Pluto in the Mahabharata?

By Dr Manish Pandit

Dr PV Vartak was the first to try and say that Pluto was named by Veda Vyasa in the Mahabharata. Unfortunately the verse given by Vartak to denote Pluto in his war proposal of 5561BCE appears to be very misguided. The verse quoted by Vartak and those who follow him like Shri Oak quotes the following verse, of Chapter 3 Bhisma Parva which says that

A Graha called Tivro graha is robbing the Krittika stars (nakshatra) of its light”

There are three immediate problems with this proposal. The first is that Pluto is invisible to the eye and in fact even with telescopes can be a problem to spot correctly. Then there is the second part of the verse which says that this Tivro graha appears to be like a Dhumaketu. ie a comet.

The third and most difficult problem assailing this “Tivro graha at Krittika is Pluto” hypothesis is … hold on to your seats for this will floor you….  is that Pluto in 5561BCE is not anywhere near Krittika nakshatra as the verse demands but instead, this is at Revati nakshatra more than 30 degrees away. I confirmed this with the Swiss ephemeris used by Jhora and Cybersky latest version and with JPL 431 NASA ephemeris. You can check the screenshots in the film below.

By the way, Pluto in 3067BCE is actually at Krittika as the first part of the verse demands. However we would never state that Tivro graha is Pluto. That is simply too far fetched. Instead we would propose that this must be some sort of comet although an asteroid could cause this if it was an observation lasting only momentarily. The short film below illustrates the problem.



To watch this on Twitter, click here:

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