Mahābharata, a work of Śrī Vedavyāsa, is an Ithihasa, or account of former events, on the epic battle which laid the foundation for the current era or Kali Yuga. Dating Mahābharata has been attempted by several scholars in modern times. Attempts have been made using archaeology, historical accounts, and most prominently Jyotish, i.e. astrology and astronomy. The dating of the Mahābharata is an important exercise for astrologers as the event succeeded the births of several celestial incarnations such as the five Pandavas, Śrī Balarāma and most prominently Śrī Kṛṣṇa himself.
The most convincing source for dating the Mahābharata are the numerous astronomical phenomena explained in the same text. Most scholars have taken up this exercise as a mere means of matching these astronomical events with possible dated occurrences, at times going as far as bending the Sanskrit meanings to suit some astronomical combinations. Most prominently is the Mars’ problem which all scholars have had difficulty with, and this problem will also be highlighted in these writings.
This write up will examine various śloka in the Mahābharata to understand the underlying meanings of the śloka, the astrological portents as well as map the astronomical occurrences. This scribe would encourage everyone’s opinion on these śloka to thoroughly investigate the phenomena in the Mahābharata. The given śloka employ mainly occurrences related the Nakṣatra position of planets as well as the lunar phenomena.