The present European calendar came into vogue around 7 A.D. India, since
ancient times, has been following the lunar calendar. The Western calendar has
undergone many variations and adjustments from time to time e.g., at one stage
the first six months had 31 days each while the last six months were 30 days
Uptil the Mahabharat War the world had a single, unitary administration under
Vedic sovereigns, which reckoned the day from sunrise to sunrise centering on
India. Consequently, other regions of the world stuck to the Indian time
schedule. Thus for instance, when the sun rose in India at around 5.30 am it
used to be midnight hour in Britain. Therefore the Vedic administration in
Britain calculated its date from midnight to midnight.
When in the course of time the world became divided into regional states
resulting in mutual strife. The British ruled India for about 200 years uptil
1947 A.D. The midnight to midnight reckoning under British rule, emanated
originally from the Indian sunrise time. Modern calculations based on that
midnight time often result in a error of one or two years in timing.
Before proceeding to analyze the Mahabharat chronology let us first
familiarize ourselves with the Vedic lunar calendar. In its cycle of 60
years, the names of successive years are :
Kaliyug started on Pramadi Chaitra Bright 1st day, Friday (BC 3102-2-20) at
1. Karna's Birth : Magha Bright half 1st day. It is said that he was older
than Yudhisthira by 16 years.
2. Emperor Pandu reached Mount Saptashrunga in Paramodoota Ashwin Bright
5th day. Just one year after Yudhisthira was born.
3. Yudhisthira's Birth : Yudhisthira was born on Pajothpatti Ashwin Bright
5th day, in Jyeshta Star, in Sagittarius Lagna, at midday Abhijit Muhurta.
That was just years. 127-5-25 prior to Kaliyug (roughly 3229-8-15 B.C)
4. Bhima's Birth : Bhima was born on Agnirasa Ashwin dark 9th day in Magha
Star, after midday. He was younger than Yudhishtira by 1 year and 19 days.
5. Arjun's Birth : Srimukha Phalguna Full Moon Day during the day in Uttara
Star. Younger than Bhima by yr. 1-4-21
6. Nakula and Sahadev's Birth : Bhava Phalguna New Moon day, Midday, in
Star Ashwini. Younger than Arjuna by yr. 1-0-15
7. Lord Krishna was born on Shrimukha Shravana Dark 8th day, just after
midnight in Taurus Lagna.
8. Duryodhana's Birth : Just one day after Bhima's birth. From that day
onwards everyday the rest 99 Kauravas and their sister were born. Similarly,
Hidimba, Baka and Kichaka were born in the same period between Magha and Swati
9. Emperor Pandu expired on Sarvadhari Chaitra Bright 12th day in Uttara
Star. Arjuna was then yrs. 14-0-7 days old. Yudhistira was then yrs. 16-6-7
10. Pandavas were brought in Hastina on Sarvadhari Chaitra Dark 13th day,
that is, 16 days after their father's death. Death rituals lasted for 12 days
from Sarvadhari Chaitra Dark 13th day to Vaishakh Bright 10th day. Yudhisthira
was 16 years, 6 months and 28 days of age.
11. Pandavas stayed in Hastinapur for 13 years from Sarvadhari Vaishakha
Bright 10th day to Plava Vaishakha Bright 10th day. Yudhisthira was yrs.
29-6-23 days old. They learnt archery under Drona.
12. Archery exhibition : Plava Vaishakha Full Moon Day.
13. King Drupada taken captive : Fight with Drupada from Plava Vaishakha
Dark 5th day for a period of of yr. 1-4-5 days, that is upto Shubhakrit
Bhadrapada Bright 10th day. Yudhisthira was yrs. 31-0-5 days old.
14. Yudhishthira ws made Crown-Prince on Shubhakrit Ashwayuja Bright 10th
day when he was 31-0-5 days old.
15. Pandavas stayed at Hastinapur for yrs. 5-4-20 days, upto Plavanga
Maagha New Moon Day. Yudhishthira was yrs. 36-4-25 days old.
16. Entered Varnavrata : Plavanga Phalguna Bright 8th Day. Yudhishtir was
yrs. 36-5-3 days old.
