Validating Traditional date of Mahabharata War - XXVI
by Jayasree Saranathan on 09 Mar 2021 1 Comment

Yudhisthira along with all his relatives, friends and priests reached the spot where Bhishma was lying. Bhishma, getting ready to leave the earth, spoke certain words that formed the very basis of this entire series – of unraveling the date of the Mahabharata war. That verse stipulating the month-paksha-tithi of the Uttarayana day (quoted in Part 4) highlights the deviation it made with the original Mahabharata calendar of that time.


The original calendar showed that Uttarayana should have started in Magha Shukla Trayodasi, but Bhishma minced no words in stating that the day was Magha Shukla Ashtami – four tithis short of the original date. Mystified by this we started our travel down the pages of the text of Mahabharata from the time the Pandavas completed the exile. It showed why and how this discrepancy had crept in.


Now I am going to quote the same verse again to show additional information given by Bhishma which by itself becomes an authentication of the derivation we have made of the Mahabharata date.


Bhishma said,

magho 'ya? samanuprapto masa? pu?yo yudhi??hira (13-153- 28a)


Let me decipher the meaning of this:

magho 'ya? = this Magha

samanu prapto =  sam anu prapto

sam = with, together, same, equal

anu = after, alongside,

prapto = having obtained equal or togetherness  (prapta = attained to, reached)

masa? = month

pu?yo = meritorious, auspicious

yudhi??hira = Yudhi??hira


Overall meaning:

Yudhisthira, this month Magha, having obtained sameness or togetherness alongside (each other), it is meritorious.


What is this “sameness” he was referring to? This word “samanu prapto” makes sense only in the way we have derived the dates.


The date shows that the sun must have advanced into Aquarius by the time Nija Magha started! In other words, both the solar Magha and the lunar Magha month were running together at that time. It was not so until then.


To understand this let us recall the original calendar (pre-comet-hit) of the Mahabharata times. It shows the sun in Uttarashadha in Makara (solar Pushya month) on all the 5 years of the Yuga. Until the beginning of Parivatsara (Vishvavasu) after the war ended, the Uttarayana had started in the solar month of Pushya (Makara) in all the years. But Time changed after that.


-        An unexpected Adhika masa started in Magha and this must have started soon after the sun entered Capricorn. For a lunar month to be identified as Adhika Masa it must occur between the first and last degree of a zodiacal sign (the span of a solar month). So the sun must have entered Capricorn before the Adhika Masa began.


-        By the time the Nija masa started, the sun could have come to the end of Capricorn and by the time of Nija Shukla Ashtami, the sun was well into Aquarius (Kumbha masa). This was never so until then – and can never happen anytime in future because this part of the year could see Kshaya masa and not Adhika masa.


-        In all the years close to Mahabharata time, the sun was in Capricorn at the time of Uttarayana.


-        Having noticed the big leap in solar position with reference to Uttarayana, it is possible to assume that Bhishma, the expert in calculation of time, decided to cut down 4 tithis in tune with the loss of 4 tithis in two subsequent phases which ended in Trayodasi. He altered the day from Shukla Trayodasi to Shukla Ashtami.


-        However the solar month in Magha was the new reality at that time - which he considered as auspicious anyway, as it came together with the lunar Magha month. The word ‘samanu prapto’ reveals this information, which in effect is a mystifying word unless one understands that the solar month advanced than usual.


-        This word is a sample case that shows that one cannot do research solely by deriving the meanings from dictionaries.


-        No one can understand the implication of ‘samanu prapto’, unless one has deduced that the two months – the solar and the lunar – had coincided.


-        No one can know that the two coincided unless one had detected the loss of a month with two Full-moons occurring in the same stars in two consecutive months.


-        No one can detect the loss of a month, unless one knows what Trayodasi Amawasya means.


-        There comes the basic knowledge – that Amawasya cannot occur in Trayodasi and if it occurs, it means something catastrophic happened with the moon, altering its speed and orbit. 


-        This is needed to be stated here to show why nobody else got the Mahabharata date right. 


Now let us analyze the second line of the verse,

tribhagase?a? pak?o 'ya? suklo bhavitum arhati (13-153-28)


Tribhaga = three-fourth (Monier-Williams, Sir M. (1988)

se?a? =  remainder, that which remains or is left (masculine vocative singular stem: se?a)

pak?o 'ya? = this paksha

suklo = Shukla paksha

bhavitum =  to be (SB 10.53.37, SB 5.1.2, SB 5.20.37) (Infinitive vbhu)

arhati = Deserving, meritorious, worthy of (third person singular present present class 1 parasmaipada varh)


Overall meaning:

The reminder of the three-fourth of the month is this Shukla Paksha (which) is deserving, meritorious and worthy.


Arhati explains how Bhishma had carefully chosen his date of leaving. He did not choose some date of the Shukla Paksha, nor did he want to wait for the regular Shukla Trayodasi. His choice of Ashtami comes with twin purpose – of the need to adjust the lost tithis and the need to go to Deva loka at the night time of the Pitrus!


