Monday, July 31, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz -15

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Question - 15 

How did Bhishma calculate that Pandava-s spent extra time on exile? 


When Kaurava-s claimed that Pandava-s revealed themselves before the conclusion of 13 years, Bhishma said that they spent additional 5 months and 12 nights in the 13 year period. 

As per Vedaṅga Jyotisha, in ten years, 4 lunar months increase and in the next 3 years, 1 month and some days increase.  Overall, there will be an addition of 5 months and some days. The days are given as “dvādaśa ca kṣapāḥ” in which kṣapāḥ is variously interpreted while the number of days is known as twelve.

Using the aphorisms found in Vedaṅga Jyotisha for the 5-year Yuga, we are able to decode Bhishma’s calculation.

No of solar days in a year = 366

In 5 years (Yuga) = 366 x 5 = 1830

In 13 years = 366 x 13 = 4758 solar days.

No of lunar days in 5 years (Yuga) = 1830 + 62 = 1892

In 13 years = (1892 x 13) divided by 5 = 4919.2 lunar days.

The lunar days had far exceeded the solar days. Subtracting the solar days from the lunar days we get the excess days spent by the Pandava-s in exile.

Lunar days – Solar days = (4919.2) – (4758) = 161.2

The Pandava-s spent an excess of 161.2 days in exile.

Now conversion into months, days and muhurta-s.

Excess of days = 161

In months = 161 divided by 30 = 5 months and 11 days.

Excess of 0.2 day can be taken to mean one fifth of a day.

Or it can be calculated in muhurtas where 30 muhurta-s make 1 solar day.

1 day = 30 muhurta-s; 0.2 day = 6 muhurta-s

In 13 years, the Pandava-s have spent extra duration of 5 lunar months, 11 days and 6 muhurta-s.

This exactly matches with Bhishma’s version of extra 5 months and “dvādaśa ca kṣapāḥ”, referring to less than 12 days as per the above calculation. Among the many meanings of ‘kṣapa’, ‘night’ was suggested by some. With the calculation coming to more than 11 days but less than 12 days, by having only 6 Muhurtas on the 12th day, Bhishma meant the other meaning, i.e., “diminishing” for Kṣapa. This establishes that the Pandava-s spent an additional 5 months and less than 12 days in exile.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz -14

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Question - 14

What kind of Calendar (Time scale) was used by the Mahabharata people? 


The 5-year Yuga calendar was used by the Mahabharata people. 

This is the same as the Lagadha Jyothisha whereby the year started on the day of conjunction of the sun and the moon in the star of winter solstice (Uttarayana). Due to difference in the speed of these two grahas, the moon will complete one month and one day in every solar month (of 30 days). By 12 solar months, the moon completes 12 months (1 year) and 12 extra days. In 24 months (2 years), 2 lunar years and 24 days are covered by the moon. By two and a half years the moon completes 2  years and 30 days (1 lunar month). When this stage is reached this month is treated as Adhika Maasa and dropped from counting. 

In another 2 and a half years another Adhika maasa comes up, but by then, the sun and the moon come back to the same to star of Uttarayana as it was 5 years ago. 

Each of these 5 years are given a name such as Saṃvatsara, Parivatsara, Idāvatsara, Idvatsara and Vatsara. This sequence also appears as Saṃvatsara, Parivatsara, Idvatsara, Anuvatsara and Vatsara. Since the names Samvatsa and Vatsara are in common use today to denote a year, we must not take those names casually if found in the text of the Mahabharata. They could mean the 1st and the 5th year in the Mahabharata calendar. 

The year name Samvatsara appears in a context which all the researchers treated merely as 'year', but it refers to the first year in the 5-year Yuga.

That crucial verse appears for the year of the Mahabharata war indicating that the war was fought on the 1st year of the 5-year Yuga. That means the Yuga and the year began at the exact location of Uttarayana of that day. In other years it will not be the exact Uttarayana star. 

saṃvatsarasthāyinau ca grahau prajvalitāv ubhau
viśākhayoḥ samīpasthau bṛhaspatiśanaiścarau  (6.3.25)

It says that the two planets Jupiter and Saturn staying in their own houses at the beginning of Samvatsara cast their aspects on Vishakha. Jupiter from its house in Pisces and Saturn from its house in Capricorn cast their respective aspect on Vishakha. 

This kind of observation is in tune with the year-long predictions made today from the New year (Mesha sankramana) chart. 

This Yuga seems to have been used for calculating one’s life. From a reference in Ṛig Veda on the sage Dīrghatamas that he grew old (or perished) in the 10th Yuga, it is understood that one’s age was expressed in terms of this Yuga.

Dīrghatamas appearing before the Ramayana times, it is deduced that this 5-year Yuga was in vogue during Rama’s period. It continued to be in use in the Mahabharata period.

