Friday, December 09, 2011

Lunar eclipse December 10th 2011(The legend of Rahu and Ketu)

According to Hindu mythology as given in Shanda Purana, long ago the Devatas (Gods) and Rakshas (Demons) churned the ocean to get the Amrit, the divine nectar which makes one immortal. Finally Dhanvantri came out with a pot of Amrit and there was a mad rush for it and the Devas and the Rakshas started quarrelling. Hence, Lord Vishnu took the form of Mohini (a charming lady) and charmed them into sitting in two separate rows to distribute the Amrit. She started with the Devatas. Towards the end of the line as the Amrit was almost over, a Rakshasa called Rahu guessed what was happening and sat at the end of the devatas line. Mohini poured the last of the Amrit in Rahus hands and he drank it. Sun and Moon, who were sitting next to Rahu informed Mohini that he is a rakshasa. Lord Vishnu cut off Rahu’s head with the Sudarshan Chakra and neck was separated from his body. However as he has already consumed Amrit he did not die and hence the bodiless head lives as Rahu and the headless torso lives as Ketu. The Rakshas protested and another quarrel started. Finally a compromise was agreed and Rahu and Ketu were given the status of planets and as the Sun and the Moon reported Rahu, on full moon and new moon days Rahu and Ketu were allowed to torment the Sun and Moon to have their revenge. This causes the eclipses during which time Sun and Moon lose their rays and become powerless.

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