By Dr Manish Pandit
Amongst the many myths of the Mahabharata war is a myth that the war started on an Amavasya. This hypothesis has formed the basis for dating the Mahabharata as per many an astronomer including Holay (3143 BCE), Vartak and Oak (5561BCE) and others.
I have completely dismantled this myth and trust that nobody will ever choose such a flawed hypothesis ever again. Part of the problem arises from a peculiar verse from the Mahabharata ie:
This verse from Karna Krishna Samavada, comes at its end and tells us that Krishna says that “There will be an Amavasya in 7 days. He sends a message to the Kauravas to start war preparations at that time.A lot of people have assumed that the Mahabharata war starts then. Some others having realised that the war cannot start at this particular time have tried to start the war at the next Amavasya and the catalogue of errors made from this simple mistake goes into a good many pages.
I have given a complete demolition of the theory of the Amavasya start to the war over here:
I have previously shown how at least 15 verses from the 18 days of the Mahabharata war presented elsewhere by other researchers as full Moon data in support of their theories were not actual astronomy observations of the Moon or the sky but mere analogies.
However, real Moonrise data is available from the night which followed the 14th day of the war (the 14th night) in verses from the Drona Parva. If we accept the theory that the war starts on an Amavasya then on the 14th night of the war, the Moon would be in the waxing phase or near Purnima and not in the waning phase.
On the other hand, if the Moon can be proven to be in the waning phase on the night which followed the 14th day of the war, then an Amavasya start to the war is effectively disproven. This paper presents a complete demolition of the Amavasya start to the war.