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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mercury on 17th day of war.


There is a reference to a planet rising ‘Tiryak’ in the evening after the death of Karna on 17th day of war. Shri. Oak has examined this in his book. He concludes that the planet was Mercury and he has given an explanation of ‘Tiryak’ rising.
On this blog or in my book I have not made any comments on this subject. I now am doing it.
On the 17th day of war after Karna was killed, there are several shlokas describing bad omens etc. One of them seems to refer to Mercury.
There are two versions of the shloka. The first line says that ‘On Karna’s death rivers stopped flowing and Sun set occured. No comments are needed on this line.
1. According the BORI edition, the second line is
ग्रहश्च तिर्यग्ज्वलितार्कवर्णो यमस्य पुत्रोभ्युदियाय राजन्
This line makes No Reference to Mercury. It talks about a planet which was तिर्यक् and ज्वलित अर्कवर्णः
The second part of the line says that the ‘Son of Yama’ had अभ्युदय. Mercury or ‘Budha’ is NOT son of Yama. It is considered son of Soma or Moon. Legend has it that when Budha was born, both Moon and Jupiter claimed to be his father! The dispute was decided by Brahma in favour of Moon. So Budha is Somaputra. Moon had asked his favourite wife Rohini to take care of him so Budha is also ‘Rohineya’! Budha is however, not referred to as Son of Yama anywhere.
So which is the planet referred in the first part of this line?
A) Mercury is not bright enough to be called ‘ज्वलित अर्कवर्णः’ B) Also what is meant by ‘तिर्यक्’? On the 17th day of war, Mercury was about 8 degrees above horizon at sunset. It set about 45 minutes later at a point about 10 degrees south of west.
B) On 16th Oct., first day, it had set about 21 minutes after sunset, one degree North of west. Its position on 17th day at its own setting was thus about 11 degrees towards south compared to 1st day. Its position in the sky when it became visible after sunset on 17th day was a little to the north and a little higher compared to its position on first day. Can this be the meaning of ‘tiryak’?
C) Of course, in the shloka, no reference is made to position on 1st day or no comparison is implied. It also does not mention name of the graha as Budha or Somaputra.
D) There is no other planet near the horizon at sunset on 17th day, which can be considered to meet the description, except maybe Jupiter.
E) There is no planet rising at Eastern horizon also, at sunset.
F) Movement of Mercury on 1 Nov. from sunset to its own setting is somewhat slant with reference to horizon. It was at azimuth 255 at sunset and azimuth 260 at its own setting. But that would be the case everyday, for any planet, noticeable some time prior to setting, as the axis of rotation of sky is inclined to horizontal, pointing towards CNP.
G) There is no clear explanation of the use of word ‘Tiryak’. Also there is no direct pointer to Mercury being under reference.
Regarding the second part of the line, reference to ‘Abhyudaya of Son of Yama’, needs to be interpreted. This is not connected with the first half in any way. I strongly believe, this part refers to Yudhishthira who was son of Yama and he was now freed from his great fear of Karna and would of course prosper (would have 'Abhyudaya').
2. The GP edition gives a slightly different version of the shloka first line being almost same.
Second line here is -
ग्रहश्च तिर्यग् ज्वलनार्कवर्णः
सोमस्य पुत्रोभ्युदियाय तिर्यक्
The first half is almost same and has same meaning. The second half however clearly talks about ‘Son of Soma’ or Mercury (Budha). The unnecessary repetition of the word ‘Tiryak’ should be noted.
This version does not appear to be authentic. It seems, the person who prepared this version, considered that the first half of the line refers to Budha and so he changed ‘यमस्य पुत्रः’ to ‘सोमस्य पुत्रः’. He spoiled his attempt by repeating the word ‘Tiryak’ unnecessarily, as though the ‘Graha’ in first part and ‘Son of Soma’ in second part were two different entities and both were ‘Tiryak. ’
This version therefore appears highly inappropriate. It also lost the reference to Yudhishthira and his ‘Abhyudaya as a result of Karna’s death’.
This version therefore deserves to be ignored. I do not know to whom it owes its creation.
Shri. Oak considers this GP version shloka to refer to Mercury and explains ‘tiryak’ as the changing position of Mercury when seen after sunset over the period of 17 days of war. He has of course ignored the BORI version and relied on the GP version. It does mention Mercury – Somasya Putra – but no comparison with position on 1st day is referred or implied in the shloka.
As stated above, BORI version does not point to Mercury. It mentions only a ‘tiryak’ graha which is of the colour of burning sun. This description is hardly appropriate for Mercury. Actually, Jupiter also shows same traits about its position at Sunset as Mercury and ज्वलनार्कवर्णः would be appropriate for Jupiter. So does 'Grahashcha Tiryak' refer to Jupiter, not Mercury?
Which version should take precedence?
Readers can take a call on these points.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Possible Alternative years of Mahabharat War


