Reclaiming the chronology of Bharatam: Narahari Achar (July 2006)

B.N.Narahari Achar had presented the date of Mahabharata war and related observed events described in the epic with extraordinary accuracy by Veda Vyasa in an international colloquium (January 2003). Further researches by him have established the Mahabharata as the sheet-anchor of the history of Bharatam. The textual references (Critical edition of Bhandarkar Institute) of observed events are related to either planets or comets. In this note (July 2006), Achar establishes that some references are emphatically to comets (mentioned as such in the text itself; graha means both 'planet' and 'comet' and has to be interpreted in context). This brilliant insight resolves the centuries' old problem of apparent inconsistencies within the critical edition of the text. In fact, there are no inconsistencies. Mahabharata is astonishingly accurate, making it the most authentic historical document in human civilizational history.

 

Continuing the path-breaking use of planetarium software (of the type used by NASA to launch satellites into cosmos), Achar also validates the date of Nirvana of the Buddha. This date is consistent with the Tibetan Bauddha tradition which notes that Gautama the Buddha lived in 19th century BCE. The skymaps of the 3067 and 1807 BCE map the important dates in Hindu civilization: the Great War and the Nirvana of the Buddha, respectively.

 

Kalyanaraman (20 July 2006). Vyasa-Dhritarashtra Samvada by BN Achar

Annals of BORI, LXXXIV, (2003), pp 13-22). This document establishes 1) the concordance between Atharvaveda Paris'is.t.a and the Mahabharata in relation to the accounts related to comets and 2) internal consistency of astronomical observations recorded in Udyogaparvan and Bhishmaparvan.

S. Kalyanaraman (28 July 2006).

 

 

Reclaiming the Chronology of Bharatam

 

B. N. Narahari Achar

 

Abstract

 

The Date of the Mahabharata War has been determined uniquely to be 3067 BCE, on the basis of archaeo-astronomical investigations using planetarium software and the references to astronomical events found in the epic. As has been emphasized by many scholars, this date should be taken as the ‘sheet-anchor’ for the chronology of Bharatam. However, the History of India has been written using the dates of Alexander and Megasthenese as fixed points in time and a chronology given on the basis of AIT or some variant there of. These accounts have been repeated so often that they have acquired the status of ‘ground-truth’. It is important therefore to reclaim the proper chronology of Bharatam

 

            There are a number of problems in reclaiming the proper chronology. First of all, there are several dates given traditionally as the date of the Mahabharata War. For example there are the dates based on the beginning of Kaliyuga, 3102 BCE on the astronomical basis or 3138 BCE based on the departure of Krishna as per the Bhatavata Purana account. Then there is the date 2449 BCE, attributed to Varahamihira and quoted by Kalhana in Rajatarangini. Further, there is the puranic tradition based on the genealogical lists that there was a period of 1500 years elapsed between Parikshit and the Nandas. These different dates have to be reconciled with the date 3067 BCE.

           

Secondly, the Dates of Buddha, Adishankara and Kalidasa should be taken as fixed points in the chronology. Here an attempt is made to reconcile the differences in the so-called traditional dates of the Mahabharata war, based on the textual evidence in the epic itself. Preliminary results based on archaeoastronomical investigations into the date of Buddha as recorded in Samyutta Nika_ya indicate the emergence of a consistent chronology. Work is in progress to reexamine some epigraphical evidence using planetarium software. The author is confident that a completely consistent chronology will emerge with the date of Mahabharata war as the sheet-anchor.


I.          Introduction

            It is universally acknowledged that Bha_ratam has one of the most ancient cultural traditions, which unlike the other ancient cultural traditions has been preserved continuously without a break even to the present day.[1] Western Scholars, while grudgingly acknowledging this unbroken tradition, have complained that Indians lack a sense of history and do not have a historical tradition. Therefore, they decided to write a history for Bha_ratam, which is based on their own ideas of history. They have accepted the dates of Alexander and Megasthenese of the Greek tradition as fixed points of history. Using some data from genealogical lists from the Pura_n.a s and the so-called Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) or some variant there of, the scholars have a chronology for India. These scholars have discounted the fact that two of the greatest epics of the world, Rama_yan.a and Maha_bha_rata are traditionally regarded as itiha_sa s, i.e., historic texts and that there are a host of supporting texts in the form of Pura_n.a- s. Ignoring the fact that Bha_ratam has its own sense of history and its purpose[2], the scholars have systematically misrepresented the chronology of Bha_ratam. It is important to dismiss this false chronology and to reclaim the correct chronology for Bha_ratam.

