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

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Year and Date of War ... Continued

Now let us take a look at the date claimed as the first day of war. Dr. Vartak first proposed the date, 16th Oct in the year 5561 BCE in his book Svayambhu. Shri. Oak has accepted it. I had presumed that Dr. Vartak meant it to be as per Gregorian calendar projected backwards. My presumption was based on his own reasoning behind stating a Date as against a lunar month and tithi, that for a common reader, a date will make sense more easily. Obviously, that will be so, only if it is the familiar Gregorian date, with which a specific season will be straightaway associated in the mind of lay reader. A Julian date, in an year 7600 years back would not make sense to a lay reader easily. However, Shri. Oak has taken the same date, by Julian Calendar, as first day, so that is that.
In 5561 BCE, winter solstice was on 31st Jan according to Shri. Oak, which is correct. The Autumnal Equinox then would be around end October.
My objections to the date, 16th Oct., are as under.
1. If this date is accepted, we have to accept that the war began almost a fortnight before Autumnal Equinox. The rains in India end only by Autumnal Equinox. The start of war before end of rainy season is not appropriate by any account.(A)There was no extraordinary situation why war had to begin before end of rains. No side was in a desperate hurry. (B)There were at least 70-100 prominent warriors on both sides, well versed in warfare with Chaturanga Dal using elephants, horses and horse-drawn Chariots. They would never think of starting the war until ground conditions were favorable. If Krishna or anyone else for that matter, was to propose it, they would have called him a fool. Only Karna’s chariot wheel got stuck in mud on 17th day. If war had started before end of rains, chariots of all and sundry warriors would have got stuck in mud! The Maharathis on both sides knew this of course and would never agree to start war on 16th Oct. (C) Krishna, in fact, in his dialogue with Karna when he invited Kouravas to Kurukshetra for war, clearly stated that rains have ended, crops have come up, grass is plentiful and ground is dry. He was not a fool. (Vyasa also said the same things on the day before war). The dialogue itself thus took place well after end of rains. War came thereafter. (D)When Krishna left Upaplavya for his visit to Hastinapur, for his effort for peace, the season is unambiguously described as शरदान्ते हिमागमे. The effort failed and the war started ‘some days thereafter’. Obviously, it did not start before end of rains.
2. Shri. Oak asserts that 16th Oct. was an Amavasya. Description of war on several days after sunset does not match the tithi of that day counting first day as amavasya. (A) On 7th and 8th day, there is mention of deep darkness soon after sunset though 7th or 8th day’s moon would be bright enough after twilight. (B) The anomaly of total darkness almost throughout the night on 14th day which was an almost full-moon night is well discussed. No amount of DUST could have caused that. (C)Drona mentioning moon with pointed ends (pointing downwards or not is not critical) to his son on 10th day, around noon, is not consistent with appropriate time for moon-rise on Shuddha navami. The time would be late afternoon. My photo of Navami moon, (larger than half, not a crescent ), a little above eastern horizon, taken almost at end of day may be referred. For these reasons war could not have started on an amavasya.
3. Vyasa expressed his surprise and anguish in clear words on the day before war, that an unusually short fortnight of only 13 days has occurred as against the usual 14 or 15 days or sometimes even 16 days. Shri Oak says, 16th Oct was amavasya and the previous and subsequent poornimas were on 1st Oct and 31st October. Both these fortnights are longer than 13 days.
4. Since Vyasa talks with wonder, about the occurrence of ‘a short, 13 day fortnight’ on the day before war, the start of war cannot be on the previous amavasya. It can be on that poornima which occurred on 13th day itself or more logically, a day or two thereafter.
5. If the war started on 16th Oct. Bhishma fell down on 25th Oct. He actually died on 31st Jan, winter solstice day or next day. It means he spent 91+ days on death bed. It violently contrasts with what Bhishma himself said before dying. He clearly states that he spent 58 nights on the death bed or 57 days. If war started several days after the end of rains as is only logical, this discrepancy will not arise.
(I know Shri. Oak has made out a case for the long period of Bhishma on death-bed which is illogical and I will write on that topic in detail. At present I only assert that there is no reason to doubt what Bhishma himself said before dying and which Vyasa recorded.)
6. In the detailed description of the war on all 18 days, there is not a single mention of clouds or rain. No wonder, rains were well over, before war began.
7. Balaram went on pilgrimage 24 days before war began (He returned on 18th day of war after a yatra of 42 days). In the detailed description of his yatra there is no mention of Rain.
8. 16th Oct. in 5561 BCE was 15 days before Autumnal Equinox of that year. The corresponding date for current year 2015 CE, would be 6th Sept. What was the weather in Kurukshetra around then? Monsoon has still not withdrawn from North India on 20th Sept. (Did Krishna start from Upaplavya in August?)
9. Take a look at Maratha history and tradition. Armies marched out from Dasara onwards. Soldiers were not available until cultivation season was over. Kings in Mahabharata times would have faced same problem! Wherefrom did thousands of soldiers come before rains ended?
. .
Based on the above reasons I am unable to accept 16th Oct, Julian, in 5561 BCE, as the first day of war. Facts and Logic cannot be twisted to suit so called Astronomical references. For any year of war, the first day date has to be about 20 days after the Autumnal Equinox date of that year.

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