Shri. Oak has proposed 5561 BCE as the year of Mahabharat War and 16th Oct. as the first day. He has examined many astronomical references in his book and claimed corroboration for all.
The first reference he examined was pertaining to Saturn and Jupiter being close to Vishakha for more than an year prior to war and ending up ‘close to’ Vishakha at war date. He has claimed corroboration.This of course is not acceptable as they were quite far away from Vishakha on war date, Jupiter at Shravan and Saturn at Hasta.
I made an attempt to locate alternative years earlier than his year, when they were satisfactorily close to Vishakha.
I found two such years, 5706 BCE and 5942 BCE. They are both within 'Epoch of Arundhati' and during the period when Arundhati was nearly maximum ahead. Taking them to be just ‘possible alternatives’ I checked position of other planets and Moon.
As far as first day of war is concerned I have worked backwards from the Winter Solstice dates for the two years, viz. Jan 31 and Feb 2 resp. I take Bhishma’s statement of 57 painful nights on the deathbed as binding and thus the first day of war for the two years was 25th Nov. and 27 th Nov. resp.
Although movement of Mars and its going ‘Vakra’ (crossing of ecliptic as per Shri. Oak) and retrograde – prograde are fairly matching, those of Venus do not match the description in ‘शुक्रः प्रोष्ठपदे ...’
As far as Moon is concerned, in both cases, moon was at Revati (day of Krishna going for Shishtai), just after Autumnal Equinox, (शरदन्ते). There is no eclipse on Purnima and Amavasya for 5706 BCE and on Amavasya for 5942 BCE. Lunar eclipse on Purnima just prior to war appears possible for 5942 BCE as moon was almost on Ecliptic on that day. I cant say whether it was visible at Kurukshetra.
In both cases, no SHORT krishnapaksha is seen. (That is the case with Shri. Oak’s year also.)
It is seen that it may not be possible to locate an year which will meet all references satisfactorily. Further, any verification of Eclipses, or timing of Purnima and Amavasya is subject to ‘element of uncertainty’ !
I show below the two skyviews for the above two years showing Juptier and Saturn close to Vishakha. They were close to Vishakha for extended periods in both cases.
Out of the various references which are important and mandatory? In my opinion they are,
1. Short krishnapaksha. Vyasa is very emphatic on this.
2. Moon in Revati a little after Autumnal Equinox to match ‘Sharadante Himagame’
3. Lunar Eclipse on Purnima prior to war. The description of moon ‘अलक्ष्यः प्रभयाहीनः रक्तवर्णः’ is very clear.
4. Out of multiple locations of Jupiter and Saturn, no definite preference can be laid down. I give ‘Saturn at Rohini’ a preference. Saturn troubling Rohini from several Nakshatra away is not appropriate.
5. Venus movement should also match as the reference ‘शुक्रः प्रोष्ठपदे ...’ is very clear.
Readers can have their own priorities.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Movement of Venus


शुक्रः प्रोष्ठपदे पूर्वे समारुह्य विशांपते उत्तरे तु परिक्रम्य सहितः प्रत्युदीक्षते
Shri. Oak has examined this reference about Venus from Bhishmaparva in his book and claims corroboration.
I checked the position with Voyeger and the slides below show Venus Starting on south side of Ecliptic, from between Shravan and Dhanishtha, crossing Ecliptic and proceeding to Purva Bhadrapada, then going retrograde back to Shatabhishaj and finishing retrograde.
Then it proceeds to Purva and then Uttara Bhadrapada, crosses Ecliptic and then proceeds along the south side of ecliptic. It matches what the quotation says fairly
Although the quotation clearly uses present tense, and Vyasa said this before start of war, the motion described above is all AFTER the start of war claimed by Shri. Oak!
We can keep aside the use of present tense as poetic liberty. The shloka simply says that ‘venus has gone around Purva Bhadrapada and then proceeding towards Uttara Bhadrapada is seen shining brightly with it.'There is no mention of venus going around any planet or going towards north. The word ‘उत्तरे’ refers to Uttara Bhadrapada, not North!.
Shri. Oak sees Neptune in the Voyeger and somehow interprets the shloka to mean venus going around another planet, so it was Neptune which Vyasa is talking about.
On such interpretations, Shri. Oak has made claims that in Mahabharat times, our ancestors knew about Neptune, Uranus and even Pluto! No comments are needed.