17. The Lac Palace was set on fire on Keelaka Phalguna 13/14th Day night in
the third Jhamu or Quarter. ( A day consists of 8 prahars, 4 during day time
and 4 during night.) Pandavas crossed river Ganga on Keelaka Phalguna New Moon
18. Demon Hidimba was slain : on Sowmya Chaitra Bright 1st Day. 19.
Ghatotkacha was born on Sowmya Ashwin Bright 2nd Day, and he grew up as an
20. Pandavas stayed in Salihotashramam for 6 months, that is from Sowmya
Ashwayuja Bright 2nd Day to Sadharana Chaitra Bright 2nd Day. Yudhishtira was
yrs. 38-5-7 days old.
21. Panadavas lived in Ekachakrapuram for 6 months from Sadharana Chaitra
Bright 2nd Day to Ashwayuja Bright 2nd Day.
22. Demon Baka was slain : on Sadharana Bright 10th Day. Yudhisthira was
yrs. 39-0-5 days old.
23. Pandavas stayed in Ekachakrapuram for 1 month 10 days more, upto
Sadharana Margashirsha Dark 5th Day. Then they headed for Panchal Kingdom, and
in 3 days reached Dhoumya's Ashram. They stayed there for 15 days, and on the
18th day, reached the capital of Panchal Kingdom, that is, on Sadharana Pausha
24. Princess Draupadi's Swayamvaram took place on Sadhrana Pausha Bright
25. In Panchala Kingdom, Pandavas stayed there for yr. 1-0-15 days, that
is, tiil Virodhikrithu Pausha New Moon Day. Yudhishthir was yrs. 40-3-25 days
26. Pandavas were recieved in Hastinapur on Virodhikrithu Maagha Bright 2nd
Day and were granted half-Kingdom. They stayed in Hastinapur for 5 years and 6
months, upto Pingala Shravana Bright 2nd Day. Yudhishthira was yrs. 45-9-27
days old. Indrapratha City was being built during this period.
27. Yudhisthira was coronated on Pingala Ashwayuja Bright 10th Day. He was
then 46-0 years old.
28. Arjuna went on pilgrimage for 12 years. He started in Kalayukthi and
returned in Pramodhoota. He married Subhadra on Pramodhoota Vaishakh Bright
10th Day. Abhimanya was born in the year Pramodhoota.
29. Draupadi had one son each from her 5 Pandava husbands. 30. The Khandava
Forest was burnt down after Pramodhoota Shravana Bright 2nd Day. Yudhishtira
was yrs. 58-10-15 days old. Mayasabha took yrs. 1-2-0 days for construction.
31.Panadavas entered Mayasabha on Prajopatthi Ashwayuja Bright 10th Day.
Yudhisthira was years 60-0-5 days old.
32. Rule in Indraprastha for 16 years, upto Sarvajit Ashwayuja Bright 10th
day. Yudhishthira was yrs. 76-0-5 days old.
33. Wrestling started between Bhima and Jarasandha on Sarvajit Kartika
Bright 2nd Day. It continued for 14 days, and Jarasandha was killed on 14th
34. The Rajasooya Yadnya began on Sarvadhari Chaitra Full Moon Day.
Yudhisthira was yrs. 76-6-15 days old.
35. Dice plays : The two Dice plays were played between Sarvadhari Shravana
Dark 3rd Day and 7th Day. Yudhishthira was yrs. 76-10-2 days old.
So Pandavas ruled for a period of yrs. 36-6-20 days from Virodhikritu
Maagha Bright 2nd Day to Sarvadhari Shravana Dark 7th Day.
36. Forest Life : Forest life started on Sarvadhari Shravana Dark 8th Day.
Yudhisthira was years 76-10-18 days old. Demon Kimeera was killed on the 3rd
Day, that is, Dark 10th Day.
12 years forest exile ended on Sarvari Shravan Dark 7th Day.
37. The 13th year of anonimity ended on the Plava Shravan Dark 7th Day.
38. Kichaka was killed on on Plava Ashadha Dark 8th Day at night. His
brothers were killed the next day, Dark 9th Day.
39. Since these are lunar years, there were two Adhik Masas every 5 years,
and in 13 years there were 5 Adhik Mases and 12 days. But these were merged in
the lunar years as Adhik Mases. Tithiwayas and likewise, Bhishma and
Yudhishthira followed this calculation as correct, but Duryodhana insisted on
anonimity solar years, which was unacceptable in those days.
