Mahabharata question

Georg von Simson g.v.simson at EAST.UIO.NO
Wed Mar 22 16:05:12 UTC 2000

Arthur Karp wrote:

> Two other fragments of the text confirm, indirectly, the information

> the new moon day as the time for the beginning of the battle (as

> by KRSNa in Mbh. V.140.18: <bold>saptamAc cApi divasAd amAvAsyA

> saMgrAmaM yojayet tatra tAM hy AhuH zakradevatAm</bold>). They also
seem to point to a solar eclipse, but not on the day of Jayadratha's


> Consider V.141.10:<bold> rAhur arkam upeSyati</bold> - "the Moon's
node (rAhu) approaches

> the Sun (arka)" (KarNa, right after KRSNA, seven days before the
battle), and -


> VI.3.11: <bold>arkaM rAhus tathAgrasat</bold> - "also the Moon's node
(RAhu) swallowed

> (eclipsed) the Sun" (VyAsa, describing the situation sometime in the

> hours of the first day of the battle, before the start of the


> NB: At VI.3.11 the Bombay ed. has <bold>arkaM rahurupaiti ca</bold>,
suggestive of an approaching eclipse<bold>. </bold>(I don't have the
Calcutta ed. on hand.)

I don't think we can use the last two passages you quote as evidence
for the new moon day at the beginning of the battle. The poet here just
collects all kind of sinister omens: meteors, hurricanes, earthquakes
and all kind of queer movements of the planets - if you try to take
this astronomically seriously, you will see that it doesn't work. This
is not on the same level as the first quote (V.140.18).

Best regards,

Georg v. Simson
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