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

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Comments Continued.

Karna – Krishna Dialogue
Krishna sent a message to Bhishma-Drona-Krupa through Karna that let war begin on the coming Amavasya. Shri. Achar claims that Krishna had no authority to declare war. It was for Yudhishthira and Duryodhana to do so. Well, Yudhishthira had long back told Duryodhana , ‘give me my Indraprastha or fight.’ Duryodhana openly rejected the demand for restoration of full Indraprastha rajya and even a minimum demand of 5 places for 5 brothers. No further declarations of war were needed. Krishna simply advised the appropriate time! In the Text also there is no subsequent setting of time for commencement of hostilities by either Yudhishthira or Duryodhana. If Krishna’s message ‘संग्रामं योजयेत्’ is to be interpreted as commencement of war rituals, where is the description of any such rituals gone through later by either side? Krishna has obviously asked for commencement of war, declaring ground conditions appropriate for it. Karna and later Kouravas seem to have accepted it.
Shri. Achar has quoted the astronomical observations of Karna at the end of the dialogue. He interprets ‘व्यावृत्तं लक्ष्म सोमस्य’ as a positive assertion that there was a lunar eclipse on the last Purnima. By itself, it is hardly so. In a lunar eclipse the spot on the moon does not turn nor does an eclipse leave any long-standing change in the appearance of the moon. The translation of karna’s words, ‘moon lost its lustre’ is also not correct. The next statement ‘Rahu is approaching the Sun’ is also only indicative of a possible Solar eclipse on the coming Amavasya. Karna’s other two statements that a) Saturn is afflicting Rohini and b) Mars’ retrograde motion after Jyeshtha, are verified by Shri. Achar with the software, which need a closer look. There is one more observation by Karna that a Graha is afflicting Chitra. Somehow, the name of the Graha is not mentioned by Karna. Shri. Achar points out that Karna has talked about a lunar eclipse and a possible solar eclipse but says nothing about no. of days between the two. He infers that it was a usual lunar Paksha, nothing abnormal.
Vyasa-Dhritarashthra dialogue.
On the eve before war commenced (or on Krishna Chaturdashi if war did commence on Kartika Amavasya), Vyasa had a long dialogue with Dhritarashtra when he expressed his grief at the coming destruction of the Kurus. He mentions a lot of bad omens he was seeing and also many astronomical observations. Shri. Achar has gone through all of them carefully, dividing them into 4 groups. He states here his view that in most of these observations the word ‘graha’ or ‘graha-putra’ stands for Comet. Since I have no knowledge of the references quoted by him in support of this claim, I have no comments to make on this point. It is for researchers having necessary background knowledge to accept or reject it.
In the first group of Vyasa’s observations, there are many bad omens and only one astronomical observation about moon on the last kartika Full-moon day. The description is of the same day as by Karna but far more specific. The words अलक्ष्यः, प्रभयाहीनः, रक्तवर्णः all describe a lunar eclipse. Shri. Achar attaches special importance to the red colour of moon as it is supposed to indicate a battle.
In the very recent lunar eclipse which we all saw, it was clearly seen that the moon turns red only when most of its surface is in shadow. When even a quarter part is still bright, it is not reddish in colour. The sky in any case does not turn red. The photo shown below illustrates the point.
Was the eclipse Vyasa describes a near-total lunar eclipse? We will come to this later again. Surprisingly, Vyasa refers to this eclipse again in the second group of observations but uses the same three words as used by Karna! This time Shri. Achar translates them differently as ‘Spot on the moon has shifted’. Even in a total or near total lunar eclipse no such thing happens. (Photo above may be referred). So what exactly happened to moon? We can only say it suffered an eclipse.
In the second group there is a mention of Saturn afflicting Rohini. Shri. Achar attaches a lot of importance to this one treating it as referring to Saturn itself (not a comet) and a strong bad omen. Vyasa also talks about Rahu catching the Sun and specifies Shveta as a graha afflicting Chitra. Karna had left the name of the graha out. Shri. Achar claims that Shveta is usually translated as Mercury. (It is to be noted that he has not included this position of Mercury in the list of observations to be verified by Planetarium Software.)
All observations in the third segment are claimed by Shri. Achar to be of Comets. Number of these comets runs to 12. While some of these claims appear, even to a novice like me as legitimate, I refrain from contradicting any of these claims. Again they are to be left for others to study and comment upon. Point to be noted is that since, in his view, verification of comets by planetary software is not reliable, he has not put to test any of these 12 observations for presence of a comet at the designated nakshatra. One would expect an effort ‘for what it is worth’ to subject these 12 observation to test. I believe comets do not move so fast that they would move from the positions mentioned in the 12 observations over a span of even 15 days.
In the fourth segment there are some more bad omens and then the observation about multiple eclipses. A lunar eclipse on Kartika Purnima was positively described earlier by Vyasa. A solar eclipse has been hinted at or suggested by both Karna and Vyasa. These two had apparently already occurred and the interval between the two, or the length of the Kartika Krishnapaksha has been the usual one since neither Karna nor Vyasa comments on that point. Vyasa expresses his surprise at a very short interval between two eclipses and an unusually short Paksha of 13 days (not 14, 15 or even 16). So this must refer to yet another eclipse on the following Margashirsha Purnima. Vyasa also talks about two eclipses ‘in one month.’ Since the first Lunar Eclipse was on Kartika Purnima and solar one on Kartika Amavasya, both these must be construed as having taken place ‘in one and the same month’. Problem is that if Vyasa is referring to these two, they were not 12 days apart at all. If he is referring to solar eclipse on Kartika Amavasya and another lunar one on Margashirsha Purnima with a Paksha length of only 13 days, the two are not ‘in the same month’! So what exactly is Vyasa saying? Since Vyasa has NOT described the second lunar in specific terms like the first one, it is not clear whether he considered it a partial, near total or total eclipse. Shri. Achar seems to take the second alternative of three eclipses and says he has verified all three eclipses by the Planetarium software. He has a rider on the eclipses that their verification is not reliable! We will take a look at that later.
Thus after going through the long list of Astronomical observations by Karna and Vyasa in Udyoga and Bhishma Parva, Shri. Achar reduced the list to only four items for testing. Only two viz. Saturn at Rohini and Vakri motion of Mars pertain to Planets and the other two are the lunar and solar eclipses! Even the only other planetary position, viz. Mercury (Shveta) at Chitra, (not ruled out by him as a comet) is not verified.
One of the bad omens listed by Vyasa is about Arundhati walking ahead of Vasishtha. Shri. Achar has taken no note whatsoever of the book written by Shri. Nilesh Oak, based on his own research with Software and computer, on this subject. The year authenticated by Shri. Achar, 3067 BCE, is well outside the 'Epoch of Arundhati'.

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