Deciphering the year of Mahabharata war and how it holds key to Harappan culture

The scientific evidence about a cosmic impact in 3136 BCE is supported by the historical evidence provided by the Mahabharata, making the text a true historical document. The Mahabharata can no longer be called a myth

Jayasree Saranathan January 16, 2022 15:56:39 IST
Deciphering the year of Mahabharata war and how it holds key to Harappan culture

The growth of Harappa seems to be post-Mahabharata development, the exact date of the Mahabharata must be established to sync with the archaeological findings and to fix the right chronology. That date is not hard to find. Image courtesy: MAHABHARATA 3136 BCE: Validation of the Traditional Date

The need to conclusively establish the year of the Mahabharata war is felt all the more today for two reasons: One, the archaeological findings of the Harappan culture are spread within the geographic extent of the Mahabharata events; and two, the date of the Mahabharata war falls at the beginning of the early Harappan, coinciding with the spread of population.

The chronology of the Harappan/Indus culture given in Harappa.com shows Early Phase/Ravi Phase between 3300 BCE and 2800 BCE. In this period, the Mahabharata war had taken place in 3136 BCE — the year derived from the Kali Yuga computation — a time scale that is followed uninterruptedly till date in India. The inter-connectivity between these two — the Mahabharata and the Harappan findings — needs to be understood to begin with.

 Link between Mahabharata and Harappa

The advanced city planning and material culture detected in Harappa could not have been sudden but a continuation of a pre-existing civilisation. The Mahabharata offers a link to that pre-history. For example, all the top three animal signs found in the “Harappan art” were the same as those owned as totems by the defeated Mahabharata characters — the unicorn by Jayadratha, the son-in-law of Dhritarashtra; the bull image by Kripa, the brother-in-law of Drona; and the elephant by Duryodhana and Shalva.

This raises a curious question of whether the losers had given up fighting and started engaging in Vaishya-hood as ordained by the Smriti texts. The transition in the successive phases of Harappa, showing rise in manufacturing and trade activities doesn’t seem to have a better explanation than this.

Interestingly enough, the absence of ‘horse’ in the Harappan seals is justifiable with the Mahabharata characters in the Harappan region. For, none in the Mahabharata and nobody anywhere in India sported horse as their emblem. Horses appeared in the coinage of the Indian rulers only in the 1st millennium of the Common Era, inspired by the European model of coins inscribed with horses.

The expansion of population in the early Harappan phase matches with fresh settlement of the displaced people of Dwaraka by Arjuna after the loss of Krishna’s Dwaraka into the sea, with the Satyaki clan settling down all along the banks of the river Saraswati, the Kritavarma clan sent to Matrikavata — probably referring to Mehrgarh (Maa-ghar or mother’s house) — and the continuity of the Saindhavas (Jayadratha clan) in the Sindhu (Indus) region.

The early Harappan Indus region shows sparse growth of settlements, indicating lack of migration from mainland regions of the Mahabharata events. In fact, not many preferred to move to those regions even during the Mahabharata time, as known from Karna’s version that the people of that region lost the wisdom of the Vedas by having lived away from the Himavat, Ganga, Saraswati, Yamuna, etc.

After the Mahabharata war, the Saindhavas remained excluded from others. The density of settlements showed an increase only in the Saraswati region occupied by the displaced people of Dwaraka.

Deciphering the year of Mahabharata war and how it holds key to Harappan culture

Evolution of the Harappan settlements given by Chatterjee et al (2019). Image courtesy: Nature.com

The growth of Harappa seems to be post-Mahabharata development, the exact date of the Mahabharata must be established to sync with the archaeological findings and to fix the right chronology. That date is not hard to find.

 Traditional date of Kali yuga

The year of the Mahabharata war is embedded in the text of the Mahabharata as the 36th year before Krishna left. The gap of 35 years between the war and the physical departure of Krishna is expressed in four different verses in the Mahabharata text (MB: 11.25.4; 16.1.1; 16.2.2; 16.3. 18,19). Upon Krishna’s exit, the Pandavas too left the country after crowning their only offspring, Parikshit. Starting from his rule, a new era of time called Kali Yuga came to be adopted all over India — a fact attested by thousands of inscriptions across India.

Until the East India Company took over the country in the mid-18th Century, all activities from administration to finance were documented on stone or palm leaves or metal plates by stating the date of the activity in Kali years or in Shaka years — the sub-period of Kali Yuga. They all point out the year 3101 BCE as the first year of Kali Yuga.

That year being the time of Krishna’s exit, the date of the Mahabharata war is deduced as Pre-Kali 35, i.e., 3136 BCE!

