Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 5: Treatment of various afflictions

by Bhudeb Mookerjee | 1938 | 63,627 words | ISBN-10: 8170305829 | ISBN-13: 9788170305828

This fifth volume of the Rasa-jala-nidhi deals with the symptoms, treatment and dietary prescriptions of various afflictions. For example, ratapitta (haemoptysis), cough, asthma, tumours and obesity are dealth with and various Iatro-chemical recipes are provided for these diseases. The Rasa-jala-nidhi (“the ocean of Iatrochemistry, or, chemical me...

Part 3 - The Age of the Mahabharata War

Note: This is reproduced verbatim from tbe booklet, entitled the Age of the Mahabharat War, by Mr, N. Jagannadha Rao, Vakil of Narasaraopet.

The Mahabharata definitely says that the War began with Bhishma as the commander-in-chief of the Kauravas and Dhrishtadyumma, the King of Panchala as the commander-inchief of the Pandavas. Bhishma, the field martial or commander-in-chief of the, Kauravas received a mortal wound on the evening of the tenth day of the battle, and retired from the battle field. He was placed on a bed of arrows in which condition he lived for 58 nights afterwards, waiting for the arrival of Uttarayana or Winter Solstice to cast off bis mortal body.

Yudhisthira, finding out that the Sun had ceased his journey towards the South and that he had commenced his northward journey, went to Bhishma followed by his brothers, his mother Kunti, Sri Krishna, Vidura, and other relations and priests with all the necessary preparations. Bhishma, beholding Yudhisthira surrounded by his people, welcomed him thus.

दृष्ट्या प्राप्तोस्मि कौन्तेय सहामात्यो युधिष्ठिर ।
परिवृत्तो हि भगवान् सहस्रांशुर् दिवाकरः ।
अष्ट पञ्चाशतं रात्र्यः शमानस्या द्यमे गताः ।
माघोऽयं समनुप्राप्तो मासः सौम्यो युधिष्ठिर ।
त्रिभागशेषः पक्षोयं शुक्लो भवितुमर्हति |।

dṛṣṭyā prāptosmi kaunteya sahāmātyo yudhiṣṭhira |
parivṛtto hi bhagavān sahasrāṃśur divākaraḥ |
aṣṭa pañcāśataṃ rātryaḥ śamānasyā dyame gatāḥ |
māgho'yaṃ samanuprāpto māsaḥ saumyo yudhiṣṭhira |
tribhāgaśeṣaḥ pakṣoyaṃ śuklo bhavitumarhati ||

By good luck, O son of Kunti, thou hast come here with all thy Councillors, O Yudhistira! The thousand rayed maker of day, the holy sun has begun Ms northward course.

I have been lying on my bed for fifty eight nights.

“O Yudhisthira, the Lunar month of Magha has come. This is, again, the lighted fortnight and a fourth part of it ought by this (according to my calculations) be over,—” (Shanti Parva Chapter 46, Verses 1-4)

From this it is clear that Bhishma spent 58 nights after his fall and that on the 59th day he cast off his body. We know he had fallen in the battle field on the 10th day of the Great War. It is said he died in the Lunar month of Magha and in the bright fortnight—Sukla Pakshma—when according to his calculations three fourths of the said month still remained unexpired. This shows that a fourth part of the month (i.e. 7½ Tithis) was over by the time of his death. This statement clearly makes us understand that by the time of Bhishmas death the first seven Tithis and half of the eighth Tithi in the bright half of the lunar month of Magha expired. That is Magha Sukla Ashtami was passing and that half of Ashtami still remained.

It is also distinctly said in the Mahabharata that Bhishma breathed his last on Magha Sukla Ashtami in Rohini Nakshatra when the sun reached the Meridian i.e. at midday. It is clear from the statements we find in Shanti Parva and Anusasana Parva, that Bhishma had waited for 58 nights after his fall for the commencement of Uttarayana, and that on Magha Sukla Astami in the constellation of Rohini just at midday, cast off his body. Here we are thus definitely and distinctly given the date on which Uttarayana commenced immediately after the Mahabharata War and that Uttarayana in that year commenced on Magha Sukla Saptami.

Magha Sukla Saptami is noted as an important day by the Hindus and is called Ratha-Saptami, i.e. the Seventh day on which the chariot of the sun turned so as to move northwards and the next day after that is called Bhishma Astami, the day on which Bhisma died and they are so used even to this day.

