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On the Epic Mahabharata

Scientific Dating of the Mahabharata

( To download a pdf, go to the bottom of this article )





                         by Dr. P.V. VARTAK                 


                       (16th OCTOBER 5561 B.C.)





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  occasionally  _  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  deciphered  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 positions 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 scholar from Pune, Dr. P.V.  Vartak.  Using  astronomical  references  and variety  of other sources, Dr. Vartak has derived the date of the initiation of the Mahabharat War to be 16th October 5561 B.C.  This  proposed 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.





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  reliable  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.






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.





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  Nakshatras,  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.   Moreover,   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 affirmatively that Astronomy was far advanced in the  ancient  times,   and the   ancient  Indian sages had perfected the science of time measurement relying on Astronomy.






1. "The Greek Ambassodor Magasthenis has recorded that 138 generations have  passed  between  Krishna  and Chandragupta Maurya. Many scholars have taken this evidence, but taking only 20 years per generation they fixed  the date of Krishna as 2760 years before Chandragupta. But this is wrong because the record is not of ordinary people to take 20 years per  generation. In the matter of general public, one says that when a son is born a new generation starts. But in the  case  of  kings,  the name  is  included in the list of Royal Dynasty only after his coronation to the throne. Hence, one cannot allot 20 years to one  king.  We have  to  find  out  the average per king  by  calculating on  various Indian Dynasties. I have considered 60 kings  from  various  dynasties and calculated the average of each king as 35 years. Here is a list of some of important kings with the no. of years ruling.


      Chandragupta Mourya      330_298 B.C.     32 years.

      Bindusar                 298_273 B.C.     25 years.

      Ashok                    273_232 B.C.     41 years.

      Pushyamitra Shunga       190_149 B.C.     41 years.

      Chandragupta Gupta       308_330 A.D.     22 years.

      Samudragupta             330_375 A.D.     45 years.

      Vikramaditya             375_414 A.D.     39 years.

      Kumargupta               414_455 A.D.     41 years.

      Harsha                   606_647 A.D.     41 years.


                                                327 years.


      The average is 327/9 = 36.3 years.


Multiplying 138 generations by 35 years we get 4830 years before Chandragupta  Mourya.  Adding  Chandrgupta's  date 320 B.C. to 4830 we get 5150 B.C. as the date of Lord Krishna.


2. Megasthenis, according to Arian, has written that  between  Sandrocotus  to  Dianisaum  153 generations and 6042 years passed. From this data, we get the average of 39.5 years per king. From this we can calculate  5451  years  for  138  generations.  So Krishna must have been around 5771 B.C.


3. Pliny gives 154 generations and  6451  years  between  Bacchus  and Alexander.  This  Bacchus may be the famous Bakasura who was killed by Bhimasena. This period comes to about 6771 years B.C.


Thus Mahabharat period ranges from 5000 B.C. to 6000 B.C.




a) Bhagwat gives 28 Kaurava kings from Parikshit  to  Kshemaka.  "From Kshemaka, the Pandava Dynasty will end in Kaliyug, and Magadha Dynasty will start." [Bhagwad 9_22_45]. This implies that  the  Pandava  kings ruled  before the advent of Kaliyug, i.e., before 3101 B.C and Magadha  dynasty will not super_impose the Pandava Dynasty.


b) Further it is stated  in  Bhagwat  that  after  28  Kaurava  kings, Magadha  Dynasty would rule and 22 Magadha kings would govern for 1000 years. Here it is given a average of 1000 years for 22 kings.  It  can be found that the 28 Kaurava kings would have ruled for 1273 years and then Magadha Dynasty started with King Sahadeva, whose son was Somapi.


On  the other hand, Maghasandhi was the son of Sahadeva and the grand_son of Jarasandha [Ashwamedh_82]. many scholars  have  neglected  this  fact  and have assumed that this Sahadeva fought in the Mahabharat War and was the son of Jarasandha.


c) Ripunjaya is the last king in the list of 22 Magadhas. But  Bhagwat 12.1.2_4  mentions  that  Puranjaya  will be the last king who will be killed by his minister Shunak. It is to be noted that there is no mention of the kings between Ripunjaya and Puranjaya. People have wrongly taken the two names as that of one and the same  person,  without  any evidence.


d) Bhagwat 12.1.2_4 state that Shunak would coronate his son  Pradyota as  the King and later five Kings would rule for 138 years. After this Pradotya Dynasty, Shishunga Kings, 10 in number, would  rule  for  360 years.   Thereafter  9 Nandas would rule for 100 years. Nanda would be destroyed by a Brahmin and Chandragupta would be  enthroned.  We  know that  Chandragupta  Maurya  ascended  the throne in 324 B.C. So we can thus calculate backwards:



9    Nandas            100  years

10   Shishungas        360  years

5    Pradotyas         138  years

22   Magadhas          1000 years

28   Kauravas          1273 years

___________           __________

74 Kings               2871 years


We find here only 74 kings, but Megasthenes tells us about 138  kings.


So  138_74=64  kings are missing. These may be from the period between Ripunjaya and Puranjaya. Thus calculating from the data   of  74  kings who  ruled for 2871 years, we get a period of 2496 years for 64 kings.


