Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 68

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Question - 68

Having declared that the armies were to be marched towards Kurukshetra on the day of Pushya, what made Duryodhana to delay the departure? 


That is the biggest Ganesha moment that almost all the Mahabharata researchers missed.

The day of Pushya witnessed some unprecedented events which are mentioned as nimitta-s.

The installation of Bhishma on that day was in tune with “Puṣya Snāna”, an age-old practice of taking ritual bath and conducting Vedic austerities for the prosperity of kings. Writing on this ritual, Varahamihira refers to the practice of the king dressing himself in military attire (Brihat Samhita: 48-74).

At the end of the ritual portents will be seen to know whether the upcoming war will be good or bad to them. Suddenly the portents did appear but they all indicated some calamity.

The following were noticed then:

# Although the sky was cloudless, a bloody shower fell and made the ground miry. 

# Fierce whirl-winds, earthquakes, and roars of elephants depressed the hearts of all the warriors. 

# Incorporeal voices and flashes of meteoric falls were heard and seen in the welkin. 

# Jackals, howling fiercely, foreboded great calamity. 

A hundred other kinds of fierce portents made their appearance when the king installed Ganga's son, Bhishma in the command of his troops.

The earthquakes and whirlwinds when accompanied with meteorite showers are signs of a cosmic impact. This happened on a Pushya day, as it is known from Duryodhana's insistence that Bhishma must be installed as their army chief on Pushya Day.  

Pushya started on the night of the previous day and was present throughout the next day. Perhaps seeing the inauspicious portents, Duryodhana cancelled his march to Kurukshetra. So they needed to do the preparations once again for that ritual. Krishna had meant that by stating that Duryodhana could do the ritual on Amavasya that was to occur on the 7th day from the day he was meeting Karna.

This intricate information was missed by many who assumed that the ritual was done successfully on Pushya day and war was started on Karthika Amavasya. 

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