Rahu (राहु) is one of the nine major Astronomical Bodies (नवग्रह, Navagrahas) in Indian texts.
Unlike the other eight, Rahu (राहु) is a shadow entity, one that causes Eclipses (ग्रहण, Grahan) and is the King of Meteors (उल्का, Ulka).
Rahu (राहु) represents the Ascend of the Moon (चन्द्र,Chandra) in its processional orbit around the Earth (पृथ्वी, Prithvi).
- Navagrahas (नवग्रह) means "Nine Celestial Bodies" in Sanskrit (संस्कृत) and are Nine Astronomical Bodies or Nine Realms or Nine Planets in Hindu and Vedic Astrology (ज्योतिष, Jyotiṣa or Jyotisha / ज्योतिश्या, Jyotishya) as well as Mythical Deities of Hinduism (हिंदू धर्म).
Rahu (राहु) is
usually paired with Ketu (केतु).
The time of day considered to be under the influence of Rahu (राहु) is called Rāhu Kāla (शांति कलाम) and is considered inauspicious.
- Ketu (केतु, Ketú) is the Descending (South) Lunar Node in Vedic (वैदिक) or Hindu Astrology (हिंदू ज्योतिष).
- Rāhu Kāla (शांति कलाम / also spelled as Rahukaalam, Rahu Kaalam, Rahu Kaala, Raukaala, Raahu Kaala, Raahu kaal, or Rahu kalam / "the period of राहु, Rahu") is a certain period of time every day that is considered inauspicious for any new venture according to Indian Vedic Astrology (वैदिक ज्योतिष).
- Jyotisha or Jyotishya (ज्योतिष, ज्योतिश्या / "light, heavenly body") is the traditional Hindu system of Astrology, also known as Hindu Astrology (हिंदू ज्योतिष) or Vedic Astrology (वैदिक ज्योतिष).
As per Vedic Astrology (वैदिक ज्योतिष),
Ketu (केतु) have
an orbital cycle of 18 years and are always 180 degrees from each other
orbitally (as well as in the Birth Charts).
This coincides with the precessional orbit of Moon (चन्द्र,Chandra) or the - 18 year rotational cycle of the Lunar Ascending and Descending Nodes on the Earth's (पृथ्वी) Ecliptic plane.
This also corresponds to a saros, a period of approximately 223 synodic months (approximately 6585.3211 days, or 18 years, 11 days, 8 hours), that can be used to predict Eclipses (ग्रहण, Grahan) of the Sun (सूर्य, Surya) and Moon (चन्द्र,Chandra).
Rahu (राहु) rules
the zodiac sign of Aquarius (in Hindu
Astrology: कुम्भ, Kumbha) together
with Shani (शनि).
- Shani (शनि, Śani) refers to the planet Saturn, and is one of the nine heavenly objects known as Navagrahas (नवग्रह) in Hindu Astrology (हिंदू ज्योतिष).
Shani (शनि) is also a male Deity in the Puranas (पुराण), whose iconography consists of a handsome figure carrying a sword or danda (डंडा / "sceptre"), and sitting on a crow.
He is a God of Justice in Vedic (वैदिक) Hindu Mythology and he gives benefits to all, depending upon their deeds (कर्म, Karma).
His consort is Goddess Manda (मान्दा).
- Puranas (पुराण / "ancient, old") is a vast genre of Indian Literature about a wide range of topics, particularly myths, legends and other traditional lore.
- Vedic (वैदिक) Hindu Mythology refers to the mythological aspects of the historical Vedic (वैदिक) Religion and Vedic (वैदिक) Literature, alluded to in the hymns of the Rigveda (ऋग्वेद).
The central myth at the base of Vedic (वैदिक) ritual surrounds Indra (इन्द्र) who, inebriated with Soma (सोम), slays the Dragon Vritra (विट्रा), freeing the Rivers, the Cows and Dawn.
- Indra (इन्द्र) is a Vedic (वैदिक) Deity in Hinduism (हिंदू धर्म), a Guardian Deity in Buddhism (बौद्ध धर्म), and the King of the Highest Heaven called Saudharmakalpa (सौधरमकलप) in Jainism.
-Soma (सोम) is synonymous to as Chandra (चन्द्र).
Soma (सोम) connotes the Moon (चन्द्र,Chandra) as well as a medicinal deity in post-Vedic (पोस्ट-वैदिक) Hindu Mythology (1500 - 500 BC).
In Puranic (पौराणिक) Mythology, Soma (सोम) is Lunar Deity, but sometimes also used to refer to Vishnu (विष्णु), Shiva (शिव) as Somanatha (सोमनाथाथा), Yama (यामा) and Kubera (कुबेर).
In some Indian texts, Soma (सोम) is a name of an Apsara (अप्सरस्), alternatively it is the name of any medicinal concoction, or rice-water gruel, or heaven and sky, as well as the name of certain places of pilgrimage.
