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

Monday, August 17, 2015

Some further comments

Ref. 48 Exp. 37.
There is something wrong here in what Shri. Oak says. The Ref. actually is in GP 113. I searched in 112 and could not find it. Ganguly translates it as …
(Drona says to Ashvatthama describing his unease at the impending final skirmish between Arjun and Bhishma pointing out bad omens …)
‘Large meteors seem to fall from the centre of the solar disc. The constellation called Parigha, with a trunkless form, appeareth around the Sun. The solar and the lunar discs have become awful, foreboding great danger to Kshatriyas about the mangling of their bodies. The idols of the Kuru king in his temples tremble and laugh and dance and weep. The illustrious Moon riseth with his horns downward.’
This translation matches the reference only in respect of the moon rising with ends pointing downwards.
Actually the day had by no means even half finished. It was most probably still some time before noon. Here onwards there were many skirmishes , repeated attacks on Bhishma and vigorous and desperate efforts by all Kaurava warriors to push the Pandava warrior back and protect Bhishma. When later Bhishma fell down, it was a little before sunset.
How Drona is talking of moon? This was 10th day, so it was a Shukla Navami. Moon would become visible, only quite some time after noon, being more than 90 degrees behind Sun. Further, being Navami, the moon would be slightly more than half and cant have pointed ends! It wont be a crescent! I am not sure whether one can see a crescent moon with pointed end downwards at any time. In Shuklapaksha, upto say 4th day, it would be a crescent, but it would set a little after Sunset, and the lower side of moon being towards sun would be lighted and upper side dark, i. e. pointed ends will be upwards! In Krishnapaksh on the other hand, 12th day onwards it will be a crescent but will rise in the east, sometime before sunrise and again, lower side being towards Sun will be bright, so pointed ends will be upwards! So Shri. Oak should produce a photo of a Shukla Navami moon with POINTED ENDS, pointing DOWNWARDS.
Here is a photo of moon on Shukla Navami of Shravan, at 6-30 PM (On Aug. 24, in San Ramon CA), showing moon, at some height above Esatern horizon. It could have been seen rising on Eastern horizon only at about 3 PM, not before noon as Drona said to Ashvatthama. It is more than half, not a crescent and has no pointed ends.
Under Exp. 38 Shri. Oak has listed a large number of references where many warriors killed or lying on the ground are compared to moon. All these are mere Upamas and nothing else. Vyasa had no need to see full or nearly full moon in the sky in the night following the event for using the Upamas. Moon is routinely used as a ‘Upamana’ by Sanskrit poets and don’t need to have moon in the sky in front of them for that. These references prove or disprove nothing regarding the tithi of the day and deserve no verification or further consideration.
Ref. No 50. Translation of this reference is as follows –
'Decked, O monarch, in garlands of flower, and with a white umbrella held over his head, he looked like the full moon when in conjunction with the constellation Krittika.'
This is a description of Bhagadatta on the 12th day of war. Shri. Oak says this corroborates with the first day being an amavasya. Question is witch one. According to him war did not begin on Jyeshthaa Amavasya, but the next one, after a month of preparations. So sun and moon on first day should be in Purvashadha or beyond. In 12 days, moon will move on to Mrug, 2 nakshatras beyond Krittika! Also it was not a full moon night, Dvadashi only. But Bhagadatta is compared to full moon!
