Validating Traditional date of Mahabharata War - VIII
by Jayasree Saranathan on 15 Jan 2021 1 Comment

Cosmic impact during Krishna’s peace mission


The events starting from the time Krishna left Upaplavya until his return are described in Mahabharata in three different view-points: as a general overview, from Sanjaya’s version given to Dhritarashtra, and Krishna’s version to the Pandavas on his return. We have to combine all three to construct the sequence of events. Perhaps this was Vyasa’s technique of keeping hidden the greatest secret of mankind. I have sequenced the odd events reported during the peace mission.


At the time of Krishna leaving Upaplavya


At the time Krishna was travelling from Upaplavya to Salibhavana on the way to Hastinapur, ominous events occurred in the country of the Kurus, also felt at Hastinapur. To find out the root cause of those events, they are listed here [Mbh: 5-50-84, Ganguly trans.]


-        Though there were no clouds in the sky, yet the roll of thunder accompanied by flashes of lightning was heard.

-        Fleecy clouds in a clear sky rained incessantly in the rear!

-        The seven large rivers including the Sindhu (Indus) though flowing eastwards then flowed in opposite direction.

-        The very directions seemed to be reversed and nothing could be distinguished.

-        Fires blazed up everywhere.

-        The earth trembled repeatedly.

-        The contents of wells and water-vessels by hundreds swelled up and ran out.

-        The whole universe was enveloped in darkness.

-        The atmosphere being filled with dust, neither the cardinal nor the subsidiary points of the horizon could be ascertained.

-        Loud roars were heard in the sky without any being visible from whom these could emanate. This phenomenon was noticed all over the country.

-        A south-westerly wind, with the harsh rattle of thunder, uprooting trees by the thousands, crushed the city of Hastinapura.


Thunderous roars from the cloudless sky heard all around, continuous rains in the absence of clouds noticed somewhere behind, atmosphere filled with dust causing all-round haze, the trembling of the earth, the sudden change in the direction of river-flows, and water from the wells and vessels spilling out, can occur simultaneously in the event of a cosmic impact – of an object or fragments of an object colliding with the earth.


The south westerly wind suggests the trajectory of an object falling from the south western direction. The jet of air dragged by the falling object, while crossing the east flowing river, would obstruct the flow by which the water is pushed in the opposite (western) direction. Vyasa has indeed made a very meticulous observation of the changes in wind and water-flow.


This impact, felt across a vast region from the river Sindhu to Ganga where Hastinapur is located, could not have been caused by a single piece falling on the earth. The fact that this effect was not felt in the region travelled by Krishna on his way to Hastinapur goes to prove that there were several fragments falling from the south western direction in a vast region between the Sindhu and the Ganga where Hastinapur is situated. There was a rain of fragments, not just meteor showers, impacting the environment severely. Tremors and whirlwinds are environmental effects of asteroid-hit due to increase in kinetic energy, according to a discussion in UCMP session. [“Examining the Potential Effects of an Asteroid Impact,]


If several such asteroids are falling on the earth, it could be the case of broken parts of a larger asteroid or comet. The dust thrown into the air blurs the directions. The asteroid hitting the ocean would cause an increase in water vapor in the air that pours down as rains following the path of the falling fragments, which is expressed as rains at the rear.


At the time of appointment of Bhishma as Chief Commander


Similar calamities were seen again at the time Bhishma was installed as Commander of the Kaurava troops. This appears in Krishna’s narration to the Pandavas on his return. Though there is no explicit reference to the day of this installation, there are sufficient hints to deduce it. While Krishna was in the court of the Kurus seeking peace, Bhishma, Vidura, Drona, Gandhari and Dhritarashtra persuaded Duryodhana to give Pandavas their due share.


Particularly when Dhritarashtra told Duryodhana that he was not the son of a king, due to the reason he (Dhritarashtra) didn’t get the kingdom in normal course, Duryodhana’s anger found no bounds. He called the fellow kings present there and said again and again that the day was Pushya and let them all march to Kurukshetra.


ajñapayac ca rajñas tan parthivan du??acetasa?

prayadhva? vai kuruk?etra? pu?yo ‘dyeti puna? puna?

tatas te p?thivipala? prayayu? saha sainika?

bhi?ma? senapati? k?tva sa?h???a? kalacodita?

ak?auhi?yo dasaika ca parthivana? samagata?

tasa? pramukhato bhi?mas talaketur vyarocata [Mbh: 5-5-148 – v. 3 -5]

