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Total Lunar Eclipse today!
eclipse of moon.
Lunar eclipse - a study as per ancient Hindu thoughts.
Today is “Lunar eclipse”. Commencing around 3.30 PM, may last until 7.20 PM. The visibility differs due to our locations around the world. Well. I do not want to dwell on the astronomical event as such. The ancient Hindu scriptures have many interesting stories about the ‘shadow planets’ called “Rahu” and “Ketu”. The story goes like this.
Once, the gods conceived a plan to churn the ‘ocean of milk’. But, who can undertake such gigantic task? The ocean is vast and deep. Hence first they taught about the wherewithal for the grand task. The great tortoise which took avatar to be the base on which the mountain Mantra will be placed as the churning rod. The biggest snake “Vasuki” conceded to be around the mountain as churning coir. The demi gods (Devas) will hold the head side and the Asuras (demons) will hold the tail side. They will continuously churn the ocean till they get valuable treasures and many exceptional things.
The scriptures talk about the emergence of many beautiful entities like a huge white elephant, the celestial cow Kamadhenu etc. At one stage, the lord of medicines “Danvantri” brought one gold vessel full of Ambrosia or heavenly Nectar which will make any immortal. Naturally both the demi gods and demons were anxious to get the heavenly nectar. The goddess who wants to distribute the nectar asked the demigods and demons to sit in separate rows. First the demigods were served handle full of nectar. Seeing this one demon assumed the form of demigod and conspicuously seated among the demigods. The goddess who was distributing the nectar gave one ladle full to the asura in the form of demigod. Finding that there was an intruder, the sun and moon gods watched this and revealed this to others and the demon was cut into two halves, the head separate and torso separate. Since the demon drank the nectar, it could not be killed. Hence the headless one got a snake head and it was called Ketu and the bodiless head got a torso of snake and called “Rahu”. Since the moon and Sun exposed their plan, the form of snake Ketu and Rahu, periodically hid the Sun and moon and this period was called eclipse!
The almanac makers correctly pinpoint the exact second when the eclipse starts and ends. In Hindu astrology, the zodiac is divided into twelve parts known as houses. Each house accommodates two and quarter star. Hence when the eclipse happens, it happens in a particular zodiac house in a particular star. This time, it is going to occur in “virgo” where the half snake “Rahu” is positioned. Hence these eclipses will trigger many unfavorable happenings around the world in various scales. We are already witnessing many negative events around the world. Also, the people of India propitiate their forefathers during the occurrence of eclipse and perform special prayers. They offer money, coconut, betel nuts and vegetables to the pundits and poor. Even some rich people donate cows and gold to the poor. Thus they mitigate the harmful effects of the eclipse. Today in this scientific age, people may not buy those arguments. But the traditions and cultures followed for thousands of years proved beneficial for the welfare of humanity.
When we worship our forefathers they favor us with many boons which may not be visible to us. It is a kind of thanksgiving which is being followed in many styles throughout the globe. In Christianity, it is celebrated as ‘All souls day”. The tribal people are more conversant with propitiating their departed forefathers! Hence all these rituals have deeper meanings. Today we boast about “information boost” through interconnected computers. But the scientists are never aware that such marvels were performed by many saints and sages who were experts in telepathy, and communications through Yoga and other feats. They practiced ‘clairvoyance’ without the aid of any radio waves or wi fi. They were able to manifest themselves in different places simultaneously without the aid of the present day gadgets. This was possible by chanting certain powerful ‘chants’ which materialized things instantaneously! Hence never demean the ability of our ancients in any disciplines or field of actions. There were missiles which were used great wars like “Mahabarath war or the war between Rama and Ravana in Sri Lanka. The arrows and shafts accompanied certain ‘mystic formulae” which enabled to destroy the enemies! Ravana was able to drive a chariot airborne with the uttering of mystic formulae or chants. Hence our ancestors were experts in all fields since with mere calculations they could find the exact time of occurrence of eclipses without any calculators or computers!