Since transition of Rahu and Ketu is going to happen now,
I thought I can give some inputs about them
from scriptures and PuranaanUru (too)
which contain some important scientific facts.
Rahu and Ketu came into existence(!)
during the times of the churning of the ocean.
Rahu and Ketu are the two nodes
or points of intersection of the orbit of the moon with that of the earth’s orbit.
This point of intersection keeps wobbling backwards
and covers 30 degrees in 1 and a half years.
When we say that Rahu and Ketu are the nodes of the moon’s orbit
cutting the earth’s orbit,
we can also visualize a state when the orbits do not intersect each other.
This can happen if the earth is upright and not inclined as it is now.
This also means that seasons can not happen
and there can be no change in day and night duration.
In short, evolution of life can not proceed nor come to the stage as it is now.
So this (Rahu-Ketu) is to do with the inclination of the earth on its axis.
From the story of Rahu and Ketu,
we come to know that earth was not inclined as it is now.
There was a time when Rahu and Ketu did not exist.
They came into existence only during the churning of the ocean,
more precisely when the nectar got from the churning of the ocean was eaten.
According to legend, (retold in many puranas)
(and let me not repeat the details in the assumption
that that readers would have known them),
the demon by name Swarbhanu stealthily got into the midst of gods
and had a share of nectar which was capable of making the eater immortal.
This was found out by the sun and the moon who brought it to the notice of Vishnu.
Vishnu cut the head of the demon as an act of reprimand,
which however resulted in the head becoming Rahu
(the head with the body of the snake)
and the body becoming Ketu
(the body with the snake’s head).
This is how the birth of Rahu and Ketu is explained in scriptures.
We can deduce the following allusions from this episode.
(1) Before this incident happened, the earth was not inclined in its axis.
There was no change in day and night and no seasons etc.
(2) The churning of the ocean that happened with the Meru as the axis
and vasuki (snake) as the rope for churning
resulted in the birth of a number of things both good and bad.
From Surrya siddhantha we know that the Meru is that part of land stretching
from the equator to the north pole.
which keeps pointing to the Indra loka, the saptha rishi mandala
which is the basis of all
that is connected with man and his life
(we saw the explanation in the previous post).
The sun always rotates around this peak, so says the scriptures.
From all these, what is indicated is that the earth was once
shaking and wobbling and churning on its axis vigorously.
The Meru was on the central axis
which was not yet stabilized then.
Usually the mantle is signified as snakes in scriptures
(refer my previous posts in this series).
There are many references to snakes compressed in Patala
and in Ramayana Mainaka mountain says
that it is sitting on a vent on the Patala below which the snakes are trapped.
The snakes are the lava or mantle or the boiling earth
which were erupting in the formative period of earth’s formation.
When such churning was happening,
the poisonous and harmful elements surfaced
so also the riches in the form of molten minerals.
The riches is personified as Sridevi, the after- born of Bhoodevi.
The earth (bhoodevi) contains all riches in her womb
is the message conveyed in the many texts.
(3) From this another deduction is made that the churning happened
with the south pole as its axis!
Everything sprang from the south –
that is why daksha prajapathi is said to be in the South!
Many combinations seemed to have erupted –
like the way the scientists of today are doing by
combining humans and animals in embryo.
A number of combinations seemed to have been formed
and the demons formed were huge in size and horrible looking.
Even today gigantic creatures with unusual shapes
are spotted in the
(4) After a period of wobbling and struggling,
the earth finally reached its position of equilibrium at its current inclination.
The cutting of the demon into two as Rahu and Ketu means
the earth’s newer position of equilibrium was obtained
by cutting at two places
from its original position where the moon’s orbit was also situated.
This means the Rahu and ketu were formed as a result of that churning,
as the two nodes!
That these two points are about motion in equilibrium
is substantiated by the astrological significance attached to it.
Both are about some movement in astrology too.
Rahu which is the ascending node and which stands for material progress
is about forward or backward movement in material affairs
and also about travels, transport, travel to distant lands etc.
Ketu which is the descending node and which stands for spiritual progress
is also about travel – to pilgrim centers and for travel for spiritual sublimation.
Rahu and Ketu have an importance in pithru-kaaryam,
in that the eclipses are best times for pithru kaaryam.
This again signifies movement of ancestors
to earthen realms to receive oblations.
With Rahu signifying Pitamaha (ancestors in the father’s side)
and Ketu signifying Mata maha (ancestors in the mother’s side),
it is only natural their grahNam (grah means to catch or hold)
with the sun or the moon paves the way for fulfilling obligations to ancestors.
Rahu – Ketu in PuranaanUru.
It will be interesting to know
that an allusion to eclipse is mentioned in a verse in PuranaanUru.
Verse 174 of PuranaanUru starts
with the story of asuras (demons) once hiding the Sun,
thereby bringing darkness to the world.
and made him glow as usual.
“anangudai avuNar gaNam kondu voLLitthena –ch-
chEn viLangu sirappin gyaayiru
parithi gyaalatthu idumbai koL paruvaraleera-k-kadum thiral
Dr U.Ve Swaminatha Iyer says
this is about the fight between the demons and gods (asuras and devas)
in which the demons hid the sun
and Thirumaal (Vishnu) got the sun back in position.
