Eclipses are just the 2 solar/lunar where Rahu/Ketu eclipse/hide the Sun/ Moon. Just this one simple statement but with such staggering implications.
There are people now in this modern world who go eclipse spotting and love watching the eclipse and taking photos of the “red moon” or the “diamond ring”, but there are still those people who still follow the ancient instructions on not going out and exposing oneself to the direct rays of the eclipse and doing pujas and jaaps.
Rahu – North node is the forces which attract you subconsciously for this life, the tendencies that you were born with. The desires linked to the karma you decided to resolve in this life.
Ketu – South node is what you are apathetic to in this life, in short the desires you have resolved in your past lives. These now, do not interest or even disinterest you in this life. So you are apathetic to these objects.
Rahu and Ketu together are the combined influence of Earth on the individual. In astrology we have all the other planets, the earth’s satellite, the Moon, our personal star, the Sun, the other stars as the 27 constellations and every possible influence but astrology seemingly misses out the Earth herself. But no, Rahu-Ketu is the influence that the Earth has on the individual. i.e. the real reason we take birth is Rahu/Ketu, the astral planets.
Geometrically Rahu/Ketu are the points where the orbit of the moon cuts the ecliptic and always 180 degrees apart. In simple words the earth is tilted about its axis by 23.4 degrees. So this tilt gives rise to a lot of things from seasons to Rahu-Ketu.
Sun is our personal energy, irrespective of the individual horoscopes and the placement of the Ascendent/ Moon sign/sun sign, the Sun represents the source of our Energy, our physical-ness, our tendency to dominate, to hold the center stage, our personal charisma, our Ego. The placement of the Sun in turn energizes all the other planets and houses (bhavas) of the horoscope. A well placed Sun generally almost always raises the standard of the horoscope.
Moon is the counterpoint to the Sun, the subconscious, the emotions, the receptivity, the depths of the soul. It indicates our spiritual development and also our deepest wishes and darkest fears. A well placed moon in a horoscope can give artistic genius, or turn you into a spiritual Guru and on the other hand a badly placed moon can lead to insanity even.
During an eclipse do remember that both Sun and Moon are interacting with Rahu/ Ketu. During a solar eclipse, on an amavasya, the Sun will be very close to Rahu or Ketu. On a lunar eclipse, on a purnima, full Moon day, the Moon will be very close to either Rahu or Ketu and the Sun (180 degrees away) will be interacting with the other Node 180 degrees away too.
So the interactions of Rahu-Ketu with the Sun-Moon during an eclipse can trigger deep seated karma which will be brought up to the surface for resolution. Again the eclipse event releases energies which can be positive or negative for a particular individual depending on the individual birth horoscope and the current placement of the planets in the sky in relation to the at birth placements. To make things bearable and to avoid a sudden karmic attack the ancients through astrology prescribed a set of activities to be followed during an eclipse.
- Fasting – To not overload the digestive system with food.
- Bathing with water from the Ganga or with water energised with mantras.
- Wearing natural fabrics like cotton, silk – again for their positive protective energies.
- Doing some spiritual practice – this is again to invoke specific energies which will be useful in either mitigating the harmful energies of the eclipse or harnessing the favourable energies of the eclipse. The following can be easily done by all persons –
- Chanting mantras like Gayatri mantra, Mahamrutunjaya mantra, surya beej mantra, chandra beej mantra, rahu beej mantra, ketu beej mantra. Repeat each mantra 108 times.
- I have done 108 jaap of sri sukta too, just that it takes about 3 hours and you cant stop or drink water or speak or even get up from your asan while you are doing it. Or I do Dhyan for the 3-4 hrs of the eclipse. In these times, concentrating is easier and time simply seems to flyby.
- Doing dhyan. Dhyan is actually one of the best activities that you can do during an eclipse.
- If you like doing havans a simple havan using the above mantras by replacing the “namah” by “swaha” for the beej mantras of surya, chandra, rahu and ketu. A Mahamrutunjaya Homa can be performed by using the mahamrutunjaya homa mantra variation.
- Reading Durga saptashati (Devi Mahatmya) or the Bhagwad Gita or any other book which strengthens your Shraddha in your source of faith.
So be prepared for the next time an eclipse shows up. Do not lose even one minute of these special periods. Do remember these eclipse events are high energy and are a one-off opportunity for us to capitalize on their energies for balancing our karma.