Adding the two we get 5367 years for  138  kings.  This  is  preceding Chandragupta's  time, who came to throne in 324 B.C. Hence, 324+5367 =5691 B.C. is the approximate date of Parikshit.




Scholars accept the date of the Mahabharat War to be 3100 B.C.   which also  happens  to the initiation of the Yudhisthira Era. But this Era, is mentioned nowhere in the Mahabharat text itself!  At  the  time  of Aswamedha of Yudhisthira, Vyas has given descriptions in minute detail like collection of "Sruva", formation of wells and  lakes,  but  never has  written even a word about, such an important event, as the beginning of the Yudhisthira Era.


Mahabharat also never mentions anything about  the  beginning  of  the Kaliyug, even at the time of Krishna's death. Mahabharat Adiparva 2.13 states that the War took place in the  interphase  ("Antare")  of  the Dwapaar  and Kali Eras. Thus it makes it clear that the evening of the Dwapaar has not yet ended and the Kaliyug had not started when the War took place.





Bhagwat states at 12.2.27_32 that Saptarishis stay 100  years  in  one Nakshatra.  At  the  time  of  King Parikshit, the Saptarishis were in Magha.  When they proceeded to Purvashadha, Kali  would  start.  There are  11  Nakshatras  from  Magha to Purvashadha. Hence it is seen that Shukacharya tells Parikshit that after 1100 years Kaliyug will  start.


Kaliyug started at 3101 B.C. Hence 3101 + 1100 = 4201 B.C. is the date of Parikshit.


Other references from Shrimad Bhagwat points quite closely to the same year as above.


But who is this Parikshit ? Is he the son of Abhimanyu ? No. A  minute observation  of  this  reveals  that  the above is not Abhimanyu's son because Bhagwat  is  told  to  this  Parikshit.  On  the  other  hand, Mahabharat is told to Janamejaya. In the Mahabharat, Parikshit's death has been recorded.  Hence it is evident that  Mahabharat  was  written and  published  after  the  death  of Parikshit, the son of Abhimanyu. Bhagwat is written after Mahabharat according to the Bhagawat  itself.


This  Bhagwat is told to some Parikshit. How can this Parikshit be the son of Abhimanyu who died before the  Mahabharat  writing  ?  So  this Parikshit appears to be somebody else than Abhimanyu's son.




Mahabharat   mentions   the   ancient   tradition   as   'Shravanadini Nakshatrani',i.e.,  Shravan Nakshatra was given the first place in the Nakshatra_ cycle (Adi_71/34 and Ashvamedh  44/2)  Vishwamitra  started counting  the Nakshatras from Shravan when.he created 'Prati Srushti'.


He was angry with the old customs.  So he started  some  new  customs. Before  Vishvamitra's  time Nakshatras were counted from the one which was occupied by the sun on the Vernal  Equinox.   Vishvamitra  changed this fashion and used diagonally opposite point i.e.  Autumnal Equinox to list the Nakshtras. He gave first place to Shravan which was at the Autumnal  Equinox  then.   The period of Shravan Nakshatra on autumnal equinox is from 6920 to 7880 years B.C.  This was Vishvamitra's period at  the  end  of  Treta yuga. 



Mahabharat War took place at the end of Dwapar yuga.   Subtracting  the  span  of Dwapar  Yuga  of  2400 years we get 7880 _ 2400 = 5480 B.C. as the date of Mahabharat War.




Some scholars rely on the horoscope of Lord Krishna to  calculate  his birth_date  so  as to establish the period of Mahabharat.  But they do not realise that the horoscope is a forged one, prepared many thousand years after Krishna's death. Mahabharat Bhagvat and Vishnu purana have not given the planet positions at the time of Krishna's birth.  It  is well_known and is recorded in many scriptures that Krishna was born in a jail, then who could have casted his horoscope? Moreover Krishna was not  a  prince so nobody would have casted his horoscope.  Hence it is not wise to rely on the horoscope.  It is prepared recently by considering  the  charateristics  of  Krishna  and  so is useless to fix the birth_date.


Mr. G.S. Sampath Iyengar  and  Mr.  G.S.  Sheshagiri  have  fixed  the birth_date  of  Krishna  as  27th July 3112 BC.  'The  horoscope shows Lagna  and Moon 52 deg.  15' Rohini, Jupiter 91  deg.  16'  Punarvasu, Sun  148  deg.  15' Uttara Phalguni, Mercury 172 deg. 35' Hasta, Venus 180 deg. 15' Chitra, Saturn 209 deg. .57' Vishakha, Mars 270  deg.  1' Uttara Ashadha Rahu, 160 deg. 1'.


At present on 27th July 1979 the Sun was at 99  deg.  57',   while  at Krishna's  birth,  according to their opinion, the sun was at 148 deg. 15'.  The difference is 48 deg. 18'.  This  shows  that  the  Sun  has   receded  back  by  48 deg. 18' due to the precession at the rate of 72 years per degree. multiplying 48 deg. 18' by 72  we  get  3456  years.


This  shows  that Krishna was born 3456 years ago or substracting 1979 from it we can say that Krishna was born during 1477 BC. Thus 3112  BC is found to be wrong.  We cannot accept such a wrong date derived from a manipulated horoscope.  (This horoscope is printed  in  "The  Age  of Bharat War" on page 241_Publisher, Motilal Banarasidas 1979).





