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Mahabharat War 5561 B.C : By Dr. P.V. Vartak (1/5)



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             THE SCIENTIFIC DATING OF THE MAHABHARAT WAR
                                 
                         by Dr. P.V. VARTAK                  
 
                       (16th OCTOBER 5561 B.C.)
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INTRODUCTION 
------------

The Mahabharat has excercised a continuous and pervasive influence  on
the  Indian  mind for milleniums. The Mahabharat, orginally written by
Sage Ved Vyas in  Sanskrut,  has  been  translated  and  adapted  into
numerous  languages  and has been set to a variety of interpretations.
Dating back to "remote antiquity", it is still a living force  in  the
life of the Indian masses.

Incidently, the dating of the Mahabharat War  has  been  a  matter  of
challenge and controversy for a century or two. European scholars have
maintained that the events described in the ancient Sanskrut texts are
imaginary  and subsequently, the Mahabharat derived to be a fictitiou
tale of a war fought between two  rivalries.  Starting  from  the  so-
called  Aryan  invasion  into Bharat, the current Bharatiya chronology
starts from the compilation of the Rigved  in  1200  B.C.,  then  come
other  Ved's,  Mahaveer  Jain is born, then Gautam Buddha lives around
585 B.C. and the rest follows. In the meantime, the Brahmanas,  Samhi-
tas,  Puranas,  etc.  are written and the thought contained therein is
well-absorbed among the  Hindu  minds.  Where  does  the  Ramayan  and
Mahabharat  fit  in ? Some say that the Ramayan follows Mahabharat and
some opine otherwise. In all this anarchy of Indian  histography,  the
date  of  the  Mahabharat  (the  mythical  story!) ranges between 1000
B.C.to 300 B.C. Saunskrut epics were academically  attacked  occasion-
ally  -  an  attempt  to  disprove  the authencity of the annals noted
therein. For example, the European Indologiest  Maxmuller,  tried  the
interpret  the  astronomical  evidences to prove that the observations
recorded in the Hindu scriptures are imaginary,  probably  because  it
did not match the prevelant views of European historians!

On the contrary, many Bharatiya scholars  have  vehemently  maintained
the  actual occurance of the Mahabharat War. Astronomical and literary
evidences or clues from the Pauranic and Vaidik texts have been  deci-
phered  to provide a conclusive date for the Mahabharat War. The fifth
century  mathematician,  Aryabhatta,  calculated  the  date   of   the
Mahabharat  War to be approximately 3100 B.C. from the planetary posi-
tions recorded in the Mahabharat. Prof. C.V. Vaidya and Prof. Apte had
derived the date to be 3101 B.C. and Shri. Kota Venkatachalam reckoned
it to be 3139 B.C. However, the astronomical data used by  the  above,
and  many other, scholars contained some errors as examined by a scho-
lar from Pune, Dr. P.V.  Vartak.  Using  astronomical  references  and
variety  of other sources, Dr. Vartak has derived the date of the ini-
tiation of the Mahabharat War to be 16th October 5561 B.C.  This  pro-
posed date  has been  examined by a few scholars and has been verfied.
This may prove to be a break-through in deciding the chronology of the
events in the history of Bharat (and probably the World).

In the following few posts, I have made an attempt to provide a glance
at  the  proofs  provided by Dr. Vartak in propounding the date of the
very important landmark in  the  history  of  Bharat  (World?),  i.e.,
Mahabharat War. Only major points have been extracted from two sources:
Dr.P.V. Vartak's Marathi book "Swayambhu" and "Scientific Dating of the 
Mahabharat War" in English.


INSCRIPTIONS 
------------
Some scholars rely on the various inscriptions found  in  the  temples
and elsewhere to fix the date of Mahabharat War.  If there is no other
alternative then this method is tolerable, otherwise it is  not  reli-
able  because  all the known inscriptions are dated as far back as 400
AD.  Those who prepared those inscriptions were  not  conversant  with
the  scientific  methods available  now in the modern Science Age. So,
why should we depend on the conjectures of the ancient people? Why not
use scientific methodology to come to the conclusion ourselves? I will
prefer the use of the modern  scientific  ways  to  fix  the  date  of
Mahabharat War rather than to rely on the Inscriptions which are vague
and inconclusive. Let us examine two famous inscriptions always quoted
by the scholars.


