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

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

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Comments Contd...

References 34, 35 and 36, Exp. 30 to 34. –
The references are related to Solar Eclipse on 16th Oct., the first day of war. Translations of the references by Ganguli are as below.
Translation of Ref 34 - The Sun, when he rose, seemed to be divided in twain. Besides, that luminary, as it appeared in the firmament, seemed to blaze forth in flames.
Translation of Ref 35 - And as (both) the armies stood at dawn of day waiting for sunrise, a wind began to blow with drops of water (falling), and although there were no clouds, the roll of thunder was heard. And dry winds began to blow all around, bearing a shower of pointed pebbles along the ground. And as thick dust arose, covering the world with darkness. And large meteors began to fall east-wards, O bull of Bharata's race, and striking against the rising Sun, broke in fragments with loud noise. When the troops stood arrayed, O bull of Bharata's race, the Sun rose divested of splendour, and the Earth trembled with a loud sound, and cracked in many places, O chief of the Bharatas, with loud noise.
Translation of Ref 36 - And the Sun himself was shrouded by the dust raised by the combatants.
From the translations it is clear that Ref. 34 alone can be considered as talking about a solar eclipse in that it describes Sun as seeming to blaze in flames. Ref. 35 and 36 talk about dust raised by the combatants causing darkness., hardly a description of solar eclipse. Ref. 35 talks about events At Sunrise. The only words here, somewhat relevant to an eclipse, are ‘Sun rose divested of splendor’. Vyasa has laid more emphasis on heavy dust causing darkness.
Thus in all three references there is no direct mention of a solar eclipse. If there was an eclipse what was preventing Vyasa to be specific and call it a solar eclipse? Why leave it to inferences?
The Experiment no. 30 talks about a solar eclipse actually occurring on 16th Oct. but the timing is well after noon. Was it a total eclipse? Shri. Oak is not sure. What was the duration? Normally Solar Eclipses, partials or even totals don’t run into several hours. It is therefore most unlikely that in the morning there was any effect on the Sun. Fanciful events mentioned in Ref 35, all at sunrise, before the skirmishes began, cannot be attributed to the eclipse, if any, which occurred around noon.
The description of Ref. 34, ‘Sun seemed to blaze forth in flames’ seems to suggest the flares which are seen when a ‘Total Eclipse’ occurs. Well, there was obviously no total eclipse at sunrise.
The only reference, which somewhat points at a possible solar eclipse, is what Karna said to Krishna, viz. Rahu approaching Sun. That can only refer to the immediately following Amavasya within 7 days after the dialogue. But the war didn’t start on that Amavasya, according to me or even according to Shri. Oak himself. (Only preparations and rituals started!). Since Vyasa talks on the day before war about solar eclipse followed by lunar eclipse with only 13 days in between, as a ‘happening’, the eclipse which Karna suggested, would have occurred, (if at all it did), 7 days thereafter, on the Jyeshtha Amavasya, not the one when war began!
In conclusion I would say that there was no solar eclipse on the first day of war, claimed to be an Amavasya . If maybe there was any, it was one month back.
Ref 38 Exp.35 Translation of the reference by Ganguli is as follows.
And Sini's grandson and that bull of Kuru's race looked resplendent like the sun and the moon when together in the firmament after the last lunation of the dark fortnight has passed away.
On any Shukla Pratipada at the time of sunset, the Sun and a small crescent of Moon are seen close together. The reference simply compares Satyaki and Abhimanyu on same Ratha to Sun and Moon Crescent setting close together on the western horizon. (सोमसूर्यौ गतौ नभस्तले). Wherefrom does Shri. Oak conclude that it refers to the Amavasya three days back? The word गतौ refers to Sun and Moon (सोमसूर्यौ) and by no means to past Amavasya.
It is an instance of Shri. Oak’s motivated, freewheeling translation with no cognizance of grammar rules! It is NOT a corroborative evidence of Amavasya as a first day of war.
Exp 36, Ref – Various. Shri. Oak claims that the description of war for first 11 days is consistent with amavasya being the first day. I find nothing to contradict the claim. The skirmishes go on whole day and extend a little beyond sunset occasionally. Bhishma was keeping some control on the conduct of war so after sunset the skirmishes ended. Amavasya as first day is maybe OK. Question is, which one? Jyeshtha or the next or still later?
Some doubt persists though. The 7th day and 8th day descriptions of war at the end of the day, mention ‘pitch darkness’.
7th Day - 'thy troops and the Pandavas, ceased to fight when darkness came.'
8th Day - 'Kurus and the Pandavas withdrew their armies, when that awful night of pitchy darkness came.
As these are days of Shukla Paksha, on progressive days, moon would be higher up and larger at the sunset and time for ‘pitch darkness’ to set in would be some hours after sunset. The descriptions don’t mention the period of sufficient moonlight. Nothing is mentioned about moonlight in fact. There is an inconsistency here.

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