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

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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.


प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

I checked position of Mercury at sunset from 16th Oct to 1st Nov. Azimuth and altitude of Mercury at sunset shows change as follows.
Date. Azimuth Altitude
16th Oct. 268 deg. 13' 4 deg. 42'
20th Oct. 264 deg 49' 5 deg. 06'
25th Oct. 259 deg. 54' 6 deg. 54'
1st Nov. 256 deg. 21' 8 deg. 58'

So it does show a distinct oblique change in its position at sunset over the 17 days of war.

प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

I also checked the position of Jupiter at sunset.
Date Azimuth Altitude
16th Oct. 258deg. 49' 13 deg.51'
20th Oct. 259deg. 34' 11 deg.51'
25th Oct. 260deg. 30' 9 deg. 21' 27"
01st Nov. 261deg. 36' 6 deg. 06' 40"
Jupiter shows an oblique but downwards change in position at Sunset.
ग्रहश्च तिर्यक् ज्वलितार्कवर्णः can be considered to refer to Jupiter and सोमस्य पुत्रोभियाय तिर्यक् can refer to Mercury!

प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

I have highlighted the CE version as more appropriate and shown the hackneyed way the GP version has been written in this case. Shri. Oak has nothing to say on that. My preference is for CE as a rule and only if the meaning is obscure and another version explains it better then GP or other version should be considered. After all, Dr. Sukhthankar and his team took enormous efforts to prepare BORI version not for nothing. It is the earliest edition and most likely what Vyasa wrote. In case of BORI here, tiryak graha can be Jupiter and not Mercury as 'Jvalitarkavarna' is not appropriate for Mercury.

Nilesh Oak said...

When was the last time Shri Phadnis observed 'Mercury' the sky? And What color would he describe for 'Mercury'?

प्रभाकर फडणीस P.K. Phadnis said...

I am an old man of 84 and my vision is poor. So no first hand claims. If Mercury deserves to be called, 'jvalita Arka Varna' so be it. I leave it to the Jury of readers. Fact remains that BORI edition does not refer to Mercury by name. My view is that it refers to Jupiter by description.
Enough on this topic.