When did the Mahabharat war happen? The Mystery Of Arundhati

Reading Time: 12 minutes
This book by Nilesh Nilkanth Oak is a very interesting, useful, eye-opening and valuable research book.
Adhyaya 2 of Bhishma Parva has 4 astronomy observations. C.V.Vaidya thought Arundhati observation absurd because he could not with the technology available in those times, design experiments to test it. P.V.Varthak wonders if  Atreya (Alkaid) was considered  Vashista in ancient times as opposed to the current identification of star Mizar  with Vashista. He inferred that Arundhati may not be part of the saptarshi ( Big Dipper) cluster and assuming independent motion for Arundhati.
Did Arundhati  go ahead of Vashista and assuming she did when she do it. This is the term mystery of Arundhati.
The period of one complete cycle of precession of equinoxes 26000 years Arundhati  did walk ahead of Vashista in the past and had stopped walking ahead of Vashista some times after 5000BC. the repetitive time interval, when Arundhati walked ahead of Vashishta is Epoch of Arundhati.
Hindus were blamed for not keeping track of time. The author’s research disproves it totally, clearly showing how the use of the motion of celestial bodies serves as the ultimate timekeeper. The 24 hour day, the 7 day week, the names of the weekdays, the sequence of weekday names, are all based on a  system founded on the logic of astronomy observations. All Indologists the world over talk about linguistic
And horse but never mentions Archeo-Astronomy.
Karl Popper’S specific Approach to falsification and corroboration of a theory helped the author to interpret words of  Vyasa on Arundhati Observation in Bhishma Parva Of Mahabharat. Karl Popper has espoused approaching problems along the line of testability, falsifiability and simplicity. All astronomical statements are testable. a significant advance in our knowledge has occurred due to the falsification of an existing theory. Rather than due to the identification of additional corroborative evidence. Karl popper  falsified the assumption of circular orbits of planets and it became the basis for the dramatic growth of knowledge in cosmology. Small discrepancy ( between prediction and actual observation) in the measurement of mars led karl popper to his marvellous theory of ecliptical orbits of planets.
Nearly  125 dates ranging from  6th millennium BC to. 1st millennium BC has been suggested by researchers for the year of the Mahabharata war. only 4 of these researchers had proposed years for the Mahabharata war that fell within the epoch of arundhati. Specific years proposed by two researchers employed only internal astronomical observations in the mahabharata text. Some researchers have used commonly accepted norms of astrology( and not astronomy) ie astrological drishti, accuracy of visual observation can vary +/-1 nakshatras depending on the time of observation as well as the angle of the observer. The problem with astrological drishti is that once one decides to employ it, anything anywhere can be explained.
Archeology, Astronomy, Historical Records, Genealogies Of Kings, Geology And Genetics are some of the methods that can be used to predict specific year, day and month of the Mahabharata war,  The beginning of kali yuga or time interval based on the genealogy of kings, geological evidence for the drying of saraswati is used for estimating the timing of the mahabharata war. In fixing up the date of kali yugadi, there are overlapping remarks in the main text itself. So also of yudishtira saka.The understanding of the yuga- period is very complex and so only brief references are there about the same in this book.
In this book, the timing of numerous Mahabharata observations are understood  best when  illustrated  using
Dynamic Visual Astronomy (DVA TM)
Astronomy Phenomenon Of Fall Of Abhijit Or The Epoch Of Arundhati.
The Phenomena Aof Abhijit Becoming Pole Star.
Nakshatras, Their Respective Yoga Taras And Diety.
The author has used the method of astronomical evidence from Mahabharata text to estimate the year of the war. The method employed is Hypothetical- Deductive Method. Numerous dates ( more than125) have been suggested ranging from 6th to the 1st millennium BC for the Mahabharata war 60 falls around 3300 Bc-3000 BC 40 fall after1500 Bc and the remaining varying within the period. Arundhati observation and Mr.oak’s explanation of it falsified 121 out of 125 of all previously proposed years for the Mahabharata war.4 researchers had proposed the year of Mahabharata Bharat war that fell within The Epoch Of Arundhati.
  • Modek Proposed  5000 BC.
  • Dikshit Proposed 7300 BC
  • Lele Proposed 5228 BC.
  • P.V.Vartak 5561 BC.
On the first day of the Mahabharat war 16th October 5561 Bc by Vartak accepted by Mr Oak. but not accepted proposed positions planets for that day. observations from Shanti  and Anushasan  Parva
Help in building chronological narrative leading to the death of Bhishma..these observations have helped the author to corroborate his timeline and also falsify the proposal of all other researchers.
The Mahabharat Text, as available, speaks of three or four recensions. Mahabharata states that. Vyasa expanded the Vedas, hence his name Vyasa. Vyasa wrote Mahabharata after the war and taught it to five of his disciples. Mahabharata was written after some 18 years of the war and it took three years to write. the descriptions of the death of Krishna and Pandavas were added later. The current Mahabharata text is the work of multiple authors. Vaishampayan, one of the disciples of Vyasa recited it to King Janamejaya during snake sacrifice.
sauti, one of the listeners of vishampayana recension retold it to a group of sages assembled for twelve-year sacrifice in naimisharanya.
All astronomy observations in the Mahabharata text are visual observations of the sky. Mahabharata Astronomers were meticulous and patient empirical astronomers. They had the means to observe objects in the sky, which was not visible to the naked eye. These astronomical observations were meant to create records of the timing of the Mahabharata war. the Mahabharata text describes a well-established Nakshatra System. Mahabharata definition of a year is decidedly Luni- Solar.Varsha, Satra And Samvatsara are interchangeably employed in Mahabharata to mean a year. Mahabharata is clear about the daily calendar being lunar in origin and also approximately two additional months were added every five years to synchronize  Lunar  Calendar  with the Solar Calendar.
Tithi – day of the lunar month. Mahabharata method of referring to the day is by referring to the nakshatra closest to the moon. in the Indian calendar system AHA refers to the period when the sun is above the horizon Ratra refers to the time when the sun is below the horizon. Ahoratra  refers to modern 24 hours a day.
Astronomers of Mahabharata time used the system of nakshatra ganana to keep track of time.Nakshatra(wives of the moon) which is loosely translated as ASTERISM could be either a specific star( eg  CHITRA) or a group of stars (ie KRITTIKA). The word KETU referring to the node of the Moon does not appear in the Mahabharata text. it appears to refer to flag/ banner/ symbol or comet (DHUMA KETU) – smoking flag or banner.
RAHU is an area of the sky as opposed to a specific point..the periodicity of the moon’s node  Rahu is 18 years. mercury usually turns retrograde 3 times a  year and typically retrograde for 24 days. Venus turns retrograde every 18 months and retrogrades for 42 days. Mars turns retrograde once in two years and remain retrograde for 80 days. Jupiter retrograde once in two years for 120 days.
Retrograde days for other planets  Saturn 140 days. Uranus 150 days Neptune 160 days Pluto 160 days
All planets appear much brighter during retrograde motion. Mahabharata astronomers were aware of all the planets of the solar system including Pluto.
The following planets were rediscovered as follows.
  • Uranus In 1781 Ad By Huschel.
  • Neptune In 1846 Ad By Verrier
  • Pluto In 1930 Ad  By Tombaugh.
  • Vega – Abhijit
  • Rohini-Aldibaran
  • Chitra-Spica
  • Swati-Arcturus
  • Jyeshta-Antares* Once Called By The Same Name Rohini.
  • Shravana-Altair-Jupiter
  • Krithika-Pleiades
  • Dhanishta-Sualocin
  • Venus-Bhrugusoon
  • Mercury-Shashijen
  • Mars- Dhara Putra-Magha
  • Comet- Dhuma Ketu.
  • Mula-Shaula
  • Hasta-Algorab
  • Vishaka-Zubeneschamali
  • Anu Radha – Maitri
  • Errari-Gammic Cepheri
B.N.N.ACHENR Have listed  Indian nakshatras along with corresponding stars or ASTERISMS.
ABHIJIT is the younger sister of ROHINI.KRITIKA  is in the shape of a cart( or with seven heads) and Agni its deity.in THAITTIRIYA SAMHITA only 27 stars are mentioned whereas in TAITTIRIYA BRHAMANA 28 stars with ABHIJIT  placed in between Uttara ashada and shravana listed.
VEDANGA JYOTISHA has been dated to 1400 BC. A star near ANTARES (JYESHTA ROHINI) Vanished in 1400 Bc. It could be the vanishing star referred to as ABHIJIT in Mahabharata. There is mention of this in CHINESE RECORDS ON SUPERNOVAE (FALL OF ABHIJIT). The complete fall of VEGA was around 13000 Bc.it has fallen to the horizon to become a celestial pole.POLARIS is the current North Pole STAR. It will cease to be a northern pole star in the next few hundred years to be replaced by ERRARI around 4000 AD.
India has multiple time reckoning systems coexisting at present. The new year per the western calendar begins with the first of January. The Hindu new year calendar starts with the new moon day in the lunar month of Chaitra in some parts and vaishaka in some other parts.  still, another year begins with a new moon day in the lunar month of karthika.
THE Julian calendar, a reformer ROMAN CALENDAR was introduced by JULIUS CEASER in 46 BC and came into force in 45 BC. THE GREGORIAN CALENDAR was introduced in 1582 AD. Historical research uses the GREGORIAN CALENDAR for the events after the 16th century and uses THE Julian calendar for the events before the 16th century.
For a star or asterism to become a nakshatra, its position should be at or close to the ecliptic, to be useful for time reckoning.S.B.DIKSHIT determined the timing of an astronomy observation’KRITTIKA RISING DUE EAST’” from SHATHAPATA BRAHMANA and MR.OAK confirmed his proposed period (-2927 BC) by simulation(using voyager4.5TM)Astronomy  simulation provided by
VOYAGER 4.5 TM is based on cosmological formulae and astronomy data from NASA DATABASE.
Mr OAK came across, works of 20+ researchers on dating the Mahabharata war using astronomical observations only four researchers mentioned ARUNDHATI OBSERVATION while the rest of them ignored it altogether. interpreting and testing100+astronomical observations from the Mahabharata text for multiple instances(years) within an EPOCH OF ARUNDHATI  which lasted approximately nine thousand years.
Have incorporated proper motion of stars during the epoch of Arundhati. Mr.oak  has used the following
MAHABHARATA TEXT states that JUPITER and SATURN  were settled near VISHAKA for a year and dimmed the brightness of SAPTARSHIS. SATURN was afflicting (PIDAYATI) ROHINI around the time of the war.SATURN is also described as afflicting(AKRAMYA) UTTARA PHALGUNI(BHAGA). JUPITER is described as going VAKRI near SHRAVANA. The final mention of JUPITER occurs after the death of KARNA.
When JUPITER began afflicting(SAMPRA-PIDYA)ROHINI. Similar to the SUN and the MOON after the sunset on the 17th day of the war MARS is described as travelling through space of 13 NAKSHATRAS beginning with MAGHA and ending with SHRAVANA/.ABHIJIT. MERCURY AND VENUS are seen before sunrise or immediately after sunset.VENUS  is the easier of the two to observe.MERCURY is described as moving through all NAKSHATRAS.
THE MAHABHARATA TEXT refers to PAIR OF ECLIPSES, SOLAR and LUNAR, separated only by 13 days. There is a total of 27 observations related to eclipses and positions of planets around the time of the Mahabharata war. P.V.KANE states that Mahabharata author had at his disposal, multiple sets of astronomical observations.AStronomical observations of UDYOGA PARVAare made over relatively
A short period (8 months) of BHISHMA PARVA are made over an extended period (-30 months) before and after the war.