First of all he didn’t want to leave in Dakshinayana and waited for Uttarayana. Now Uttarayana had come, but he didn’t leave on some day. He waited for the Pitrus to go to sleep! In the time scale of Piru-mana, the day of the Pitrus starts on Krishna Ashtami and ends at Shukla Ashtami with their noon falling at Amawasya when they receive the oblations from their offspring. With the night of the Pitrus starting at Shukla Ashtami, Bhishma decided to leave for Deva-yana immediately after the Pitus went to sleep.


He could have chosen to leave on Trayodasi of the original calendar but the loss of four tithis made him zero in on Shukla Ashtami as the day of Uttarayana and leave on that very tithi.


With these insights, I checked the simulator to see how the combinations existed on the day he left. Ashtami started late in the evening, after sunset, but the description in the text shows that Bhishma left sometime in the afternoon. The discrepancy in the time of the tithi by about 12 hours was already established in the context of the lunar eclipse of the 3rd day. This anomaly is due to the variance in time caused by the comet-hit that was gradually getting rectified. That is reflected again at the time of Bhishma leaving the earth. The Ashtami tithi must have started by the afternoon of that day.


We may also recall the Ratha Saptami vrat (see Part 4). The Vrat is performed on the day having ‘Tithi-Dvayam’ – of a tithi ending after sunrise and the next one starting during the day. Shukla Saptami must be running at sunrise, but must have started the previous day. The sunrise tithi (Saptami) was treated as the time of northward turn of the sun. Sometime afterwards, Ashtami had started. Bhishma didn’t want to wait for the next sunrise to touch Ashtami. From the description in Mahabharata it is known that he left his mortal coils on the same day having Saptami at sunrise but after Ashtami had begun.


Another stipulation that we got from the Gita Press Edition was that the sun was at the middle of Rohini: prajapatye ca nak?atre madhyam prapte divakare (12-47-3)


Perhaps thinking that this refers to the Sun crossing the star Rohini (Prajapati’s star), the experts branded it as interpolation and dropped it. Once again this is a case of lack of subject knowledge playing the devil.


The previous line saying “Sukla paksasya ca??amyam magha masasya parthiva” is a clear statement on four factors of Time – of solar month, lunar paksha and the tithi. The next line gives the star of the day at sunrise. The sunrise happened when the moon was half way through Rohini. Thus we satisfied the two major pre-requisites to be present on the day Bhishma left the world. The third – ‘samanu prapto’ – also got fulfilled.


There must have been some confusion on deciding the Uttarayana day of the subsequent years too, but normalcy could have been obtained by the beginning of the next Yuga by picking out the tithi that exactly matched with the sun’s true position at the beginning of Capricorn.


But never could they have got it at Shukla Pratipat as it was before.

Time caused it to be lost forever.

Time causes the supreme realization that Time exists cosmically, not in our clocks.

Time is incapable of being overcome; even the mighty Bhishma failed to detect its movement.

After a long painful stay on the arrows, Bhishma lost no time in ascending the heavens, once the moon entered Ashtami.

By that evening this Itihasa’s tryst with Kurukshetra ended!


The time was Nija Magha (solar and lunar), Shukla Ashtami in Rohini on Tuesday in the year Vishvavasu, corresponding to 16th December 3136 BCE.


Mahabharata Time-line


A tabulation of important events of Mahabharata derived so far corroborates the number of Tirtha yatra days of Balarama in terms of stars. Bhishma’s waiting period matches with Tithi. The Gregorian date is just for reference and not cosmically relevant. Important of all the cut-off date of time is a major feature that causes difference to time as pre-comet and post-comet period.


This tabulation establishes that the modern calendar system is not relevant for deciphering and establishing Mahabharata calendar of the 5-year Yuga, given in traditional Panchanga terms. Moreover this Yuga system does not use the true position of the sun’s northward turn (Uttarayana) in four out of five years. It is safe to derive the dates as per Mahabharata calendar for maintaining accuracy and then find out the corresponding dates in the Gregorian calendar or in the simulator.


While checking with the simulator, there comes the additional problem of sticking to the exact degree of precession of the sun on the date of the event. I used Surya Siddhanta Ayanamsa that simulates the zero ayanamsa of the Mahabharata times. Let me remind the reader that the ayanamsa was zero at the commencement of Kali Yuga! Ayanamsa position is vital for knowing the planetary positions. The zero degree ayanamsa made my work easy because all the planetary positions of Mahabharata were given at the time of the zero ayanamsa.


In contrast, any ayanamsa other than Surya Siddhanta cannot show the true position of the planets of the Mahabharata time when the ayanamsa was zero. The astronomy simulators have zero ayanamsa at any date making it ‘current’. The precession point goes around the zodiac of 360 degrees in astronomy simulators such that Kali Yuga, which the Surya Siddhanta ayanamsa shows at zero degree Aries (as it has to be), would be shown at Taurus in astronomy simulators. So if anyone is nurturing an idea that Mahabharata date can be simulated ‘astronomically’ in astronomy simulators, they are deceiving themselves and others, besides causing immense harm to Dharma and the Indic cause.


The dating continues…to know what happened in Dwarka after 35 years.



Dictionary meaning for Samanu given from to show how the word is divided as sam-anu + a root word. 'sam' has for its stem "sama" which means equal, identical, together and similar words. It is masculine vocative singular stem: sama.


(To be continued...)


User Comments Post a Comment

Back to Top