Calculations of Moonrise and why it sets the pace for Dating the Mahabharata

By Dr Manish Pandit

The 5561BCE theory (Vartak/Oak) suffers from a major baseline problem, that is that it ignores the real Moonphase data (60+ verses of Drona Parva chapter 159/161) which definitively points to a waning bright K11 crescent on the 14th war night and instead uses Upamanas (aka fake Moonphases) to try and prove their theory. Therefore the theory falls flat.Recently I ran a quiz on Twitter:

Asking scientists on Twitter:
What does a late night Moonrise mean to you?
Answers in comments please also!

I was not surprised when 37% of people gave the wrong answer – Full Moon/near Full Moon. In fact, 17% more thought it was the waxing phase which is also completely wrong. Why did these people get the answer wrong? The answer is to be found in a miscalculation of a researcher called Dr Vartak who could not clearly decipher that a late night Moonrise is always a late waning phase Moonrise. He is the first proponent of the mistaken theory that the 14th war night must be a full Moon. A host of other researchers followed suit and didn’t examine the references of Drona Parva which show that the Moonrise is followed a few hours later by the Sunrise at which point fighting stops.

Is this a Minor Error?

In fact, assuming the 14th war night to be a full Moon has catastrophic consequences for any Mahabharata war theory because then the first day is mistakenly thought to be an Amavasya when in FACT it is the last day which is an Amavasya! This blunder also confuses the Nakshatras and a serious consequence is that all the 4 timelines : of the war/Mission of Peace/ Balarama’s pilgrimage and Bhisma Moksha will then fail outright! This blunder was carried forward by 4 theories (5561BCE (Shri Oak), 3163BCE/3143BCE and 1793BCE (Shri Bhatnagar) all of which fail the 4 timelines, Moonphases and Nakshatras of war dating completely.

Fans of the 5561BCE theory had not realised the truth (owing to a massive campaign by supporters of this theory who are sure that a full Moon can rise in the East and that too at night)

When the truth was revealed, supporters of the 5561BCE theory found refuge in yet another conjecture: a dust storm theory. ie. an earlier evening Moonrise was obscured by a dust storm and then the Moonrise was seen 10 hours later in the night.

Unfortunately the supporters and the researchers in question forgot that Nature can bring to light these matters in an instant. They forgot that if it was indeed a full Moon and if that earlier Moonrise was obscured, then at the space of 10 hours later, the Moon would never be seen in the East, as specified in the text, but instead in the West.

Folks and supporters of 5561BCE who doubt this answer above can check the Moonrise calculation.

The Moon rises later by 48 mins every day from Amavasya to Purnima when counted from Sunrise.

Thus the waxing phase Moon rises in the day, Purnima or full Moon rises in the evening and the late waning phase Moon rises late at night!

As an example:

On the 14th day of Shukla Paksha or waxing phase, (Shukla Chaturdashi), the Moonrise will occurs at 14 x 48 mins = 672 mins from Sunrise! ie. the Moonrise will occur at 11 hrs 12 mins later.

Therefore if the Sunrise is at 6 am, then the Moonrise will be at 5:12 pm in the evening!

This means that in the waxing phase or Shukla Paksha, the Moonrise in the day only and for a full Moon day or Purnima, Moonrise will be 48 minutes later. ie. the Purnima Moonrise at 5:12pm + 48 minutes or at 6pm!

After 6pm (assuming a sunrise of 6am) the waning phase Moonrise will start.

Moon will always rise in the East!

It’s also important to realise that the Moon always rises in the Eastern sky and sets in the West.

From the above we infer that later the waning phase Moon, later the Moonrise, BUT always in the Eastern horizon/sky.

This means that a very late Moonrise occurring when 3-4/15 parts of the night remain according to Drona Parva: 161:1-2 verses MUST BE a Krishna Ekadashi only.

This means that 14th war night must be Krishna Ekadashi or thereabouts!

The logical conclusion is that the 18th war day must be an Amavasya!

This also means that the 1st war day must be a Shukla Trayodashi (S13) or close to it. That 1st war day can never be an Amavasya.

The last war day must be Shravana Nakshatra and it must be an Amavasya.

The 14th war night is a Krishna Ekadashi.

The 1st war day is a Shukla Trayodashi and Mrigasira Nakshatra !


Taking the Balarama’s pilgrimage verses into consideration, we know that the last war day must be a Shravana Nakshatra and it must be an Amavasya.
The 14th war night is a Krishna Ekadashi.
The 1st war day is a Shukla Trayodashi.
and Mrigasira Nakshatra !
No ifs and no buts!
5561/3163/3143/1793BCE FAIL completely!
3067BCE passes the test!

To read the more detailed exposition on the topic please check: my free book on the dating of the Mahabharata war at:

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