40. Since the period was over the previous day, Arjuna declared his
identity. Arjuna was carrying his bow Gandiva for 30 years from Pramodoota to
Sarvari, and he told Uttara that he will carry it for another 35 years. The
next day, on Dark 9th Day, Pandavas declared their identity. Yudhishthira was
yrs. 89-10-9 days old.
41. Pandavas stayed in Upaplavyam for yr. 1-2-17 days. During these days,
consultations, marraige between Uttara and Abhimanyu in Shubhakrit Jyeshta
month, marshalling of armies, Peace talks by Draupadi's Purohit and Sanjaya
In Aswayuja month, there were lunar and solar eclipses, portending evil and
42. Shri Krishna's Peace talks : Shri Krishna started on Shubhakrit Kartik
Bright 2nd Day, in Revati Star, reached Hastinapur on the 13th Day, and held
peace talks upto Dark 8th Day. On his last day, His Vishwaroopa was shown.
Since talks failed, he started on his return journey the same day in Pushyami
Star, told Karna that in 7 days, on New Moon Day in Jyeshta Star, all should
assemble at Kurukshetra for the Great War, and returned to Upaplavya.
43. So Pandavas stayed in Upaplavya for yr. 1-2-17 + 15 days = yr. 1-3-2
44. Both the Pandava and Kaurava armies marched to Kurukshetra on the New
Moon Day. The period from Margashirsha Bright 2nd Day to 12th Day, was taken
up by installation of tents, arranging Army rehearsals etc. etc.
45. The Great Mahabharat War started on Shubhakrit Margashirsha Bright
13/14th Day, Tuesday in Bharani Star. Yudhishthir was yrs. 91-2-9 days old.
Just the previous day 11/12th Day, when armies were rehearsing Vyuhas, Arjuna
fell into a gloom, occasioning Lord Krishna's famous BhagavadGeeta discourse
46. Bhishma's Fall : On Margashirsha Dark 7th Day.
47. Abhimanyu's Death : Abhimanyu was killed on Margashirsha Dark 10th Day.
He was aged 32 years (From Pramodoota to Shubhakrit). Since marraige was in
Jyeshta month, he led only 6 month's family life, and Uttra was 6 months
48. Saindhava's Death : Saindhava was killed on Margashirsha Dark 11th Day.
The battle was continued even into the night.
Drona was killed on Margashirsha Dark 12th Day at noon.
49. Karna's Death : Karna was killed on Margashirsha Dark 14th Day.
Salya was killed on Margashirsha New Moon Day at noon.
50. Duryodhana's Fall : He fell on Margashirsha New Moon Day/Pausha Bright
1st Day in the evening. He died the next morning on the Bright 1st Day.
51. Balrama started on pilgrimage on Kartik Dark 5th Day, in Pushyami Star.
So, date-wise and star-wise also, pilgrimage took 42 days.
52. Ashwatthama murdered Pandava's sons during the same night on
Margashirsha New Moon/Pausha Bright 1st Day night, and conveyed the dire
information to the dying Duryodhana on Bright 1st Day early morning. Defeat of
Ashwatthama : on Pausha Bright 1st Day.
53. Pandava Armies 7 Akshouhinis = 551,33,83,260
Kaurava Armies 11 Akshouhinis = 866,38,87,960
Total 18 Akshouhinis = 1417,72,71,240
Except Pandavas, Krishna. Satyaki and Yuyutsu on Pandavas side, and Kripa,
Krutavarma and Ashwatthama on Kaurava's side, all were killed. Yudhishthira
told Dhritarashtra that Great Warriors (MahaRathis) killed in the War, were
more than 94 crores.
No clear details are available in the Epic, how Pandava Warriors disposed
off kaurava armies. Abhimanyu on the 13th Day, killed more than 0.50
Akshouhini army, and Arjuna on the 14th Day killed 5 Akshouhinis.