 

            Based on research over the past several years, using the so-called Planetarium Software and the references to astronomical events in the epic Mahabha_rata, the author has shown[3] that it is possible to arrive at a unique date for the War on the basis of archaeo-astronomical reasoning. This unique date, 3067 BCE, had also been proposed previously by Professor Raghavan. This date should be used as the ‘sheet-anchor’ for the chronology of Bha_ratam.

 

            The plan of the essay is as follows. First, the astronomical references in the epic, Maha_bha_rata from which a date can be ascertained, and the methodology of arriving at a date is summarized and supported by star maps from the planetarium software. It is important to stress that the date of the war is determined solely on the basis of astronomical references in the epic Maha_bha_rata alone and the date is established independently of any other source, as the sheet-anchor for the chronology of Bha_ratam. The consistency of this date with the other texts of Vedic and other traditions is then discussed. This is followed by a discussion of the consistency with the genealogy lists from Pura_n.a texts. A further step in establishing the chronology of Bha_ratam is given in the simulations of the date of astronomical events associated with Buddha nirva_n.a. This essay takes the initial steps in a long way in establishing the chronology of Bharatam through the simulations using planetarium software, and largely agrees with the chronology as advocated by Kota Vekatachelam and a host of other scholars.

 

II.        Archaeo-astronomical Investigations and the Date of the Maha_bha_rata War

 

The author has explored the astronomical references (of which there are more than one hundred and fifty in number, and occur scattered throughout the epic) using the planetarium software with a view to determine the date of the War.  More than 40% of all the articles[4] (totaling more than 120 in number) dedicated to determining the date of the war, are based on the astronomical references. Although the astronomical references are scattered throughout the epic, most of them pertaining to the war occur in Udyogaparvan and Bhi_shmaparvan of the epic. Practically all scholars have characterized the references in Bhi_shmaparvan as astrological omens[5] and inconsistent and not suitable for a ‘scientific’ analysis. The earlier works using the astronomical references were tedious and calculations were done manually and hence chose to use only a couple of the astronomical events out of the many available in the epic. More recent studies have used the computer software ‘planetarium software’ and consequently have considered a much larger number sample of astronomical references in the epic. Still, until recently there appeared to be no convergence of the dates[6].  Some scholars have introduced[7] ad hoc hypotheses in attempting to find some degree of coherence among the apparently ‘inconsistent’ astronomical references. The author has clearly shown that the astronomical references are quite consistent and that such ad hoc hypotheses are totally unnecessary. The research has shown conclusively that

 

(i)                  the astronomical references in the Bhi_shmaparvan are not merely ‘astrological effusions fit for mother goose’s tales’ (as once characterized by Professor Sen Gupta), but follow a Vedic tradition of omens and describe mostly comets and not planets as generally assumed,

(ii)                the few true planetary references in this parvan are identical to those in Udyogaparvan,

(iii)               These common references lead to a unique date for the war, 3067 BCE.

(iv)              all other astronomical references in the epic are consistent with the date

(v)                The date agrees with the date given earlier by Professor Raghavan and is consistent with the traditional date~3000 BCE.

(vi)              Using the planetarium software, it can be easily demonstrated that all other dates proposed by different authors are inconsistent with the planetary configurations referred to in (ii) above.    

 

The important planetary configurations

The important references to planets consist of those that are common to both Udyoga and Bhishmaparvan-s and include the following

(i)                  conjunction of s’ani with rohin.i

(ii)                retrograde motion of anga_raka just before reaching jyesht.ha

(iii)               a lunar eclipse on the ka_rtika porn.ima, followed by

(iv)              a solar eclipse at jyesht.ha.

These events lead to a unique year for the war. All other references in the epic are consistent with this date.

