements. My posts had received good response from readers. I therefore thought it worthwhile to make the effort to consolidate them in book form. I hope readers will take a look at the book. It is now available on Amazon.com as a kindle self publication. The book was earlier available on bookstruck website but now that it is published on Amazon Kindle, it has been withdrawn from Bookstruck. If any interested reader wants, I can send the WORD file to him by email at his request.
Prabhakar Phadnis pkphadnis@yahoo.com

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Drona and Pandavas -- 8

Up to now, every day, at sunset or a little later the fighting used to stop. On this 14th day, it did not stop even after Jayadratha was killed a little before sunset. Duryodhana and Karna were anguished that in spite of all efforts they could not stop Arjuna from penetrating all defence and reaching Jayadratha. It is to be noted that they did not grumble that they were cheated and led to believe that Sun had set! So obviously Krishna had done nothing to make it so appear. Without any such skulduggery, Arjuna had achieved his objective.
After Jayadratha was killed the battle continued in full vigor throughout the night and continued next day. Drona became desperate that he could not capture Yudhishthira and progressively, the Panchalas were now more aggressive against him. His war-aim now changed to killing the Panchalas. He started using all his powerful astras and started a carnage of Panchal Army and Drupada and his family. Even till the end he never targeted any Pandava directly as he had no wish to kill any of them but Bheem, Krishna and Yudhishthira started worrying that if he was not checked, he would kill all the Panchals which was of course their main army. Arjun was reluctant to clash with his Guru wholeheartedly. Finally Krishna suggested a plan. Somehow Drona should be convinced that his son Ashvatthama was dead! Only that may make him give up the fight! But how to do it? Bheem went and killed an elephant named Ashvatthama! Then he went and told Drona repeatedly that Ashvatthama was dead. He knew that Drona will not believe him! He and Krishna knew that Drona may ask Yudhishthira directly whether it was true. They had persuaded him to be ambiguous but not to deny it! Bheema finally again went near Drona and scolded him ‘You are not our Guru. You are our enemy now. You are not even a Brahmin as you have no pity on Panchal soldiers and used Brahmastra on them! What keeps you fighting when your son is dead?’
Ultimately Drona approached Yudhishthira and asked him ‘Is Ashvatthama dead?’ Most reluctantly, Yudhishthira replied ‘Yes, an Elephant!’ He mumbled the last two words without looking at Drona and satisfied his conscience that he was not lying! (Bheem had told him earlier that he had killed Ashvatthama the Elephat). Drona, on hearing Yudhishthira’s ‘yes’ lost heart, threw down his bow and sat down in his ratha. Arjuna was not a party to this plan!
Dhrishtadyumna who had lost his father, brothers, family and army did not wait and waste any time. He climbed on Drona’s ratha and cut his head off with his sword, without paying any heed to Arjuna’s pleas not to kill Drona when he had no weapon!
The deed was done and many verbal duels started between, Satyaki and Arjun on one side and Bheem and Dhrishtadyumna on the other. But that was not going to bring Drona back. The fighting for the day ended with Drona’s death. Arjuna who was most reluctant to fight with his Guru and kill him was spared from that deed.
A little question remains in my mind. Ashvatthama was one of seven Chiranjeevis. The other was Krupacharya. Why these two figure in the list which also contains Bibheeshana? I have not come across any stories as to why these two were immortals! In any case if it was so, why Drona, who must have known that his son cannot die, believed Yudhishthira? My guess is that he had grown weary of fighting and killing. Somewhere in his mind he must have thought ‘enough!’ Over five days of war, he had failed to capture Yudhishthira and could see no end to the war. He just gave up out of frustration. A life devoted to Dhanurved finally ended.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Drona and Pandavas - 7