Based on this Yuga, Bhishma calculated that the Pandava-s had spent additional days in exile. So, the time calculations found in the Mahabharata pertain to the 5-year yuga system only.

This fact practically rules out any scope for the use of the astronomy simulators which are not developed to calculate the 5-year yuga with two adhika maasa in each cycle

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Saturday, July 29, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 13

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Question - 13

Are the deities of star (the star lords) known to the Mahabharata people?



Each star of the 27 star group is governed by a deity. 

The mention of some of them in the Mahabharata goes to prove that the star-lords in vogue today were also the same in the Mahabharata period. 

Citing those instances:


prajāpatye ca nakṣatre madhyam prāpte divākare (12-47-3)

Prajapati's star is Rohini. Instead of mentioning Rohini, it is given as Prajapati's star. The context is the final day of Bhishma on the earth.


prājāpatyaṃ hi nakṣatraṃ grahas (5.141.7)

The same as above. Rohini, lorded by Prajapati is indicated here.


Bhāgyaṃ nakṣatram (6.3.14a)

The star lorded by the deity, Bhaga is indicated here. That star is Purva Phalguni


maghā viṣayagaḥ somas tad dinaṃ (6.17.2)

The star Maghā is governed by PirtusMaghā vishaya refers to more entries into pitru-world - a reference to more deaths. 


maitre nakṣatrayoge sma sahitaḥ (9-34-12)

Balarama after meeting Krishna and Pandavas at Upaplavya to know the outcome of Krishna's peace mission left on 'maitri nakshtara'. Mitra is the deity of the star Anuradha. Instead of telling that Balarama left on the day of Anuradha, it is told by the name of the deity, Mitra. 

These instances show that the star lords as we know today were known to the people of the Mahabharata.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 12

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Question -12

Are planetary lords of stars found mentioned in the Mahabharata?



Before answering, it must be conveyed that all 27 stars are lorded by 9 planets in Vedic astrology. Groups of three stars are given a planet as their lord. 

In the following table, the planetary lords are given in the last column. Each planet is associated with three stars in the row opposite to them.






Purva Phalguni




Uttara Phalguni

















Purva Bhadrapada




Uttara Bhadrapada






This table is in use even today and is part of Vedic astrology. Giving pre-eminence to the Sun, the rows are rearranged in such a way the Sun occupies the top row. It will be found so in most Panchangas. 

Coming to the question of presence of this knowledge in the Mahabharata, there are two verses mentioning the planetary lord of the stars.


 One is mentioned by Vyasa as "Krittikasu Graha" which is the Sun (highlighted in the table).

"kṛttikāsu grahastīvro nakṣatreprathame jvalan

vapūṃṣy apaharan bhāsā dhūmaketur iva sthita" (6-3-26)

Krittikasu Graha is the 7th case implying the graha belonging to Kritika stars.

The meaning of the verse: 

"Krittikā’s graha, the sun at first blazing in Jyeṣṭha, the tīvro star, got sheared off and stayed appearing like a Dhūmaketu, a comet.”

Without knowing the presence of the age-old knowledge of planetary lords of stars, people keep looking for a planet near Krittika in their date of the Mahabharata.

The most ridiculous interpretation was given by Mr. Nilesh Oak who proposed Pluto as the planet near Krittika star because his simulator showed it for his date of the Mahabharata. As of today, Pluto is not even considered as a planet. It was not even part of Vedic astronomy / astrology. 


Another verse refers to the Moon as the planetary lord of Rohini. 

It says, (in the words of Karna), "prājāpatyaṃ hi nakṣatraṃ grahas"(5.141.7)

Prājāpatyaṃ hi nakṣatraṃ is Rohini (Prajapati is the deity of Rohini). Instead of saying Rohini, it is mentioned as Prajapati's star. Its graha is the moon. In the decipherment of the sky map it turns out to be true, matching with the other planetary features given in that context. 

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Thursday, July 27, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz -11

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Question - 11

By what names were the planets mentioned in the Mahabharata?


Among the planets Mars is found with many names in the Mahabharata.

Mars = Angāraka, Lohita, Dhuma saha Pāvaka, Pāvaka. 

Of these Dhuma is the upagraha of Mars. Mars is recognised along with Dhuma. Pāvaka is fire.

Jupiter = Brahaspati

Mercury = Budha, Somasya putra, Yamasya putra

Based on the story of Budha (Mercury) born to Soma (Moon) and Tara, the wife of Brihaspati, Mercury came to be called as the son of both Moon and Jupiter. As per this story, both Moon (Soma) and Jupiter (Brihaspati) claimed Budha as their child. As a result Budha came to be regarded as Somasya Putra and Yamasya Putra as well.

Somasya Putra is understandable as the son of Soma.

What was the rationale to link Yama with Brihaspati, that Budha got the name Yamasya Putra?