 

III.       Simulations using Planetarium Software and the date of the war

            A search is made for the years in which there is a conjunction of Saturn (s’ani) with Aldebaran (rohini) between 3500 BCE and 500 CE. As Saturn takes an average of 29.5 years to go around the sun once, the event also repeats with the same period. There are 137 such conjunctions during the interval specified above. A search is then made for those years from among these 137 dates when Mars (anga_raka) is retrograde before reaching Antares (jyesht.ha). Since the retrograde motion of Mars repeats with the same period as its synodic period, a spread of two years on either side of each of the dates was considered in the search. The search reduced the set to just seventeen: 3272 BCE, 3067 BCE, 2830 BCE, 2625 BCE, 2388 BCE, 2183 BCE, 1946 BCE, 1741 BCE, 1504 BCE, 1299 BCE, 1061 BCE, 857 BCE, 620 BCE, 415 BCE, 28 CE, 233 CE and 470 CE, when Saturn was near Aldebaran and Mars executed a retrograde motion before reaching Antares. A search is then made for those years in which there is a lunar eclipse near Pleiades (i.e., on the ka_rtika porn.ima). This reduces the set to just two, 3067 BCE and 2183 BCE. It turns out that in both of these years the lunar eclipse is followed by a solar eclipse at jyesht.ha. A sequence of ‘two eclipses within a period of 13 days’ also occurs in the two eclipse seasons. When one considers the fact that Bhi_shma passed away on the Ma_gha s’ukla asht.ami after the occurrence of winter solstice, a unique date results, for the winter solstice in January 13, 3066 BCE occurred on s’uklapan~cami where as the winter solstice in 2182 BCE occurred on krishn.acaturthi.

 

Thus a unique date of 3067 BCE for the date of the war emerges. The author has shown that this date is consistent with all the other astronomical references in the epic in several publications[8] with the help of copious illustrations of star maps generated by Planetarium software. A couple of the star maps will be included as part of this essay by way of illustration.

 

Figure 1 shows the star map for September 20, 3067 BCE, corresponding to Ka_rtika Porn.ima. On that day Krishn.a was in Hastinapura for the peace talks. It was also a day of Lunar eclipse. S’ani is clearly seen to be near rohin.i. Figure 2 shows the star map for October 14, 3067 BCE, corresponding to Ama_va_sya at Jyesht.ha. It was a solar eclipse day. Superposed on the star map is the path of Anga_raka which shows a retrograde loop before reaching Jyesht.ha. The retrograde motion of Mars had occurred several months earlier. These two figures clearly show that the important planetary configurations noted earlier occurred in 3067 BCE. Figure 3 shows the day of Bhi_shma’s expiry.

 

Figure 1            Full Moon of Kartika September 29, 3067 BCE Lunar eclipse day

 

Figure 2            Solar eclipse day October 14, 3067 BCE

 

Figure. 3  Bhishma’s expiry Magha shukla ashthami rohini January 17, 3067 BCE

 

 

IV. Consistency of the Date of 3067 BCE with tradition

Beginning of kaliyuga and Information from Purana-s

            According to Sengupta,[9] there are three traditions regarding the date of the Maha_bha_rata war, namely  (i) the so called A_ryabhat.a tradition[10], according to which Pa_nd.avas lived at the beginning of the astronomical Kali age, 3102 BCE; (ii) 2449 BCE, based on the saptarshi tradition as allegedly recorded by Vara_hamihira[11]; (iii) the tradition of the Pura_n.a-s[12], according to which from the birth of Pari_kshit to the accession of Maha_padmananda, there was a time interval is one thousand and five hundred years. Based on the Pura_n.a tradition, modern historians who have identified Candragupta Maurya (who followed the Nanda –s) to have lived in 324 BCE, assign a date ~1900 BCE for the war. All these three will be examined for consistency. It is to be reemphasized that the date of 3067 BCE has been derived independent of any of these traditions and is truly based on the internal evidence based on astronomical references found in the epic alone.

