Rahu – There are several times when we feel that nothing in our life is going right, almost as if there is a dark shadow that has cast its gloomy spell on us. In Hindu mythology, the study of Vedas, astrology, and religion refer to Lord Rahu, the divine entity, who is responsible for the sudden bad events that take place in our life. The period during which we are impacted by the negative impacts of the “chayagrah” or the shadowed planet is known as “rahu mahadasha.”
Every Indian is aware of the meaning of this time period; it is supposed to be the most inauspicious time window of the day, and people are recommended to stay wary of anything they do during that time, including starting something new or doing something important such as performing holy rituals or conducting ceremonies such as marriages. In astrology, the planet Rahu is often associated with Ketu, another important factor in Hindu astrology and divine studies. There is a story behind why chayagrah is considered important and worshipped in certain parts of India.
It is said that the effect of the rahu kal or rahu mahadasha is such that it will cast a shadow on everything positive in life, and this is because it is said that Lord Rahu, also known as “Bhayanaka” had swallowed the sun and moon (Lord Surya and Lord Chandra) and was not ready to set them free. As in several stories, this problem occurred because of the enmity that the asuras had with the devas, and chayagrah is actually the severed head of an asura known as Svarbhanu. In many other portraits of the god, he is represented by a snake (or serpent) that only had a head but no body. The official mode of transportation of this god is a chariot that is drawn by 8 black horses, and this is the god that is responsible for the solar and lunar eclipses that occur.
Lord Rahu has an important position in Buddhist holy scriptures such as the Samyutta Nikaya and Suriya Sutta. It is said that when chayagrah had trapped the sun and moon lords, it had to be recited a chant by the Lords, which referred to the greatness of Lord Buddha. Only after hearing the praising words and after being compelled by Lord Buddha himself did Rahu set the two planetary gods free. The consequence of not letting them go, as mentioned in the books, is that Rahu’s head would be blown into 7 pieces.
Using the Sarvatha Siddhi Yoga, one can worship Lord Rahu on Saturday nights using an idol made of lead and with the use of mustard oil to light the lamps used for prayer. After the yoga is completed, one can donate blue clothes, feed elephants, or articles made of lead can be distributed too. The mantra used to worship Lord Rahu is:
“Om bram Brim Broum Sa: Om Bhur Bhuva Swaha om Kyanschitraabuodati Sadabradha: sakha| Kyaschisthyavrata |
Om Swahabhuvabhu om sa: broum brim bram om Rahuvaenamah||”
In most Rahu temples, idols of Lord Shiv and Goddess Parvati are mainly used, and for appeasing chayagrah during particular times of the day, using milk is said to be beneficial.