As per Vedic astrology, Yamaghantaka is the son of Brihaspati. This name appears from as early as Parashara's time (of Mahabharata). The name signifies the bell of Yama (Ghanta of Yama) by which we deduce that Yama refers to Brihaspati. Brihaspati (Jupiter) stands for the Kaarakatva of Dharma. Yama is the lord of Dharma. That is how Brihaspati came to be regarded as Yama. 

Due to the specific context of Budha, getting accepted by Brihaspati who adhered to the Dharma of supporting his wife and the child born to her, Budha (Mercury) came to be identified as the son of Yama (Yamasya Putra).  

This word is specifically used for Mercury in the Mahabharata in the context of fall of Karna (8-68-47)

The description was such that when Karna fell on the 17th day of the war, the surrounding Nature was in a state of shock. The earth roared; there was smoke in all directions; the rivers stood still, the sun looked pale. In this context it is said that 'Yamasya Putra' crossed the sky silently in a slanting direction. The judgement of Yama Dharma having been delivered in the death of Karna, Jupiter, the Dharma planet is remembered as Yama by mentioning Mercury as the son of Yama,

Venus = Shukra, Shyama (Brihat Jataka, v: II-4: Shayama: Shukro)

Saturn = Shanaischara, Surya putra (Brihat Jataka, v: II-4: Bhaskari: krishnadeha: where Bhaskari refers to Saturn as offspring of the Sun).  

Also Parusha graha because it is said to have 'rough hairs' - parusha roma (Brihat Jataka, v: II-11) 

Sun and moon are known by their popular names such as Surya, Aditya, Bhaskara, Divakara,  Chandra, Soma etc. Different names of the Sun are given in the Mahabharata.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 10

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Question - 10

Were comets known by the name 'Ketu' in the Mahabharata?



Though comets are mentioned with a prefix to Ketu, such as Kumudaketu, Maniketu, Dhruvaketu and so on, nowhere in the Mahabharata were the comets mentioned just as Ketu. 

There is only one comet appearing the Mahabharata and it is mentioned by the common name for comet, namely, 'Dhumaketu'.

It was mentioned by Vyasa to king Dhritharashtra, before the war started. He said,

dhūmaketur mahāghoraḥ puṣyam ākramya tiṣṭhati” (MB: 6.3.12b) 

This conveys that Dhumaketu afflicted Pushya terribly. 

This is interpreted by Mahabharata researchers, as a comet sighted near the star Pushya. But the events described in the Mahabharata show that a comet attacked on a Pushya day. 

The word 'Ulka' is also found to describe the shower of meteors around that time which went on for 13 days. A major part of the comet seemed to have hit the earth on the Pushya day.

Two internal evidences (in addition to more than 50 evidences) in support of the comet-hit are given below:


Any cosmic impact will be followed by numerous after-effects in terrestrial and atmospheric regions. Though all those were mentioned by Vyasa and Karna, the most important one was narrated by Vyasa. In the aftermath of a cosmic impact, the sun rays will be obstructed by a turbulent atmosphere. This will make the sun appear hazy, blurred and smoky. The same was expressed in the same context by Vyasa that the sun which was blazing in Jyeṣṭha, got sheared off its brightness and stayed appearing like a Dhumaketu. 

"vapūṃṣy apaharan bhāsā dhūmaketur iva sthita" (6-3-26)

The word Dhumaketu appears here again for a comet. The sun appeared hazy like a comet. 


Duryodhana chose the Pushya day for the appointment of Bhishma as the commander-in-chief of his army. He made this decision on the very day Pushya started (i.e., the moon started to enter Pushya). The next day when Pushya was running, the ceremonies were conducted for the formal anointment of Bhishma as the Chief. If a comet was in the star Pushya (sighted near the star), certainly such day would not qualify for an important event like this. The stars transited by comet are unfit for auspicious events. Duryodhana choosing that day shows that the comet was not at all in that star on that day. Only by that evening when the ceremony was coming to a close, the calamity had happened. 

The comet was originally somewhere away. In the event of the comet breaking into pieces - as happens with many comets when they turn around the sun - its pieces were strewn in different directions. Some of them smashed on the earth on the Pushya day. The choice of the muhurta on the Pushya day for the anointment of Bhishma goes to prove that the comet was not in Pushya and the attack by the comet was unexpected. That attack was recorded by Vyasa. 


There was only one comet mentioned in the Mahabharata. It is not true, as claimed by others, that there were many comets in the Mahabharata. Words such as 'graha', 'yamasya putra' and 'Surya putra' are interpreted to justify the mention of comets in the Mahabharata. Those words justify planets and not comets. In their inability to locate the grahas mentioned in such contexts, people have taken an easy course of equating them with comets. Appearance of more than one visible comet in the sky at a time is also never reported. 