(Trans. by Ganguli) “And all the kings (invited by him), prepared to lay down their lives, followed him behind. King Duryodhana then repeatedly ordered those wicked-hearted rulers, saying, ‘Today constellation Pushya is ascendant--march ye (this very day) to Kurukshetra. Impelled by Fate, those monarchs then, with their soldiers, gladly set out, making Bhishma their generalissimo. Eleven Akshauhinis of troops have been, O King, assembled for the Kauravas. At the head of that host, shineth Bhishma, with the device of the palmyra on the banner of his car.” []


It is further said that after the night passed (at day-break), Duryodhana arranged the army divisions. [Mbh: 5-5-152. V:1] Bhishma was duly installed as chief of the army. At that time some portents were seen. Vaisampayana reports,


pradurasann anabhre ca var?a? rudhirakardamam

asa?s ca sarvayodhana? patayanto mana?sy uta

vacas capy asariri?yo divas colka? prapedire

sivas ca bhayavedinyo nedur diptasvara bh?sam

senapatye yada raja ga?geyam abhi?iktavan

tadaitany ugrarupa?i abhavañ sataso n?pa [Mbh: 5-5-153. V: 28 -31]


(Ganguli’s trans.): “And although the sky was cloudless, a bloody shower fell and made the ground miry. And fierce whirl-winds, and earthquakes, and roars of elephants occurring, depressed the hearts of all the warriors. Incorporeal voices and flashes of meteoric falls were heard and seen in the welkin. And jackals, howling fiercely, foreboded great calamity. And, O monarch, these and a hundred other kinds of fierce portents made their appearance when the king installed Ganga’s son in the command of his troops.”


The earthquakes and whirlwinds when accompanied with meteorite showers are signs of a cosmic impact. This happened on a Pushya day, though Duryodhana was heard telling “Pushyodyeti” the previous day. Pushya started on the night of the previous day and was present throughout the next day. The installation of Bhishma on that day was in tune with “Pushya Snana”, an age-old practice of taking ritual bath and conducting Vedic austerities for the prosperity of kings. Writing on this ritual, Varahamihira refers to the practice of the king dressing himself in military attire. [Brihat Samhita, trans. N.C. Iyer, Ch. 48-74]


An important feature of this ritual is noting down the omens at the end of the Homa for making predictions! [Ibid, Ch. 48-78] The portents turned out to be inauspicious, raising a doubt on the planned march of the Kauravas to Kurukshetra on that day. The portents were the same as those witnessed on Revati day (the day Krishna started) eight days earlier.


The attack of a comet on Pushya day


The observation of meteorite attack at the time of installation of Bhishma as army chief on Pushya day concurs with Vyasa’s narration to Dhritarashtra later,

dhumaketur mahaghora? pu?yam akramya ti??hati” [Mbh: 6-3-12]


The word Dhumaketu generally refers to a comet and it turns out to be so in this verse too, going by the description of portents after Bhishma was made chief of the army. Similar portents appearing eight days earlier are very much in tune with a comet caught in the gravitational pull of the earth and colliding with the earth in a series of fragments after several rounds around the earth.


The hit is similar to the crash of comet Shoemaker-Levy on Jupiter, after being caught in the gravitational field of Jupiter in 1994, and breaking into several pieces and falling on Jupiter over a span of seven days with the biggest fragment falling on the third day.



At the time of Krishna leaving Hastinapur


Similar portents were reported again on the day Krishna left Hastinapur, after talking to Kunti. Those portents were mentioned by Drona and Bhishma while trying to dissuade Duryodhana from fighting. They referred to the fall of blazing meteors blurring the sky and causing fear among animals and people. [Mbh: 5-5-136. V: 20-22] This had taken place on the day of Uttara Phalguni, the day Krishna left Hastinapur after a failed mission. 


These observations appearing from Revati to Uttara Phalguni hint at a comet breaking into fragments and hitting the earth over a period of 13 days, with the biggest hit on the ninth day when the Moon was crossing the star Pushya. Counting from Revati (25 August, 3136 BCE) to Pushya when the major collision occurred, the date happened to be 2 September, 3136 BCE.


One may tend to dismiss this claim of a cosmic impact as fictitious, but one should be reminded that the bulk of all the astronomy observations found in Mahabharata pertain to this short period. Almost all the 78 nimittas (omens) narrated by Vyasa to Dhritarashtra before the war either as astronomy or non-astronomy omens fit in with the period of the cosmic impact and its after effects. The earliest reference to such observations were spoken by Karna to Krishna before Krishna left Hastinapur on the day of Uttara Phalguni, that was the fifth day from the day of the cosmic impact (Dhumaketu in Pushya).


Some of what Karna observed was repeated by Vyasa to Dhritarashtra. Some were told by him in weird ways which however are scientifically explainable in the backdrop of a cosmic impact – the most well-known among them being the star Arundhati keeping the star Vasishtha at her back!


(To be continued…)



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