September 1, 2010 by 45 Comments
- All the previous dates by various scholars are from misunderstood quotes, incorrect translations and incorrect conversions between the Gregorian calendar and the Indian astronomical calendar. These scholars here spent a lot of effort to come up with theses dates, and must be commended. However, these dates, if they do not match with all of the original quotes, cannot be accepted.
- Mahabharata & Krishna have been declared as mythology by the Western Indologists from the 19th Century until now. Some Indian scholars and leaders also believe the same. Therefore, I decided to investigate further. I believe in the saying, “investigate before castigate,” and Ronald Regan’s famous quote, “trust but verify.”
Without relying on the stories and myths, I wanted to investigate purely on astronomical and scientific facts and phenomena like the conjunctions, eclipses, earthquakes, meteor showers and comet sightings. Since the powerful PCs with very accurate astronomical programs like Planetarium have become available, it is possible to construct the sky map of any day and time in the past and review the positions of the planets and other astronomical events. A whole new science called “Archaeoastronomy” has now evolved. Eclipses have become very predictable and accurate now, and are a great tool to date the past events. There may be no written or archeological evidence of the ancient past, but the sun, moon and stars are still the same and move per the same natural rules. Therefore, I decided to research the past astronomical phenomena and verify if the epic is history or fiction.
Mahabharata is the closest epic to our time and is replete with many references to the astronomical phenomena. Krishna’s Bhagvat Gita is the most unique philosophical gem; but it would be interesting to see if it came from a real person and time.
My research took me about 2 years of continuous study of the original critical Sanskrit Mahabharata (published by the Bhandarkar Oriental Studies Institute in Pune after 60 years of research).
I used 4-5 different computer programs to compare the accuracy before I finalized on the latest Cyber Sky Planetarium program based on JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) ephemeris 404, with an accuracy of ½ to 1 arc seconds for the periods 3000 BCE and older, and the Delta T value of less than 23 hours.
The full results of my research will be published in a forthcoming book entitled Astronomical Proof of the Mahabharata War and Sri Krishna. The book will include the original Shlokas (stanzas) with translation, detailed computer maps of each event, and its Panchang (Indian astronomical ephemeris) positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and comets.
This current article is a summary of the salient features in the book. I wish to take the readers on the same journey I took while researching.
The first item of the task was to find the century of the Mahabharata War. The Mahabharata epic is full of the time references right up to the war that Dwapar Yuga (the 3rd part of the 4 Yuga system) is ongoing and the Kaliyuga (the 4th part) would be coming soon. The Surya Sidhanta, a very ancient treatise on the Indian astronomy, mentions that when a new Yuga starts, all 7 planets will line up along the ecliptic (the Earth’s annual path) in the constellation Pisces, just before Aries on a Phalguni Amavasya day (the last day of the year).
There could be a solar eclipse on that day. The Prajapati Smriti and the Matsya Puran provides the same prediction. Western translators of these scriptures doubted this; because it does not make sense that so many planets moving in their own orbits millions of miles apart at high speeds, can line up in one sign on the ecliptic line on a specific day and time.
The Gregorian calendar date for this event is February 18, 3102 BCE at 2:27:30 AM. Anybody with a good astronomy software can verify that this event if did indeed occur. Now, the eastern as well as the western astronomers have all accepted this date for the start of the Kaliyuga. A map on the last page will verify this. It does not show the North Node (Rahu), but both Rahu and Ketu (the south node) were in the same line 180 degrees apart.
This event has not happened for thousands of years before or thereafter. The closest recorded grand conjunction recorded, was in China in 1953 BCE, of 5 planets. With the establishment of the accepted Kaliyuga start date, the dates for Mahabharata War which were after 3102 BCE, are not applicable.
These include Professor N. Achar (3067 BCE), Dr. Balkrishna (2559 BCE), Dr. K.S Raghvan and Dr. Iyengar (3067 BCE), R. Vaidya (2789 BCE). Only scholars Dr. P.V. Vartak (5561 BCE) and Dr. P.V. Holay (3143 BCE) had dates earlier. Out of the two, Dr. Vartak’s date is almost 2500 years earlier and so may not be acceptable. Now, shlokas (stanzas) in the Vishnu Puran, 38th chapter (5.38.8), Bhagvat Puran (1.18.6) and Brahma Puran (212.8), all state that the Kaliyuga started the moment Sri Krishna died.
In Mahabharata Stri Parva, Queen Gandhari, mother of Kauravas had cursed Sri Krishna that in spite of being cable to prevent it, he watched the terrible slaughter of all of her sons and relatives, Therefore, Krishna would die in similar circumstances with his kith and kin, alone, wandering in a deserted place from a very frivolous weapon in 36 years.