 

A_ryabhat.a Tradition

 

            A_ryabhat.a declares[13] that when he was 23 years old, 3600 years of Kaliyuga had elapsed. This identifies the beginning of Kaliyuga with 3102 BCE. At first sight there appears to be some question about the consistency of the date 3067 BCE for the war with the beginning of Kaliyuga, which is traditionally thought to have started after the war. A large number of scholars who have proposed the date of ~3000 BCE for the war rely on the information regarding the beginning of Kaliyuga in one-way or the other. However, the epic it self does not explicitly give any information about the beginning of Kaliyuga. It is generally accepted that the astronomical beginning of Kaliyuga coincides with 17/18 February, 3102 BCE. The date of the war is then tied to the beginning of Kaliyuga (which according to some authors coincided with the end of the war and thus giving the date as 3102 BCE for the war). But there are others who take their clue from the Pura_n.as, according to which Kaliyuga began with the departure of Lord Krishn.a from this world, an event occurring after 36 years after the war. This results in the proposed date of 3138 BCE for the war.  The spread of +/- 1 year on either side of these dates arises from slightly different modes of counting. Of course, the date 3067 BCE is posterior to 3102 BCE. Is there a conflict? Should not the war precede the beginning of Kaliyuga? Not really.  All that the epic says[14] is that the war occurred during the transitional interval between Dva_para and Kaliyuga s, and nowhere it says exactly when the Dva_para ended or Kali began. The antara or the interval between the yugas is quite extensive. According to Vishn.upura_n.a, the sandhya for Dva_para lasts for 200 years and for Kali it is 100 years. Thus there is a period of some 100 years or so, which can be legitimately referred to as sandhya and 3067 BCE falls within this interval of 3102 BCE.  In fact, there is some indication that the Kaliyuga had already started by the time of the war[15].  Even Bha_gavata pura_n.a acknowledges[16] that although Kaliyuga had already started, because of the presence of Krishna, Kali’s effect had been controlled. The full power of Kali became effective only with the departure of Krishn.a, according to Kali ra_ja vritta_nta[17] Thus there is no conflict with the war occurring in 3067 BCE and the reckoning of Kaliyuga from 3102 BCE.

 

The alleged Vara_hamihira Tradition

 

Vara_hamihira states in his Brihatsamhita that the saptarshi-s were in ma_gha when Yudhisht.hira was ruling and to get the epoch of s’akakala one should add 2526 years to the epoch of Yudhisht.hira Historians have assumed that the  s’akaka_la or s’aka nripatika-la refers to the S’a-liva-hana s’aka of 78 CE. Thus arriving at the date -2448 (= 78-2526 ) or 2449 BCE for the Yudhisht.hira Era, the scholars declare that Vara_hamihira gives this as the date of the Maha_bha_rata war. Kalhan.a also assumes that the position of saptarshis has been given by Vara_hamihira and makes the same mistake regarding the s’akakala in his Ra_jatarangin.i. However, he assumes that Kaliyuga began in 3102 BCE, hence declares that Pandava–s lived 3102-2449= 653 years after the start of the Kaliyuga. This has only contributed to the confusion and some Indologists actually declare Kaliyuga as a figment of imagination.

 

Vara_hamihira simply quotes vriddha Garga’s opinion regarding when Yudhisht.hira lived and how to get that period from s’akakala and this is not Vara_hamihira’s opinion. Garga by all accounts lived before CE and the word s’akakala of Garga cannot refer to S’alivahana s’aka of 78 CE.  The S’akakala or S’akanripatika_la in Garga’s words refers to the era of the s’aka king, Cyrus, beginning with 550 BCE. All this has been noted by many scholars[18], and discussed in great detail by Kota Venkatachelam[19], whose work may be consulted for further details. With the correct identification of S’akaka_la, the date given by Vara_hamihira is also consistent with the date of the war given here. It may be noted in passing that it was based on the wrong identification of S’akaka_la that Professor Sengupta felt justified in his date of 2449 BCE for the war. Thus the so called Vara_hamihira tradition and the Ra_jatarangin.i tradition of assigning a date 0f 2449 BCE to the war is based on a mistaken identity for the S’akakala compounded by the mistake in assuming that a mere quotation of vriddha Garga by Vara_hamihira reflects the latter’s own opinion. The date derived here is consistent with A_ryabhat.a tradition and the correct S’akakala beginning in 550 BCE.