Friday, April 28, 2017


I now have access to Voyager software. Making use of it, I tried to check the movement of Mars from Magha onwrdas for 'Vakra' and 'apasavya' movement. Readers are invited to take a look at the power point presentation I prepared.
One can see that Mars crossed the Ecliptic twice and also underwent the normal Retrograde-prograde movement at Chitra -Swati. Mars however did not cross Ecliptic at Magha or Jyeshtha as mentioned in Mahabharat but at other locations on the ecliptic.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Short Krishnapaksha


According to Shri. Oak, Mahabharata war began on 16th Oct. 5561 BCE. This was an Amavasya day. On 30th Sept. and 30th Oct.there was a Full moon day.
From Voyager, I find that
1. On Sept 30, at 4 pm, sun and moon had Eclipital Longitudes of 144deg. -57’ and 324 deg. 57’ resp., exactly 180 degrees apart. So this was the correct full moon time.
2. On 16th Oct. at 2 PM Sun and moon both had Ecliptical Longitude of 164 degrees 21’. So it was correct Amavasya time.
3. On 30th Oct. at 2 PM, Ecliptical Longites of Sun and moon were 178 – 31’ and 358 -35’ 180 degrees apart so this was full moon time.
The fortnight from Sept 30 to Oct 16 was 15 days and 22 hrs. , almost 16 days! A LONG fortnight!
The fortnight from Oct 16 to Oct 30 14 full days, again not a short one!
Where is Vyasa’s short fortnight of 13 days?

Fall of Abhijit – Some further thoughts.


A lot has already been written by me on the subject, on this blog and in my critical comments on the book of Shr. Oak Translation of ‘अभिजित स्पर्धमाना ...’ was correctly done by Dr. Vartak in ‘svayaambhu’ and he interpreted वन as water, which was very unusual but appropriate in this case.
Shri. Oak , for some reason or other, completely ignored this correct translation and made a mess of his interpretation of the four shlokas in his book.
I have given my interpretation of the following items, viz.
1.Why Abhijit was counted no. 1 and 27 other normal nakshatras followed, with Dhanishtha at no. two, to begin with, when Brahma started year system. 2. What happened later for Indra to say ‘abhijit has fallen off from the sky’. 3. Who was ‘Rohinee’s younger sister, Krittika or Anuradha as an alternative and 4. What finally happened – start of year was shifted from summer solstice to winter solstice and as it was now at Krittika, they got first rank or went to heaven and were brightly shining and abhijit was no longer counted along with the 27 nakshatras.
Upto now, I have also been interpreting इच्छंती ज्येष्ठतां देवी तपस्तप्तुं वनं गता on the lines of Dr. Vartak. i. e. ‘Devi went to water heated by तपः or sunshine. If this was to be interpreted to mean that ‘Summer solstice had shifted to Devi i. e. Krittika’, there was a complete time mismatch! Summer Solstice was much earlier –in 20000 BCE – at Krittika! I therefore proposed an alternative that Devi was the younger sister of Jyeshtha (also called Rohini) i. e. Anuradha and Summer Solstice had shifted to Anuradha from Dhanishtha. That did not shift Winter Solstice to Krittika.
Though Summer Solstice moving to Anuradha helped to judge the time of Indra-Skanda dialogue as 7500 BCE, question remained as to what made Krittika go to heaven ( be happy) and glow brightly.
I now propose a new interpretation of the line.
The word used in the shloka is ‘तप्तुम्’ and not ‘तप्तम्’ So, Devi 'went to water to heat it’ and not ‘went to water heated by sunshine’ would be a more appropriate translation.
So did Devi, younger sister of Rohini, i. e. Krittika go to Winter Solstice, so that water will be heated from the time sun came to Krittika for next six months?
She also wanted to become no. 1 (इच्छन्ती ज्येष्ठताम्), which she would achieve, if start of year was shifted to winter solstice. She was competing with Abhijit for no. 1. She was bound to win, as Abhijit had moved too far from North Pole, had no more relevance and was dropping to or below horizon in every orbit around CNP and so Indra called him गगनात् च्युतं नक्षत्रम्.
That is my interpretation now - ‘वनं तपस्तप्तुम् गता’ not ‘तपस्तप्तम् वनम् गता’
If this is accepted as correct interpretation, the Indra-Skanda dialogue took place when winter solstice had actually shifted to Krittika. From Voyager, I find that the time was 9000 BCE.
The time of the Indra-Skanda dialogue quoted by Markandeya to Yudhishthira was thus around 9000BCE.

In continuation with my own comment on previous post I show below the chart copied from Voyager showing Winter Solstice at Krittika. This was the view in 9100 BCE