So, this is nothing but an Upama. For using it Vyasa does not require to see a full moon in Krittika on that day. In fact it was not so, but it has not stopped Vyasa from using the Upama. One cannot read anything more in it. Corroboration? Neither yes, nor no. Not a relevant issue.
Ref. 57- compares Raja Paandya’s fallen head with full moon. This is 16th day of the war. Translation of reference is as follows – ‘That head also, graced with a face bright as the full Moon, having a prominent nose and a pair of large eyes, red as copper with rage, adorned with earrings, falling on the ground, looked resplendent like the Moon himself between two bright constellations.’ Translator mentions two bright constellations, not Vishakha, but the Ref does mentions (Two) Vishakhas. Shri. Oak finds moon on that night to be at Punarvasu, nowhere near Vishakha. Finding moon between the four stars of Punarvasu, Shri. Oak makes a nice attempt to call these as two branches (Vi-shakhas! unfortunately, not dvi-shakhas!) of Punarvasu. It is ingenious but proves or disproves nothing. Once again it is nothing but just an Upama. The fallen head has many other distinguishing features and also high colour.. All these are not claimed to have similarities with full moon. It is not what poets call पूर्णोपमा. Proves or disproves nothing.
Ref. No. 58 Translation --
The sons of Draupadi, desirous of battle, stood by the side of the son of Prishata. They were clad in excellent coats of mail, and armed with excellent weapons, and all of them were endued with the prowess of tigers. Possessed of effulgent bodies, they followed their maternal uncle like the stars appearing with the Moon.
The event is on the 17th day of the war. If the war started on the amavasya following the Jyeshtha Amavasya, moon on first day would be in Purvashadha and by 17th day it would move to Ashlesha or beyond, not in Punarvasu. It would be in Punarvasu only if war started on Jyeshtha Amavasya but Shri. Oak wants one month for war preparation from that Amavasya, suggested by Krishna-Karna dialogue as the start day. I also say that if the solar eclipse occurred on Jyeshtha Amavasya, the second lunar eclipse would be after that and since Vyasa refers to all three, one day prior to start of war, the start date has to be the following Amavasya, not the Jyeshtha Amavasya!
Once again, this is just an Upama. Nothing more should be read in it.
Ref. 59
Translation --- Each of those heroes, standing by the side of Yudhishthira’s car, looked resplendent like the constellation Punarvasu by the side of the moon.
The same problem as for Ref. 57. Which Amavasya? If one after the Jyeshthaa one, then no corroboration! Again I treat it as just an Upama and don’t read anything more in it.
It is to be noted that Shri. Oak accepts that moon between Vishakhas (Ref. 57) can just be an Upama, as he knows that it is not ‘dwi-shakhas’ but only Vishakha!
Ref. 64. The lunar eclipse, if it took place, on 13th day after the solar eclipse had occurred well before the war started as Vyasa mentions it prior to war. On 17th day of war, it was an old story! It is just an Upama although a good one.
I have dealt with the various references which are strictly not astronomical like those from Karna-Krishna dialogue or from Vyasa-Dhritarashtra dialogue. All these are just Upamas. Some match some don’t. Makes no difference really.
Important point is that war started one month after Jyeshthaa Amavasya if you want an Amavasya. In any case it started after the so called second lunar eclipse, on 13th day after the solar one, since Vyasa, before war, has referred to it as an event already taken place. So all checking done by Shri. Oak taking Jyeshthaa Amavasya as first day, needs to be revised!


