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The Mahabharata contains an unusual 18-day war involving 2 million soldiers. The strategic positioning of the opposing forces in the war is described, but the description is opaque to modern readers. This article argues that the entire 18-day war, and the supposed strategic elements in it were written by scribes who had no idea what war was, let alone what it was 2000 years earlier.

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  • kher sahab Sex with dogs .. you seem to be experienced .. upload a video .. you might get some chuckles too! :P
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  • Could I post on my groups of freethinkers. If nothing will elicit gew chuckles
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    1. Chakra was easy to penetrate but difficult to come out.
    2. Only Arjuna knew both how to penetrate and withdraw.

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  1. 1. The  18-­‐day  war  in  the  Mahabharata   by   Kamesh R. Aiyer   ( With reference to a blog discussion on war formations of the Mahabharata. Each day,the opposing armies setup formations. The Mahabharata names but does not describe anyof these formations or how they functioned. Much sweat has been expended trying tofigure this out from the name, and from other ancient Indian literature. The one formation that affects the story is the “chakravyuha” – the boy Abhimanyusays he can break through the formation and if the breach is exploited by a sufficientlylarge force, the chakravyuha will fail. But, he does not know how to break out if thebreach closes. Unfortunately his supporting force fails to follow him – the breach closesand he is isolated, surrounded, and dies fighting. The questions are: What was thechakravyuha; what did Abhimanyu know, and what did he not know about breaking theformation. The internet discussion revolves around various speculations and there aresome truly amazing pictures that the discussants have put together. These are pretty pictures, but pretty pictures do not a strategy make. The Mahabharata was written down between 400 BCE and 400 CE. Depending onwhat you believe that was about 1000, or 2000, or 3000 years after the war took place.The people who wrote it down were not idiots. They were most likely brahmins (whichcan come pretty close ;-) ). The description of the Mahabharata war shows that these writers knew squat aboutbattlefields, battle strategy, what-not. Why do I say that? Why am I, a South Indian brahmin, bad-mouthing theseillustrious anonymous writers, possibly,even ancestors of his? Look at the evidence. (Or before we look at the evidence, let me point out that there IS a section of theMahabharata where the description of a massacre is authentic and chilling. That is thedescription of how Aswatthama kills the sleeping Pandava children and Dhrishtadyumna.Even the earlier description of Aswatthama’s invocation of Shiva and his receiving thepower to massacre from Mahadeva can be interpreted as the mental preparation of awarrior preparing to do something that he knows is an atrocity. And before that is a veryrealistic debate between Aswatthama and Kripacharya which ends with Kripa’sacquiescence. I am not into blind criticism – there is much that is authentic in theMahabharata. Just not the 18-day war!).
  2. 2. About 1.8 million soldiers took part in the war, about 1.1 million Ks and 0.7 millionPs. Every day for 18 days, these 900,000 soldiers (on average – since everybody dies, onthe average, there were 900,000 soldiers) got into a new formation and went to battle. Now if you know anything about Indians, you know that this is the kind of thing theymight attempt on the streets of Calcutta or Delhi, but not out in the boondocks of Haryanaor UP. (Rural India knows better). In any case, the process would involve some kind oforderly queuing up, all suited and booted (in armor, no less). Even if these were Britishsoldiers (or better still, ultra-disciplined German SA), I can guarantee you that 18 days isnot enough time for ONE formation of a million soldiers, let alone doing it in one dayand then repeating 18 times. So, just the daily formation of vyuhas establishes that this was fantasy. I won’t gointo the fantasy involved in having 1.8 million people fit into Kurukshetra whosepopulation these days is not likely to be much more. (I have not actually checked this, sothis should be red meat for the inveterate flamers). But India (reduced by P, B, and A!)has about 500 districts, a population of 1.2 billion, which makes the average district be2.4 million people and Kurukshetra is populated, densely of course, but it is within onedistrict and how far off can that density figure be. Kurukshetra is not Kolkata, wherepeople have their nightly nap hanging out of bus doors, if you get my drift. So, digressing no more, the scribes of the Mahabharata were playing out a fantasy.As part of this fantasy they came up with the idea of the chakravyuha. Now there is nothing outrageous about the concept. The three pieces of thechakravyuha story are: a dense impenetrable front, a formation that traps and kills anintruding force, and an intruding force that makes a direct frontal attack on theimpenetrable. (The unfortunate Maginot Line in WW2 comes to mind). The “dense impenetrable front” could be a formation like a hoplite formation. The“trap and kill” could be a frontal array with hidden flanking forces. A sufficiently strongarmy (larger than the defenders) would allow a large forward force to apparently gettrapped and then when the flanks are deployed, surround them. If we stick with these thestory could make sense. But then reality intrudes. The hoplite formation which the Spartans employed, with some success, during thePeloponnesian wars was a round mass of infantry with shields locked to each other alongthe boundary. The inner layers held their shields above their heads. This monster, oftencircular (and maybe that is where the chakra in chakravyuha comes from), then provideda protected advance on the fortress of an opposing force. When they reached the fortress,they would then move around the walls until they came to the doorways. The innermostcore of the formation would then come to front – this team would vary depending on thekind of doorway – a battering ram or “Greek fire” (probably petroleum) could be used tobreak through the door.
