धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः। Dharmo Raksati Raksitah.

Dharma protects those who protect it.

– Veda Vyas, Mahabharat

Book Review – When Did The Mahabharata War Happen? [Excerpt]


Source: When Did The Mahabharata War Happen?

I have been fortunate to read this book on the dating of the Mahābhārata War, titled “When Did the Mahabharata War Happen? The Mystery of Arundhati,” by Nilesh Nilkanth Oak. This is an excellent book which contains in a concise manner knowledge about how astronomical data in the form of visual astronomical observations as written in the Mahābhārata, the famous Indian historical epic from many thousands of years ago, is used alongside astronomical simulation software and previous researchers’ data to arrive at a specific date range and year of the events of the Mahābhārata War.

Nilesh Oak’s work began about 15 years prior to the publication of the book, in which books by researchers on the topic were first read to ascertain the status of knowledge on the date of this War, and barring an accurate date produced thus far, see what could be done to arrive at an accurate date, if possible. Before this could begin, the cataloging of astronomical data as found within the Mahābhārata had to be done, which apparently is not something that most of the researchers had done; using only the data as found in the text and not data found outside the epic in other works of writing.

The book is laid out in a structured manner to help guide the reader in the following ways. The problem is outlined, along with theories and conjectures surrounding this problem. The reader is then given the basics of astronomy so as to help read the descriptions of the astronomical observations translated from the Mahābhārata, how astronomy was used to “tell time” during the time of the Mahābhārata, and how the epic tellings within this was used to convey the primary astronomical events written about here – the time when “Arundhatī walked ahead of Vasiṣṭha.” The book goes on to provide important astronomical events to begin solving for the date range and year of the War, which sets the stage for providing a large number of observations and arriving at whether a particular observation could be falsified and ruled out. Conflicting observations are noted and the theory proposed by researcher P.V. Vartak is examined a bit more closely. Lastly, a better theory is proposed, and implications, predictions, and new problems arising from this more recent research is laid out. The back of the book has notes, a listing of sources, tables and figures containing astronomical data on the events, and very importantly, references (ślokas) pulled directly from the Mahābhārata text itself (over 210 such references) pointing to the astronomical events themselves.

This is a book that could be used to lay out the basics to begin your own research to corroborate the author’s findings. The author, unlike many of the previous researchers, included as many observations as possible within the limits of the size of this book and met them head-on, owning up to a few observations that were falsified or conflicting with the rest of the observations examined, with a request to the astronomy community to provide a solution to the conflicting observations, if possible. Falsification of over 200 observations from the Mahābhārata failed, leading to a very high likelihood that 5561 BCE is indeed the year of the War. A better theory of the timeline for the War is proposed, with specific events that occurred in the order as determined by the astronomical evidence.

In the beginning and towards the end of the book, the reader is reminded of the need for the process of scientific work done properly. A lot of times, it is common for researchers to pick data that supports their conclusions and leave out or ignore those that contradict their theories, which often gives rise to bad theories based on mistakes, data omission, or an unwillingness to be detached from their research results. This book is what happens when these issues in research are addressed.

This book helps to turn upside-down our base of knowledge in archaeology and archaeo-astronomy. Currently, much attention has been focused on Egypt and ancient Europe, extending to the Near East/Western Asia and jumping over to east Asia. It is really odd that India is left out of the picture or lumped in with “South Asian Studies” at first glance. These regions, with the exception of east Asia, is centered around western civilization and the rise of Abrahamic religions, so it stands that the regions that have Abrahamic traditions focus on their past to the exclusion of others that don’t share this tradition history or profile.

To me, this is short-sighted – after all, why do we need a Rosetta Stone to translate early Demotic (just for reference to the age of writing at its earliest in this Stone – only 650 BCE at the earliest) and Hieroglyphics (about 3200 BCE at the earliest), but India has a continuous tradition leading much further back and thus doesn’t need a Rosetta stone to translate the earlier works? Not only did the Indian civilization survive and remain continuous over time, but it stretches even further back than any other known civilization of ancient times, which means stretching back even further our ideas of where many things have begun, such as the beginning of writing, mathematics, astronomy, metallurgy, ship-building, medicine, farming, and so on.

This is just one piece of evidence, the Mahābhārata War, of the sinusoidal nature of human civilization; it rises and falls not only on a local, regional, or civilizational level, but also on a world-wide basis. This is in direct contradiction with the “linear technological development” model of western archaeology and anthropology. Recent archaeological findings in recent years, especially in India, have contradicted the Aryan Invasion Theory, the modified Aryan Migration Theory, and the Out of Africa Theory. Now, in addition to the various schools of science can we add astronomy to the corpus of data that confirms India as the source of knowledge that Western civilization is based on, without which it would not exist, AND its proper place on the world stage as an advanced civilization that is mature in the matters of science, both outer and inner science, as shown in the ability to live as civilized human beings in balance with nature.

To Purchase Book Please Visit -> https://www.amazon.com/When-Did-Mahabharata-War-Happen/dp/0983034400