Did the Pandavas actually complete the full year of ajnata vasa or were they detected before time?
Transcription by: Keshav Gopal Das & Ambuj Gupta
Question: Did the Pandavas complete the agyatvasa or were they before time?
Answer: Dating can sometimes be a controversial issue. That is why sometimes if we have janmashtami, we celebrate janmashtami often one day later. For ekadashi also, sometimes it happens on different days. Actually there are different dating systems within the Vedic calendar. Just like there solar and lunar calendars. Like that there are different dating systems and normally the vaishnavas use one kind of calendar system and the smartas use different kind of calendar system. Now although this is a broad division, there are many vaishnavas who also use smarta calendar system because initially some of the vaishnavas they also didn’t want to break from the karma kanda system. They also want respectability over there. That’s why whether everyone is not necessarily, in practical terms that vaishanavas always reject the karma kanda system and sometimes they also accept and accommodate also. So there are different calendar systems and based on those calendar systems the days may vary.
When Arjuna is detected on the Virat battle field actually Duryodhana was delighted. He said I detected them before the agyatvasa was over. However Arjuna has calculated carefully and Arjuna reveals his identity because he has calculated that the agyatvasa is over. After that Duryodhana goes to Bhishma and Bhishma says no, I have calculated and the time is done. They have actually finished their agyatvaas. Pandavas are virtuous and they do not come out of their agyatvasa without fulfilling their condition. Then Duryadhana is angry and then they actually have a debate over there itself. But then because Arjuna was advancing, the debate breaks over there and Duryodhana initially delighted that oh, we have found the Pandavas, they have to go back to the exile again. But then he takes ok. Bhishma is not ready to agree. Arjuna alone we will kill him there and that’s how they will settle this manner. So he drops of the debate over there and then they have fight. Off course Arjuna defeats all of them and then again whenever there the peace proposals came, Duryodhana raised this issue again. Bhishma is far more learned than Duryodhana. Drona and Kripa also supports the calculation of Bhishma. Basically it is based on different calendar systems.
Madhvacharya in his Mahabharata tatparya nirnaya analyzes this elaborately and he actually goes into the astrological mentions that are there in Mahabharata. Ok on this particular amavasya this particular thing happened or on this particular year dwadasi this happened. He goes over them and he says ok, whatever the time the Pandavas went into exile and whatever the time Kaurvas actually detected the Pandavas, if you calculate, the thirteen years are over and one year agyatvasa was also over. Madhvacharya’s understanding over here is that although based on different calendar system Duryodhana detected them early, but based on mainstream calendar system and this is not just what the Pandavas were saying. If they alone are saying then someone may suspect, but if other kuru elders are also supporting the Pandavas, therefore they actually completed the agyatvasa.
Thank you very much. Srila Prabhupada ki jai.