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, May 25, 2017

Mercury on 17th day of war.

There is a reference to a planet rising ‘Tiryak’ in the evening after the death of Karna on 17th day of war. Shri. Oak has examined this in his book. He concludes that the planet was Mercury and he has given an explanation of ‘Tiryak’ rising.
On this blog or in my book I have not made any comments on this subject. I now am doing it.
On the 17th day of war after Karna was killed, there are several shlokas describing bad omens etc. One of them seems to refer to Mercury.
There are two versions of the shloka. The first line says that ‘On Karna’s death rivers stopped flowing and Sun set occured. No comments are needed on this line.
1. According the BORI edition, the second line is
ग्रहश्च तिर्यग्ज्वलितार्कवर्णो यमस्य पुत्रोभ्युदियाय राजन्
This line makes No Reference to Mercury. It talks about a planet which was तिर्यक् and ज्वलित अर्कवर्णः
The second part of the line says that the ‘Son of Yama’ had अभ्युदय. Mercury or ‘Budha’ is NOT son of Yama. It is considered son of Soma or Moon. Legend has it that when Budha was born, both Moon and Jupiter claimed to be his father! The dispute was decided by Brahma in favour of Moon. So Budha is Somaputra. Moon had asked his favourite wife Rohini to take care of him so Budha is also ‘Rohineya’! Budha is however, not referred to as Son of Yama anywhere.
So which is the planet referred in the first part of this line?
A) Mercury is not bright enough to be called ‘ज्वलित अर्कवर्णः’ B) Also what is meant by ‘तिर्यक्’? On the 17th day of war, Mercury was about 8 degrees above horizon at sunset. It set about 45 minutes later at a point about 10 degrees south of west.
B) On 16th Oct., first day, it had set about 21 minutes after sunset, one degree North of west. Its position on 17th day at its own setting was thus about 11 degrees towards south compared to 1st day. Its position in the sky when it became visible after sunset on 17th day was a little to the north and a little higher compared to its position on first day. Can this be the meaning of ‘tiryak’?
C) Of course, in the shloka, no reference is made to position on 1st day or no comparison is implied. It also does not mention name of the graha as Budha or Somaputra.
D) There is no other planet near the horizon at sunset on 17th day, which can be considered to meet the description, except maybe Jupiter.
E) There is no planet rising at Eastern horizon also, at sunset.
F) Movement of Mercury on 1 Nov. from sunset to its own setting is somewhat slant with reference to horizon. It was at azimuth 255 at sunset and azimuth 260 at its own setting. But that would be the case everyday, for any planet, noticeable some time prior to setting, as the axis of rotation of sky is inclined to horizontal, pointing towards CNP.
G) There is no clear explanation of the use of word ‘Tiryak’. Also there is no direct pointer to Mercury being under reference.
Regarding the second part of the line, reference to ‘Abhyudaya of Son of Yama’, needs to be interpreted. This is not connected with the first half in any way. I strongly believe, this part refers to Yudhishthira who was son of Yama and he was now freed from his great fear of Karna and would of course prosper (would have 'Abhyudaya').
2. The GP edition gives a slightly different version of the shloka first line being almost same.
Second line here is -
ग्रहश्च तिर्यग् ज्वलनार्कवर्णः
सोमस्य पुत्रोभ्युदियाय तिर्यक्
The first half is almost same and has same meaning. The second half however clearly talks about ‘Son of Soma’ or Mercury (Budha). The unnecessary repetition of the word ‘Tiryak’ should be noted.
This version does not appear to be authentic. It seems, the person who prepared this version, considered that the first half of the line refers to Budha and so he changed ‘यमस्य पुत्रः’ to ‘सोमस्य पुत्रः’. He spoiled his attempt by repeating the word ‘Tiryak’ unnecessarily, as though the ‘Graha’ in first part and ‘Son of Soma’ in second part were two different entities and both were ‘Tiryak. ’
This version therefore appears highly inappropriate. It also lost the reference to Yudhishthira and his ‘Abhyudaya as a result of Karna’s death’.
This version therefore deserves to be ignored. I do not know to whom it owes its creation.
Shri. Oak considers this GP version shloka to refer to Mercury and explains ‘tiryak’ as the changing position of Mercury when seen after sunset over the period of 17 days of war. He has of course ignored the BORI version and relied on the GP version. It does mention Mercury – Somasya Putra – but no comparison with position on 1st day is referred or implied in the shloka.
As stated above, BORI version does not point to Mercury. It mentions only a ‘tiryak’ graha which is of the colour of burning sun. This description is hardly appropriate for Mercury. Actually, Jupiter also shows same traits about its position at Sunset as Mercury and ज्वलनार्कवर्णः would be appropriate for Jupiter. So does 'Grahashcha Tiryak' refer to Jupiter, not Mercury?
Which version should take precedence?
Readers can take a call on these points.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Possible Alternative years of Mahabharat War

