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.