प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

Shri. Oak, on his blog, has commented that the statement is what Sanjaya said to Dhritarashtra! NOT true. It is clearly what DRONA said to his son, reported later by Sanjaya. A Navami moon wont have pointed ends. only upto,say, shashthi in shukla paksha and from Dvadashi of Krishna Paksha the moon can be said to have pointed ends. I could not find a picture of a Cresent moon, either near western or eastern horizon, with its pointed ends pointing downwards.

प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

Shri. Oak has also commented on Ref. 50. I agree that I had made a 'back of envelope' calculation of moon position, not having any software. I had counted 12 days, i. e. one more day so landed in Mruga. I should have landed in Rohini and then probably would not question Krittika. Since Shri. Oak has given data to show moon in Krittika no doubt remains. It was of course no Full Moon. My main point is that for Using an Upama, Vyasa doen not need to have moon in the sky. If some other year or date is under consideration, and on 12th day of war, there is only a crescent in the sky, it cant be considered as falsification. The reference has no 'proving' or 'disproving' value, like all other Upamas.

प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

I have added my comments on two more references to complete my comments phase.

प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

There were errors in reference numbers 57 and 58. I have corrected them to 58 and 59. Error regretted.

Nilesh Oak said...

You are doing (and have done) yeoman's service to those curious of Mahabharata, and also to my theory.

Very few are capable of understanding the argument, still fewer who comprehend the intricacies and still fewer who can challenge it and/or present alternate views.

All the progress of science has come due to severe, lethal and rational criticism of existing/successful theories.

I noticed you have commented on eclipses and also planetary positions in your previous blog articles that I have not read in detail, but I will get to them as time permits.
If you are in San Ramon, You may want to get in touch with Shri Kaushal (Kosla) Vepa. Let me know if you are interested and I will introduce you tow via FB.

I did send introductory email to my friend Sunil Ganu, who is also in Bay area.


प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

Pl. see my e-mail about new friends. Thanks

प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

I have added a Shukla Navami Photo to illustrate my point about moon with pointed ends.

प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

Shri. Oak has commented on his blog about Yudhishthira returning to battlefield free of injuries like Moon freed from Rahu. I have already said that it is a GOOD upama! Vyasa is no mean poet! Only point is that it has nothing to do with a lunar eclipse which may or may not have occurred many days back. If no lunar eclipse had occurred for even one full year prior to this day, Vyasa would still use this Upama if he wanted. The use of the Upama does not 'corroborate' anything.

Nilesh Oak said...

The photo (Shudda Navami) is very nice. I tried taking for Dashami (but could not due to cloudy skies) and then did take few on Dwadashi and Trayodashi (yesterday).

Photo taken by Shri Phadnis is of much superior quality. I took them with my smarthone and the moon looks like a full moon (which it should.. for all these days.. getting closer to true full moon in next two days).
Back to photo posted by Shri Phadnis.

While it is true that to a novice, it is easy to illustrate/explain what it means when one says that 'Pointed ends of the moon are pointed downwards' during crescent phases of the moon (pratipada, dwitiya, tritiya, chaturthi of Shukla paksha), even a novice would (should) agree where the pointed ends are facing.

I gave a definition of pointed ends (definitions for both - them pointing down but also pointing up - Shukla and Krishna paksha, respectively) and then picked 4 neighbors in Atlanta and asked them how the moon looked (Dwadashi day moon - two days ago). All 4 had no clue of Mahabharata or any insights into moon phases (other than generic knowledge of moon/moon phases/ etc... all of them non-Indians, and all of them reached the conclusion (independent of each other..they know each other but this was done with single person at a given instance) and they all reached the conclusion that the moon (of Dwadashi) had its pointed ends facing downward.
I know I may be accused of me 'lightly nudging their response'. While I have no way to prove my innocence, I did not do any such thing. :)
Interestingly, I had done such social double blind experiment related to my research on 'Kumbhakarna', by employing ~15+ members of Indian community of Atlanta.

The outcome of that research will be out soon. so far 45 pages written....working title for that research is "Kumbhakarna & KLS'

प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

Regarding the photo, I took it with a regular Canon Powershot A540. I went out of our front door many times to check whether moon could be seen. I wanted a photo as low down as possible and note the timing. Finally I could get the photo only at 6-30 PM but at some elevation. Besides the pointed ends and shape of the moon, I was mainly keen to check the timing when it could be seen rising. It is seen that it would be at about 3 PM. Drona remarked to his son about many bad omens etc and showed his fear about Bheesma's safety, ending with this moon observation. What was the timing? It should be 3 PM or later. I feel it does not leave enough time for the various events thereafter till Bheeshma fell down, before sunset. The dialogue should be at or before noon.
Regarding pointed ends downwards, I accept the democratic verdict. It is after all a subjective observation. In my view the Navami moon has no pointed ends, upwards or downwards.
Was the day a Krishnapaksha Shashthi or Saptami? Moon in that case would have somewhat pointed ends and would be seen setting on western horizon at or before noon.

प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

With reference to my last comment I have in fact, uploaded today a photo of Krishna Ashtami moon little before noon time. It clearly shows pointed ends, pointing downwards!