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

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Fall of Abhijit – Some further thoughts.

A lot has already been written by me on the subject, on this blog and in my critical comments on the book of Shr. Oak Translation of ‘अभिजित स्पर्धमाना ...’ was correctly done by Dr. Vartak in ‘svayaambhu’ and he interpreted वन as water, which was very unusual but appropriate in this case.
Shri. Oak , for some reason or other, completely ignored this correct translation and made a mess of his interpretation of the four shlokas in his book.
I have given my interpretation of the following items, viz.
1.Why Abhijit was counted no. 1 and 27 other normal nakshatras followed, with Dhanishtha at no. two, to begin with, when Brahma started year system. 2. What happened later for Indra to say ‘abhijit has fallen off from the sky’. 3. Who was ‘Rohinee’s younger sister, Krittika or Anuradha as an alternative and 4. What finally happened – start of year was shifted from summer solstice to winter solstice and as it was now at Krittika, they got first rank or went to heaven and were brightly shining and abhijit was no longer counted along with the 27 nakshatras.
Upto now, I have also been interpreting इच्छंती ज्येष्ठतां देवी तपस्तप्तुं वनं गता on the lines of Dr. Vartak. i. e. ‘Devi went to water heated by तपः or sunshine. If this was to be interpreted to mean that ‘Summer solstice had shifted to Devi i. e. Krittika’, there was a complete time mismatch! Summer Solstice was much earlier –in 20000 BCE – at Krittika! I therefore proposed an alternative that Devi was the younger sister of Jyeshtha (also called Rohini) i. e. Anuradha and Summer Solstice had shifted to Anuradha from Dhanishtha. That did not shift Winter Solstice to Krittika.
Though Summer Solstice moving to Anuradha helped to judge the time of Indra-Skanda dialogue as 7500 BCE, question remained as to what made Krittika go to heaven ( be happy) and glow brightly.
I now propose a new interpretation of the line.
The word used in the shloka is ‘तप्तुम्’ and not ‘तप्तम्’ So, Devi 'went to water to heat it’ and not ‘went to water heated by sunshine’ would be a more appropriate translation.
So did Devi, younger sister of Rohini, i. e. Krittika go to Winter Solstice, so that water will be heated from the time sun came to Krittika for next six months?
She also wanted to become no. 1 (इच्छन्ती ज्येष्ठताम्), which she would achieve, if start of year was shifted to winter solstice. She was competing with Abhijit for no. 1. She was bound to win, as Abhijit had moved too far from North Pole, had no more relevance and was dropping to or below horizon in every orbit around CNP and so Indra called him गगनात् च्युतं नक्षत्रम्.
That is my interpretation now - ‘वनं तपस्तप्तुम् गता’ not ‘तपस्तप्तम् वनम् गता’
If this is accepted as correct interpretation, the Indra-Skanda dialogue took place when winter solstice had actually shifted to Krittika. From Voyager, I find that the time was 9000 BCE.
The time of the Indra-Skanda dialogue quoted by Markandeya to Yudhishthira was thus around 9000BCE.


Sameer Barve said...

I have gone through your posts on Fall of Abhijit and I have few points to make as given below:-

1) Your interpretation of Abhijit moving away from CNP and going below horizon occasionally is perfect for the verse "Nakshatram Gaganat Chyutam" (typing in devanagri on linux based machine is difficult)

2) But, going away from CNP doesn't disqualify any star for timekeeping purpose. In fact, when Abhijit was closest to CNP around 12000 BCE, its movement around CNP was lowest and that's when it could have been disqualified as a reference point for counting of nakshatras. Even today, the current pole star Polaris is so close to CNP that its movement around CNP is negligible. In such cases, where movement of star is negligible due to its proximity to CNP, it becomes difficult to define coordinates for that particular star such as right ascension and ecliptic longitude.

3) Since nakshatras are located on or around ecliptic, the reference point for counting of nakshatras must be chosen in such a way that it will have a well defined value of ecliptic longitude and it will also be near to a particular nakshatra or its yogatara. There are many references in ancient texts which talk about nakshtaras countig from Rohini, Ashvini, Dhanishtha etc. The reason for choice of these nakshatras was that in different epochs in the past, either the equinoxes (vernal or autumnal) or the solstices (summer or winter) were present near those nakshtaras. Since none of these nakshatras were present close to CNP, their movement wasn't slow and it was easily noticeable. This would have helped to keep a track of time since it was easy to count nakshatras by having a good reference point (equinox or solstice) which is close to any nakshatra.

4) Since Abhijit was closest to CNP around 12000 BCE, it would have become useless as far as counting of nakshatras is concerned. This has been pointed out by Dr. Vartak in his book 'Swayambhu' . It is then, in this context, that Indra suggests to Skanda to discuss this issue with Brahma and come up with solution. Dr. Vartak has referred to Vana Parva Chapter 230 where the verses mentioned clearly show the "Urgency" to solve this issue (Kalam Twaram Midam Skanda Bramhanasaha Chintaya). The urgency was felt because it was evident from Abhijit's position in the sky that it is not useful anymore for timekeeping and counting aspects and a replacement has to be found badly. I therefore assert that Indra Skanda dialogue must have taken place earlier than Abhijit became pole star in 12000 BCE and mostly around 15000 BCE- when the urgency to change reference point was felt.

I want you to know your views on my assertion.


प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

I have not said that Abhijit was useful for Time Keeping when near the CNP. The picture I have drawn shows that when near to CNP it was useful for drawing (imaginary) meridian lines and dividing the sky into 27 segments (one per nakshatra) so that one could say that 'such and such star or constellation is in such and such Nakshatra at present or 'has moved from this to that nakshatra'. In the days of visual astronomy it must have been very significant.
When CNP moved far away from Abhijit, it lost this usefulness so its name was no longer linked with 27 Nakshatras.