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Nara Hari

Nara Hari

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Grzegorz Jagodziński on Mar 07, 2013
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01/08/2014

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Date of the
Mah˜bh˜rata
Warbased onSimulations using Planetarium Software
B. N. Narahari AcharThe University of Memphis, Memphis TN 38152ABSTRACT
A compelling demonstration of the consistency of the astronomicalreferences in the epic
Mah˜bh˜rata 
is made on the basis of simulations usingplanetarium software. Planetary positions such as
þani 
at
rohiõi 
, occurrences of eclipses, a lunar eclipse on the
k˜rtika 
full moon followed by a solar eclipse on
 jyeÿ÷ha am˜vasya 
, two eclipses separated by only thirteen days, a comet at
 puÿya 
, meteor showers, and a host of other events are shown to occur exactlyas depicted in the epic. The events can not be dismissed as fiction in view of the simulations using modern planetarium software. The complexity and thetotality of the events are such that nobody could have back calculated themand interpolated into the text at a later date, such as the 4
th
century CE. Thedate of 3067 BCE is proposed on the basis that the equinox occurred near
 jyeÿ÷ha 
; and there occurred a solar eclipse at
 jyeÿ÷ha 
in the middle of an eclipseseason, the solar eclipse being bordered by two lunar eclipses. The earlier lunareclipse occurred on
k˜rtika 
full moon. The second lunar eclipse followed thesolar eclipse in less than fourteen days. It is demonstrated that the simulationsof the events described in the epic satisfy the stringent astronomical conditionssurprisingly well. The simulations persuasively point to a date ~3000 BCE forthe events and hence for the Mah˜bh˜rata war. The accuracy and thelimitations of the simulations are also discussed.
 
2I.Introduction
The
Mah˜bh˜rata 
war is an important milestone event in the chronologyof 
Bh˜rata 
. The great epic tells us that the
 
war was fought
1
at the junction of the
dv˜para 
and
kali 
yugas. There is an age-old tradition of celebrating certainevents connected to the epic such as the
GŸt˜ jayanti 
or
BhŸÿm˜ÿ÷ami 
. NoBh˜ratŸya ever doubted the historicity of the event. In spite of such long-standing traditions, the situation changed when Western (and some Indian too)scholars began to study the epic seriously from the 'rationalist historic' point of view. Doubts were expressed about the war having been a historical event.Even if the historicity of the war was conceded, the date of the event wasdeemed to be in doubt. The importance of determining the date of the
Mah˜bh˜rata 
war for ancient Indian chronology can hardly be overstated
2
. Aplethora of dates, derived on the basis of a number of diverse methodologieshave been proposed and no consensus has been reached. Figure 1 displays adistribution of the dates attributed to the war based on the works of morethan a hundred scholars
3
. The various methodologies used are indicated in figure1a. A number of authors have concentrated only on the references toastronomical events such as eclipses
4
found in the epic as a basis fordetermining the date of the war. Figure 2 shows the distribution of dates fromabout forty scholars who have concentrated on the astronomical references inthe epic. However, it has not been possible to arrive at a definite date on the
 
1
 
antare caiva saÐpr˜pte kalidv˜parayorabh¨t/samantapaðcake yuddhaÐ kurup˜õdavasenayo×// MBh. 1.2.9
2
 
Pusalker, A. D., "Traditional History from the earliest Time to the Accessionof Parikshit", in
The Vedic Age 
, Majumdar, R. C., Pusalker, A. D., andMajumdar, A. K. (ed.) Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, (Mumbai, 1996)
3
Sathe, S.
Search for the Year of the Bharata War 
, Navabharati Publications,(Hyderabad, 1983)
4
Ibid
 
3
basis of astronomical references either
5,6
. A new tool in the form of Planetarium Software
7
has recently become available for examining theastronomical references. It is the purpose of this paper to report the results of using the Planetarium software to simulate the astronomical events in the epic.These simulations compel one to agree that the astronomical references in theepic
Mah˜bh˜rata 
form a consistent set, the events must have been observedand not put into the text by some later clever astronomer. These simulationsalso provide a basis for determining the date of the
Mah˜bh˜rata 
war. The dateof the events, 3067 BCE, is proposed on the basis of very stringentastronomical conditions that must be satisfied for the occurrence of the eventsdescribed in the epic. It is based on the following facts: there was an equinoxnear
 jyeÿ÷ha 
; a solar eclipse occurred at
 jyeÿ÷ha 
in an eclipse season with twolunar eclipses on either side; the final lunar eclipse occurred in less thanfourteen days after the solar eclipse.
 
It is demonstrated conclusively by thesimulations that the proposed date, which is identical to the one proposedearlier by Raghavan, provides the best agreement with the events described inthe epic.Additional impetus for this work derives from the fact that twoastrophysicists have recently published on the date of the
Mah˜bh˜rata 
war, andthey have proposed two different dates. It will be shown that these dates haveto be rejected as unacceptable on the basis of these simulations, as the impliedplanetary positions are incompatible with the positions described in the epic.
 
5
 
Dikshit, S. B.,
Bh˜ratŸya Jyotiÿþ˜stra 
, Government of India Press, (Calcutta,1969) Part I, pp 107-127.
6
 
Kane, P. V.,
History of Dharmasastra 
, BORI, (Poona, 1958) Vol. III pp 902-923.
7
Other Resources for Amateur Astronomers, Sky and Telescope Magazine, vol101, Sky publishing Co., 2001. (further references to STM)

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