Kali Yuga time-scale continues to be in use in all temples and for all religious activities, the inscriptions offer just the written evidence for the beginning of Kali Yuga from which the Mahabharata date is derived. The earliest available documentation found in possession of a Mutt in Bhimanakatte in Karnataka was made by king Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit, in the 89th year of Kali Yuga (3013 BCE).

It was a land-grant given to the mutt near the river Thungabhadra where the Pandavas stayed during their exile, so states the grant. This grant was verified by the British authority when the region went under the colonial masters, but none till now could get the calendric features of the grant right. That is where my research on validating the traditional date at 3136 BCE gains momentum. 

Western versus Indic calendric system

The Indic calendric system is not the same as the Western calendric system, nor is it derivable by the calculations of Western astronomy. Western astronomy uses the tropical Julian year which is shorter than the Vedic sidereal year, leading to a shortage of one Julian day for every 115 to 116 Vedic sidereal years. One can imagine the discrepancy this causes in 5,000 years if Western astronomy calculation is employed.

This resulted in not getting the date of the Janamejaya grant right and not even getting the first year of Kali Yuga when Krishna left his mortal coils. People had taken the easier course of rejecting the grant as fake and Kali Yuga as a fabricated idea with the result none could get the Mahabharata year correctly. My research lays bare the defects in the methods and methodology of using Western astronomy systems for dating Indic dates such as Kali Yuga and the Mahabharata war.

The methodology used for my research is based on the Indic (Siddhantic) system for decipherment. Only this system passes the test of reliability by simulating the eight-planet congregation at the beginning of sidereal Aries that was the marker for the first day of Kali Yuga.

The first part of my research is devoted to settling down the issues around dating, the non-reliability of astronomy simulators, solving the confusion over the Yuga concepts and establishing Kali Yuga date textually and epigraphically. The second part focuses on validating the date of the Mahabharata war (3136 BCE) by using the inputs on time and planetary features given in the text of the Mahabharata authored by sage Vyasa.

Hastinapura meteor event

A surprise revelation of my systematic study was the discovery of a cosmic impact that caused early Amavasya (No-Moon) on the 13th tithi (perpetuated into memory as Bodhayana Amavasya) and pushed the earth into a longer path causing a delay of Uttarayana (winter solstice), forcing Bhiṣma to wait on the arrow bed. This unusual Uttarayana has come to be regarded as Ratha Saptami.

Interestingly, there was a breaking-up of a comet 5,000 years ago, reported on the NASA website and confirmed by the authors when I contacted them. It was the parent comet of Comet Atlas that broke off near the orbit of Mercury after going round the Sun. The broken parts could have been hurled towards the earth — which was reported as rain of meteors over 13 days starting from the time of Krishna’s peace mission with the major fragment falling on the 9th day disrupting the plans of Duryodhana to start his army on that day when the moon was crossing the star, Pushya.

Hastinapura received the major hit while another piece impacted the Lower Town of Mohenjo-Daro making it the “Mound of the Dead” which was wrongly articulated as evidence of Aryan Invasion by colonial archaeologists. Mohenjo-Daro was part of the Sindhu kingdom under Jayadratha at that time.

My paper on the Mahabharata evidence of a comet-hit published in ‘Academia Letters’ matched remarkably with the research of Joachim Seifert, a climate scientist. On further collaboration with him, it came to be known that the cosmic event described in the Mahabharata matches with the climatic graph, showing a rapid temperature-drop in GISP2 accompanied with spikes in 14-C, 10-Be and other proxies for the year 3136 BCE indicating a meteor hit.

Deciphering the year of Mahabharata war and how it holds key to Harappan culture

Rapid temperature-drop in 3136 BCE associated with meteor hit

The so-called ‘nimitta-s’ expressed by Vyasa, such as the rain of blood, the sudden reversal of the direction of the rivers, Amavasya in the 13th tithi and the star Arundhati seen with her husband at her back are the evidences for a simultaneous cosmic impact on the earth and the moon in the year 3136 BCE, thereby making Vyasa’s account, the earliest eye-witness record of mankind of a calamitous fall of a fragmented extra-terrestrial object.

The already-discovered scientific evidence about a cosmic impact in the year 3136 BCE is supported by the historical evidence provided by the Mahabharata, making the text a true historical document.

The date is firmly placed in the early Harappan phase, solving the mystery of the origin of the Harappan people and their culture. It is aptly post-Mahabharata culture.

The author, a PhD in astrology, is an independent researcher in Hindu epics, prehistory, Tamil Sangam literature and astro-meteorology. She has so far published five books. Her book, ‘Mahabharata 3136 BCE: Validation of the Traditional Date’, is available in kindle store. The hard copy can be bought by writing to jayasreebooks@gmail.comThe Mahabharata can no longer be called a myth.

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