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!
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Bhishma Nirvan - End of comments.
What remains is that both Krishna and Bhishma are saying that Bhishma spent 57-58 nights on deathbed. There is no contradiction. A realistic Time line of Yudhishthira’s various actions in these 57 days may be taken as 8 + 1 balance days of war, 30 days for funerals, travel to Ganga, jalanjali and stay for ashoucha at Ganga, 8 days for coronation, administrative and other duties, 3-4 days for visits to and a dialogue with Bhishma about essentials of Rajadharma and returning to Bhishma after balance days when Uttarayan began. This also fits well between start of war about 20 days after autumnal equinox and Bhishma ending his life on winter solstice.
The several hundreds of pages of text of the Bhishma-Yudhishthir dialogue in Shanti and Anushasan Parva are just a comprehensive compilation of all accumulated knowledge and wisdom available at that time. Obviously the entire material was not physically spoken out carefully and slowly by the dying and suffering Bhishma to enable Yudhishthira to absorb it fully! Bhishma and Yudhishthira, quite probably, did have a dialogue over 3-4 days which helped Yudhishthira to overcome his grief and guilt and to regain peace of mind and get some essential knowledge of Rajadharma too. Vyasa (or later, Vaishampayana/Souti) used the occasion to make the comprehensive compilation for posterity. As far as I know, that is the general consensus view of Mahabharat Lovers.
I do not know of any other researcher, astronomical or otherwise, concluding that Bhishma spent 95+ days on deathbed, other than Shri. Oak. Everyone else has taken Bhishma’s statement before death about spending painful 58 nights as true. There is no contradictory statement or view by anyone in the entire Mahabharat. Bhishma was considered as a learned man and he was dying. Why he would make a grossly inaccurate statement? Had he lost his mind? How is it that no one around him, then or later, has questioned the days? How Krishna, Yudhishthira, Vyasa, Vaishampayana, or Souti have said nothing contradictory? Even in today’s world a man’s dying declaration is accepted by Judiciary as true if properly recorded. Bhishma made his statement in the presence of many and Vyasa has recorded it. Shri. Oak has robbed Bhishma of the right to a dying declaration. His only basis for that is, Krishna’ statement literally interpreted to mean 57 days ‘thereafter’. He has of course just ignored two specific statements, 1)Vyasa showing urgency in his advice to Yudhishthira to visit Bhishma and 2)Yudhishthira saying that only a few days of dakshinayana remained.
In all this discussion I have purposely omitted any mention of tithis or month names. Mahabharata text also does not mention them in the many of these references. My observation is that Mahabharata mentions ऋतु when required but seldom month and tithi. It is to be noted that Tithis and months of two major events viz. 1)Dyuta/Anudyuta and 2)Arjun appearing with Uttara to battle with Kauravas, are not stated. (This was noted by me when I started reading Mahabharat carefully and with interest and wrote my first article on this blog that Pandavas did not complete 13 years of Vanavas/ Adnyatavas. I gave my first lecture in Vile Parle Mumbai, years back, on the same subject). If month names are found mentioned, they, most probably, are latter-day inclusions. There is no certainty that the current names of lunar months or current system of naming months was in vogue in Mahabharat times. System of Adhik masas in vogue was also a simple one of taking 2 extra nameless months after 58 regular months as explained by Bhishma.
In my view, it is not appropriate to designate Dates or build time-lines based on tithis and months where they are mentioned. I admit that this may not be acceptable to many.
The mahabharat war just could not have begun till well after rains ended for obvious physical reasons and this has been pinpointed by Vyasa using शरदान्ते (after Autumnal Equinox), as the time for Krishna’s departure for Shishtai. Start of war therefore has to be minimum 15 days after Autumnal Equinox. Fortunately, no one questions (so far as I know) that Bhishma died just after Uttarayan began. These two fixed points of time are thus binding for ANY year of war, any researcher proposes. The Julian date of the autumnal equinox and winter solstice get determined based on the year proposed. Other events must be timed and dated accordingly.
Shri. Oak’s findings that war began well before autumnal equinox and Bhisma spent 95+ days on death-bed are illogical and must be rejected.