Many claims to the date of Mahabharat and Ramayan
This article is third in a series of articles that explain Sh. Nilesh Nilkanth Oaks’ propositions with respect to the date of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The primary source of information for this article is the talk organized by the Srijan Foundation at the Press Club of India. The topic of the talk was : – Dating of Mahabharata and Ramayana.
For the First article, please click here: https://indictales.com/2017/02/06/different-routes-to-date-mahabharata-and-ramayana/
For the second article, please click here: https://indictales.com/2017/02/06/scientific-discoveries-and-a-falsifying-evidence/
There is this common problem with the solutions to highly complex questions. There are many researchers who claim to have an answer to the same problem. While one may propose one date in case of Mahabharata, other might object to it and propose another. So what do you do in that case?
You need to ask three questions and this is not about Mahabharata and Ramayana. It may appear everywhere. You need to ask three questions anytime you see a claim.
The first question is, you can ask that person what is your Siddhant? What is your theory?
In the case of Nilesh’s propositions, this is the theory. There are more than 800 astronomy references together between Ramayana & Mahabharata and the theory simply says all the astronomy references from these two epics are actual, factual, visual observations of the sky of that time.
Then you need to ask two questions again, very straight forward. You must ask, is this researcher taking into account all the evidence or just randomly or selectively looking for a few which happen to fit his/her theory or date.
And the last question you need to ask is that is this evidence testable, objectively testable?
As an example, If I gave you the recipe for a certain food dish; if you should follow that you would be enabled to get more or less the same outcome. Can we do the same thing? If I claim something, can you or every and any one of you with least understanding of the astronomy able to repeat what I did and reach the same conclusion? Then it’s objectively testable.
So now we are going to take two axes, evidence, and testability. And look at the evidence with the two extremes as either Arbitrary or Selective evidence and at the top is all relevant evidence and the horizontal axis, we take it as objectively testable.
On one side the answer is yes. It means it is scientific. If it’s objectively testable and so it is scientific.
And on the other side is Metaphysical and that’s where a lot of confusion happens. Metaphysical doesn’t mean it’s false if it’s not true. It doesn’t mean that. It simply means that we don’t have enough evidence. We can’t talk about it one way or the other.
Think of the horizontal line. Below that is bad, above that is good.
Now, look at the right of the vertical axis. It means it’s objectively testable and the other side is not objectively testable.
Look at the bottom corner, Skepticism. Skepticism is good. It is an essential ingredient for science but what is not good is you just ask the question to someone else. You should feel passionate about the question yourself; that you start searching and that was, as Nilesh says,” My journey with the two observations that I am going to share with you.”
We look at Mahabharata claims. Do we know how many claims are there about Mahabharata? The time of the Mahabharata! When did the Mahabharata happen?
There are more than 130 different claims by those many different researchers for the timing of Mahabharata war. And if one must split them into this framework, they fall like as seen in the picture below, in blue.
For Ramayana, they fall as seen above, in green.
On the bottom right-hand quadrant, the evidence are superficial and manipulative. It is called manipulative because it only appears scientific and because whatever little evidence they are testing around those claims is true.
As an example, suppose Mahabharata says if the war started on Monday and some researcher claims the certain date and his first day also happens to be Monday. What does that tell you? Does that mean his date is correct? No. Monday is a necessary condition but not a sufficient condition. That is the nature of that bottom Quadrant.