54. Attacking Pandavas side,
Bhishma killed nearly 1.27 Akshouhinis = 100,00,00,000
Drona killed nearly 1.00 Akshouhinis = 78,76,26,180
Karna killed nearly 2.37 Akshouhinis = 186,28,78,540
Salya killed nearly 0.29 Akshouhinis = 22,60,46,000
Ashwatthama killed nearly 0.09 Akshouhinis = 7,20,24,400
Rest of the warriors 1.98 Akshouhinis = 156,48,08,140
TOTAL 7.00 Akshouhinis = 551,33,83,260
55. Yudhishthira's age was yrs. 91-2-27. Pandavas observed 12 days mourning
from Pausha Bright 1st Day to 13th Day. Mass cremations were done on the 14th
day, and the same evening, Pandavas proceeded to Hastinapur.
56. Yudhishthira was crowned on Shubhakrit Pausha Full Moon Day.
Yudhishthira was yrs. 91-3-10 days old.
57. Pandavas called on Bhishma (who was prostrate on a bed of arrows) on
Pausha Dark 2nd Day, stayed upto 8th Day, listened to Bhishma's advisory
discourse, returned to Hastinapur, stayed for 15 days and went to Bhishma
again on Maagha Bright 8th day. On 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th day, Bhishma was in
meditation. He renounced his mortal coil on 12th day. Hence 8th-12th of Pausha
Dark Fortnight is called Bhishma Panchakam. Bhishma fell prostrate on
Margashirsha Dark 7th Day. From 8th Day to Maagha Bright 11th Day, 48 days
elapsed. "AshtaPanchasatam ratryassayana syasyama gatha" that is, Bhishma said
that he completed 58 (10+48) days on the battlefield. " Sarashu nisitagresu
yatha varsha satam tatha" meaning, by lying on pointed arrows, it appeared
although it was 100 years. " Tribhaga seshah pakshyam suklo" meaning, it is
Bright Fortnight, and still 3 parts remained. ( By dividing Bright Fortnight
into 10 parts, 7 parts = 10.5 days or 11th day is in progress, and still 3
parts = 4.5 days remained upto Full Moon Day.)
58. Ashwamedha Yadnya began on Shobhakrit Maagha Bright 12th Day. Just
earlier, Parikshit was born to Uttara as posthumas premature, still born male
baby at 8/9 months, but was revived by Krishna.
15 years later, in Kartik month, Dhritarashtra left for the forest. 3 years
later, Pandavas went to the forest to see Dhritarashtra etc. Vidura's death.
After 1 month, Dhritarashtra, Gandhari and Kunti got killed in a forest fire.
59. Thirty six years after the Great War, that is in Bahudhanya year, evil
omens in Dwaraka were observed. Samba became pregnant and a iron rod (musalam)
60. Yudhishthir ruled for yrs. 36-2-15 days. From Shubhakrit Pushya Full
Moon Day to Bahudhanya Pushya Full Moon Day, it was 36 years and adding 0-2-15
days, it was Pramadi Bright 1st Day, when Kailyug started and Shri Krishna
finished his Avatar. (B.C 3102-2-20 at 2-27-30 P.M)
61. Seven days later, on Bright 7th Day, Dwarka city was submerged by the
Ocean. Saptarishis were in Magha Star, 75 years prior to Kaliyug and remained
there for 25 years after Kaliyug.
Yudhishthir Shaka started from his coronation day that is, Krishna finished
his Avatar in Yudhishthir Shaka yrs. 36-2-15.
62. Pandavas started for their Final End after 0-6-11 days, that is, on
Pramadi Ashwayuja Bright 12th Day. Yudhishthir was aged yrs. 128-0-6.
Parikshit, 36 years old, was coronated on the same day at Hastinapur.
63. Swargaarohanam is not clearly stated in the Epic. It may be 26 years
afterwards. Sage Veda Vyas dictated the Great Epic to Ganapati only after
Swargarohanam of the Pandavas, that is, after 26 years of Kaliyug.
64. Parikshit ruled for 60 years, coronated his 25 year old son Janamejaya,
65. So, Bhagavatha was written by Sage Veda Vyas soon after Mahabharat was
over, and before the 60th year of the Kaliyuga.
66. In Dwapara Yuga, human beings lived upto 400 years. There are four
stages in life - Balya, Youvana, Koumara and Vriddhapyam. In Dwaparyug, Balya
stage was upto 40 years, Youvana stage upto 120 years, and later Koumara and
Vriddhapyam stages. But now in the Kaliyuga, Balya stage is upto 15 years,
Youvana upto 45 years, Koumara upto 60 years and Vriddhapyam beyond 60 years.