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Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 9

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Question -9 

Is it true that the knowledge of Ketu as a graha was absent in the Mahabharata period?


It is wrong to say that the knowledge of Ketu as a graha (planet) was not known in the Mahabharata period. 

Ketu has several meanings, most prominent being the descending node which is Ketu graha, a sign, mark, sun spot, banner (standard), comet and so on.

In the Mahabharata the word Ketu appears as 'banner / standard' (8-46-11) mentioned by Yudhishthira. But the word Ketu does not appear to mean a comet. Its presence as a graha among the nine grahas is palpable in the Mahabharata. Those instances are produced below.


Eclipses are caused by either Rahu or Ketu joining New Moon or Full Moon. There are instances of both types of eclipses reported in the Mahabharata which could not be possible without the knowledge of Ketu and its location on any given time. 


Rahu and Ketu exist as a pair by which the very mention of Rahu automatically implies the presence of Ketu exactly 180 degrees away from it. This gave rise a trend of mentioning only Rahu and its location even in the astrology texts. The location of Ketu is deduced from it and pinpointed in the zodiac. The same trend is noted in the Mahabharata wherein Rahu is mentioned along with 'ca' to indicate its pair Ketu.

For example, there is an expression in Sabha Parvan 

"śukro bṛhaspatiś caiva budho aṅgāraka eva ca

śanaiścaraś ca rāhuś ca grahāḥ sarve tathaiva ca (2-11-20)

Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Rahu (ca / and ) all grahas where all grahas include Ketu, the Sun and the Moon. 
Even if the Sun and the Moon are not mentioned, it is understood that they are part of the Graha group. 
Similarly even if Ketu is not mentioned, it is understood that it hangs on to Rahu inevitably.
That is why these three are not openly mentioned here but made as 'etc'. 
It is Rahu etc; here six planets etc. Such expressions can happen only if the left out ones are common knowledge. 


Ketu's reference is understood from the combinations given. In the verse expressing the return of the moon for 'Magha vishaya', when the armies assembled in Kurukshetra, it is said that seven grahas appeared in the firmament blazing like fire. The seven include Ketu in the day sky on that day. Moon and Rahu were the remaining two positioned in Magha then on the night sky.


In another context, Rahu and Ketu are clubbed together as "mahāgrahāv" in dual case who afflict the brightness of the Sun and the Moon - implying eclipses (8-63-16)


In another context, Sanjaya describes the valour of the Magadha king, as peerless in handling the elephant-hook as the headless planet is peerless among the planets (Ganguli's translation). 
The headless planet is Ketu (8-13-5). Today it is depicted as having the snake's head on the body of the deity. Rahu is shown with a snake's body with the head of a deity. The headless Ketu with the snake's head superimposed on it is more lethal because just by biting, it poisons the victim whereas in the case of other planets, the affliction is by 'aspect' or 'peeda'. 

Looking at the exact word in Sanjaya's version it was "vikaca" (graheṣv asahyo vikaco yathā grahaḥ), which means without hair or hairless. The verse also states that it is a graha. 

Ketu's other name is Shikhi (शिखी) given in the astrological text, Brihat Jataka, (v. II-3), derived from 'Shikhin' which means hair or tuft. The Shikha must have come to be associated with Ketu in course of time after having treated it as hairless in the early days (such as the Mahabharata time). The hairlessness might be associated with the bald head of the snake. The Shikhi could refer to the superimposed head on the headless Ketu graha. 

Therefore it is wrong to say that Mahabharata people had not known Ketu, the graha.

In fact the knowledge of all the Nava grahas as we know today has come down to us from the Mahabharata period. 

Monday, July 24, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 8

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Question - 8

Was  the knowledge of planets present during the Mahabharata period? If yes, what planets were known to them?


Mahabharata people had known all the planets of Vedic astrology and not western astronomy.

There is reference to "Sapta Graha-s" or "Sapta Maha Graha-s" in the Mahabharata that replicates the grahas of Vedic astrology.

The five visible planets of the solar system, namely Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn find mention in the text along with the Sun and the moon as seven Graha-s (Sapta Graha). 

To quote a context where the sun and the moon are mentioned as Graha-s (planets), Sanjaya, while explaining the geography of the world to Dhritharashtra states that he would also explain the graha-s, the Sun and the moon (6-12-4).

The word Nava graha (nine planets) is not mentioned anywhere in the Mahabharata though the text indicates Rahu and Ketu were counted as Grahas. This effectively brings the number of grahas to nine.

The outer planets, namely Uranus, Neptune and Pluto which were discovered recently and which cannot be seen with naked eye observation were not at all included in the Graha list of the Mahabharata. 

However people who use the western astronomy simulators for dating the Mahabharata are seen to incorporate these outer planets in the Sapta grahas of the Mahabharata. They being NOT part of Mahabharata astronomy / astrology, such dating works will produce wrong results. A popular example is the dating done by Mr. Nilesh Oak who uses these outer planets. 