In 1971, when I hinted at the date of Mahabharat war as 5500 years BC, Archeaologists  frowned  at me saying it as impossible because no culture was found in India dating so much back.  But  now  evidences  are pouring  in Archeaology itself showing cultures in India upto 30000 to 40000 years BC. Padmashri Late Mr. V.S. Wakankar has dated the  paintings in the caves of Bhimbetaka of Madhya Pradesh to about 40000 BC.


Recently Dr. S.B. Rao, Emeritus Scientist of the National Institute of Oceanography,  Dona  Paula, Goa, 403004, has discovered under the sea, Dwaraka and dated it as between  5000  to  6000  BC.   This  news  has been  published by all  the  leading newspapers on 22th October 1988.


Motilal Banarasidas News Letter October 1988 gives a news  on  page  6 under the heading "50,000 year old Relics" as follows:


Spectacular culture and physical relics dating back to 50,000 years BC have  been  excavated   from  the  Central  Narmada Valley  in  Madhya Pradesh. A  team  of Anthropological survey  of  India  recently  conducted  the excavation.  It explored sites in two districts Sebore and Hoshangabad.


In my book "Vastava Ramayan" I have shown the presence of  culture  in India as far back as 72000 years B.C.  This recent news points to that ancient period. I am sure after some time Arecheaology  may  get  evidence to show the presence of culture in India 72000 BC.


In Vastava Ramayan I have shown that Bali,  the  demon  king  went  to south  America  during  17000  BC when the vernal equinox was at Moola Nakshatra. MLBD News letter Oct. 1988 gives a news thus  :_"Dravidians in  America" _ According to a press report the Brazillian nuclear physicist and researcher Arysio Nunes dos santos holds that  the   Dravidians   of   South   India  reached America  much  before  Christopher Columbus.


Mr.  Nunes dos Santos, of the'  Federal  University  of  Minas  Gerais maintains that the  Dravidians colonised a  vast South American region 11000 years before the Europians reached the new  world.  Vestiges  of the  Dravidian  presence  in  America,  he  says,  include the strange phonetics of Gourani, Paraguay's  national language. Moreover Bananas, Pine  Apple,  Cocunut  and  Cotton, all grown in India could have been taken to America by those navigators.






Harivansh  (Vishnu Purana A.  5)    states  that  when  Nanda  carried Krishna  to Gokul on Shravan  Vadya Navami day, there was dry cow_dung spread all over the  ground and trees were cut down.  The presence  of Dry  Cowdung all over in Gokul indicates the presence of Summer in the month of Shravan. Trees are usually cut down in Summer to be  used  as fuel in the rainy season.  The seasons move one month backwards in two thousand years. Today the rainy  season  starts  in  Jeshtha  but  two thousand years ago, at the time of KaIidas, rainy season used to start in Ashadha. At the time of Krishna's birth the Summer was in the month of Shravan while today it is in Vaishakha.  Thus the summer is shifted by four months, hence Krishna's period  comes to 4x2000 =  8000  years ago approximately.  This  means about 6000 years B.C., the same period we have seen above.


At the time of Mahabharat, the Vernal Equinox was at Punarvasu.   Next to  Punarvasu  is Pushya Nakshtra. Vyas used "Pushyadi Ganana" for his Sayan method, and called Nirayan Pushya as Sayan Ashvini.  He  shifted the names of further Sayan Nakshtras accordingly.  At that time Winter Solstice was on Revati, so Vyas gave the next  Nakshatra  Ashvini  the first palee in the Nirayan list of Nakshatras. Thus he used Ashvinyadi Ganana for the Nirayan method.  Using at  times  Sayan  names  and  at times  Nirayan names of the Nakshatras, Vyas prepared the riddles.  By the clue that Nirayan Pushya means Sayan Ashvini,   it  is  seen  that Nirayan  names  of  Nakshatras are eight Nakshatras ahead of the Sayan names   Thus the Saturn in Nirayan Purva, and  Sayan  Rohini,  Jupiter was  in  Nirayan  Shravan,  and Sayan Swati (near Vishakha), while the Mars was in Nirayan Anuradha, and Sayan Magha, Rahu was between Chitra and  Swati,  by  Sayan way means it was in Nirayana. Uttara Ashadha (8 Nakshtras ahead). From these positions of the  major  planets  we  can calculated the exact date.  My procedure is as follows:

I found out that on 5th May 1950, the Saturn was  in  Purva  Phalguni.  From  1950 I deducted 29.45 years to get the year 1920 when the Saturn was again in Purva. In this way I prepared a vertical  column  of  the years  when  the  Saturn  was in Purva. Similarly, I prepared vertical columns of  the years when the Jupiter was  in  Shravan  and  Rahu  in Uttara  Ashadha.  Then I searched in horizontally to find out the year common in all the three columns. It was  5561_62  B.C.  when  all  the three  great planets were at the required places.  Then I proceded for the detailed calculations.


Bhisma expired at the onset of Uttarayan i.e. on 22nd  December.  This is  a fixed point according to the modern Scientific Calendar.  He was on the arrow_bed for 58 nights and he had fought for ten days.   Hence 68  days  earlier  than 22nd December the War had started.  This shows that the War started on 16th October. We have to calculate the  planetary positions of 16th October 5561 B.C.




Encyclopedia of Astronomy by Larousse  states  that  one  rotation  of Saturn  takes  26  years and 166 days.  One year means 365.25 days. So the Saturn's round takes 29.4544832 years.


5th May 1950, Saturn conjugated with Purva.  We have to see its  position  in  5561  years  B.C.  5561+1950  =  7511 years. 7511 divided by 29.4544832 gives 255.00362 rounds. This means  that  Saturn  completed 255  rounds and has gone ahead by 0.00362 or 1.3 degrees. Hence Saturn was in conjugation with Purva on 5th May 5561 B.C.  On  16th  October' 5562nd  B.C.   i.e.   164 days later it must have travelled (0.0334597 degrees (daily pace) multiplied by  164  days  =)  5.487  degrees.  So Saturn was at 141 degrees or in Purva Nakshatra.


In October 1962, Saturn was at 281 dgrs.  1962 + 5561  =  7523  years.

7523  devided  by  29.4544832 gives 255.41103 turns.  After completing 255 full turns, Saturn has gone back by 0.411003 turn i.e.  148  dgrs. 281_148= 133 degrs.  This was the position of Saturn in Purva.


Calculating from 1931 or 1989 also Saturn  appears  at  141  dgrs.  in Purva.   Thus  on  16th  of October 5562nd B.C. Saturn was in Purva as told by Vyas in Mahabharat.





Rahu takes 18.5992 years per rotation.  It was at  132 dgrs.  on  16th Oct.  1979.   1979  +  5561 = 7540, divided by 18.5992 gives 405.39378 turns.  0.39378 turns means 141.7 dgrs.  Rahu always goes  in  reverse direction.   We have to go in the past, so adding 141.7 to orginal 132 we get 273 dgrs.  This is Uttarashadha where Rahu  was  situated   (by Nirayan method).


Calculations from 1989, 1962 and 1893 confirm Rahu in Uttara Ashadha.




Jupiter takes 11.863013 years per rotation.  On 16th October 1979,  it was  at  129  dgrs.  1979+5561 = 7540.  7540 divided by 1.863013 gives 635.58892 turns. 0.58892 turn  means  212  dgrs.    So   Jupiter   was 212   dgrs behind  the  orginal  position. 129 _ 212 = _83.  _83 means 360 _ 83 = 277 degree 277 dgrs is the position of the star of Shravan. So  Jupiter  was  in conjugation with Shravan.  The span of Shravan is 280 deg. to 293 deg.


Calculations from  1989, 1932 and 1977 show Jupiter in  285   and  281 degrees or in the zone of Shravan.  This confirms the position told by Vyas.




Mars takes 1.88089 years per rotation.  On 16th October 1979, Mars was at  108  dgrs.    1979  +   5561 = 7540 yrs.   7540 divided by 1.88089 gives 4008.7405 turns. 0.7405 turns means 266 dgrs., Mars was 266 dgrs behind  the original position of 108 deg. 108 _ 266 = 158. 360 _ 158 =202 deg.  This is just beyond the star of Vishakha  which  is  at  200 dgrs.   Though  in Vishakha_zone Mars has crossed the Star of Vishakha and intends to go in Anuradha, so the description of Vyas as  "Anuradham  Prarthayate"  that it requests or appeals Anuradha, appears to be correct.


Calculations from 1962 and 1900 show Mars at 206  and'  208  dgrs  and therefore  though  in Vishakha, it can be called as appealing Anuradha "Anuradham Prarthayate". Thus it is seen that Vyas has used tricky but correct  terms.  He has not written any false statement because he was the Truth_abiding Sage.




Here an expert may raise a question whether I have  used  Heliocentric method  or  Geocentric  method. I  make it clear here that I have used the Heliocentric method that means I have considered the rotations  of planets  around  the  Sun. But after fixing the position of the planet around the Sun I have also seen where that planet will  be  seen  from the earth.


I would like the scholars to consider one more point here.  When I say that  an insect is sitting near one o' clock position on your watch or clock, one may think that the insect is between 12 and 1  while  other may  think that it is between 1 and 2. So the span to find that insect is from  12 to 2.  Similarly Vyas has mentioned the Nakshatra in   the vicinity  of the planet and therefore we have a scope of one Nakshatra on either side to find out the planet.  Thus if our answer is  between +13  deg.  and _13 deg.  from the given position we are successful. In my calculations I have achieved the perfect positions, but by  chance, somebody  gets a different position he is requested to consider a span of _,+ 13 degrees. The positions given by other scholars are far  away than the positions recorded by Vyas, so they are not acceptable.


I request the scholars, to be careful while doing calculations not  to take  a  retrograde  position  of the present planet, because that may give a false position. Please note that all the planets become  retrograde only apparently when our earth is approaching them.  We need not consider their retrograde motion each year  because  their  rotational periods  around the Sun are fixed and in that they are seen retrograde from the earth apparently.  We have to see if the last position of the planet  is  retrograde.   This  can  be done easily by considering the position of the Sun and planet. Any external planet becomes retrograde when it is in the house from 5th to 9th from the Sun.