On the thirteenth day, Mahabharat says that the Trigratas succeeded in keeping Arjuna engaged for the whole day. Surprizingly, the description of the whole day’s engagement is covered in just 4 shlokas with no name of any prominent warrior killed by Arjuna. This is in sharp contrast with description of 12th day’s clashes between Arjuna and Trigartas which runs into many pages! I strongly suspect that Arjuna was very tired or injured and did not appear on the battlefield for whole day!
Drona had arranged the main Kourava army in a ChakraVyuha, which Mahabharat calles ‘extremely difficult to penetrate’. This makes it essentially a ‘defensive formation’. Drona had kept himself out of the Vyuha and his plan was to attack and capture Yudhishthira. Pandavas were quite aware of the plan. This day Pandavas took an offencive and Panchalas and Pandavas attacked Drona at the start of the day. Drona defended himself well. Question remained, who will break and enter the Chakravyuha.
I have written on this blog earlier on Abhimanyu’s death so will not repeat the whole story. When Abhimanyu entered the Chakravyuha and was proving quite too much to all Kaurava warriers, it was ultimately Drona who advised then to cut his bow somehow. With that they all managed to kill him. Was Drona happy with this? Mahabharat is silent. Even in the absence of Arjun, Drona did not succeed in capturing Yudhishthira as Pandavas and Panchalas defended him stoutly. The day’s skirmishes ended with Abhimanyu’s death. Late in the evening when Arjun came to know about Abhimanyu’s death he took an oath that on the next day he would kill Jayadratha and if he failed he would kill himself. When Kauravas heard this, they decided to protect Jayadratha by all means. Drona was of course the main planner of the next day’s strategy. He asked six main warriors to keep on challenging Arjuna turn by turn for the whole day to prevent him reaching Jayadratha placed deep in the back, further supported by his own forces. Drona kept himself free to use the opportunity of Arjuna being engaged for capturing Yudhishthira. He seems to have set his faith in Duryodhana’s plan to stop the war with minimum damage. He knew that Arjuna would prevail in the end but sacrificing Jayadratha was worth it if Yudhishthira can be captured.
I have written in full detail about the 14th day’s events earlier so will not repeat. Ultimately at the end of the day, jayadratha was killed but again, even without Satyaki and Bheema, who had gone to support Arjuna, Dhrishtadyumna foiled Drona’s plan.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Drona and Pandavas -- 6

During the first 10 days of the war, Bhishma was in charge of Kourava Army. Drona kept a secondary role and on many occasions, specially on the tenth day, asked all main warriors to protect Bhishma. He may have hoped, like Bhishma, that after the war goes on for some days, a compromise can take place. He was obviously not keen on killing any Pandava brothers. His enemy was Drupada and his sons.
On 10th day Bhishma finally fell down. He declared that he will hold on to life until Uttarayan begins. On 11th day Duryodhana had to select a replacement Senapati. Karna was now ready to fight. Duryodhana did not bypass Drona and select Karna. Pandavas’ main supporters, Panchalaas were still more or less intact and Drona was needed to face them. On being designated as senapati Drona asked Duryodhan what he wanted to do. Duryodhan also wanted now to end the war but on his terms! He asked Drona to capture Yudhishthira. Drona expressed surprise and pleasure that he did not want Yudhishthira killed. Duryodhan said if Yudhishthira was killed, Pandawas would be furious and will never give up. So his plan was to capture Yudhishthir and make him play Dyuta again and banish the Pandawas for ever! Drona agreed to do it but made it clear that so long as Arjun was around to protect Yudhishthir, even Drona himself also wont be able to capture Yudhishthir. ‘Keep him engaged elsewhere and I will do what you want.’
One can speculate what would have happened if the plan had worked. Drona was probably reconciled to Pandavas’ fate if he succeeded, as that was a lesser evil than killing them all (which, in any case, was not easy).
From 11th day onwards the war-aim was to capture Yudhishthira and the strategy for that was to draw away Arjuna from the main front! For first two days although Arjun was challenged by the Trigarta king and his brothers, Arjuna retained control and whenever a cricis arose he intervened to hold back Drona. When Duryodhana expressed unhappiness, Drona again said ‘ Keep Arjuna away’. On 13th day, the Trigartas again offered to make maximum effort to keep Arjuna engaged. 13th day was unexpectedly eventful.