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Sunday, July 23, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 7

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Question - 7

Sanjaya was given Divine Vision. Was it a kind of telescopic vision? 


The Divine Vision was granted by Vyasa to Sanjaya, the charioteer of king Dhritarashtra, to report the events happening in the war field. It was not telescopic vision. The nature of the divine vision is explained by Sanjaya himself as follows:

He “obtained excellent and celestial apprehension, sight beyond the range of the visual sense, and hearing, from great distance, knowledge of other people's hearts and also of the past and the future, a knowledge also of the origin of all persons transgressing the ordinances, the delightful power of coursing through the skies, and untouchableness by weapons in battles” (MB: 6.16.5-10, Ganguli’s translation). 

This shows that Sanjaya was moving around the war-field, watching the combatants from close proximity without being attacked or caught in the cross-fire. He had the privilege to enter anyone's camp, listen to their talks without being prevented by anyone. Like a war journalist he had moved around and collected the information which he reported to Dhritarashtra.

He stayed in the war field for 10 days continuously and left the field after Bheeshma fell down on the 10th day. He rushed to Hastinapura to tell the king all the details of the first 10 days of the war. Therefore it was not a running commentary but similar to a report by an on-site journalist.

He returned to the battle-field the next morning and started collecting the information. He faced threat to his life on the 18th day of the war when Sātyaki, searching for Duryodhana, attacked him on sighting him in the Kaurava-camp. At that time, Vyasa appeared from nowhere and rescued Sanjaya from Sātyaki. This shows that Vyasa also was moving around the battle-field and he along with Sanjaya worked as front-line journalists. 

Vyasa giving special permission to Sanjaya to report the events from the war field seemed to have an advantage in cross-checking his own observations of the war.  To prove this point, we can show that the initial composition of the Mahabharata of 8,800 verses was taught to Sanjaya by Vyasa. Sanjaya was an odd man-out in the comity of Vyasa's disciples who received this composition. This seems to be due to his assistance in providing information on war and also the events at Hastinapur as a close confidante of the king. 

Since the nature of the 'divine eye' in witnessing the war is explained by Sanjaya himself and his movement in the Warfield documented in the Mahabharata text, there is no scope to say that the 'divine eye' referred to a telescopic vision.

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Saturday, July 22, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 6

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Question - 6

Is there any evidence for Ganesh Chaturthi Vrata in the Mahabharata? 



The description by Vyasa of the second day of conversation with Bheeshma who was lying on the arrow bed shows that it was a Shukla Chaturthi day. The previous day Krishna brought the Pandavas to the presence of Bheeshma on the arrow bed and asked Bheeshma to part with his knowledge. The Pandavas returned to Hastinapura for the night and came back to meet Bheeshma the next morning which was the 2nd day of his conversation with them.

On that evening, Pandavas cut short the conversion even though Bheeshma was willing to continue. Yudhishthira said that he would ask his doubts the next morning as the sun was about to set then. Before the sunset they wanted to leave for home, heading towards the east. This sense of urgency was not seen on any other day.

While returning they stopped at River Dridhadvati and bathed which was also not reported on any other day. By sunset, they had taken bath in the river and offered Sandhyopasana and Mangalopasana. Sandhyopasana is the Sandhyavandana, done on all days. We come across references to Sandhyavandana in many contexts in the Mahabharata. For example, the very next morning the Pandava-s had done their morning oblations, but the specific mention in the evening at Drishadvati is something odd.

Additionally they had done Mangalopasana. The specific mention of “maṅgalāḥ upāsya” seems to be a reference to Lord Ganesha, whose form is supposed to be ‘Mangala’. The planet Mars attained the title Mangala after having seen the Mangala form of Ganesha on his wedding with Siddhi (this gave him the name Siddhi Vinayaka), according to Vinayaka Purana. “Mangalarambha” is an epithet of Ganesha– referring to starting any work after worshiping Ganesha. So, the worship of Mangala could only refer to the worship of Ganesha. 

The Mangalopasana done on Shukla Chaturthi after sunset shows that they sighted the 4th phase of the moon in the west on their return, before they could turn towards Hastinapura in the east. This phase of the moon will be visible in the western sky as soon as the sun sets. Pandavas wanted to avoid seeing this moon and hence started early, but could not avoid seeing it. This made them halt at Drishadvati and do the worship in addition to Sandhyavandana. Vyasa also was a part of this entourage that did Mangalopasana.

The methods of worship might have modified over time, but the concept has survived until recently as reported in the Journal of Literature and Science produced in the previous answer. Standing in water with mental thoughts on Ganesha or with a lump consecrated with Ganesha might have evolved into making Ganesha image in fresh clay and immersing in water after worship as a mark of Ganesha washing off the obstacles. 

