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

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

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

14th day of War.

The problem of complete darkness after sunset for several hours on 14th day of war is not amenable to easy solution.
The description of the events of the day after Jayadratha was killed late in the evening, before Sunset, is very clear. The skirmishes between main warriors on both sides continued with hardly any interruption due to Jayadratha’s killing. Karna and Duryodhan expressed their anguish that in spite of all efforts by all their prime warriors against Arjuna they did not succeed in stopping Jayadratha’s death. Duryodhana blamed Drona for allowing Arjuna to bypass him, first thing in the morning. Drona realized that it was now his turn to face the combined efforts of Dhrishtadyumna, Arjuna and all others to corner him.
Why the battle did not stop with Sunset? Everybody realized that the turning point of the war was on hand. Abhimanyu on previous day and Arjuna today had carried out extensive carnage of Kuru army. Bheem and Satyaki no less. Even in the absence of Arjun, Bheem and Satyaki, Dhrishtadyumna and others had successfully defended Yudhishthira against Drona’s attempts to capture him. The tide had clearly turned against Kauravas. So this continued fight was a desperate effort to stem the rot. Pandavas on the other hand were in full fighting mood, Arjuna having achieved the task of killing Jayadratha against all odds.
Descriptions of the skirmishes, which continued during the night are in full details, very long and vivid. After full darkness set in and the soldiers could not distinguish between friend and foe, many large oil lamps were brought in by both sides and fierce fighting continued in whatever light they could provide. There are repeated descriptions of skirmishes by lamplight and warriors rushing from darkened areas to spots better lighted by even a few lamps. Ultimately, everybody was utterly exhausted. Arjuna invited all to stop fighting for a little while, not leaving the battlefield but just resting and refreshing a little. Out of utter exhaustion, the foot soldiers on both sides asked the charioteers to accept the short truce and fighting stopped for a while.
Arjuna’s speech ----
‘Beholding this condition of the soldiers, O bull among men, Vibhatsu in a very loud voice, said these words: 'All of you, with your animals, are worn out with exertion and blind with sleep. Ye warriors, ye are enveloped in darkness and with dust. Therefore, if ye like, ye may rest. Indeed, here, on the field of battle close your eyes for a while. Then when the moon will rise, ye Kurus and Pandavas, ye may again, having slept and taken rest, encounter each other for the sake of heaven.' Hearing these words of the virtuous Arjuna, the virtuous warriors (of the Kuru army) assented to the suggestion, and addressing one another, loudly said, 'O Karna, O Karna, O king Duryodhana, abstain from the fight. The Pandava host hath ceased to strike us.' Then at those words of Phalguna, uttered loudly by him, the Pandava army as also thine, O Bharata, abstained from battle.’
It is noteworthy that Arjuna clearly mentions ‘when the moon will rise’
Description of moonrise -----
Then the moon, that delighter of eye and lord of lilies, of hue white as the checks of a beautiful lady, rose, adorning the direction presided over by Indra. Indeed, like a lion of the Udaya hills, with rays constituting his manes of brilliant yellow, he issued out of his cave in the east, tearing to pieces the thick gloom of night resembling an extensive herd of elephants. That lover of all assemblage of lilies (in the world), bright as the body of Mahadeva's excellent bull, full-arched and radiant as Karna's bow, and delightful and charming as the smile on the lips of a bashful bride, bloomed in the firmament. Soon, however, that divine lord having the hare for his mark showed himself shedding brighter rays around. Indeed, the moon, after this seemed to gradually emit a bright halo of far-reaching light that resembled the splendour of gold.
The description leaves no doubt whatsoever in any reader’s mind that there was complete and heavy darkness for almost whole night, until, early morning, Moon rose a little before the Sun. The words in the description of moonrise, point out that it rose In The East (Direction presided over by Indra). Moon is ‘full arched’ and like Karna’s bow or a crescent in other words. It cannot, by any stretch of imagination be considered as a (nearly) full moon becoming visible after dust settled down. If it was a full moon, obscured by dust the whole night, it would, when freed from dust, reappear early morning near the western horizon and not in the east. It would also not be a crescent.
The description matches a moonrise on Krishna Chaturdashi in timing, shape and place.
Following is the description of what happened after the battle resumed with moonrise.
"Sanjaya said, 'When three-fourths of that night had worn away, the battle, O king, once more commenced between the Kurus and the Pandavas. Both sides were elated with joy. Soon after, Aruna, the charioteer of Surya, weakening the splendour of the moon, appeared, causing the welkin to assume a coppery hue. The east was soon reddened with the red rays of the sun that resembled a circular plate of gold. Then all the warriors of the Kuru and the Pandava hosts, alighting from cars and steeds and vehicles borne by men, stood, with joined hands, facing the sun, and uttered the prayers of the twilight of dawn.’
It is thus clear that the moonrise was quickly followed by Arunodaya and the Sunrise. No major skirmish took place between moonrise and sunrise. With Sunrise however, the war resumed full force.
I wonder why Shri. Oak is neglecting all these descriptions and insists on attributing the darkness throughout the night to just the dust obscuring a near full moon. I would advise Shri. Oak to go to a village, and step out at midnight of a full moon, cloudless night and see for himself the amount of light thrown by the moon and then imagine it being converted to complete darkness due to ‘dust’ throughout the night. Readers can imagine how much dust it would take.
I totally reject Shri. Oak’s dusty explanation of the 14th day dark night.
We have to look for the explanation somewhere else.
1. One possibility is that the war did not start on an Amavasya but near or on a Pournima. One must remember, Vyasa had seen and commented upon the very short Shuklapaksha which occurred before commencement of war. War could have commenced some day thereafter.
2. Shri. Kavishvar’s proposal is an alternative explanation, in case war did start on Amavasya.
3. Some day some other explanation may be found. Vyasa himself says .. कालोह्ययं निरवधिर्विपुलाच पृथ्वी

No comments: