Sunday, March 19, 2017

After carrying out in depth research for 8 years, I have worked out sequential astronomical dates of events leading to Mahabharat war and of related events. These are also supported by scientific evidences from Archaeology, Archaeobotany, Geology, Remote sensing imagery, DNA studies etc. A Paper was posted on this blog on 19.3.2017, presenting these details.We received valuable critical comments during last three weeks. We worked on each one of these with utmost sincerity. As a result some minor corrections of great value have been made. Revised paper is now uploaded with the request that kindly indicate if this kind of astronomical date sequence of entire Mahabharat references is observed on any other dates. Dating of isolated references does not do justice to the historicity of this great Epic!

Mahabharat Retold with Scientific Evidences

IRS (1972 Batch), Retd. Member, CBDT
Director, Institute of scientific Research on Vedas

Entire ancient history, revealed through Vedas and Epics, is capable of being re-constructed scientifically with accuracy by making use of modern scientific tools and technologies, which include planetarium software. The astronomical references of Rigveda could be observed in the sky between 7000 BCE and 5000 BCE, whereas those of Ramayan could be observed sequentially around 5100 BCE. The astronomical references of Mahabharat pertain to the sky views observed sequentially between 3153 BCE and 3102 BCE. For arriving at these dates, following approach & methodology were adopted –

·      More than one lakh slokas contained in nine volumes of Mahabharat (Parimal Publications) were scrutinized and astronomical references were extracted sequentially. Only those which were found in Critical Edition as well were identified for sequential dating. All translations were redone with the help of Sanskrit scholars and referring to dictionaries as some of the traditional translations were found to be not fully correct.

·      Astronomical references from Sabha parva, VanaParva, UdyogParva, BhismaParva, ShalyaParva, Shanti Parva, and MausalParva have been dated sequentially by making use of Planetarium software (Fogware). The internal consistency of astronomical dates with the text of Mahabharta was ensured. Astronomical dates calculated by almost all the scholars during last 130 years were analysed with respect and genuine efforts were made to provide the missing links and to make the dating more comprehensive.

·      VanaParva of Mahabharat reveals that in Mahabharat days asterisms were being counted from Rohini as equinox was on that.  Astronomically there is precession of equinox by one degree in 72 years. Today Spring equinox is in 3rd quarter of PurvaBhadrapad Asterism; thus equinox has moved by more than 5.25 naksatras (Krttika, Bharani, Asvini, Revati, and Uttara Bhadrapada) since this reference in Mahabharata. This means that more than 5040 years (960 X 5.25) have passed. This took our research period for dating of Mahabharata references to 4000 BC – 3000 BC).

·      A more accurate translation of all the relevant slokas of chapters 2 and 3 of BhishmaParva, had enabled such accurate depiction of sequential sky views, which should be able to set at rest all controversies regarding the dating of Mahabharat war. Sky view of 19th December, 3139 BC, depicting Magh Shukla Saptami, a day before Bhishma’s demise and of September 14, 3139 BC, depicting all astronomical references of BhishmaParva observed six hours before solar eclipse of Kartik month are most exclusive, which do not get repeated on any other date; not even around 3067 BC, 1792 BC or 1472 BC.

Eleven sequential sky views covering a period of 52 years from 3153 BC to 3101 BC have been generated, using planetarium software (Fogware), which exactly match the descriptions in Mahabharat, are internally consistent and sequentially accurate. Evidences from archaeology, archaeobotany, palynology, oceanography, remote sensing and genetic studies have corroborated this date sequence of events recorded in Mahabharat. The kingdoms which supported Pandavas and Kauravas during Mahabharat war, have been plotted on the Map, which reveals that entire Greater India was involved in this war. This map also certifies the existence of Bharatvarsha as a Nation with defined boundaries for more than 5000 Years.

List of some important sequential sky views generated along with the dates on which these are recorded as observed at the time of important events narrated in Mahabharat is given below. The list contains dates of Planetarium and Stellarium Skyviews and relevant references of Mahabharat text. References are from ‘Mahabharat’ of Parimal Prakashan (2008 Edition) translated by M N Dutt, edited by Dr. Ishwar Chandra Sharma and Dr. O N Bimali; all these are also included in critical edition ‘The Mahabharat’ by Vishnu S. Sukthankar. The reasons for certain discrepancies like observation of Solar Eclipse during night time or difference of 26 days in Stellarium and Planetarium skyviews have been given below this list.

Dates of Planetarium and Stellarium depicting the same skyviews
Astronomical Reference in Mahabharat
Description of Event at the time of Sky view
Nov. 18, 3153 BCE, 23:50 hrs. / Hastinapur (Meerut)

Dec. 15, 3153 BCE, 01:42 hrs.
Sabha Parva
Solar eclipse observed when Pandavas were
 leaving Hastinapur for 13 years of exile after losing in
the game of dice. War started after 14 years appx.
Aug. 31, 3139 BCE, 11:10 hrs. / Hastinapur

Sep. 27, 3139 BCE, 12:42 hrs./ Hastinapur
Bhishmaparva 6/2/23

Lunar eclipse on first Purnima of Kartik Month, followed by solar eclipse within 14 days; foreboding widespread destruction before war       
Sep. 14, 3139 BCE
22:15 hrs. / Hastinapur

Oct. 11, 3139 BCE,
01:50 hrs / Hastinapur
Bhishmaparva 6/2/23 & 6/3/28-32
Near Solar eclipse observed within 14 days of lunar eclipse in Kartik month. There was tithikshaya on 12th September as on 11th September phase difference between the positions of Sun and Moon becoming integral of multiple of 12 at the time of Sunrise on Ekadashi ie.e 11th September was 10.902 whereas on next day it was 12.08. Thus there was tithikshaya of dwadashi and next day was tryodashi. On next Amavasya of Margshisha month, Mahabharat war actually started.
Sept. 14, 3139 BCE
18:20 hrs. / Hastinapur

Oct. 10, 3139 BCE,
19:50 hrs / Hastinapur

Bhishmaparva. 6/3/14 -18

On 14th September, almost all the positions of stars and planets, described in chapter 3 of BhishmaParva, could be observed in the sky. Mars entering its own house Aries in Vakragati, Saturn in Scorpius is afflicting 10thconstellation Uttarphalguni in Leo.Venus in Virgo is aspectingPoorvaBhadrapad and Uttarbhadrapad in seventh constellation Pisces. Both Sun and Moon in Scorpious are afflicting Rohini in Taurus, Venus is between Chitra and Swati whereas Shrawan is going around Shrawan in Brahmrashi i.e. Capricornus.

Sep. 25, 3139 BCE, 6:10 hrs. Dwarka

Oct. 22. 3139 BCE, 00:30 hrs.
UdyogParva 5/83/6-7
Lord Krishna leaves for last peace mission in Kartika month, RevatiNakshtra. He leaves from Dwarka and takes about three days to reach Hastinapur.
Oct. 3. 3139 BC, 6:10 hrs. /

Oct. 30, 3139 BC, 5:30 hrs
ShalyaParva 9/34/5-6,
After failure of Krishna’s peace mission, Balram leaves
for pilgrimage in PushyaNakshtra. 3-4 days later, Krishna tells Karna that war could begin on next Amavasya.
Oct. 13, 3139 BCE, 8:30 hrs. / Hastinapur

Nov. 9, 3139 BCE, 6:15 hrs
Shri Krishna imparts Gita-updesh to Arjun. This is Amavasya after 13 days of last Kartik Purnima, moon near Jyeshta, which is presided over by Lord Indra (Scorpius / vrishchika). War started after the failure of Sri Krishan’s last peace mission.
Nov. 14, 3139 BCE 06:50 hrs. / Kurukshetra

Dec. 10, 3139 BCE, 06:15 hrs
ShalyaParva  9/34/5-7
With Shalya’s fall war came to an end on 31st October. Duryodhan went into hiding in Dvaipayana lake. Pandavas could locate him only after 12-13 days. Balram comes back after 42 days in ShravanaNakshatra. Duryodhana gets killed in Gadayuddha  with Bhim
Dec. 19, 3139 BCE
07:20 hrs. / Kurukshetra

Jan 14, 3138 BCE, 15:00 hrs
AnushasanParva 13/167/26-28
Occurrence of Winter Solstice on Magh Shukla Saptmi. Next day on Magh Ashtami was Bhishma’s demise. This was 68th day after beginning of the war on 13thOct.
March 3, 3102 BCE 10:30 hrs. / Dwarka

March 29, 3102 BCE 14:35 hrs.
Mausalaparva 16/2/18-19
Solar Eclipse on 13th tithi after Purnima  again in the 36th year of war indicating; annihilation of Yadavas and destruction of Dwarka, proving Gandhari’s curse true
Jan. 20, 3101 BC 9:15 hrs / New Delhi

Feb. 15, 3101 BC 15:00 hrs
Sabha Parva 2/1//19-91;

Spectacular assemblage of Sun, Moon & Five Planets around Aries when Kali era Began 37 years after the Mahabharat war

{[Note: Readers may ask a very pertinent question: why lunar eclipses are being shown during day time whereas solar eclipses are being depicted during night time when Sun is not even above the horizon. NASA has provided a very convincing answer to this question ( NASA Eclipse Skyguide has given chart of uncertainties in DeltaT i.e. ΔT, clearly stating that there are bound to be inaccuracies in depicting the timings and longitudes of eclipse paths which occurred prior to 1600 CE. Based on the chart prepared by Morrison and Stephenson, a series of parabolic expressions have been derived, estimating uncertainties of time or in the longitudes of eclipse paths which occurred during the interval 2000 BCE to 3000 CE.

Table 3 - Uncertainty of ΔT (estimated)



Thus an eclipse which occurred 4000 years back, the software could depict the same up to time difference of 16291 seconds i.e. 11: 31 hrs. Thus solar eclipses of Mahabharat times listed above, which software is depicting during night time, might have actually been observed during the day time and lunar eclipses listed above in daytime, might have been actually been observed during night time. DeltaT is the difference between Terrestrial Time and Universal Time (Rotational time), which have been adopted as fixed as per certain norms. However, actually the Universal time can vary on several occasions due to several factors like earthquakes, high tides, volcanic eruptions etc.

SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System has also recorded the observations that Moon displays oscillations from two unknown sources, one within a period between 250-300 years with a co-efficient of 15” to 20” and the other within a period between 60 to 70 years with a co-efficient of some 3”. These and many other factors, like the mean latitude of the Moon may not be zero, might lead to differences in observations of eclipses recorded thousands of years back and theoretical recordings based on fixed and pre-determined parameters. Therefore it is possible that Solar Eclipse on 14th September, 3139 BCE was actually observed at that time, but the software displays the Moon going from near the Sun.

It will not be out of place to mention that Stellarium displays all these skyviews 26 Days later (+/- one day). This difference is due to non adjustment of 1 day for 131 years for pre-Gregorian reform period (3425/131=26) by Planetarium software.]}


  1. Great article and really huge work . Keep sharing and spreading knowledge.Thankyou

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