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

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fall of Abhijit

After explaining the Astronomical concepts etc. Shri. Oak has written a whole chapter on Abhijit with reference to a small quotation from Mahabharat before going on to write about Arundhati. I found several things wrong about what he has written and had exchange of e-mails with him, The subject is interesting and Shri. Oak’s comparison of the event with Roger Bacon writing to Pope asking for a calendar correction is novel and appropriate. My comments are as follows.
1. The Nakshatras identified by our ancestors, are all, more or less, strung along the Ecliptic, more or less, equidistant. This is consistent with their purpose of serving as a reference frame for marking the position of Sun, Moon and Planets from time to time, as they move along the ecliptic. There are 27 of them because moon completes a round in 27 days. Now the question is, where does Abhijit come in? It is a very prominent bright star but nowhere near the ecliptic. It is almost 60 degrees away and has always been so. How could it ever have been counted as a nakshatra? I conjecture that in the days when the Nakshatras were identified by our ancestors, the Celestial North pole was close to Abhijit and hence, along with the Nakshatras it was an excellent reference point for mapping. That is why, probably, it was counted along with 27 Nakshatras, as a मेरुमणि
2. The quotation from Mahabharat , ‘अभिजित्स्पर्धमाना ..’ has not been translated by Shri. Oak correctly at all. It actually talks about Krittika, younger sister of Rohini, competing with Abhijit and going to Vana for Tapa. (अभिजित्स्पर्धमाना, कन्यसी स्वसा, ज्येष्ठतां इच्छती, are all adjectives of देवी, i. e. कृत्तिका.) Shri. P. V. Vartak has in fact given a correct translation (in स्वयम्भु) and a fairly correct interpretation also. On the other hand, Shri. Oak has wrongly presumed the quotation to mean Abhijit, younger sister of Rohini competing with Rohini (for seniority) and going to Vana for Tapa. He ignores that Abhijit is a masculine name and can be Rohini’s brother but not sister! He interprets Abhijit moving very close to North Pole as going to Vana and performing Tapa! His whole explanation and effort to fix a time frame for the Event on this basis is therefore meaningless. Abhijit is not doing any Spardha. It has fallen from the sky.
3. ‘नक्षत्रं गगनात् च्युतं’ has been explained by him as ‘moving towards north pole.’ Abhijit getting close to North pole or remaining close to north pole cannot be interpreted as its FALL (च्युतम्) from the sky by any stretch of imagination as, near the north pole, it would be prominently visible and ‘steady’ too.
4. Shri. Oak also talks about Abhijit moving towards and away from the ecliptic, which is of course meaningless. What he obviously means is moving towards or away from the Equator. When I pointed this out, he admitted the error, very gracefully. But the paragraphs where this occurs need rewriting.
5. The reason for dropping Abhijit from list of nakshatras needs explanation based on interpretation of ‘च्युतम्’
6. Krittika must have, necessarily, always been included in list of nakshatras because if you leave out krittika, a big gaping gap along the ecliptic will remain between Bharani and Rohini. Why those wise men, who built the reference frame of nakshatras, would leave such a gap? Abhijit is nowhere near this gap by the way. To say, Abhijit was dropped and Krittika was included in its place in list of Nakshatras is meaningless.
In the next post, I will give my own interpretation of the Mahabharata Quotation.


Nilesh Oak said...

Only a small correction. Comparison of situation of 'Fall of Abhijiit' was made with request of Roger Bacon (13th century CE) and not with Newton.

प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

Regret Error. Correcting.