It is already shown that Bhishma died on the noon of the 68th day after the commencement of the War and we learn that he died on Magha Sukla Astami. So the 68th day after the beginning of the War is Magha Sukla Astami. Pausha and Margasirsha, the two lunar months prior to Magha cannot in any year contain more than 59 days. Eighth day in Magha was passing. Hence it is clear that this Great War commenced on the last date of the lunar month Kartika i.e. on the Amavasya day of Kartika. Further, as it is said the Nakshatra of this 68th day was Rohini, and the 68th Nakshatra prior to that happens to be Jyesta, presided over by Sakra (i.e. Indra). These exactly tally with the day and Nakshatra as stated to be the day on which this Great war commenced.

Now from this internal astronomical evidence, as detailed in this Great Epio, relating to the death of Bhishma and the commencement of Uttarayana or Winter Solastice immediately after the War, let us try to find out what the exact date of this event is.

We have learnt that after the sun commenced his northwards journey, Bhishma died at noon (i.e. mid-day) on Magha Sukla Astami when the moon was in the constellation of Rohini. The day and night on that day were of equal duration. So the time when Bhishma breathed hie last was 15 Ghatikas after sunrise on Astami. Mr. Narayana Sastry who has thoroughly examined this question in his ‘Age of Sankara’ proves that according to calculations Rohini on that day should have ended at about 32 Ghatikas after sun-rise. So the Moon was in Rohini for 17 Ghatikas after Bhishma’s death. Or in other words, the moon entered into Rohini 13 Ghatikas before Bhishma’s death. This shows that the Moon was in the latter portion of the third quarter of Rohini, at the time when Bhishma passed away, and that even in this 3rd quarter which consists of 15 Ghatikas, 13 Gkatikas passed away. The 3rd quarter of Rohini commences at 46°—40° in the Ecliptic and ends with 50°. So the Moon must have been at 49°—33'—20" (46°—40° plus 13/16 of 3°—20').

As seven and half-Tithis in that month passed away before Bhishma’s death, the distance between the Moon and the Sun was 90 degrees (12° x 7½) as one Tithi makes a distance of 12 degrees in the Ecliptic. So the Sun must have been at the time of Bhishma’s death, at 319°-33'-20" (49°-33'-20" the portion of the Moon minus 90 degrees). The winter Solastice or Uttarayana must have commenced with Ratha Saptami at about the midnight of the previous day. There will be a difference of 1½ degrees between the actual commencement of the Uttarayana or Winter Solastice and the time of Bhishma’s death. This gives us the position of the Sun in the Ecliptic at the commencement of Uttarayana at the time of Bhishmas death which took place immediately after or 68 days after the commencement of the Mahabharata War as 318°-3'-20" (319°-33'-20" minus 1°-30'-0") in the Ecliptic or in other words, in the 4th quarter of Satabhisha which commences with 306°-40' and ends with 320°-0' in the Ecliptic.

Now during our time in 1929-30 A. D. Uttarayana or Winter Solastice has occured when the San reached 247 degrees and 18 minutes (247°-18') in the Ecliptic or in other words, when the Sun was in the 3rd pada of Mula. Thus we find a difference of 70°-45'-20" (318°-3'-20" minus 247°-18'-0") between the positions of the Sun at the commencement of Uttarayana or Winter Solastice at the time of Bhishma’s death and that of ours in 1929—30 A.D. This difference is caused by the precession of the Equinoxes. The rate of this precession is given as 50°26" per year. So the distance of time at this rate between the position of the Sun at the time of Bhishma’s death and the position of the Sun in our time in 1929-30 A. D. is 70°-45'-20" divided by years or 5069 years in round figures. This clearly shows that Bhishma breathed his last in 3139 B.C. (5069-1930) which is exactly 37 years before the commencement of this present Kaliyuga as the Hindu traditions and literature maintain. We know that Bhishma lived for 68 days after the beginning of the Mahabharata War and that he died on Magha Sukla Astami. So the Mahabharata War must have commenced on the Amavasya day of Kartika and lasted for 18 days from that day to Margasirsa Krishna Pratipada. Mahabharata says that the Pakshma at the end of which Mahabharata War commenced contained only 13 Tithis. In all such cases the following Pakshma would contain 16 Tithis. Thus the total period from Kartika Amavasya to Margasira Krishna Pratipada is 18 full days and the Mahabharata War must have taken place about 2 months and eight days prior to Bhishma’s death i.e. in 3139 B.C.