Please note that i have taken 365.25 days for a solar year.  It covers the  general  leap  years,  but it does not take into account the leap years abandoned at centuries. At the interval of 400 years leap  years are  taken according to the modern scientific calendar.  If these century years are considered, there may be an error of 50  days  in  7500 years duration. As for dates these 50 days are automatically accounted for because we have  taken  the  winter  solstice  as  fixed  on  22nd December,   and  it  is  referred  by Vyas, while describing Bhishma's death.  As far as the planets like Saturn, Rahu and Jupiter  are  concerned  50 days are immaterial because in 50 days the Saturn will move only 1.6 deg. while Jupiter 4.1 deg. as an average. Hence their  error is negligible.


Now, we have seen that all  the four important planets  satisfy  their positions  as  told by Vyas on  16th October 5562nd B.C. Hence we have no other way but to accept this date as the exact date  of  Mahabharat War.


Please  note  that,  so  far,  not  a  single  Scholar  has  shown   a date  with  the planetary positions satisfying the description by Vyas  in Mahabharat. Late Mr. C.  V.  Vaidya  and Prof.   Apte   show   3102 B.C., but their  Mars  is  in Ashadha, Jupiter is in Revati, Saturn in Shatataraka and Rahu in Jeshtha.  Prof. K. Shrinivasraghavan, Mr. Sampat  Ayangar  and  Sheshagiri  show 3067 B.C. but they put Jupiter and Saturn in Rohini and Sun, Rahu, Mars in  Jeshtha.   Garga,  Varahmihir and  Tarangini  show  2526 Before Shaka i.e. 2449 B.C.  But their Mars comes in Dhanishtha, Jupiter and Saturn in Bharani and Rahu in  Hasta.


P.C.  Sengupta  gives  2448 with Saturn 356 deg., Jupiter 8 deg., Mars 157 deg., Venus 200 deg., Sun 200 deg.,  (Ancient  Indian  chronology" Calcutta  University).  The  Western scholars as well as Romeshchandra Datta and S.  B. Roy show  1424 B.C. but their  Saturn  is  in  Shatataraka,  Jupiter  in Chitra, Rahu in Purva and Sun in Anuradha with no eclipse.  Billandi Ayer shows 1193 years B.C.  but his Mars  comes  in  Mula,   Jupiter  in Purva Bhadrapada, Saturn in Purva Ashadha and Rahu in  Punarvasu. At 900 B.C. as is  proposed  by  many  other  scholars, Jupiter  comes  in Mula, Rahu in Vishakha and Saturn in Jeshtha.  Thus not a single scholar could coroborate his date with the facts  written by  Vyas.Hence,  their  dates   have   to   be   dismissed.    (C.  V. Vaidya's Upasamhar  page 94." Age  of Mahabharat War").


I have shown all the planetary positions correct to the description of Mahabharat.  In  addition  I have shown that the seasons tally with my date, and the seasons never tally with other dates. I have solved  all the  planetary  riddles  from  Mahabharat which nobody could dare.  So 16th October 5562nd BC. is the exact date of the first  day   of   the Mahabharat  War.  At   the   beginning   of  the  War,  Vyas  promised Dhrutarashtra that he will write history  of  the  Kauravas;  so  most probably Vyas must have written the Astronomical data immediately.   



URANUS (known to Vyas in 5561 B.C)


All the planets, viz., Sun, Moon, Mars,  Jupiter,  Venus,  Saturn  and Rahu  show  correct  positions  mentioned  in  the  Mahabharat on 16th December 5561 B.C. This must be the exact date of the Mahabharat  War.


After  pin_pointing  the  exact  date,  it struck to me that the three additional planets mentioned with positions by Vyas,  may  be  Uranus, Neptune  and  Pluto. Vyas has named them as Shveta, Shyama and Teevra.


Let us see if the conjecture is correct. We have to  prove  this  with the help of Mathematics, because we have to go scientifically.


Vishesheena hi Vaarshneya Chitraam  Pidayate  Grahah....[10_Udyog.143]

Shevtograhastatha Chitraam Samitikryamya Tishthati....[12_Bheeshma.3]


In these two stanzas, Vyas states that some  greenish  white  (Shveta) planet has crossed Chitra. This means that the planet was in Swati (or Vishakha, because Chitra and Swati are close together).  This  is  the Sayan  position  hence  Nirayan  position is eight Nakshatras ahead in Shravan (or Dhanishtha). Neelakantha calls this "Mahapata" which means having  greater orbit. Greater orbit indicates a planet beyond Saturn.


Hence I assumed Shveta to be Uranus. Let us calculate and see if  this



In October 1979, Uranus was at 206 degrees. Uranus takes  84.01  years per rotation. 1979 + 5561 = 7540. 7540/84.01 = 89.75122 turns. 0.75122

rotation means 270.4392 degrees. 206_270 = _64  =  296  degrees.  This

comes  in the zone of Dhanishtha, but the star of Dhanishtha is at 297

degrees, so the position given by Vyas is confirmed. Hence Shveta must

be Uranus.


In October 1883, Uranus was at 151 degrees. 1883 + 5561 = 7444  years.

7444/84.01  =  86.608498  rotations.  0.608498 turn means 219 degrees.