The Kaliyuga start date of 2-18-3102 BCE did also have a solar eclipse and a back to back lunar eclipse in two weeks similar to the Mahabharata War. There were earthquakes with meteor showers on both dates, and on the lunar eclipse day, a giant tsunami drowned the Dwarka city, which Krishna had advised to vacate.
With Krishna’s death also established now on 2-18-3102 BCE, his birth dates by scholars Dr. Vartak (5626 BCE), n. Achar, Sampath Ayengar and Sheshgiri (3112 BCE), are no more applicable.
Now we will proceed to place the Mahabharata War start’s month and day. Again, as written in Mahabharata, Bhishma, the grandfather of both the Kauravas and Pandavas, passed away on a winter solstice day at midnight, when the moon was in Rohini (Alderberan) star.
Bhishma declares that it has been 68 nights since the war started, and 58 nights, since he was lying on the bed of arrows. As the Sun has turned to go north, he is ready to die. The winter solstice was on January 14 in that time period. The day was Magh month (bright half, eight’th day per the Indian calendar).
Counting backwards, 7 nights of Magh month, plus 30 days of Pousha month plus 30 days of Margashirsha month, the 68 night and the war start day would be the Kartik month Amavasya (new moon day).
This would be on November 6th.
It is well known from the Mahabharata quote in which Krishna gives the message to Karna, that the month of Margashirsha was very suitable and so the war should start on a Shakra Amavasya day (the day when the moon would be in Indra’s star of either Vishakha or Jyeshtha). The night before the war, Sage Vyas, who made several astronomical observations, mentions that he has seen the Lunation periods 14, 15, 16 days apart but never 13 days apart (tithis to be exact.
A day is not a tithi, since a tithi is based on the lunar phase at the sunrise and when the difference between the Sun and the Moon is 12 degrees). He also mentions it to be an Amavasya with an unseen solar eclipse, followed by a lunar eclipse in 13 tithis.
Like all scholars, I also took 36 years per the Gandhari’s curse, added to 3102 BCE to find the eclipses around November, from the program, “Lunar Phases and Eclipses”. However, there were no back to back November eclipses found in years from 3102 to 3140.
The only year which met all the eclipses criteria was year 3126 BCE, when there was Amavasya on 5th and 6th November (Amavasya and solar eclipse started at 8:37 PM on 5th) and the following full moon in 13 tithis (not days) on November 19-20, both days. The earlier lunation also had occurred 13 tithis before on October 21-22 (Kartik Purnima).
Since all these events matched except the 36th year, I revisited the original verse, and found out that there were two different letters used in the Sanskrit word for 36th. One which all scholars had accepted was “shati trimshe” (in the 36th year). But the Bhandarker critical edition gave the word “shati trymshe,” meaning in the part of 36 years. (When people write down words recited by rote memory for generations such mistakes are normal). So the curse did have finite circumstances but not the finite time. Thus our war start date of November 6th, 3126 BCE matched of all the quotes and criteria. In those days, large number of years was grouped as Tapas or 12 years. 36 years represented the maximum 3 Tapas time, which actually happened in 2 Tapas or 24 years or 2/3rd part of 36
I proceeded further to check the dates of all associated events for a match with computer generated sky maps, planet by planet. They all did match including two surprise observations about Neptune and Uranus! There would be more interesting information about the Rohini Shakat Bheda (piercing the star Alderberan Cart) by Saturn, which is indicative of terrible manslaughter.
I will present the summary of this information in the next article to follow. I will provide more information about why the western scholars, as well as Indian scholars, missed these dates and how Archaeoastronomy in this computer age, works (when the times are converted properly).
Kaliyuga map with alignment of 7 planets along Earth’s ecliptic (the Earth’s annual path) in the constellation Pisces
September 4, 2010 by 7 Comments
Both conclusions were based on the Computer generated sky maps for the specific dates, the planetary positions indicated therein and the quotes from the Epic and other scriptures about the events, which matched. The match would not occur if the dates were wrong. As to the computer program, it is based on the same algorithms used to launch the space shuttle. So we may assume it to be correct.
The Mahabharata contains 3-4 events around the war time, which provide many astronomical observations at the time together with the associated omens. We have neglected the omens and focused only on the astronomical aspects so that we can compare them with the computer maps. These events were:
a) When Krishna started on a Peace Mission to Hastinapur to avert the war on October 21, 3126 BCE (on a Kartik day with the moon in Revati star-Zeta Piscium), he stopped on the way and reached Hastinapur. After an unsuccessful attempt, he left with Karna on October 28, with the Moon in Punarvasu in the AM and in Pushya in PM. The conversation between the two describes many astronomical phenomena,
b) Sage Vyas visited the blind King Dhritarashtra on the eve of the war on November 5, to warn him of the impending dangers if the war goes forward. His descriptions of the astronomical observations of the time are the most important event helping this archaeo astronomical research.
c) Balaram shows up on the last day of the war on November 24 (also a Pushya day because of the lost tithis in the Lunation), and makes some astronomical observations.
d) The Queen Gandhari’s curse to Shri Krishna after the conclusion of the war.
e) Bhishma’s death on January 14th after the war. He died at mid day. The typo in Article 1 said at midnight.