There is scope to presume that Vyasa did some form of ‘Maṅgalopāsana’ for the successful completion of the text of Mahabharata that he included it as well in the text as Ganesha, the scribe. By that he assigned the responsibility of completing the text to Lord Ganesha, which is very much in line with the purport of the Caturthi vrata done even today.

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Friday, July 21, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz -5

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Question - 5

If Lord Ganesha was the scribe for Vyasa, it presupposes that Ganesha was worshiped in Mahabharata times. What is the evidence for it? 


Those who oppose the Ganesha part opine that He was not a Vedic God. I am no expert in Vedas, but can say with certainty that Ganesha worship was prevalent during the Mahabharata period.

Proof 1: 

Vyasa compiled the 18 Puranas long before he wrote the Mahabharata. Puranas begin with obeisance to Sri Ganesha. 

Proof 2:

The Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Bhadrapada month that we celebrate today can be traced to the time of the Mahabharata. This Vrata was recommended by Yudhishthira to Krishna when he was implicated for the loss of Syamanthaka gem. It was thought that sighting the 4th phase of waxing moon (Shukla Chaturthi) would bring obstacles and Krishna had sighted it and so was blamed for the loss of the gem. To come out of the evils of such sighting, Yudhishthira suggested to Krishna to do Siddhi Vinayaka Vrata. This Vrata being observed in the Bhadrapada month indicates that Krishna had sighted the moon in the Bhadrapada month. 

This information is contained in an astrological text called "Jyothida Varushaadhi Nool". This is also recorded in The Madras Journal of Literature and Science  in 1834. 

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Thursday, July 20, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 4

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Question -4

How logical is it to assume that Lord Ganesha served as a scribe for Vyasa to write the Mahabharata? 


It is written in the text of the Mahabharata itself that Ganesha was the scribe who wrote as Vyasa dictated the verses. Initially Lord Brahma conversed with Vyasa and suggested him to think of Lord Ganesha to write the Epic. Vyasa thought of Him and Ganesha appeared - that is how it is written in the Mahabharata.

Ganesha's part comes with a rider. Ganesha agreed to write provided his pen didn't stop to write, implying that there should be no pause in dictating the verses. If Vyasa delayed a bit in delivering the verse, Ganesha would abort writing further. 

In reply, Vyasa extracted a counter promise from Lord Ganesha that He should not write without comprehending any verse. Ganesha agreed and started writing what was dictated by Vyasa, but Vyasa cleverly interspersed with tough verses which caused Ganesha to pause to understand and then continue to write. Such pauses were enough for Vyasa to compose several verses quickly.

This stipulation resulting in Lord Ganesha not writing any verse without understanding it implies that Mahabharata did contain very difficult verses to comprehend – verses that cannot be simply translated but those that need deep study and contemplation. This must be borne in mind while deciphering the relevant verses for dating.

Thus, the Ganesha part conveys both divinity and the toughness to understand the verses of the Mahabharata. Appearance of Ganesha to Vyasa can be a true or a mental image, but not without relevance. For starting any work, for completing any work hassle-free and for writing, Lord Ganesha is invoked. It was done by Poetess Auvaiyaar (Tamil) too. 

Unfortunately, the Ganesha part didn't go well with the intellectuals of today. It was dropped from the Critical version of BORI on the pretext that it appears only in 37 out of 59 manuscripts. The editors didn't seem to know or believe that different versions of by Vyasa were in existence and not all versions had all the parts. 

By dropping it, we are depriving the future generations from knowing the famous tradition of Lord Ganesha having written the Mahabharata. Gone with it is the stipulation that Ganesha didn’t write without comprehending the tough verses that Vyasa dictated. 

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Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 3

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Question - 3

What was the original name of the Mahabharata? Was it Jaya or Bharata?


The first chapter of the Mahabharata that appears with Sauti's narration to the sages at Naimisha forest repeatedly refers to the text as 'Bharata" only. At the conclusion of his narration, Sauti says that since the story is on the topic of the Bharatas, it is called Bhārata. After so saying, he continued that this history is known as "Jaya" and lists out the success to be got by different people who recite this.

"Jaya" is repeated by Vaishampayana twice at the conclusion of the narration of the story to king Janamejaya and says that those who are desirous of victory must listen to the story of Bharata.

"Jaya" is mentioned by Kunti as the name of the history of the Bharatas. 

Looking at the contexts, "Jaya" appears as the name of the story of Bharata in the concluding part to say that reading or listening of the Bharata brings victory. 

Jaya also appears at the beginning of all chapters of the Mahabharata where an invocation is done to Narayana, Nara and Saraswati by uttering Jaya. 

The same invocation with Jaya is found in the beginning of the chapters of the Puranas which were also composed by Vyasa. This makes us think that Jaya was a generic term used by Vyasa to invoke victory. 

