Question - 69
On what basis can it be said that war did not begin on Karthika Amavasya? Didn't Krishna tell Karna to start the war on Karthika Amavasya?
The verse expressing this version of Krishna doesn't mean starting of the war. Moreover, the war started after Krishna delivered Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna. Krishna had not yet gone back to the Pandava-s to tell the discussion in the Kuru-s court. Only after that the Pandava-s could have started their war preparations. Then Bhagavad Gita must happen. And Bhagavad Gita was given on Margashira Shukla Ekadasi as per tradition maintained for eons. So the war could not have commenced on Jyeshtha Amavasya of Kartika.
Krishna only told,
saptamāc cāpi divasād amāvāsyā bhaviṣyati
saṃgrāmaṃ yojayet tatra tāṃ hy āhuḥ śakra devatām (MB: 5.140.18-20)
Krishṇa’s suggestion regarding Jyeṣhṭha Amavasya establishes that Duryodhana did not start as planned on the Pushya day. Moreover, the word “yojayet” used by Krishṇa is third person, causative optative class parasmaipada verb – expressing his wish for worship to be done on Jyeshṭha by Drona and others.
Why did Krishṇa desire such worship if the worship was already done on Pushya day? This word with its stem ‘yuj’ refers to ‘join again. ’Yojayati’ means to restore, repair, put in order, adjust, arrange, undertake and such other similar words hinting at setting right the debacle that happened on the Pushya day. This was conveyed to Karṇa to have it done by Drona and others. This is not the same as ‘yajante’, the ātmanepada verb, nor ‘yojante’ to mean ‘plan or prepare’ suggested by some researchers. It was to start again after offering ‘āhuti’ to Indra, on Jyeṣṭha day.