Let us now examine these events in light of the Epic quotes and the computer maps and compare them to see if they match. If they do match, then it will be a Proof that the events are a history and the dates will be proven.
a) Karna’s remarks to Krishna: Saturn is afflicting Rohini. Mars is retrograde in Anuradha. The sign on the moon has shifted. Mahapat planet afflicts Chitra (Vyas called it as Shweta planet). The Sun is being approached by Rahu (the north node). There is a meteor shower in the day. The earth is shaking and a black ring appears near the Sun.
My forthcoming book provides sky position maps of these days with a day to day ephemeris based on the Indian system. It is not possible to provide the maps in this short blog. I have provided the Map of the war starting day on the last page. I have also described what I saw in the maps along with the astronomical explanation.
Saturn is seen at 355 degrees in the map, near Rohini. The Vernal Equinox in those days was in Rohini. Today, it is in Uttara Bhadrapada. Mars was in retrograde and re-retrograde between Magha and Jyeshtha as also described by sage Vyas. Planets, due to the optical illusion created, when the fast moving earth passes at a higher speed, appear to be in retrograde; very similar to the two trains travelling in the same direction. From a faster train, the slower train appears to be stationary or going backwards. The computer map cannot show the retrograde motion. The Mahapat planet mentioned seems to be Neptune, as it is seen in Chitra, moving to Swati.
The Moon’s sign which we see every day was seen as moved. Sage Vyas has also mentioned the same. This phenomenenon occurred because the moon was orbiting at the fastest speed of about 13-17 degrees a day as opposed to the normal 12 degrees. At the normal speed, it takes 15 days for the Moon to travel the distance of 180 degrees to go from Amavasya to Purnima and vice versa. However with the fastest speed it travelled the same distance in 13 days (tithis). The computer confirmed this when monitored from day to day. The moon and earth’s orbit times are locked in place, so we always see only the lighted face of the moon. Except for the video taken by the Soviet spacecraft in 1959, nobody has yet seen the dark side of the moon. Because of the moon’s fastest speed, its synchronization with the earth’s orbit was affected and the moon’s sign seemed to have slightly shifted as described. More details about this event are in my forthcoming book. The Moon travels faster when its orbit is closest to the earth.
The meteor shower is also mentioned by Vyas. As Halley’s Comet is orbiting the sun in Pushya at that time, the sun evaporated the ice and the dust particles falling down were lighted up due to the friction in the phenomenon occurs even now regularly every year. The Aquarid and Orinid showers which happen today in late October to December come from the Halley’s Comet which orbits the sun every 76.3 years. The black circle around the sun seems to be a result of the sun’s flares and atmospheric refraction of the color.
b) Sage Vyas’s comments: Even Arundhati has passed Vasishtha. Saturn is troubling Rohini and the sign on the moon is obscured. The earth is shaking, and the white planet has crossed Chitra and is stationary in sun is being swallowed by comet Mahaghora has attacked Pushya. The Mars is retrograde in Magha and the Jupiter is retrograde in Shravana The Venus has circled Purva and Uttara darker planet is in the Indra star Jyeshtha. The shady planet (Rahu), is sitting between Chitra and Swati. Retrograde planets Mars and Jupiter are afflicting Rohini and Shravan. The Saptarshis (Ursa Major) are dimming due to the blaze of two bright stars. Saturn and Jupiter are stationary for a year near Vishakha. I know of lunation in 14, 15 or 16 days (tithis) apart, but I have never seen those 13 tithis apart. This is indicative of a terrible manslaughter.
The computer map shows Vasishtha (star Mizar) is slightly behind star Acor or Arundhati. Apparently they were lined up at one time before. Both of these stars (also called horse and rider in the west) have separate motions.
The Saturn at 12 degrees is seen in the map in Rohini (Alderberan). When Saturn is between 12 to 15 degrees in Rohini and its southern declination is 2.34″ or more, it is considered to be in the Rohini Shakat Bhed (piercing the cart like cluster of stars in Rohini) especially when the Vernal Equinox is also in Rohini as was the case. The southern declination in the map measures at 2.48″. As mentioned it is considered as the worst kind of planetary configuration indicating terrible things. This event occurs only once in thousands of years.