- Puranic (पुराणक) Mythology refers to the mythological aspects of the Puranas (पुराण).
- Vishnu (विष्णु) is one of the Principal Deities of Hinduism (हिंदू धर्म), and the Supreme Being or Absolute Truth in its Vaishnavism (वैष्णववाद) Tradition.
Vishnu (विष्णु) is the "preserver" in the Hindu triad, Trimurti (त्रिमूर्ति) that includes Brahma (ब्रह्मा) and Shiva (शिव).
- Shiva (शिव / "the auspicious one") also known as Mahadeva (महादेवा / "the great God") is one of the Principal Deities of Hinduism (हिंदू धर्म).
He is one of the supreme beings within Shaivism (शैव संप्रदाय), one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism (हिंदू धर्म).
- Yama (यामा) or Yamarāja (यामारजा) is a God of Death, of the South Direction, and of the Underworld, belonging to an early stratum of Rigvedic (ऋग्वेदिक) Hindu Deities.
- Kubera (कुबेर) also known as Kuvera (कुवेरा), Kuber (कुबेर) or Kuberan (कुबेरन), is the Lord of Wealth and the God-King of the semi-divine Yakshas (अक्षय / a broad class of Nature-Spirits) in Hindu Mythology.
- Apsara (अप्सरस्) is a type of female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist Culture.
They figure prominently in the sculpture, dance, literature and painting of many South Asian and Southeast Asian Cultures.
- Karma (कर्म) means action, work or deed; originating from India.
It also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect).
Good intent and good deeds contribute to good Karma (कर्म) and happier Rebirths (पुनर्जन्म / Punarjanma), while bad intent and bad deeds contribute to bad Karma (कर्म) and bad Rebirths (पुनर्जन्म / Punarjanma).
The philosophy of Karma (कर्म) is closely associated with the idea of Rebirth (पुनर्जन्म / Punarjanma) in many schools of Indian religions, particularly Hinduism (हिंदू धर्म), Buddhism (बौद्ध धर्म), Jainism (जैन धर्म) and Sikhism (सिख धर्म), as well as Taoism (道教).
In these schools, Karma (कर्म) in the present affects one's future in the current life, as well as the nature and quality of future lives - one's Saṃsāra (संसार).
- In Hinduism, Manda (मान्दा, Māndā) or Dhamini (धामिनी, Dhāminī) is the second consort of Shani (शनि) and mother of Gulikan (गुलिकन).
She is a Gandharva (गन्धर्व) daughter and Princess.
She is the goddess of Kalā (काला, "Performing Art").
Her Nrtya (नृत्य / "Dance") can attract anyone in the whole Brahman (ब्रह्मांड / "Universe").
Sometimes, Manda (मान्दा) is mentioned as divine regent of Planet Saturn (शनि, Shani) in India.
- Gandharva (गन्धर्व) is a name used for distinct heavenly beings in Hinduism (हिंदू धर्म), Buddhism (बौद्ध धर्म) and Jainism
Astronomically, Rahu (राहु) and
denote the points of intersection of the paths of the Sun (सूर्य, Surya) and
Moon (चन्द्र,Chandra) as
they move on the Celestial Sphere.
Therefore, Rahu (राहु) and Ketu (केतु) are respectively called the North and the South Lunar Nodes.
The fact that Eclipses (चंद्रगहण) occur when the Sun (सूर्य, Surya) and Moon (चन्द्र,Chandra) are at one of these points gives rise to the understanding of swallowing of the Sun (सूर्य, Surya) and Moon (चन्द्र,Chandra) by the snake.
- A Lunar Node is either of the two Orbital Nodes of the Moon (चन्द्र,Chandra), that is, the two points at which the Orbit of the Moon (चन्द्र,Chandra) intersects the Ecliptic.
The Ascending (or North) Node is where the Moon (चन्द्र,Chandra) moves into the Northern Ecliptic Hemisphere, while the Descending (or South) Node is where the Moon (चन्द्र,Chandra) enters the Southern Ecliptic Hemisphere.
- The Ecliptic is the mean plane of the apparent path in the Earth's (पृथ्वी) Sky that the Sun (सूर्य, Surya) follows over the course of one year.
A Lunar Eclipse (चंद्रगहण, Chandragahan) can occur only when the Full Moon (पूर्णिमा, Purnima) is near (within 11° 38' ecliptic longitude) either Lunar Node, while a Solar Eclipse (सूर्यग्रहण, Suryagrahan) can occur only when the New Moon (अमावस्या, Amāvásyā) is near (within 17° 25') either Lunar Node.
Often Rahu (राहु)
is misunderstood as Neptune (वरुण, Varuna) during Sanskrit to English translation.
- Neptune (Poseidon / Varuna, वरुण) is the planet of ideals, idealization, idealism and dreams.
Moreover, it is related to deception and imagination.
In Indian mythology, Varuna (वरुण / Neptune, Poseidon) is the God of Rain, although Varuna (वरुण) means the "God of the Sea".