Thursday, September 28, 2023

Mahabharata Quiz - 70

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Question - 70 

Duryodhana's plan to start the march of his army on Pushya day was halted due to the sight of bad omens; So Krishna suggested that he start the war ritual on Jyeshtha coinciding with Karthika Amavasya. Did Duryodhana perform the ritual on Karthika Amavasya?


No, not possible, because once again a Ganesha moment comes here with a peculiar observation later by Vyasa that Amavasya occurred on Trayodashi! 

Trayodasha refers to number 13, whereas Trayodhashi is the 13th tithi or the 13th phase of the moon. Amavasya can never occur on the 13th tithi, but the never faltering Vyasa made an observation that Amavasya occurred on Trayodshi. 

A shocked Vyasa expressed,

caturdaśīṃ pañcadaśīṃ bhūtapūrvāṃ ca ṣoḍaśīm

imāṃ tu nābhijānāmi amāvāsyāṃ trayodaśīm (MB: 6.3.28)

Since this verse is interpreted casually by researchers as referring to ‘days’ and / or drawing a non-existent eclipse from that, a word for word meaning is given to know what Vyasa conveyed.


caturdaśīṃ = caturdaśī (ī-stem, singular, accusative)

pañcadaśīṃ = pañcadaśī (ī-stem, singular, accusative)

bhūta = actually happened, true, real (n. an actual occurrence, fact, matter of fact, reality)

pūrvāṃ = formerly (ā-stem, singular, accusative)

ca = and, also, moreover

ṣoḍaśīm = ṣoḍaśī (ī-stem, singular, accusative)

imāṃ = this

tu = but

na abhijānāmi = I have never known (I could not realize even until now: SB: 9-19-12)

amāvāsyāṃ = the sun and moon "dwell together" (ā-stem, singular, accusative)

trayodaśīm = trayodaśī (ī-stem, singular, accusative)

Overall meaning:

“This (Amavasya) in Caturdashi, Pañcadashi and also formerly happened in Ṣoḍashi but I have not known until now Amavasya in Trayodashi.”

Unfortunately, this crucial verse is interpreted by the Mahabharata researchers as referring to 'eclipses'. Some others state that this refers to 13 days (solar days) and point out Amavasya or Pournami occurring in 13 days. The fact of the matter is Vyasa clearly says that Trayodashi Amavasya had never occurred, then how can people claim that they can show 13- day Amavasya! 

In the Mahabharata, days are mentioned as 'Divasa'. We find that reference already quoted in Question- 33

There is absolutely no reference to an eclipse in this verse. Vyasa spoke about a never- heard, a never-happened-before event of the Amavasya occurring in Trayodashi. 

The original plan suggested by Krishna was to conduct the ritual on Jyeshtha lorded by Indra. Worship of Indra was paramount then. That day which was supposed to coincide with Amavasya did not occur. Amavasya occurred before Indra's day of Jyestha. So for the second time Duryodhana's plan got derailed.

This Trayodashi Amavasya also comes as a blow to those who claim that the war started on Karthika Amavasya when Jyeshtha was running.   

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