The reference to the earth’s shaking indicates earthquakes and continuous tremors. Rahu is indicated to be near Swati at 199 degrees. The map does not show Rahu as it is not a real planet, but is the intersection point of the moon’s orbital path with the ecliptic (earth’s orbital path around the sun). It has swallowed the Sun means there is a Solar Eclipse in effect, with the moon is shown at 199 degrees on the 5th and 204 on the morning of the 6th of November. The map showing these positions is attached on the last page.
The comet Mahaghora or what Karna called Mahapat is the Halley’s Comet. It is not shown in this map but is included in a Starry Night Program map included in the forthcoming book. It is in Pushya as described.
The Mars at 165 and the Jupiter at 325 degrees, are both outer planets and both are retrograde. They are slower than the earth’s normal speed of 30 Km/sec. When the earth speeds up being closer to the sun, these retrograde planets can be seen up to 30-60 degrees behind. The Venus at 176 degrees has crossed Purva and circled Uttara to look at Hasta as quoted.
The lightly dark planet at 247 degrees in Jyeshtha is Uranus. Vyas has aptly named both Neptune and Uranus from the colors as he saw. Interestingly, the Hubble telescope images show the same. As to how he saw the planets ‘discovered in the 20th century’, is a mystery.
Regarding Vyas’s description of Saturn and Jupiter to be near Vishakha has confused all the scholars. Since he has described them to be in Rohini and in Shravan, in retrograde, as well as in Purva and near Vishakha. These cannot be in 2-3 places at the same time. When you consider that these planets had occupied a position and had a sight on two other positions at180, and 120 degrees apart, the riddle is solved.
Regarding the 13 tithis apart lunation, we have discussed the same in the article 1. The short lunation is called a Vishwaghasra Paksha lunation which indicates a terrible manslaughter. In Mahabharata war time, there were two such lunations, back to back, and it is an extremely rare event. Such one lunation did take place in Kartik month of 1941, resulting in huge human loss in World War 2.
I believe, these matches nail down the war start date as November 6, 3126 BCE, as no other date would work and match these entire quotes. I have provided more matches with the computer maps in my forthcoming book.
c) Balaram’ comments: He showed up on 24th November to witness the duel between Duryodhana and Bhima when he said: I left (Dwaraka) 42 days back. I left on Pushya (on 23rd October) and came back on “Shravana”, which is what all scholars interpreted. The other simple meaning of the word is, after “hearing” about the duel, I have come back. This one makes sense and does not confuse the nakshatras and dates.
Thus, now, there are no more anomalies about the War date, and it is proven that the event is very historical. Let us review very briefly the opinions of several western indologists, which shaped the opinions of Indian scholars and leaders. These include A.Basham, M Witzel, H. Kulke, D Rothermund and the famous F.Max Muller. Most believed that Mahabharata as a mythology or it happened not earlier than 10th century BCE. Going by the archaeological evidence as a prerequisite for determination as history, they placed the Vedic period not earlier than 19th century BCE.
Max Muller, when translating the Bhagvat Puran, came up to the Shuka Muni’s predictions that Saptarshis travel one nakshatra in 100 years, and that in Nanda’s time (prior to Chandragupta Maurya), they would be in Magha. Considering that in his time, 19-20 th century, they are in Chitra/ Swati, he counted from Magha and declared that all the Hindu astronomical descriptions are imaginary. They would be if his counting in straight line is considered. However, when you consider them backwards since they move in the reverse direction, they are perfectly correct. 27 nakshatras traversed from Magha to Magha from 3000 BCE to 300 BCE. Add to this, the 23 nakshatras up the present period, you get to 5000 years. Max Muller’s comments appeared in the introduction portion of the Rigved, which he translated.
Another instance is of a British translator of the Surya Sidhanta. It said that in Krita Yuga, a Mayasur prayed to Sun god to reveal the science of time. The sun replied that it will be revealed through a Yavana from the Romaka City. The translator promptly assumed this to be the City of Rome and the Yavana to be the Greek; and a myth was born that the Indians received the Astronomy science from the Greeks.
In spite of such incidents and myths, these Indologists have performed yeoman’s work in bringing the ancient scriptures to light, and should be commended. I am also grateful to all the scholars who have researched for the Mahabharata war date. It is a very painstaking and tedious work which only can be done as a labor of love. I have presented my research to the readers. As to the repercussions of finding this historical link, I leave it to the readers to judge. For the believers, it will not matter and for the non believers, it may not be enough. For the interested, my forthcoming book will provide more details. The Mahabharata start day sky position computer map is provided on the next page. I have also researched the birth dates of Balaram and Sri Krishna, which will be included in my book, as this blog is already too long.
Astronomy Map at the start of Mahabharat Map (click on the image for a larger view)
Note: The author of this article is Mr. Ramesh Panchwagh, initially it inadvertently appear under Desh Kapoor’s name.