Is Mahabharata a Fiction or Fact? Whether spiritual preaching has scientific base or is it just hearsay? This question has attracted a big debate over time. The debate is perhaps never ending. Through this series of blogs, I will be presenting my take on these topics, one by one. And in this journey, Lord Krishna features prominently. Before we start, let us bow down and pray to Him:
ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
(I bow to Lord Krishna)
The word ‘Mythology’ is defined as “a collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition.” This essentially means that a story is traditionally narrated by one generation to the next. Most of the so called “Scientific” population does not believe that these events happened. However, I am here to tell you that these events did occur. Even Wikipedia (a non-Indian organisation) describes it as an ‘epic poem’ which implies it did really occur. And yes, it can be scientifically proven. I’ll be doing just that over this series blogs. In this Part 1 of the 15 part blog, we will be talking exclusively about the Mahabharata. Sage Vyasa is the author of this particular work and it comprises of the story of the Kauravas and the Pandavas, the two clans’ race for the throne and also features the Bhagwad Gita pronounced by Lord Krishna. It holds the record for the longest poem written if we may take some liberty and call this divine work a ‘poem’. It is roughly about 10 times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined, which are well known for their length. No amount of words would suffice the description of this great work so I’ll just dive into the evidences that I promised to share.
EVIDENCE 1: The time that the Kurukshetra war happened is articulated to be around 3067 BCE. Many people discard the authenticity by claiming that there is no reference to this date. In the Mahabharata, the day before the war started, Sage Vyasa met Dhritarashtra, the Kaurava king and persuaded him not to fight. He told the fiery Kaurava king that he had seen bad omina in the sky and that if he fought the war, there is no way he can win and it would only lead to the annihilation of the Kaurava dynasty. He explained to Dhritarashtra that he could not win by fighting on the side of ‘Adharma’. The bad omina seen by Sage Vyasa have been written in detail in the Mahabharata. These are: Conjunction of Saturn in Aldebaran (Rohini Nakshatra), Retrograde Mars in Antares (Jyeshtha Nakshatra), Lunar eclipses near Pleiades (The Seven Sisters).
A software which can reconstruct the skies of any given time was used by Dr. Narhari Achar and he traced out that so far the first omen has taken place about 137 number of times. But when we track combination of the first and the second omen, we find that there are only 17 such overlapping instances. And if we track combination of all three omina, we get only two such instances. Those are in 3067 BCE and 2683 BCE. And if we go according to Mahabharata, Bhishma decided to leave his body in the winter solstice. The date in 3067 BCE which had all three omina was in the winter solstice but the date in 2683 BCE wasnt in the winter solstice. Hence, we may eliminate 2683 BCE. Many people argue that the elimination of the other date is dependent on authenticity of the events of Death of Bhishma described in the Mahabharata. Hence, this method may be called ‘inconclusive’.
EVIDENCE 2: An ancient work in astronomy called ‘Surya Sidhanta’ laid the foundation for the Hindu and the Buddhist calendars. It says that Kaliyuga began on 20th Feb, 3101 BCE at midnight. Kaliyuga is the last of the four yugas that exist sequentially. The universe begins at Satyayuga, then comes Tretayuga, which is followed by Dwaparyuga and finally ends with Kaliyuga. It is narrated in Mahabharata that the event of Krishna leaving His mortal form is when Kaliyuga began. Thus Krishna left His body around 3040 BCE. The Mahabharata war was fought some years before this so we arrive again to the 3067 BCE time. Yes, I know this is again based on Indian scriptures. So lets take a look at ancient greek scriptures to find any conformity there.
EVIDENCE 3: Megasthenes was a Greek Ambassador at the court of Chandragupta Maurya. He travelled the length and breadth of India and wrote a travelogue. He wrote of a magical being which he referred to as ‘Heracles’ (derived from a name of Krishna – Hari). He also mentioned ‘Sourasenoi’ held ‘Heracles’ in the highest honour (Descendants of the Vasudev’s father Shurasena were called Shurasenoi and held Krishna in the highest honour). He also writes of their city, ‘Methora’ (Mathura). He wrote that Heracles existed about 138 generations before Alexander. Even if we consider an approximation that a generation is about 20 years, and the fact that Megasthenes wrote about Krishna in 307 BCE, 138 generations before him leads us to about 3060 BCE which confirms the time of Mahabharata.
In Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna tells us the prophecy of Kaliyuga. And it is eerily an exact description of the world today. This was written thousands of years ago! Moreover, all the places described in the Mahabharata are present even today and can be seen! The Mahabharata tells us of a flowing River Sarasawti which waned and vanished later. NASA and ISRO findings now prove that the river did flow in the designated area and that the Kurukshetra war was waged on the banks of it. Aadiparva, Adhyaya 62 mentions that the records of the Bharat-Dynasty are revealed in the Mahabharata. A number of dynasties with their long lineage of kings (more than 50 from Manu) have been presented in the work. If it were to be just a fiction, 4-5 kings would have sufficed to build the story on. Precise estimation of the date would not be possible because of times then! But all the evidences that I have shared above corroborate the date and events that took place then. As I write about other topics in further blogs, I will substantiate the relevant corroborations there! All the ancient texts of various parts of the world do point to the Mahabharata as it happened! People misunderstand the lack of exact evidence. Lack of evidence does not mean lack of existence. In 1610, there was no evidence that the Sun was in the centre of the Solar system and the Earth revolved around it. Copernicus was even jailed for citing it. Thereafter, as technology advanced, we were able to find a proof for it. So maybe we live in times that the technology available to us cannot prove it exactly but as we advance, one day we will get exact scientific proof. We are on the brink of discoveries folks and we will be discovering evidence of exact Mahabharata anytime!
PS: All the rights about the constellation theory and its evidence belong to Dr. Narahari Achar, Professor at University of Memphis. No rights claim is intended about anything in the article in any way.