AIHOLE INSCRIPTION 
------------------
All the scholars have relied on this inscription  found  in  the  Jain
Temple  at  Aihole prepared by  one Chalukya King Pulakeshi.  It says,
according  to  scholars,  that  the  temple   was     constructed   in
30+3000+700+5  = 3735 years, after the Bharat War and 50+6+500 =   556
years of Shaka era in Kali era. Today Shaka era is 1910.  Hence  1910-
556  =  1354  years  ago the temple was constructed.  Thus the year of
inscribing this note is 634 AD.  At this time 3735  years  had  passed
from the Bharat War. So the date of the War comes to 3101 BC.  This is
also the date of Kali Yuga Commencement. Naturally, it is evident that
relying on the beginning of Kaliyuga Era and holding that the War took
place just before the commencement of Kaliyuga,  this  inscription  is
prepared.    It  is  obvious  from the Mahabharat that the War did not
happen near about the beginning of Kaliyuga.  (I have considered  this
problem fully at a later stage.) If we can see that the inscription is
prepared by relying on some false assumption,  we have to  neglect  it
because  it  has  no value as an evidence. Moreover the interpretation
done by the scholars is doubtful because they have not considered  the
clauses  separately  and  they held Bharat War and Kali Era as one and
the same.

The verse inscribed is :

Trinshatsu Trisahasreshu Bhaaratdahavaditaha | Saptabda  Shatayukteshu
Gateshwabdeshu Panchasu | Panchashatasu Kalaukale Shatasu Panchashatsu
cha | Samatsu Samatitasu Shakaanamapi Bhoobhujaam ||

I would like to interprete the verse considering the  clauses  of  the
verse.  It  says "3030 years from the Bharat War" in the first line, (
Trinshatsu Trisahasreshu Bhaaratdahavaaditaha) where the first  clause
oF  the  sentence  ends.  in the second line, the second clause starts
and   runs   upto   the   middle   of   the   third   line   thus    (
Saptabda.....Kalaukale) This means 700+5+50 = 755 years passed in the
Kali Era.  The remaining third clause is ( Shatasu

Here the verse does not specifically  say  the  Shalivahan  Shaka  but
Scholars  have  taken  granted that it is Shalivahan Shaka without any
base or reasoning.  The verse may  have  mentioned  some  other  Shaka
kings  from  ancient  era.   So we we neglect the doubtful part of the
Shaka counting  which  is   useless    and  adhere  to  the  Kali  era
expressly  mentioned. It is clear from the former portion of the verse
that 3030 years passed from the Bharat War and 755 years  passed  from
Kali  Era.   Kali  Era started from 3101 BC.  755 years have passed so
3101-755 = 2346 BC is the year when 3030 years  had  passed  from  the
Bharat  War.   So 2346+3030 = 5376 BC appears to be the date of Bharat
War.


HISSE BORALA INSCRIPTION OF DEVA SENA 
-------------------------------------
This inscription is of 5th century AD and scholars hold that it throws
light  on  the time of Mahabharat War. It states. that Saptarshis were
in Uttara at the time of this   inscription.    Scholars   hold   that
Saptarshis   were   in  Magha   at   the  time of Yudhishthira because
Varahmihira  has stated so in Brihat-Samhita. Scholars  also hold that
Yudhishthira's  time  is  3137 BC. Saptarshis stay in one Nakshtra for
100 years, and there are 27 Nakshatras.   Hence  Saptarshis  would  be
again  in  Magha 2700 years later during 4th century BC.  From here if
we count upto 5th century AD there fall  eight  Nakshatras.  Hence  in
the  5th  century AD, Saptarshis should be in Anuradha and not Uttara.
>From Anuradha to Uttara Ashadha there is adifference of  five  Naksha-
tras,  while from Anuradha to Uttara Phalguni there is a difference of
six  Nakshatras.   So  it  is  quite  evident  that  at  the  time  of
Yudhisthira  Saptarshis  were  not  in  Magha as held by the scholars.
Here I have shown a mistake of five to six hundreds of  years.   More-
over,   there  are  three 'Uttaras' and the inscription has not stated
specifically which Uttara it denotes. Thus this source  is  unreliable
and should be rejected.

I have considered Saptarshi Reckoning in details at a later  stage  on
page  11.   While going to examine the sources scientifically, I shall
give the honour of the first place to  Astronomy.   One  may  question
that  how far Astronomy was advanced in those olden days? I say affir-
matively that Astronomy was far advanced in the  ancient  times,   and
the   ancient  Indian sages had perfected the science of time measure-
ment relying on Astronomy.
                                               ..... to be continued.

=====================================================================
Prasad Gokhale
University of New Brunswick,     f0g1@jupiter.sun.csd.unb.ca
Fredericton, N.B. CANADA.        f0g1@unbmvs1, f0g1@unb.ca

     "Truth can wait, it is used to it". - Anonymous. 
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