Shri. Oak has proposed 5561 BCE as the year of Mahabharat War and 16th Oct. as the first day. He has examined many astronomical references in his book and claimed corroboration for all.
The first reference he examined was pertaining to Saturn and Jupiter being close to Vishakha for more than an year prior to war and ending up ‘close to’ Vishakha at war date. He has claimed corroboration.This of course is not acceptable as they were quite far away from Vishakha on war date, Jupiter at Shravan and Saturn at Hasta.
I made an attempt to locate alternative years earlier than his year, when they were satisfactorily close to Vishakha.
I found two such years, 5706 BCE and 5942 BCE. They are both within 'Epoch of Arundhati' and during the period when Arundhati was nearly maximum ahead. Taking them to be just ‘possible alternatives’ I checked position of other planets and Moon.
As far as first day of war is concerned I have worked backwards from the Winter Solstice dates for the two years, viz. Jan 31 and Feb 2 resp. I take Bhishma’s statement of 57 painful nights on the deathbed as binding and thus the first day of war for the two years was 25th Nov. and 27 th Nov. resp.
Although movement of Mars and its going ‘Vakra’ (crossing of ecliptic as per Shri. Oak) and retrograde – prograde are fairly matching, those of Venus do not match the description in ‘शुक्रः प्रोष्ठपदे ...’
As far as Moon is concerned, in both cases, moon was at Revati (day of Krishna going for Shishtai), just after Autumnal Equinox, (शरदन्ते). There is no eclipse on Purnima and Amavasya for 5706 BCE and on Amavasya for 5942 BCE. Lunar eclipse on Purnima just prior to war appears possible for 5942 BCE as moon was almost on Ecliptic on that day. I cant say whether it was visible at Kurukshetra.
In both cases, no SHORT krishnapaksha is seen. (That is the case with Shri. Oak’s year also.)
It is seen that it may not be possible to locate an year which will meet all references satisfactorily. Further, any verification of Eclipses, or timing of Purnima and Amavasya is subject to ‘element of uncertainty’ !
I show below the two skyviews for the above two years showing Juptier and Saturn close to Vishakha. They were close to Vishakha for extended periods in both cases.
Out of the various references which are important and mandatory? In my opinion they are,
1. Short krishnapaksha. Vyasa is very emphatic on this.
2. Moon in Revati a little after Autumnal Equinox to match ‘Sharadante Himagame’
3. Lunar Eclipse on Purnima prior to war. The description of moon ‘अलक्ष्यः प्रभयाहीनः रक्तवर्णः’ is very clear.
4. Out of multiple locations of Jupiter and Saturn, no definite preference can be laid down. I give ‘Saturn at Rohini’ a preference. Saturn troubling Rohini from several Nakshatra away is not appropriate.
5. Venus movement should also match as the reference ‘शुक्रः प्रोष्ठपदे ...’ is very clear.
Readers can have their own priorities.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Movement of Venus

शुक्रः प्रोष्ठपदे पूर्वे समारुह्य विशांपते उत्तरे तु परिक्रम्य सहितः प्रत्युदीक्षते
Shri. Oak has examined this reference about Venus from Bhishmaparva in his book and claims corroboration.
I checked the position with Voyeger and the slides below show Venus Starting on south side of Ecliptic, from between Shravan and Dhanishtha, crossing Ecliptic and proceeding to Purva Bhadrapada, then going retrograde back to Shatabhishaj and finishing retrograde.
Then it proceeds to Purva and then Uttara Bhadrapada, crosses Ecliptic and then proceeds along the south side of ecliptic. It matches what the quotation says fairly
Although the quotation clearly uses present tense, and Vyasa said this before start of war, the motion described above is all AFTER the start of war claimed by Shri. Oak!
We can keep aside the use of present tense as poetic liberty. The shloka simply says that ‘venus has gone around Purva Bhadrapada and then proceeding towards Uttara Bhadrapada is seen shining brightly with it.'There is no mention of venus going around any planet or going towards north. The word ‘उत्तरे’ refers to Uttara Bhadrapada, not North!.
Shri. Oak sees Neptune in the Voyeger and somehow interprets the shloka to mean venus going around another planet, so it was Neptune which Vyasa is talking about.
On such interpretations, Shri. Oak has made claims that in Mahabharat times, our ancestors knew about Neptune, Uranus and even Pluto! No comments are needed.