 

Saptarshi Era and Genealogy list from Purana-s

 

            The Saptarshi cycle is named after the seven sages and is allegorically associated with the Big Dipper, the eastern most star of which is marked by Mari_ci followed by Vasisht.ha,A_ngirasa, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha and Kratu, respectively, in that order. The seven sages are thought to move through the twenty-seven nakshatra-s along the Ecliptic at the rate of one nakshatra per 100 years and to complete one cycle in 2700 years. This forms a convenient cycle for reference, but no astronomical significance[20] for the movement and the association of the stars of the Big Dipper can be ascribed. According to Puran.a-s, it is accepted[21] that Saptarshi -s were in ma_gha when Yudhisht.hira ascended the throne and that the time interval from Pari_kshit to the accession of the Nanda kings was 1500 years. Between Pari_kshit and the Nandas, there were three royal dynasties, Brihadratha, Pradyota and S’is’unaga families.  The Nandas were followed by Mauryas, Sungas, Kan.vas, and A_ndhras. The Saptarshi -s returned to ma_gha during the reign of the 24th king of the A_ndhras. It was the 25th king, Gautami_putra S’a_takarn.i who performed the as’vamedha and ra_jasu_ya yaga. It is simply being recalled that the Saptarshi –s had returned to the position they had occupied during the time when these rituals had been performed earlier at the time of the Pand.ava-s. The reason for this remembrance is that during this interval of 1500 years, there had been a decline of Vedic performances due to the ascendancy of Buddhism especially during the reign of the king As’oka Maurya. Since 1500 years had passed till the time of Nandas, As’oka Maurya’s time must have been about a hundred years later, i.e., 1500 BCE. The Andhras were followed by the Guptas and the Pramaras. In the accounts given by historians there is a mix up of the Gupta king, Samudra Gupta, who was also known as As’okaditya Priyadars’in and who lived around 320 BCE, with As’oka of the Maurya Dynasty, the dynasty which had ruled Magadha from 1535 BCE -1219 BCE.. The celebrated inscriptions of Priyadars’in–Rock Edicts III and XIII-mention Antiochus and Ptolemy as contemporaries of Priyadars’in, who is in reality Samudra Gupta of the Gupta Dynasty. The Gupta Dynasty ruled Magadha from 328 BCE- 83 BCE and not the Mauryas. This confusion is the reason for assigning the wrong date for the Maha_bha_rata war based on the Puran.ic genealogy lists. The confusion in the chronology of Bharatam is compounded by the historians, who misidentify King Vikrama_ditya of the Pramara Dynasty, who established the Vikrama Era in 57 BCE. When proper identification of As’oka is made, it is seen that all the traditions, namely, (i)A_ryabhat.a’s Kaliyuga, (ii) Saptarshi tradition and (iii) the Puran.ic tradition are all consistent with the date 3067 BCE for the war.

 

Buddha’s Nirvana    

 

Kota Venkatachelam has determined that Buddha’s Nirva_n.a occurred on the vais’a_kha porn.ima on March 27, 1807 BCE. Simulations show that astronomically this is indeed the situation as shown in Figure 3. Many other scholars also agree as to the date of Buddha’s Nirvana.

 

            Support for this date is derived from an independent Buddhist source, Samyutta Nika_ya. For about three months before his death, Buddha was staying in S’ra_vasti. During this time there occurred the winter solstice, a lunar eclipse, followed by a solar eclipse. Simulations show that the winter solstice occurred on January 5, 1807 BCE. There was a lunar eclipse on January 26, 1807 BCE, which was followed by a solar eclipse on February 10, 1807 BCE, as shown in Figures 4 and 5.  It can also be seen from Figure 5 that winter solstice occurred earlier when the Sun was near dhanisht.ha (the position which corresponds to 270° along the ecliptic).

 

This is exactly as recorded[22] in Samyutta Nika_ya Part I, Sugata-Vagga Book II, Chapter I, Devaputta-samyuttam sutta-s 9, and 10.