The term "Jayābhyudaya" is found on top of the inscription issued by king Janamejaya to a group of sages near River Tungabhadra which is now in the possession of a Madhwa mutt in Bhimanakatte in Shivamogga. 

Many inscriptions found in Shivamogga issued in the last 2000 years also begin with "Jayābhyudaya".

Abhyudaya means increasing or beginning. Increase of Jaya or victory was invoked by Vyasa at the beginning of his compositions and was followed by Janamejaya in his edicts. The practice of invoking Jayābhyudaya seemed to have survived in Shivamogga where four of Janamejaya's edicts have been found. 

There is no direct reference to say that Vyasa called his composition, Jaya. In fact he didn't seem to have given any name. 

Jaya or Bharata was what others called. 

The second version of 24,000 composed by Vyasa was known as "Bharata" by the learned. This is being repeated in other contexts too. This was not released to mankind, until the sons of Vyasa, namely, Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura left the world. 

Sometime later, the text came to be called as "Mahabharata". It is told in the first chapter of the Mahabharata that the celestials placed the Bharata on one side of the balance and the four Vedas on the other side and found that the Bharata weighed heavier than the Vedas. From that period onwards, it came to be called as "Mahabharata" - the great Bharata. 

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Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 2

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Question - 2

There are various versions doing rounds in the name of Vyasa Bharata. Which among them is authentic?


Various recensions were created by Vyasa himself. There was no scope for meddling up with the different recensions because until a century ago, copies were in the possession of the Maṭha-s, teachers and religious scholars who studied them and propagated the ideals of Dharma enshrined in them. Since none of them were interested in dating the text – because they either knew the date or it was immaterial for the goal of the Mahabharata - there is no scope to assume that they altered the verses on time-related information.

Listing down the recensions authored by Vyasa himself:

1. First version: 8,800 verses. Lord Ganesha was the scribe of this version. Therefore this version contains Vyasa's request to Ganesha and Ganesha agreeing to write under certain conditions.

2.  Second version: Contained 24,000 verses, also authored by Vyasa. 

3. Third version: 150 verses were added to the previous version by Vyasa as Introduction and chapter of contents.

4. Fourth version: Another longer version which was split into different recensions and recited to different people:

(a): 30 lakh verses to Devas (perhaps in temples and in Yajnas) 

(b): 15 lakh verses to Pitrus (perhaps during Pitru ceremonies)

(c): 14 lakh verses to Gandharvas, Yakshas and Rakshasas (different people from different parts of the world. Eg: Gandharvas were in Europe, Yakshas were in Lanka (Srilanka) and Rakshasas were in Africa)

(d): 1 lakh verses to mankind (Manava-s / Bharatheeyas)

Thus different versions of different lengths were created by Vyasa himself. These different versions were recited by different people even during the period of Vyasa. Some recited from the very beginning and some from different parts. Each such recital must have gone for ages and retained in different places which were collected to create a Critical version.

The Critical version prepared by BORI unfortunately had left out many parts of different versions under a mistaken impression that they were interpolations. None dared to alter or interpolate until the copies were in the possession of mutts and religious scholars, till a century ago. Only in the last 100 years interpolations and mindless chopping have happened. 

The southern recension had 1 lakh and 25,000 verses, which was 25,000 verses more than what were imparted to Manava-s.  The excess must have been from the other editions of Vyasa - in this case, perhaps from the version delivered to the Yaksha-s and the Rakshasa-s having presence in Lanka and beyond. 

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Monday, July 17, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz -1


Times are such that many people talk about protecting Hindu Dharma but care less to know what the two basic scriptures, Mahabharata and Ramayana talk about. Knowledge of these two was mandatory for everyone until a couple of centuries ago, to equip oneself with the knowledge about dharma to be followed in any situation. People were not expected to know Vedas or Neeti sastras, but only these two for self development and emancipation. 

I am nobody to spread the Dharmic thought of these texts, but my analysis of the text of the Mahabharata with specific reference to validating its date made me watch the versions going around me in the social media. It is nothing but disheartening to discover that a majority of Hindus have no idea of some simple facts of the Mahabharata and those who have are being misled by a cabal of people distorting facts in the name of research. 

This made me think of posting a series of questions, one question a day, so that anyone at anytime can access them and know the basic ones about these texts. In this section, I am focusing on only the Mahabharata. The questions are mostly related to distorted versions that are being spread and also those which every Hindu ought to know. 




There are many versions of the Mahabharata; which one is authentic?


Only Veda Vyasa's version is authentic.


Because his version was contemporaneous.

1. It was recited for the first time in his presence by his disciple. When Vyasa paid a visit to the Sarpa-yaga, King Janamejaya requested him to narrate the history of his ancestors as he was a direct witness then. Vyasa then directed his disciple Vaiśampayana to deliver the entire script authored by him. The direct delivery of the text in the presence of the author makes the Mahabharata a perfect primary source of evidence. 