151_219 = 292 degrees. This is Shravan Nakshatra.  So  Uranus  was  in Shravan  during  Mahabharat  War  as  stated by Vyas under the name of "Shveta".


1930 calculations show Uranus to be at 292.54 degrees or Shravan. Thus our  mathematics proves that Vyas has given correct position of Uranus under the name of Shveta. This proves that Vyas had the  knowledge  of Uranus  under the name of Shveta, supposed to have recently discovered by Herschel in 1781. Shveta means greenish white. Uranus  is  actually greenish  white in colour. So Vyas must have seen Uranus with this own eyes. Uranus is of 6th magnitude and  is  visible  to  the  naked  eye according to the modern science.


Neelakantha of 17th century  also  had  the  knowledge  of  Uranus  or Shveta.  He  writes  in his commentary on Mahabharat (Udyog 143) that Shveta, or Mahapata was a famous planet in the Astronomical science of India.   Neelakantha  was  about  100  years before Herschel, who supposedly discovered Uranus. So we can conclude that one hundred years before Herschel,  Uranus  was  known  to  the Indian Astronomers and Vyas had discovered it at or before 5561 year B.C.



NEPTUNE (was known to Vyas in 5561 B.C.)


In 1781 A.D., Herschel discovered Uranus; but its calculated positions never  corroborated  with the actual positions. So the experts thought of another planet beyond Uranus. They fixed its position by  mathematics, and at that site, it was discovered by German Astronomers in 1846 A.D.  I  have  found  that  Neptune  is  also  mentioned  by  Vyas  in Mahabharat, under the name of "Shyama".


Shukrahah Prosthapade Poorve Samaruhya Virochate Uttare tu  Parikramya

Sahitah Samudikshyate....[15_Bheeshma.3]

Shyamograhah Prajwalitah Sadhooma iva Pavakah Aaindram Tejaswi Naksha_


tram Jyesthaam Aakramya Tishthati...[16_Bheeshma.3]


Here Vyas says that there was some luminary with Venus in Poorva  Bhadrapada.  He  adds  further that a bluish white (Shyama) planet was in Jyeshtha and it was smoky  (Sadhoom).  Saayan  Jyeshta  means  Nirayan Poorva  Bhadrapada,  so  this  is  the description of one and the same planet named by Vyas as Shyama. Neelkantha calls it "Parigha"  in  his commentary  on Mahabharat. Parigha means circumference, so this planet may be at the circumference of our solar system.; and so may  be  Neptune.  Let  us  see  by Mathematics is this statement is true. We will determine the position of Neptune on 16th December 5561 B.C.


Neptune takes 164.78 years per rotation. It  was  at  234  degrees  in 1979.  1979 + 5561 = 7540 years. 7540 divided by 164.78 gives 45.75798 rotations.  0.75798 turn means 272.87 degrees. 234 _ 272.87 = _38.87 = 321.13 degrees.  This is the site of Poorva Bhadrapada. So Neptune was in Poorva_Bhadrapada during 5561 B.C.


In 1948, Neptune was at 172 degres. 1948 + 5561  =  7509.  7509/164.78 gives  45.56985  turns.  0.56985 turn means 205 degrees. 172_205 = _33 =360_33 = 327 deg. This is the zone of Poorva Bhadrapada.


In 1879, Neptune was at 20 degrees. 1879 + 5561  =  7440  years.  7440 divided  by 164.78 gives 45.15111 turns. 0.15111 turn means 54.39 deg.

 20 _ 54.39 = _34.39 = 360 _ 34.39 = 325.61 degrees.  This  is  Poorva_Bhadrapada.


Thus the position of Shyama or Parigha is factually proved in the case of  Neptune.  Thus,  we  conclude that Vyas did know Neptune too. Vyas might have got his knowledge by Yogic Power or by  Mathematics  or  by using  telescopic  lenses.  Mathematics was far advanced then, that is why ancient Indian sages fixed the rate  of  precession  of  Equinoxes accurately.  Even  the  world famous scientist Gamov praised the sages for their remarkable work in Mathematics. So could have mathematically calculated the position of Shyama or Neptune.


Mirrors are mentioned in the Mahabharat. So lenses too might have been present  at that time. They had Microscopic Vision (Shanti A. 15,308). As microscopic vision was present,  there  might  be  telescopes  too.


Planets  can  be  seen  with mirrors as well as lenses. Vyas must have "seen" Neptune; its proof lies in the fact that he  says  that  it  is bluish  white  (Shyama).  Neptune is, in fact, bluish white in colour.


Hence we conclude that Neptune was known to Vyas in 5561 B.C.



PLUTO (was also known to Vyas in 5561 B.C)


Krittikaam Peedayan Teekshnaihi Nakshatram......[30_Bheeshma.3]


Vyas states that there was one Nakshatra, i.e, some immobile  liminary troubling Krittika (Pleides) with its sharp rays. This "star" in Krittika must have been some "planet". It must have  been  stationary  for many  years,  that is why Vyas called it Nakshatra which means a thing that does not move according to Mahabharat  itself  [Na  Ksharati  Iti Makshatram]


Hence the Nakshatra was a planet moving very slowly like  pluto  which takes  nine  years to cross one Nakshatra of 13 degrees. My assumption that this Nakshatra was Pluto gets confirmed  by  B.O.R.I  (Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute?) Edition which states thus :


Krittikasu  Grahasteevro   Nakshatre   Prathame   Jvalan......   [26_



Some editions mention 'Grahasteekshnah'.   Thus Teevra, Teekshana  and Nakshatra  are  the names of one and the same planet (graha) which was in Krittlka in 5561 B.C.  Let us see if Vyas has given these names  to Pluto  and  if  Pluto was in Krittika.  It is stated that Krittika was troubled with sharp rays by that planet _ this indicates that  it  was Nirayan Krittika.