 

It is interesting to compare these simulations with the calculations of Professor Sengupta, who was trying to confirm the usually ‘accepted’ date of 544 BCE for the event of Buddha Nirvana. He found that two eclipses as mentioned in the Samyutta Nika_ya would be possible in 560 BCE, however this would be in conflict with the dates 483 BCE and 544 BCE which have been touted as possible dates of Buddha Nirva_n.a.

 

The conclusion is that neither of these dates are the correct ones according to Samyutta Nikaya.

 

Figure 4. Star Map for March 27, 1807 BCE: Full Moon at vishakha; Buddha’s nirvana

 

Figure 5. Lunar Eclipse on January 26, 1807 BCE

 

Figure 6. Solar Eclipse on February 10, 1807 BCE

 

Conclusions

 

            It has been shown that the date of 3067 BCE for the Maha_bha_rata War, derived on the basis of astronomical references from the epic alone is consistent with the different traditional dates assigned to the war when proper allowance is made to the different assumptions implicit in the traditions. The date is also consistent with the so called Saptarshi tradition. A big first step is taken in establishing the consistency with the date of Buddha by simulations of the astronomical references in Samyutta Nikaya using Planetarium software. This is a work in progress to reclaim the chronology of Bha_ratam.

 

List of Figures

Figure 1            Full Moon of Kartika September 29, 3067 BCE Lunar eclipse day

Figure 2            Solar eclipse day October 14, 3067 BCE

Figure 3            Bhishma’s expiry Magha shukla ashthami rohini January 17, 3067 BCE

Figure 4            Star Map for March 27, 1807 BCE: Full Moon at vishakha; Buddha’s nirvana

Figure 5            Lunar Eclipse on January 26, 1807 BCE

Figure 6            Solar Eclipse on February 10, 1807 BCE

 

Bibliography

Basham, A.l., (1953), The Wonder that was India, Grove Press Inc., New York

M. Ramakrishna Bhat, Vara_hamihira’s Brhatsamhita Part I. Edited with English translation. (Delhi : Motilal Banarsidass, 1981).

Gupta S. P. and Ramachandran, K. S.,(1976), (editors) Mahabharata, Myth and Reality-Differing Views, Agam Prakashan, Delhi;

Kamath, S. U., (Bangalore, 2004), (Editor) The Date of the Mahabharata War Based on Astronomical Data, Mythic Society

Majumdar, R. C., Raychaudhuri, H. C., Kalikinkar Datta, (1978) An Advanced History of India, Macmillan India Pvt. Ltd. , Madras

Narahari Achar, B. N., (2005) “Planetarium Software and the Date of the Mahabharata War” in The Mahabharata: What is not here is nowhere else, Edited by T. S. Rukmani,

Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, PVt Ltd, New Delhi India  pp. 247-263.

Narahari Achar, B. N., (2004) “Date of the Mahabharata War Based on Simulations Using Planetarium Software” in The Date of the Mahabharata War Based on Astronomical Data, Edited by Suryanath U. Kamath, Mythic Society, Bangalore, India pp. 65-115.

Narahari Achar, B. N., (2004) “Planetary Configurations in the Epic Mahabharata: Revising an Exercise in Archaeoastronomy” Paper presented at the 7th Oxford International Conference on Archaeoastronomy,  Flagstaff, Arizona (to appear in print)

Ramachandran, V. G.,(1998) ‘ Date of Adi Sankara’ in Ancient India, Mahalingam, N., (Ed), International  Society for the Investigation of Ancient Civilization, Chennai.

Pp.261-304

Raychaudhuri, H. C., (1923), Political History of Ancient India, University of Calcutta, Calcutta, p. 10

Sathe, S.,(1983) Search for thr Year of the Bharata War, Navabharati Publications, Hyderabad

Sengupta, P. C., (1947)  Ancient Indian Chronology, University of Calcutta, Calcutta.

Sircar, D. C., (1969), “The Myth of the Great Bharata War”, in The Bharata War and the Puranic Geneologies, University of Calcutta, pp 11-27

Vaidya, C. V.,(1983) The Mahabharata A criticism, Cosmo Publications, New Delhi, p. 80.

Vedavyas, E., (1986),  Astronomical Dating of the Mahabharata War, Agam Kala Prakashan, Delhi.