  3. 3. Note that the hoplite is an offensive formation for use in sieges. That is not claimedto be the situation in the Mahabharata. Next consider the chakravyuha as a formation that envelops and overwhelms anintruding force. There is nothing wrong with this concept. Armies have kept hiddenforces on their left or right flanks that only come into play when the intruding enemyforce is far enough away from their home base. The intruding force is encircled (andthat’s another place where the “chakra” in chakravyuha may have come from). But noarmy general is going to announce to his opponents “Hey, look! My troops are in achakravyuha. Nyah-na-na-nyah-nyah! Just come in and my right flank will screw you!Your mother, too!“ or words to that effect. I hope it does not come as a surprise that army generals were not always as civilizedor mature as we might imagine them to be. But (note!) the army generals above are thenon-existent kind, and they can BE anything (sorry, can’t help digressing, but then that iswhat the Mahabharata is about). Being Brahmins, the scribes had no idea what they were describing and they wantedto get to the story quickly (well, if you know the Mahabharata, you know that “quickly”is a relative concept). So they have the Ks in a chakravyuha and the chakravyuha is wreaking havoc on thePs army. The Pandava generals (Y, K, B, etc.) discuss the situation and then, reluctantly,authorize Abhimanyu to attack it. “We’ll have your back” they say, “but you do it. Byyourself. Go, man!!” You may recall that I mentioned that the attacking force has to be “sufficientlylarger”. The given wisdom during WW1 and WW2 was that a frontal attack on animpenetrable defense line requires THREE times as many troops. For D-day, Eisenhowerdid not commit until the Allies had at least that many troops in each sector. So, theconcept of Abhimanyu frontally attacking any defensive/trap formation by HIMSELFwhile his supporting force consisting of a small fraction of the smaller Pandava armyfollows “close” behind is a bit of a excessive bite. So what could make sense of the story of Abhimanyu? If such a tragic event took place, one might surmise that the real story is about ayoung, inexperienced prince who impetuously decides to attack a defensive Kauravaoutpost, does not take enough troops, and is overwhelmed and killed. That would makesense as a story. It wouldn’t be very long, but it would be a likely story. The follow-through to such a likely story is how the boy’s father is angry at his ownpeople for not being in better control and then vows revenge on the leader of the outpost
  4. 4. that killed his son would be reasonable. He attacks the outpost, knowing that a solareclipse is due at sunset. He has a sniper or snipers in hiding. The opportunity comesduring the eclipse – when the sun appears to set, the defenders relax a bit and step backfrom their positions against the barricades – the leader is exposed for a brief moment andhe is killed by one or more arrows. Why would the scribes make up such a story. That’s where the story of Krishna’smiraculous powers comes in. Krishna, we are told, caused the eclipse to happen by hisdivine powers. The scribes made up something that they knew nothing about figuringthat it was so long ago that nobody really cared for “accuracy in reporting” (AIR, alsoknown as Doordarshan), but they still wanted to keep the story of Krishna’s miracle. Now, THAT makes a lot of sense. The whole story survived and was embellished because the miracle was ascribed toKrishna, who we all know is God, and who could have wiped the Ks off the surface ofthe earth with his little finger (if he had wanted to…) but who decided, “Noooooo… I’drather see these two armies kill each other while I get a ring-side seat. Dang! I shouldhave known about Sanjaya – now Dhritharashtra has a safe ring-side seat and I get to runaround getting attacked in the middle of battle.” But then He is God, and We know thatNobody could have harmed Him. That’s it for today. Thanks for listening.