The mystery of two Adhika Masa in 5561BCE in Oak’s calendar (a critique)

By Dr Narahari Achar (edited by Dr Manish Pandit)

The mystery of (the non existent) two ‘adhika masa-s’ in 5561 BCE :Oak’s date for the Mahabharata war.

It is interesting to read Mr. Oak’s exposition on adhika masa and seasaons etc. But if one goes back to his book, Oak gives a calendar for 5561 BCE, reproduced below:

Table 2. Equinoxes, Solstices, seasons and Lunar months.

He gives Shravana-Bhadrapada – (extra Bhadrapada)Ashwin , between 3 June and 4th August and again (Extra Bhadra) Ashwin- Kartika-Adhik Kartika between 4th August and 3rd October. This is followed by Adhik Kartika-Margashirhsa-Pausha , between 3rdOctober and 2nd December.

As he encloses adhika Bhadrapada in parenthesis as (Extra Bhadra)followed immediately by Ashwin, it is clear that Adhika Bhadrapada is also claimed.

However, it is even more clear for Kartika, The sequence given is Kartika, Adhika Kartika followed by margashira.

So there appear to be two adhika masas in 5561BCE at least. And the sequence is very clear, Nija or true Kartika comes first and is followed by Adhika Kartika. There is also no Kshaya masa.

Now if one observes the full and new moons in 5561 BCE from 4th April 5561 to 4th April 5560 BCE, (the Two equinoxes), there are only 12 New moons between these two dates. There is no possibility of a thirteenth New moon. In other words, there is NO adhika masa in 5561 BCE, let alone TWO adhika masas. Furthermore, the sequence, must be adhika first followed by nija masa.

The 12 New Moons of 5561BCE to 5560BCE between two Equinoxes

By contrast, in 2018 CE, according to the Shringeri Mathapanchanga, Vilambi samvatsara begins on Mar 18 2018, and Vikari samvatsara begins on Apr 6, 2019 CE. There is an adhika masa in that year, first is adhika jyeshtha and is followed by Nija or True Jyeshtha. There are actually thirteen new moons in the samvatsara.

Can Oak explain these basic descrepancies in his calendar?

To summarise:

Oak implies that there are two ‘adhika masas’ in 5561 BCE . Turns out that not even one adhika masa existed in that year.

A brief explanation on calculation of Adhika Masa

Varuna and Alhena: Adhika masa debate: By the Sunnashepa method in 5561BCE, the diagram as applied starts from Alhena:

Oct 31st 5561BCE full Moon has occurred before crossing the line mentioned in the diagram and so it does not count as the first full Moon.

The first full Moon to satisfy the Sunnashepa criteria must occur after crossing the reference line on Nov 29th 5561BCE

Next Dec 29th 5561BCE

Next: Jan 28 5560BCE:

Next Feb 26 5560BCE

March 28: 5560BCE

April 26: 5560BCE

May 26: 5560BCE

June 24: 5560BCE

July 24: 5560BCE

Aug 22: 5560BCE

Sep 21: 5560BCE

Oct 20: 5560BCE

Adhika Masa not present in 5561-5560BCE using Alhena/Varuna Sunnashepa method or

Again 12 full Moons only and so no Adhika Masa by Sunnasepha method or from equinox to equinox. (Two amavasyas with no samkramana in between)

Either method does not give an Adhika masa.

By contrast 3067BCE does have an Adhika Masa: it is Adhika Kartika.

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