Kota Venkatachelam, (1954)The Plot in Indian Chronology, Arya vijnana, Vijayavada

 



[1] Basham, A.l., (1953), The Wonder that was India, Grove Press Inc., New York

[2] dharma_rtha ka_ma moksha_n.a_m upadesha samanvitam |

  pu_rvavrittam katha_yuktam itiha_sam pracakshate ||

[3] Narahari Achar, B. N., (2006), ‘Date of the Mahabharata War on the basis of simulations using the Planetarium Software’, The Hindu Renaissance, Vol IV, no. 1, pp 8-13.

[4] Sathe (1983)

[5]Sengupta, P. C., (1947)  Ancient Indian Chronology, University of Calcutta, Calcutta.

[6] Kamath, S. U., (Bangalore, 2004), (Editor) The Date of the Mahabharata War Based on Astronomical

    Data,  Mythic Society.

[7] It has been common to make ad hoc assumptions to fit whatever model one is proposing and to bring

    some degree of consistency in the astronomical references in the Epic. For example, Sengupta [14]

   assumed that the pair of eclipses had occurred two years before the war and later inserted into the text.

   Sharma (quoted by Iyengar in his paper in [15], p. 151) assumed that Vyasa met Dhritarashtra not just

   once on the eve of the war, but several times and the planetary positions refer to different times. Iyengar

  (in [15], p.167) assumed that part of the text in Bhishmaparvan actually belongs to sabhaparvan and

  would rearrange the text of the epic to suit his model.

[8] Cited in the Bibliography

[9] Sengupta (1947)

[10] kaho manavo }ha manuyugah shkha gatastemanuyugahchnaca |

    kalpaderyugapadagaca gurudivasacca bharatatpurvam || A.I.5 ||   

[11] asanmaghasu munayah shasati prthvim yudhishthire nrpatau |

    shadvika pancadviyutah shakakalah tasyarajnasyat ||BrS.13.3||

[12] yavat parikshito janma yavat nandabhishecanam |

    evam varsha sahasrantu jneyam pancashatottaram || bhaga III, a. III||

[13] shashtyabdanam shashtiryada vyatitastrayashca yugapadah |

   tryadhika vimshatirabdastadeha mama janmanotitah || A. III. 10||

 

[14] see foot note # 8 above

[15]etad kaliyugam nama aciradyatpravartate || MB. III.148.37||

The following remark is made when during the gadayuddha, Bhima hits Duryodhana’s thigh, the adharma act being the result of Kali having already entered.

   prmptam kaliyugam viddhi pratijnam pandavasyaca || MB IX.59.21|| 

[16] yada mukundo bhagavanimam mahim jahau svatanvan shravanjya satkathah|

    tadahareva pratibuddhacetasam abhadrahetuh kaliranvavartata ||BP I.15.36||

[17] yavat sa bhagavan vishnuh paspashemam vasundharam |

   tavat prthvim parakrantum samartho nabhavat kalih|| bhaga III, a. III ||

 

[18] Vaidya, C. V.,(1983) The Mahabharata A criticism, Cosmo Publications, New Delhi, p. 80.

[19] Venkatachelam (1954).

[20] This is the reason why Varahamihira simply quotes Garga regarding the position of Sapta Rshi–s and does not express his own opinion of it. It may also be noted that the two stars, kratu and pulaha,  ‘the pointers’, point toward the polestar polaris, now, but not in 3000 BCE. Then the pole star was Thuban (Dhruva) and the entire Satarshi mandala was circumpolar.

[21] A detailed discussion of these points are given by Kota Venkatachelam and summarized by Vedavyas.

[22] Atha kho bhagava candimam devaputtam arabha rahum asurindamgathaya ajjabhasi ||

   thatagatam arahantam | candima saranam gato ||

   rahu candam pamuncassu | Buddha lokanukampakati || SN (I. ii . 1. 9.3) ||

   Atha kho bhagava suriam devaputtam arabha rahum asurindam gathaya  ajjabhasi ||

   thatagatam arahantam | suriyam saranam gato ||

   rahu  pamunca suriyam | Buddha lokanukampakati || SN (I. ii . 1. 10.3) ||