Quite a number of efforts have been made by various scholars to find the date of the Mahabharata War. Various methods have been used, using historical references in the Puranas, language conditions, archaeological findings etc. A few have used astronomical methods to determine the time of the Mahabharata. It is possible to determine the date of an astronomical reference by considering the movements of the planets including the Sun and the Moon in the various constellations of the sky, the movement of the Earth with its axis inclined to the ecliptic and the precession and nutation of this axis as well as the seasonal changes referred to in the text.
Dr. P. V. Vartak from Pune carefully studied the astronomical references in the Mahabharata and corroborated the same with historical and archeological evidences. All in all, it is possible to state that the dates as derived by Dr. P.V. Vartak are more accurate than the various other dates propounded by other scholars who have been carried away by the statements made by Western scholars. They have been prejudiced against the richness of the Indian Civilization in the past and have always tried to attribute much later dates and consequently lo denigrate the glorious past of India.
Dr. Vartak has derived the date of the initiation of the Mahabharata War to be 16th October 5562 B.C. This proposed date has been examined by a few scholars and has been verified. This may prove to be a break-through in deciding the chronology of the events in the history of India (and probably the World). Dr. Vartak has also derived the dates of Ramayana and the Vedas which has also been published as a book.
PART – I…
The Mahabharata has exercised a continuous and pervasive influence on the Indian mind for millenniums. The Mahabharata, originally written by Sage Ved Vyas in Sanskrit, 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.
Incidentally, the dating of the Mahabharata 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 Sanskrit texts are imaginary and subsequently, the Mahabharata derived to be a fictitious 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 Rig veda in 1200 B.C., then come other Vedas.
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 do the Ramayana and Mahabharata fit in?Some say that the Ramayana follows Mahabharata and some opine otherwise. In all this anarchy of Indian history, the date of the Mahabharata ranges between 1000 B.C.to 300 B.C. Sanskrit epics were academically attacked occasion – ally – an attempt to disprove the authenticity of the annals noted therein.For example, the European Ideologist Max Muller, tried to interpret the astronomical evidences to prove that the observations recorded in the Hindu scriptures are imaginary, probably because it did not match the prevalent views of European historians!
On the contrary, many Bharatiya scholars have vehemently maintained the actual occurrence of the Mahabharata War. Astronomical and literary evidences or clues from the Pauranic and Vaidik texts have been deciphered to provide a conclusive date for the Mahabharata War.The fifth century mathematician, Aryabhatta, calculated the date of the Mahabharata War to be approximately 3100 B.C. from the planetary positions recorded in the Mahabharata. 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 Mahabharata War to be 16th October 5561 B.C. This proposed date has been examined by a few scholars and has been verified. This may prove to be a break-through in deciding the chronology of the events in the history of Bharat (and probably the World).Now, here is the beauty we will calculate together by examining the vaious inscription one by one and come to a conclusion.
AIHOLE INSCRIPTION(Calculation Of Bharat War)…
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 Mahabharata that the War did not happen near about the beginning of Kaliyuga.
Let us interpret the verse considering the clauses of the verse… It says;”3030 years from the Bharat War” in the first line, ( Trinshatsu Trisahasreshu Bhaaratdahavaaditaha).
In the second line, the second clause starts and runs up to the middle of the third line i.e. (Saptabda….. Kalaukale) means 700 + 5 + 50 = 755 years passed in the Kali Era.
The remaining third clause;
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 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 and755 years passed from Kali Era. Kali Era started from 3101 BC.
755 years have passed so 3101 – 755 = 2346BC 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 Mahabharata War. It states that Saptarishis were in Uttara at the time of this inscription. Scholars hold that Saptarishis were in Magha at the time of Yudhishthira because Varahmihira has stated so in Brihat Samhita.
Scholars also hold that Yudhishthira’s time is3137 BC. Saptarishis stay in one Nakshtra for100 years, and there are 27 Nakshatras. Hence Saptarshis would be again in Magha (100 * 27 = 2700) years later during 4th century BC.From here if we count up to 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 a difference 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 we 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.