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, July 9, 2015

Fall of Abhijit End.

After having stated my detailed interpretation of the quotation from Mahabharat, it is time to move on. I will end my writing on this topic with this post.
At one stage of my discussions with Shri. Oak on this subject he had said that his main purpose of elaborating on this topic was to show that there was a long tradition of visual astronomy in India stretching far back of Mahabharat time. I would say that the quotation fulfills that purpose. Although my conclusion on the timing of the Indra – Skanda dialogue is different from Shri. Oak and Dr. Vartak too, one or two things emerge.
1. Brahma set up the system of marking time and gave first place to Dhanishtha. Dr. Vartak and Shri. Oak have interpreted this to be in 14500 BC as Summer Solstice was near Dhanishtha at that time and it would be an appropriate start for the year. I agree.
2. If one considers a later date around 8500 BC when Autumnal Equinox was at Dhanishtha, for Brahma’s action, it is still far back enough, but the quotation (Devi going to Tapastapta Vana) cannot be properly interpreted for any time after 8500BC as Summer Solstice will be nowhere near either Krittika –Rohini or Vishakha-Anuradha (My alternative candidate for Devi). So we have to stick to ‘Summer Solstice at Dhanishtha’
3. So the event, about which Markandeya talks to Yudhishthira, (Indra’s SOS), is itself in sufficient antiquity – around 9500 BC - and Brahma setting up start of year from Dhanishtha at Summer Solstice is much more so.
I wonder though whether the world-at-large will ever admit that Indians’ use of Visual Astronomy stretched that far back.
I just noticed from Kalanirnay hanging on the kitchen wall that on 22nd June, Sun entered the Ardra Nakshatra. Should we say that Ardras have gone to TapastaptaVana? After about 3000 years Sun will enter Krittika on 22nd June.


Nilesh Oak said...

I will analyze your 'Fall of Abhijit' interpretation later on.

What follows is specific comments on why I included 'Fall of Abhijit' reference in my book - When did the Mahabharata War happen? The Mystery of Arundhati.

(1) The reference occurs in Mahabharata text and since I was gung ho on including every single astronomy reference from Mahabharata, it was right thing to do.
(2) The reference has no direct impact on the timing of Mahabharata war and this is what I mean when I said (in my correspondence with Shri Phadnis) that this 'Fall of Abhijit' reference is excellent as evidence for ancient tradition of astronomy observations in India.

Thus, it may serve as educational (although not needed/required for the scientific inference of AV observation) to those who based on pure opinion of their own and thus in a very unscientific manner asks questions of the kind,...(1) But people were in stone age then - 5561 BCE, (2) but how can they accurately know such things, (3) blah blah...

(3) Reference also had implication for 'AV observation' as this was another (although not needed/required) validation for the Indian astronomer's awareness of times when Arundhati walked behind Vasistha.. prior to 11091 BCE.

प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

Regarding the third point, no doubt prior to 11000 BC, Arundhati was behind Vasisshtha according to data collected by you. Question is, did anyone have any reason to note the small time gap? Were Saptarshis and Arundhati noted as a group (nakshatra)? Were they given the names they have? Since when? (Vasishtha is a contemporary of Rama.)They are nowhere near the Ecliptic like 27 Nakshatras. They were not pointing out the CNP as they are currently doing. Also Arundhati was significantly behind Vasishtha only prior to 16000 -17000 BC (about as much,as ahead of Vasishtha at mahabharat war time), to be noticed.

Nilesh Oak said...

My brief responses..

Question is, did anyone have any reason to note the small time gap?

Anyone wanting to know who is ahead (between Vaistha and Arundhati) would have known who is ahead and who is behind prior to 11091 BCE

Were Saptarshis and Arundhati noted as a group (nakshatra)?

Yes. Not as nakshatra in the sense of being part of 27 or 28 - desired for tracking motion of moon (and other bodies). Saptarshi(Ursa Major) and Kalapurush/Mrigashirsha (Orion) are the most prominent and most discussed/most familiar star groupings in northern and southern hemisphere, respectively.. across all cultures of the world.

Were they given the names they have? Since when?

Yes to first question. Some of the names for seven sages have changed over time. However, Vasistha identification is VERY Persistent.

Since when? No one knows...at least not as of now.

(Vasishtha is a contemporary of Rama.)

Vasistha existed long before Rama (so did Vishwamitra and many others).

Vasistha, Vishwamitra, Valmiki, Parashar, Bhrigu, Agastya and other existed prior to Rama, after Rama, during Mahabharata and even after all the way to our times.

(I can be considered Vasistha (at least one of the Vasisthas of our time.. Vasistha gotrotpanna . :) )

They are nowhere near the Ecliptic like 27 Nakshatras. They were not pointing out the CNP as they are currently doing.

This is correct. Nowhere they are stated to be so (i.e. like 27 Nakshatras). Last point.. agreed.

However, none of this poses any problem for Arundhati-Vasistha identification or their importance.

Also Arundhati was significantly behind Vasishtha only prior to 16000 -17000 BC (about as much,as ahead of Vasishtha at mahabharat war time), to be noticed.

I presume you are referring to naked eye observation. Again, there is nothing that would preclude 16000-17000 BCE or earlier timeframe for AV observation (with A behind V).

प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

Taking Ramayana as it is, Vasishtha and Vishvamitra are specifically mentioned in Rama's life story. So is Atri. In Mahabharata I dont recollect their presence or participation in any specific event in the Kourava-Pandava story. In my view therefore, they were contemporaries of Rama and were not physically around at mahabharata time. (I dont know about the others from saptarshis. The name Pulastya is also linked with Ravana - Ravana is Poulastya, Pulastya's son, if I am not mistaken.) I therefore speculate that the seven stars were given their names some time between the time of Rama and Pandavas. It is unlikely that milenia prior to 11000 BC anyone took note whether the starlet, later called Arundhati, was behind the close-by star, later called vasishtha. For a very long time after they got their names, they were so close together that it was difficult to say who was ahead. Maybe, by the time of the mahabharata war, keen observers started noticing that Arundhati appeared to be a little behind Vasishtha. Vyasa recorded this observation. It was most likely, 'ahead' versus 'together', not 'ahead' versus 'behind'
Any data available about when Ursa Major got its name?

प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

A mistake in the above comment. Pl. read 'keen observers started noticing that Arundhati appeared to be a little ahead Vasishtha'

Ankit Khemka said...

Hello Mr.Phadnis and Mr.Oak.
A very humble and tiny observation from my side. I dont think we need to argue on whether Arundhati was behind Vashishta prior to 11900 BCE. I say this because there is an ancient Rig Vedic ritual of marriage wherein the bride looks up at the heavens and says to the groom, 'Just as Arundhati never leaves Vashishta, I shall always be by your side'.
Hence, it should be clear that this custom is from the time that to the naked eye, Arundhati and Vashishta were walking together. Hence, anytime between 11900 BCE and 6000 BCE.
Now Maharishi Vyas would obviously know this ancient Rig Vedic rite of marriage and hence the fact that Arundhati never leaves the side of Vashishta. Thus, during his lifetime, when he starts observing that Arundhati has left Vashishta behind, he obviously takes it as a sign of disaster.

Hoping for further discussion with both you esteemed gentlemen.

Ankit Khemka