But there is no such story reported in any purana.
The olden explanation (vurai) that exists for this verse
clearly mentions the name of
as the one who retrieved the sun from the demons.
“anjanam pOlum niratthai vudaiya thirumEni vudaiya
KANNAN anda gyaattria-k-kondu vandu..”
(Kannan who has a body dark in color got the sun back).
This gives rise to two interpretations.
The asura in this verse refers to the Rahu or ketu
which hides the sun during eclipse.
this must be about the incident in Kurukshethra war!
On the day of slaying of Jayathratha,
the sun disappeared for sometime making the kauravas think that the day had ended .
Since Arjuna vowed to kill Jayathratha before night fall on that day,
the Kauravas felt victorious.
But sun appeared later and Arjuna fulfilled his vow.
The temporary disappearance of the sun ( due to eclipse)
might have been expressed in the above verse in PuranaanUru.
and removed the darkness.
This particular episode is quoted in PuranaanUru in the context of a war-field,
making it apt to relate it to the eclipse during the Kurukshethra war.
The King Malayamaan Chola vEnaadhi ThirukkiLLi
was praised by the poet,
that he is like
The king also is one who will get back what the enemies take away.
Rahu-Ketu in Mahabharatha.
There are a number of places in the Ithihasas
wherein the comparisons are made with Rahu or Ketu
in the process of catching or leaving the sun or the moon.
But a particular place in Mahabharatha is of immense importance
with reference to Rahu- Ketu.
Just prior to the onset of war, a terrible thing is reported to have happened.
Usually, the No-moon day which comes on the 15 or 16th day,
came just after the 12th day.
Sage Vyasa expresses his anguish at this and also describes in detail
the happenings on earth and the changes noted in the sky.
(Bheeshma parvam chapters 2&3).
These chapters must be researched by scientists
because what is explained looks likes the after-effects of a sudden shake
in the earth’s movement.
The earth was not quiet, animals were greatly disturbed.
Earth quakes were continuously reported.
Air was unusual.
The sun and the moon looked strange.
The nearer planets such as mercury and Venus shifted backwards,
Rahu and Ketu shifted forward.
Usually rahu and Ketu have backward motion, i.e.,
they seem to shift backwardly.
But they had moved forward which is impossible unless
the earth’s axis underwent a change.
Another information that Vyasa gives is that
the star Arundhathi, the close companion of Vasishata in the Saptha rishi mandala
which is always seen to be behind Vasishta, had moved forward!!
These two stars, vasishta and Arundhath
i which are seen by the newly weds
in the Hindu marriages
are known for their non-separation.
Even after 10,000 years, they look beside each other as seen from the earth
though they are in different locations.
Such a pair can not change places overnight.
But the Arudhanthi what we see to day was not the same
that was before that 13th day amavasya
that occurred before the Mahabharatha war.
This means some terrible wobble must have been experienced.
Some researchers tend to dismiss this account by Vyasa by
pointing out the discrepancies in the position of Saturn as mentioned by Vyasa.
But a person having knowledge of astrology will know what these are about.
Vyasa maintains that the long distant planets
like Jupiter, Mars and Saturn did not show any change in their position.
But he makes a mention of different locations for Saturn.
These are about the 3 different aspects or influences that Saturn has,
namely on the 3rd, 7th and 1oth house from the place where it is located.
Some others dismiss this narration on the basis that
some planets which are not in existence are mentioned.
These are known as Upagrahas in astrology.
Each planet has an upagraha.
They are not planetary bodies,
but certain location in the sky with respect to the respective planet
which are signifactors of certain traits and happenings.
By calculating their location,
a more precise account of the changed position of planets can be known.
The vast body of knowledge from sanatana Dharma can not be dismissed as crap.
There is so much hidden knowledge in it.
One such knowledge is about Rahu and Ketu and the hidden clues
on possible change in earth’s motion.
It is also to be noted that of the different dasa-bhukhthi systems in vogue,
(dasa- bhukhthi are time maps based on which the events in a person’s life is predicted)
Vimshottahari dasa system includes Rahu and Ketu
totaling upto 120 years as life span of man.
Recall the time scale mentioned in the previous post
of 120 becoming the basis for the full revolution of the sun around the zodiac,
making it a yuga cycle on Dharma basis for a duration of 28,800 years.
Sage Parashara who has given a magnum opus on astrology had stated
that the dasa system applicable for Kali yuga is Vimshottahri dasa.
The Rahu -Ketu of this system came into vogue
after they reached their new positions
on that 13th day amavasya before the war in Kurukshethra.
Their position and significance are such that
when one of them is in a favorable position, the other can not be so.
When a person gets the drubbing in material life due to one of these two,
the other comes into help into growing spiritual from that drubbing.
The ultimate aim is to learn lessons
that materialism alone will not help
and materialism sans spiritualism is a waste.
This immortal lesson is given by these immortal asuras!