Dating the Mahabharatha - Two eclipses in thirteen days

Mahabharata, by venerable Veda Vyasa, is an important epic from India. It is much larger than Homer’s Iliad. The traditional Indian ethos considers this to be a major historical event from a period nearly 5000-6000 years old. But like Homer’s Iliad (which is now considered historical based on evidence), doubts about Mahabharata’s historicity has been and is currently challenged by many. There are references to Mahabharata by Panini in circa 450 BC. The Mahabharata story is more than 100,000 verses in Sanskrit, in anushtap chandas prosody. It is rich with a large number of astronomical observations about planet positions, their retrograde motion, and eclipses in period approaching the Mahabharata war.

In the first article, one unique statement from Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Chapter) that ‘Two eclipses occurred in 13 days’ prior to war is analyzed. Can a solar-lunar eclipse pair occur in 13 days? Were these seen? In this modern computer era, we can use mathematical modeling, large and refined astronomical databases, and complex astronomical computer software to accurately back project all possible eclipses over the past 5000 years. Details of such a study is presented. The article concludes that naked eye visible solar-lunar eclipse pairs can occur in a short 332 hours occasionally, which is less than 14 days (336 hours is 14 days). These eclipses would occur through the transition of sunrise or sunset. Nearly 30 pairs of such eclipse pairs that were visible in Northern India during 700 BC to 3300 BC have been identified.

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