Rāhu

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Rāhu was thought to be a decapitated demon head that floated through the universe, eating the Sun and the Moon and causing eclipses. Originally, Rāhu had been a an ordinary demon, 'drinking the nectar', when his enemy Hari came long and chopped his head off. Due to a boon of Brahmā, Rāhu's decapitated, floating head shows up on certain new-moon and full-moon days and, as mentioned, eats the luminous planets. This is the belief that Lalla relates when he disproves of the notion, using parallax.[1]

Varāhamihira later on used the name of Rāhu when he described the lunar nodes. The nodes are the two points where the moon's path crosses the Sun-Earth plane, and thus the only two points at which an eclipse can occur. He dubbed one node Rāhu's Head, and the other, Rāhu's tail.[2]

See also

References

  1. Template:Refia5.13.1
  2. Template:Refia pg. xxxv