VAKRI is translated as retrograde in modern Indian astronomy and astrology.MARS  goes retrograde only once in two years. mars stay in one NAKSHATRA for approximately twenty days. MR.OAK interpreted BRAMARSHI as referring to ABHIJIT since BRAHMA  is the nakshatra deity of Abhijit.
Mahabharata astronomers referred to the oblique crossing of the ECLIPTIC by a planet  VAKRI  motion while the true retrograde motion of a planet was described as being steady(DHRUVA OR STHAYI) or travelling in reverse(APASAYA). Direction.
While the retrograde motion of VENUS is described as VENUS MAKING A PARIKRAMA(CIRCULAR JOURNEY) BY turning north those of JUPITER AND SATURN are described as being steady(STHAYI) for a year. The retrograde motion of MARS  is described as moving in an abnormal(APASVYA) Direction while burning brightly. All planets have eastward motion unless they are in retrograde.
TIVRA OR TIKSHNA planet or Nakshatra is referred to as PLUTO.
Jupiter is described as Shweta, Prajwalita, smoky(SADHUMA) fiery( SAHA PAVAKA).
COMETS with well-known orbits that have orbit period of fewer than 200 years are called short-period comets. as of 2008AD, less than 200 comets are known.
The lunar day(THITI) AND nakshatra of the day are not the same as defined by the rising and setting of the sun. The lunar day can also be calculated mathematically.
VARTHAK  provided multiple Mahabharata observations in support of AMAVASYA as the first day of the Mahabharata war specifically Mahabharata observations alluding to the solar eclipse on the first day of the war. Eighteen-day timeline of the Mahabharata war from 16th October through 2nd November 5561BC  as proposed by Mr VARTAK  withstood numerous falsification tests ie tests provided by Mahabharata astronomy observations. Mahabharata text is clear in the chronology of events. The Mahabharata war took place in the month of marga shisha. The Mahabharata author knew planets URANUS, NEPTUNE AND PLUTO. There were telescopic abilities in Mahabharata times. The text does not specifically refer to telescopes, however does mention mirrors. Pluto has extremely slow motion and would appear steady. when observed over an extended period. the  Mahabharata author has referred it to As of both Graha and nakshatra.
When the moon does not enter into the UMBRA the darkest part of the earth shadow it does not darken completely, and we get a partial eclipse.ECLIPSES are critical to validate and corroborate any specific proposal for the year of the Mahabharata war. Star pollux and castor together represented two punarvasus. Mr.oak has employed star pollux as yogaTara for punarvasu. Castor, Pollux, Procyon and gomesia are the four stars of punarvasus. The moon is always half illuminated by the sun.
Darkness on the battlefield was common phenomena during the Mahabharata war. On multiple occasions raising the dust due to war, activities are mentioned as the cause of this darkness. the ground rules for the war emphasized maintaining a respectful relationship after the battle of the day was over, but never stated that the fighting should be stopped at sunset. that is why the fight continued into the night on the 14 days. The fight also continued into the night on the 18th( and the last) day of the war. Udyoga Parva contains elaborate descriptions of war preparation and the movement of an army.
Tradition assumes  3102 BC as the beginning of kali yuga.it also assumes the Mahabharata war has happened 36 years before the beginning of kali yuga. Krishna’s passing away also clubbed to 36 years after the Mahabharata war. The Mahabharata text provides numerous observations to conclude that the war took place during Dwapara Yuga. The maha Bharat text contains varied definitions of Yuga. The words DWAPARA  AND KRITA are employed as referring to something other than YUGA as well. VIRAT PARVA refers to DWAPARA  AND KRITA in the sense of the throw of dice in the game of DYUTA. THE TEXT also refers to  YUGA in the sense of five solar and lunar years together.KRISHNA refers to Yuga
In the sense of the outcome of an activity.
YUGA THEORY OF HANUMAN.HANUMAN describes to BHIMA of passing away of KRITA AND TETRA YUGA and so their conservation takes place at DWAPARA YUGA.
markandeya defines KRITA, TRETA, DWAPARA AND KALI AS  made up of 4000,3000,2000 and 1000 years respectively. THE TRANSITION PERIODS(SANDHYA  AND SANDHYA NISHASH IS 400,300,200 AND 100 YEARS respectively. markandeya explains that this time interval of 12000 years(4800+3600+2400+1200) makes one chaturyuga and that a day of BRAHMA  consists of 1000 chatter yugas.