Pluto was at 175 degrees in 1979.  It takes 248  years  per  rotation.

1979+5561=7540  years.   7540  divided  by  248 gives 30.403223 turns.

0.403223 turn means 145 degrees. 175 _ 145 = 30 degrees.  This is  the site  of  Krittika.  Thus it is proved beyond doubt that Vyas bas mentioned the position of Pluto, which was discovered to the modern world in   1930. Vyas could have used his Yogic Vision or mathematical brain or a lens or some  other  device  to  discover  Teevra,  Teekshna'  or Nakshatra or Pluto.


Thus all  the  three  so_called  'New'  planets  are  discovered  from Mahabharat.  It  is usually held that before the discovery of Herschel in 1781 AD, only five planets were known to the world.  This belief is wrong because Vyas has mentioned 'seven Great planets', three times in Mahabharat.


Deepyamanascha Sampetuhu Divi Sapta Mahagrahah....[2_Bhishma.17]


This stanza states that the seven great  planets  were  brilliant  and shining;  so  Rahu  and  Ketu  are out of question.  Rahu and Ketu are described as Graha' 23 meaning Nodal points.  (Parus  means  a  node).


Evidently Rahu and Ketu are not included in these seven great planets. The Moon also is not included, because it was not visible on that  day of  Amavasya  with Solar Eclipse.  From the positions discovered by me and given by Vyas it is seen that Mars, Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus, Venus  and Neptune were the seven great planets accumulated in a small field extending from Anuradha to Purva Bhadrapada. So they appeared to Ved_Vyas as colliding with each other, during total solar eclipse.


Nissaranto Vyadrushanta Suryaat Sapta Mahagrahah....[4_Karna 37].


This stanza clearly states that these seven great planets were  'seen' moving  away from the Sun.  As these are 'seen', Rahu and Ketu are out of question.  This is the statement  of  sixteenth  day  of  the  War, naturally  the  Moon  has  moved away from the Sun. Hence, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus,  Venus  and  Neptune  are  the  seven  great planets mentioned by Vyas.


Praja Samharane Rajan Somam Sapta grahah Iva......[22_Drona 37].


Here again seven planets are mentioned, excluding the Moon.


Even if we do not consider the planetary  positions,  from  the  above three  stanzas,  it is clear that seven planets are mentioned which do not include the Sun, Moon, Rahu and Ketu.  Naturally the conclusion is inevitable  that Vyas did know Uranus (Shveta) and Neptune (Shyama) as planets.


If they were known from 5561 years B.C. then why they got forgotten  ?

The  answer is simple, that these two planets, Uranus and Neptune were not useful in predicting the future of a person.  So they lost  importance  and  in  the course of time they were totally forgotten.   But, in any case, Neelakantha  from  17th century knew  these  two  planets very  weIl.  Neelakantha  is  about a hundered years ancient than Herschel,  and he writes that Mahapata (Uranus) is a famous planet in the Astronomical  science of India.  He also mentions the planet 'Parigha' i.e. Neptune. 22  So both were known in India, at least  one  Hundred years before Herschel.   Vyas is 7343 years ancient than Herschel, but

still he knew all the three planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.




Other  points  supporting  the   date   16th   October   5562nd   B.C.



Kshaya or Vishvaghasra Paksha


A fortnight of only thirteen days is told by Vyasa which occured  just before  the  great  War.  Such a fortnight comes at the interval of 22 years.  Calculations show that at 5562nd B.C. Kshaya Paksha did occur.

It  had occured in 1962 and 1940.  1962+5562 = 7524 is completely divisible by 22.


Amavasya confirmed


Krishna and Karna fixed the day of War on Amavasya (Udyog  142).  Vyas also indicates in Bhishma 2 & 3 that the War started on the day second Amayasya, because two successive Amavasyas appeared then. Bhishma died on  the  day  after 67 (58+9) nights from the onset of the War, on the occasion Uttarayan i.e. 22nd December.  So the War must have commenced on 16th October. Let us see if Amavasya  comes on this day.


In 1979, Amavasya was on 21st of October.  Amavasyas repeat after  the intervals  of  29.53058 days.  The Lunar year is of 354.367 days while the Solar year is 365.25 days.   1979+5561 = 7540 multiplied by 365.25 and divided by 354.367 gives 7771.5616 Lunar years.  0.5616 Lunar year means 199.0125 days.  199.0125 divided by  29.53058  gives  6.7392005.


This  indicates  that  6  Amavasyas  are completed and 0.7392005 lunar month or 22 days are left.  These 22 days are left  for  21st  October and  we have to go behind upto 16th October. So adding these 6 days to 22 we get 28 days.  After 28 days Amavasya can occur. After 29 days it always  occurs.  Thus  on 15th and 16th October 5562nd year B.C, there were two successive amavasyas as mentioned by Vyas.