Thus the Epic Mahabharata itself gives us incontravertable proof from internal astronomical evidence that the Mahabharata War took place in 3139 B.C. It is this date of the Mahabharata War that is taken as the starting point by the Puranas and the other Indian Literature for all chronological calculations of historical events of Ancient India. If attempts are made to know the dates of several Dynasties as given in the Puranas by calculating from this date 3139 B.C., we do certainly arrive at the true chronology and know the real History of Ancient India and they agree completely with all the traditional records of the Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains and show us clearly that the chronological calculations given in the ancient Indian Literature are absolutely correct and systematic. The true date of the Mahabharata war completely disproves the so-called identification of Mauryan Chandra-gupta with the Sandracottus or Sandracyptus of the Greek writers and the chronology and History of ancient India constructed on such misconception. It need hardly be said that the various theories and dates given by several Orientalists as to the date of this Mahabharata War are manifestly wrong and cannot be relied on as having any value in constructing the chronology and history of Ancient India.

Taking this year 3139 B.C. as the date of the Mahabharata War and a starting point for the construction of the chronology and history of India after the Mahabharata War, the chronology of various Dynasties that ruled at Magadha from the said War till the end of the Great Gupta Dynasty, of course, based on the Puranic and the other ancient Indian Literature would be as follows:—

The date of the Mahabharata War 3139 B. C.


    Years. From B. C. To B.C
1. Somapi or Marjari 58 3139 3081
2. Srutasrava 64 3081 3017
3. Apratipa 36 3017 2981
4. Niramitra 40 2981 2941
5. Sukrita 58 2941 2883
6. Brihatkarma 23 2883 2860
7. Senajit 50 2860 2810
8. Srutanjaya 40 2810 2770
9. Mahabala 35 2770 2735
10. Suchi 58 2735 2677
11. Kshema 28 2677 2649
12. Anuvrita 64 2649 2585
13. Dharmanetra 35 2585 2550
14. Nirvritta. 58 2550 2492
15. Savrata 38 2492 2454
16. Drudhasena 58 2454 2396
17. Samati 33 2396 2363
18. Sachala 22 2363 2341
19. Snnetra 40 2341 2301
20. Satyajit 83 2301 2218
21. Virajit 35 2218 2183
22. Ripanjaya 50 2183 2133


1. Pradyota 23 2133 2110
2. Palaka 24 2110 2086
3. Visakhayupa 50 2086 2036
4. Janaka 21 2036 2015
5. Nandivardhana 20 2015 1995


1. Sisanaya 40 1995 1955
2. Kakavarna 36 1955 1919
3. Kshemadharma 26 1919 1893
4. Kshatranjasa 40 1893 1853
5. Yidhisara 38 1853 1815
6. Ajatasatru 27 1815 1788
7.1 Darbhaka or Darsaka 35 1788 1753
8. Udayana 33 1753 1720
9. Nandivardhana 42 1720 1678
10. Mahanandi 43 1678 1635


1. Maha Padma Nanda 88 1635 1547
2. Sumalya & his seven brothers. 12 1517 1535


1. Chandragupta 34 1535 1501
2. Bindusara
or Virisara
28 1501 1473
3. Asoka 36 1473 1437
4. Suyasa
or Suparsva
8 1437 1429
5. Dasaradha
or Bandhupalita
8 1429 1421
6. Indrapalita 70 1421 1351
7. Harsha
or Harshavardhana
8 1351 1343
8. Saugata 9 1343 1334
9. Salisuka 13 1334 1321
10. Somasarma
or Devadharma
7 1321 1314
11. Satadhanva 8 1314 1306
12. Brihadradha 87 1306 1219


1. Pushyamitra 60 1219 1159
2. Agnimitra 50 1159 1109
3. Vasomitra 36 1109 1073
4. Sujyesta 17 1073 1056
5. Bhadraka 30 1056 1026
6. Pulinda 33 1026 993
7. Ghoshavasuvu 3 993 990
8. Vajramitra 29 990 961
9. Bhagavata 32 961 929
10. Devabhuti 10 929 919