2. The text is regarded as an "Itihasa" which means “this happened thus” (Iti-ha-āsam). This term is self-explanatory of the truthfulness of every word found in them. None dared to meddle with an Itihasa for the reason it is considered as the Veda. The Mahabharata is the Veda of Krishna (‘kārṣṇaṃ vedam’, MB: 1.1.205, 1.56.17), referring to Krishna Dvaipāyana Vyāsa. The Veda is afraid of him who is deficient in the knowledge of Mahabharata (the Itihasas) and the Purana-s (MB: 1.1.204). This statement found in the Mahabharata and the Purana-s vouchsafes the authenticity and inviolability of every verse of the Mahabharata.

(There is a tendency to term any history as Itihasa, but please be informed that only Ramayana and Mahabharata are considered as the Itihasas)

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Monday, July 10, 2023

My book ஆதித்த கரிகாலனைக் கொன்றது யார்? available on Kindle

 My book ஆதித்த கரிகாலனைக் கொன்றது யார்? is now available on kindle. (India)

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"Ghazni to Tipu" - My talk in Team Truth Trailers

My talk on the 1st Islamic incursion in South India in the 11th century by the fanatic followers of Mahmud of Ghazni which affected Karnataka very badly. 

The evidence of that incursion is in the tomb of a ghazi who died in the war with a local army in Thondanur in Mandya district. Six hundred years later, Tipu, on coming to know of this ghazi and how his loot was recovered by Ramanujacharya thereby making his martyrdom wasted, dealt a blow by housing the tomb in a Narasimha temple after destroying it. He also destroyed the places associated with Ramanuja. These events project Tipu not as a hero, but as a bigot who had scant regard for men and materials of our country.  

This talk was given to a channel, Team Truth Trailers on 2nd July, 2023

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Print version of my book “ஆதித்த கரிகாலனைக் கொன்றது யார்?”

I am glad to announce the release of my 8th book, titled “ஆதித்த கரிகாலனைக் கொன்றது யார்?: பொன்னியின் செல்வனின் சரித்திர உண்மைகள்”

This book is not a novel but an investigative probe into what happened in the 10th century Chola Kingdom when Aditya Karikala was suddenly snatched away by a conspiracy. Novelist Kalki attempted to decipher that conspiracy by partly imaginative and partly true events in his novel Ponniyin Selvan. My book pieces out the true events from the imagined ones in Kalki’s novel while bringing out the historical evidence around the death of Aditya Karikala and also how the conspiracy could have evolved.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

This probe led us to understand that Madhurantaka did not desire the throne. A re-visit to the original Sanskrit verses of the Tiruvalangadu copper plates showed a lacuna in understanding the word “Pranayini” in the verse and how it doesn’t match with the grammar of the verse, if the meaning is taken as desiring the kingdom. Madhurantaka got the kingdom long before the death of Aditya Karikala due to the specific arrangement in existence in the Chola kingdom right from the days of Parantaka I by which two kings coexisted simultaneously with their own regnal years.

Right from Parantaka I, the analysis was done to arrive at the regnal years to show how this coexistence had gone on. Focus was given to the methodology of dating the inscriptions. The choice of inscriptions was based on solar day and eclipses to arrive at the accurate dates. The result of this painstaking effort was electrifying as we can see perfect matching of dates from cross references of the inscriptions leading to the discovery of two kings not mentioned in the genealogy. They could be identified by the alternating title Rajakesari and Parakesari.

The analysis also brought out the unique finding that Aditya Karikala ruled for 15 years with his latest inscription appearing in Paranthur – something mentioned by KAN Sastri. It also led us to find out the original name of Aditya Karikala.

A major contribution of this book is the discovery of exact dates of the regnal years of Rajaraja supported by inscriptional evidence. The reasons why a wrong date was attributed until now, is also discussed.

Another important part of this book is the analysis of the Udayarkudi inscription and arriving at the hints to show that Rajaraja had taken revenge on the conspirators of Aditya’s death. The Brahmin angle is also dealt at length to bring out the facts.

The content pages will reveal what can be expected in this book.

I offer my heartfelt thanks to the couple, Smt Kumudha Vasudevan and Sri Vasudevan for translating my 8-part article from English to Tamil. The book further builds upon those articles.

I am grateful to Sri Hayavadhan Murali for the wrapper design for this book.

This book will be shortly available on Kindle too both in Tamil and English. It will be duly announced once done.

The print version of 175 pages, released now is priced at Rs. 175. The shipping cost of Rs. 36 is to be added with this.

As usual the book can be procured directly from me by writing to

It is hoped this book will help in re-writing the historical dates of the Cholas of the 10th and the 11th century.