Another method gives the same conclusion. At the interval of 19  years the  Amavasya  falls  on  the same date. 19x365.25 divided by 29.53058 gives 235.00215. So in 19 years 235 Amavasya are completed.   I  found that  on  17th  October 1963, there was an Amavasya.  1963+5561 = 7524 divided by 19 gives 396. This division is complete, so  there  was  an Amavasya.  Thus  it  is  established  that  Vyas has reported Amavasya correctly.




Vyas has mentioned that there was Solar as well as Lunar  eclipses  in one month at the time of Mahabharat War.  Calculations confirm that in October 5561 year B.C, both the Solar and Lunar  eclipses  did  occur.


Rahu  and  Ketu were in Uttara Ashadha at 273 deg. & 279 deg. so total eclipse of the Sun took place on the Margashirsha Amavasya day    Only 13  days  earlier,  according to Vyasa, there was Pournirma with lunar eclipse, causing pallor of the Moon. Thirteen  days  earlier  the  sun would  have  been 13 deg. behind at (279 _ 13 =) 266 in Purva Ashadha.


It was Pournima so the Moon was diagonally opposite at   (266_180=) 86 deg.  in Punarvasu, just beyond Mruga, so it was Margashirsha Pournima though it is wrongly or enigmatically told  to  be  Kartika  Pournima. Rahu was at 273 deg., so Ketu was diagonally opposite in Punarvasu, so the ellipse of the moon was possible which was not total.

A Big comet


Vyas has mentioned that at the time of Mahabharat War a big comet  was seen just beyond Pushya Nakshtra. There are many comets. Indian Astronomical works refer to more than 500 comets, but big comets  are  very few.   Haley's comet is one of the big comets which comes at the regular intervals of 77 years.  It was seen in 1910 and 1987.  If  we  add 1910+5561  =  7271.   7271 is divisible completely by 77. Evidently it seems that it was Haley's comet was seen at the Mahabharat War.




All the twelve planets confirm their said positions  on  16th  October 5561  years B.C. along with two Amavasyas, two eclipses, Kshaya Paksha and a Comet.  Thus, in all 18  mathematical  positions  fix  the  same date.   Therefore,  we have to accept this date of the Mahabharat War, if we want to be scientific. Please note that all the  twelve  planets will come in the same positions again only after 2229 crores of years.

That means it will never happen  again  in  the  life  of  our  earth, because  life of the earth is only 400 crores of years. So the date of the Mahabharat War is pin_pointed as 16th October 5561 B.C.



Hereunder is provided a short table dates of important Mahabharat events in years.  (Dates and Tithis in years in Rama Samvat assuming Shri Rama Samvat  1st January. 1 equivalent to 1st Jan 7323 B.C. Rama's birth date has been conclusively proved to be 4th Dec. 7323 B.C.( "Vastav Ramayan").



Event                                       Date        

_____                                       ____


Going to forest                       4th Sept. 5574 BC


Kitmeet Killed                        7th Sept. 5574 BC


Going underground                     19th May 5562  BC

Keechak killed                        1st April 5561 BC


Anukeechak_Massacre                   2nd April 5561 BC


End of secret life                    9th April 5561 BC


Cows stolen                           15th April 5561 BC


Arjuna exposed                        16th April 5561 BC


All pandavas exposed                  19th April 5561 BC


Marriage of Uttara                    4th May.

& Abhimanyu.


Krishna set out for a treaty.         27th Sept.


Stay at Upaplavya                     27th Sept.


Stay at Vrukshthala                   28th Sept.


Dinner to Brahmins                    29th Sept.


Entry into Hastinapur                 30th Sept.


Krishna meets Kunti etc.              1st Oct.


Invited for meeting                   2nd Oct.


First meeting                         3rd Oct.


Second meeting and an attempt         4th Oct.  

to arrest Krishna.


Third meeting Vishvaroopa             7th Oct.


Stay at Kunti                         8th Oct.

Krishna meets Karna. War              9th Oct.



Krishna returns                       9th Oct.


Pandavas preparation                  11th Oct. 

Balaram's visit.


Mahabharat war started                16th Oct.


Abhimanyu killed                      28th Oct. 5561 BC.


End of War                            2nd November 5561 B.C.


Yudhishthira crowned                  16th Nov. 5551 BC.


Bhishma expired                       22nd Dec. 5561 BC


Pandava  campaign                     15th Jan. 5560 BC 

for wealth


Parikshita born                       28th Jan. 5560 BC


Pandavas return                       25th Feb. 5560 BC


Ashvamedh Deeksha.                    1st March 5560 BC


Return of Arjuna Horse                15th Jan. 5560 BC


Ashvamedh yajna                       22nd Feb. 5559 BC


Dhrutarashtra went to forest          18th Aug. 5545 BC


Pandavas visited Kunti                18th Aug. 5543 BC

Vidura expired


Death of Kunti, Dhrutarashtra,        Sept./Oct. 5541 BC

and Gandhari


Yadava Massacre                       5525 B.C.


Parikshit Dead                        5499 B.C.





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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