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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

18th Day of war - Three Planets

On the 18th day of war Shalya became the leader of Kaurava army. Violent battle broke out. Skirmishes between all main surviving warriors on Kaurava side and the Pandavas are described. Till a little after noon, they continued. Early in this description, the following astronomical reference is seen.
भृगुसूनुधरापुत्रौ शशिजेन समन्वितौ चरमम् पांडुपुत्राणाम् पुरस्तात् सर्वभूभुजाम्
Shalya (GP 11-17)
Ganguly translates this as
‘The planets Venus and Mars, in conjunction with Mercury, appeared at the rear of the Pandavas and to the front of all the (Kaurava) lords of Earth.’
To the rear of Pandavas and in front of Kauravas was the Western sky. At this stage of the battle, it was still well before noon. Shalya and others fought vigorously till noon when Shalya was killed by Yudhishthira. Battle continued thereafter for quite some time when Shakuni etc. or all except Duryodhan were killed, Kourava army broke and Duryodhana ran away.
Shri. Oak however interprets this to be an evening situation and finds the three planets ‘behind ‘ Pandavas, in the western sky, after sunset! (By that time there was no Kaurava army, war had ended! Pandava survivors were also disorganized and Bhima was having Gadayuddha with Duryodhana) Yes, the three planets were there in the evening after sunset, Mercury on horizon, Mars and Venus about 30 deg. above horizon. However this has nothing to do with the position well before noon when they should be in front of Pandavas or in the eastern sky! Ganguly’s description is also wrong for the morning hour.
So I checked position in the morning on 2nd Nov. 18th day.
Sunrise was at 6-30 AM
At 7-56 AM Mercury had arisen.
At 10-08 AM Venus had arisen and
At 10-21 Am Mars also arose.
. So thereafter all three were in the eastern sky for at least 2 hours, in front of Pandavas!
(Jupiter is also seen but is not mentioned).
How Sanjaya or Vyasa could see them at 11AM, in bright sunlight is a mystery!
Shri. Oak’s interpretation is irrelevant. The three planets being above western horizon in the evening after sunset has no relevance as war was over, there was no Kaurava army, Ashvatthama Kripa and Krutavarma had run away and Pandavas had chalanged Duryodhana for final duel. Ganguli’s translation is also seen to be wrong.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Rohini, Saturn and Jupiter

Rohini, Saturn and Jupiter
Mahabharata References say that on the first day of war Rohini was afflicted or troubled by Saturn in the early morning. On the other hand, Rohini was troubled by Jupiter on the 17th day of the war in the evening after karna was killed. The references are as under.
1.प्राजापत्यंहि नक्षत्रं ग्रहस्तीक्ष्णो महाद्युतिः
शनैश्चरः पीडयति पीडयन्प्राणिनोधिकम्
Udyoga (CE 141-7, GP 143-8)
2. रोहिणीं पीडयन्नेष स्थितो राजन् शनैश्चरः
Bhishma (CE 2-32, GP 2-32)
3. बृहस्पती रोहिणीं संप्रपीड्य बभूव चंद्रार्कसमानवर्णः
Karna (CE 68-49, BP 94-51)
In both cases a strong word, पीडा is used. One would expect the graha to be at Rohini or close by.
The following two pictures show the relative positions on 16th Oct and 1st Nov. (17th day) in the morning and evening resp.
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It will be seen that Saturn-Jupiter are nowhere near Rohini. The relative positions are also such that
1. On 16th Oct. when Rohini was setting, Saturn was well above the eastern horizon at Altitude of 44 deg. 22’
2. On 17th day, when Jupiter was about to set, half hour after sunset, Rohini was at Altitude of 30 deg. above eastern horizon.
These relative positions do not suggest Rohini being given any serious पीडा by the planets as asserted by Shri. Oak. Readers are invited to form their own opinion.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Movement of Mars - Does it match the References?