YUGA THEORY OF SANJAY AS TOLD TO DRITA RASHTRA- LIFE SPAN KRITA-4000, TRETA-3000 and present Yuga is DWAPARA  WITH A LIFE SPAN OF 2000 YEARS. He does not specify the life span of Kali Yuga.
YUGA THEORY NOF BHISHMA- He defines the theory of chatur Yuga in terms of qualities, actions and characteristics of the ruling king.
The theory of VYASA, AS recalled by Bhishma is a combination of the above theories, has similarities with that of markandeya with few twists of its own. A day of gods is equivalent to one year of human beings. The day of the definition is not specific ie day constituting AHA+RATRA OR ONLY AHA. THERE IS NOT A CONSISTENT VIEW  OF THE YUGA IN MAHABHARATA.
The MAHABHARAT TEXT  contains references that indicate VEDA AND RAMAYANA predating the MAHABHARATA. Numerous references to SARASWATI RIVER appear in VANA, BHISHMA AND SHALYA PARVAS. The text refers to benefit of taking bath in SARASWATHI where it meets the sea. It also describes VINASHAN As the place in the desert where Saraswati disappeared from the surface. The text states that rivers began flowing only after hiding themselves under the sand, at the time of the destruction of the VRISHNI  dynasty.it mentions Kurukshetra as the land south of Saraswati and north of Drishtavali.
The Mahabharata text describes BINDU SAROVAR as the place of origin of seven different rivers one of them being Saraswati and PLAKSHAPRAVANA as the place for the origin of SARASWATI, the best of best rivers. It was a magnificent and fast-flowing river.CHAMSOD is another place where Saraswati reappeared and also where all sea-going rivers had come together. Saraswati was a river that disappears and reappears multiple times(LOMASH). MAHABHARAT TEXT mentions that experts recognized the existence of underground Saraswati at UDAPANA a pilgrimage centre where Balarama has visited during his Saraswati tirtha yatra.BALRAMA  has spent 42 days doing the Saraswati tirtha yatra, before arriving on the last day of the war to attend the fight between his disciples Duryodhana and Bhima.
SARASWATI turned east at one location and BALRAMA was awestruck at the magnificent view of the river which shifted its direction at this location.SUTLEJ AND YAMUNA fed SARASWATI in the distant past.During the Mahabharata war, SUTLEJ  has already turned west and was no longer feeding its waters to Saraswati. The text contains a description of Yamuna merging with GANGA and Saraswati merging with Ganga. By the time of Mahabharata  YAMUNA has also stopped feeding its water to Saraswati. These changes Amy be due to tectonic shifts.
MAHABHARATA observations (FALL OF ABHIJIT) ALLUDE to the events of the ancient past as far as back 14500 BC and 22500 BC. The maha hart war predates all known civilization of the world, based on social and technological development and based on traditional(SCHOLARSHIP) dates for all other ancient civilizations.
MR. OAK’S work has obvious implications for the history of Astronomy in India as far as back as 22500 BC and beyond. He has taken numerous passages from the diverse works of KARL POPPER.THE main three books consulted are
  • The  Logic Of Scientific Discovery
  • Conjectures And Refutations
  • The Poverty Of Historicism

Lastly According To Mr Oak   Rama- Ravana Yuddha  Occurred In 12209 Bce. He has also written a book in the same title.

Book Reviewed by Vathukkat Krishnan Kutty.


  1. The accuracy of chronology in history is always undergoing reforms…it’s immaterial as the ancient Indian history is unfathomable..the wisdom of Vedas amazing… modern world is indebted to our vedic culture..the writing is very interesting..
    The intriguing facts of astronomy are commendable…an intrinsic part of Vedic knowledge..

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