1. Vasudeva 39 919 880
2. Bhumimitra 24 880 856
3. Narayana 12 856 844
4. Susarma 10 844 834


1. Simuka
or Sipraka Simhaka
or Sri Satakarni
23 834 811
2. Krishna Satakarni 18 811 793
3. Sri Malla Satakarni 10 793 783
4. Purnothsanga 18 783 765
5. Sri Satakarni 56 765 709
6. Skandha Stambhi 18 709 691
7. Lombodara 18 691 673
8. Apitaka 12 673 661
9. Meghasvati 18 661 643
10 Satasvati 18 643 625
11. Skandasvatikarna 7 625 618
12. Mrigendra Svati karna 3 618 615
13. Kuntala Svati Karni 8 615 607
14. Saumya Svati Karni 12 607 595
15. Sata Satakarni 1 595 591
16. Puloma Satakarni 36 591 558
17. Maghosvati
or Megha Satakarni
38 558 520
18. Arista Satokarni 25 520 195
19. Hala 5 195 190
20. Mundalaka 5 190 185
21. Purindrasena 21 185 161
22. Sundara Satakarni 1 161 163
23. Chakora Satakarni ½    
24 Mahendra Satakarni ¼    
25. Siva Satakarni 28 162 131
26. Gautamiputra Sri Satakarani 25 131 109
27. Puluma
or Vasistiputra Sri Satakarni
32 109 377
28. Siva Sri Satakarni,
Siva Sri Vasistiputra Satakarni
7 377 370
29. Siva Skanda Satakarni 7 370 363
30. Yagnya Sri Satakarni
or Gautamipntra Yagnya Sri Satakarni
19 363 311
31. Yijaya Sri Satakarni 6 311 338
32. Chandra Sri Satakarni 3 338 335
505¾ or 506 In round figures.


1. Chandra Gupta I 7 328 321
2. Samudra Gupta 51 321 370
3. Chandra Gupta II 36 270 231
4. Kumara Gupta I 12 231 192
5. Skanda Gupta 25 192 167
6. Sthira Gupta 5 167 162
7. Narasimha Gupta 35 162 127
8. Kumara Gupta II 11 127 83

The composition of the Mahabharata, therefore, appears to have taken place about 5077 years back or 3139 B.C., at the latest.

If we are justified in drawing the above conclusion, Sushruta must have been famous and widely known before 3139 B.C. It will therefore not be unreasonable to assert that Sushruta must have flourished prior to 3323 B. C. The native tradition assigns a far earlier date to this author.

As regards Charaka, his language is more archaic than that of Sushruta. Hence, it is believed that Charaka preceded Sushruta by several centuries. Charaka was, however, not an original author, but a mere compiler. His treatise is nothing but a synopsis of the highly voluminous works of Bhela, Agnivesha, Harita. etc., who preceded Charaka by several centuries. These authors were also acquainted with the use of metallic medicines, as will be evident from a reference to the works of Bhela, recently published. Of ancient India, we have no history in the proper sense of the term. It is therefore very difficult to ascertain the dates of such authors as Bhela and a long line of his predecessors. The only course left open to us is, therefore, to rely upon the Puranas which assign to these authors such ancient dates as would not be accepted by the modern scholars.

It would be interesting to note in this connection that not even the slightest portion of the medical principles and pharmacology found in Bhela, Charaka, etc., has been discarded by later authors as incorrect or defective. If this fact is borne in mind, the question which would naturally arise in our minds is this “”—such a highly developed system of chemistry and medicine (mainly herbal), as found in Bhela and Charaka grow all on a sudden? The reply is, of course, in the negative. The experimental stage of Indian Chemistry and medicine must have covered many a century of observations, experiments, and formation of hypotheses and theories.

Whatever that may be, a careful study of Sushruta, Charaka, Bhela, etc., cannot but prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the ancient Hindus possessed a highly developed knowledge of chemistry and medicine, organic and inorganic, many thousand years before the time of Ar-Razi.


Rasasastra category This concludes ‘The Age of the Mahabharata War’ included in Bhudeb Mookerjee’s Rasa Jala Nidhi, vol 5: Treatment of various afflictions. The text includes treatments, recipes and remedies and is categorised as Rasa Shastra: an important branch of Ayurveda that specialises in medicinal/ herbal chemistry, alchemy and mineralogy, for the purpose of prolonging and preserving life.

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