I have published in my post dated April 28, several slides showing progressive position of Mars beginning from a position well before Magha, (on May 1, 5562 BCE at Murg-Aradra) and ending with 16th Oct. 5561.
Though, in general these follow the description in mahabharata text, there are some very significant differences. I will now show the differences.
1. मघासु अंगारको वक्रः – Mars crossed the ecliptic at Punarvasu on June 10 5562. It does nothing at Magha. Just passes through.
2. कृत्वाचांगारको वक्रं ज्येष्ठायां मधुसूदन
अनुराधां प्रार्थयते मैत्रम् ...
The slides show Mars beginning Retrograde Motion, not from Chitra or Swati or Jyeshtha. From Magha it goes through Chitra and Swati right upto Vishakha and then turns Retrograde. Shri Oak claims that Mars passed through Chitra and turns back from Swati. That is not correct. From Vishakha Mars goes back upto Chitra-Swati (Longitude 99 deg. 27 min.). From this position it became Pro-grade. It did not go Vakri at Jyeshtha! It also did not cross Ecliptic at Jyeshtha. After becoming prograde it crosses Ecliptic at Vishakha! (Longitude 124 deg.). Then it just passes by Anuradha. So, maybe, it can be said to seek Anuradha’s friendship. Mars neither went retrograde at Jyeshtha nor did it cross Ecliptic at Jyeshtha. So no कृत्वाचांगारको वक्रं ज्येष्ठायाम् at all!
3. विशेषेणहि वार्ष्णेय चित्रां पीडयते ग्रहः ... This Graha is supposed to be Mars. Actually Mars just passed through Chitra, first when it went right upto Vishakha but then it became retrograde and came back to Chitra (Lon. 99 ), so we can accept that it troubled Chitra. (I am not aware of exact Longitude of Chitra)
4 ध्रुवः प्रज्वलितः घोरं अपसव्यं प्रवर्तते.
चित्रास्वात्यंतरे चैव धिष्ठितः परुषः ग्रहः
वक्रानुवक्रं कृत्वा च श्रवणे पावकप्रभः
ब्रह्मराशिं समावृत्य लोहितांगो व्यवस्थितः
Both these references are supposed to refer to Mars according to Shri. Oak. From the first shloka it is not clear, where Mars is supposed to do Apasavya. Shri. Oak seems to take it as between Chitra and Swati. Actually, Mars went retrograde at Vishakha and came back to Chitra-Swati and then became prograde. It cannot be said to have done ‘Ghor Apasavya’ motion ‘between Chitra and Swati’
The second shloka seems to say that Mars did ‘vakra-anuvakra’ at Shravan and then went further up to Brahmarashi which Shri. Oak says is Abhijit.
Actually, after crossing Ecliptic at Vishakha, not Shravan, Mars proceeds upto Dhanishtha – Shatabhishaj, by 16th Oct 5561. So the end position matches. There is, however, no वक्रानुवक्र motion at Shravan at all.
It will thus be seen that although there are two crossings of Ecliptic and one normal Retrograde motion, none of the three are at positions described in the Text.
One crossing at Punarvasu insead of Magha
Second crossing at Vishakha, not at Jyeshtha or Shravan
Retrograde starts at Vishakha, not at Jyeshtha or Chitra or Swati.
To match the descriptions in the text, Mars should have
1. Crossed Ecliptic at Ashlesha-Magha
2. Gone upto Jyeshtha and then turned retrograde
3. Gone slow near Anuradha, (seeking frienship)
4. Proceeded retrograde till Chitra
5. Turning pro-grade ther, should have proceeded upto Shravan
6. Crossed Ecliptic, at least once, near or at Shravan
7. Then reached Dhanishtha-Shatabhishaj by start of war.
I had no access to Voyager till recently. So I had been accepting whatever Shri. Oak said. After verifying complete Mars motion along the Ecliptic and noting the crossing points and position of Retrograde-Prograde, I am unable to accept that the facts match the described motion of Mars. Only the end position on 16th Oct. 5561 matches.
Shri. Oak notes down the Right Ascensions measured along Equator, not Ecliptical Longitudes. measured along Ecliptic. In my view, since planets move along the Ecliptic and remain mostly close to it, Longitudes are more relevant for determining position of planets accurately.
Readers are invited to draw their own conclusion whether there is ‘corroboration’ of Mars’ motion as claimed by Shri. Oak

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.