Vedic Explanation of Solar/ Lunar Eclipses

By editor - 23.8 2017

“It appears from these verses that aside from the sun and moon,
there is an invisible planet called Rāhu. The movements of Rāhu
cause both solar and lunar eclipses“

Solar Eclipses are NOT Caused by the Moon

On solar/ lunar eclipses what people usuly do, including the so called scientists, is look up in the sky and see what is happening there, but they have no idea how the things are actually working. What they do is they make a speculative theory and test the theory with what they observe and if the theory predicts what they observe they accept that theory and gradually they forget it is just a theory and start stating it as a fact.

That solar eclipses are caused by the moon (or shadow) coming in front of the sun is nothing but a speculative theory only. So called scientists do not know this for a fact. They just presume this is what is happening. And in this case their speculative theory does seem to be be a good possible explanation of what is happening.

But they have no actual information. All they can see is something like a dark planet coming in front of the sun, they presume it is the moon or the shadow. But it can not be the moon if it is dark since the moon has light and illumination. If it is the moon it will be like in a spotlight of reflection from the earth, so it will be illuminated and all the features of the moon will be clearly visible at the time of the eclipse.

So you can test it yourself on the 21st. Observe the eclipse, if during totality all the features of the moon are clearly visible then this is compatible with the theory that the moon is coming in front of the sun, however if the sun just goes dark then it can not be the moon coming in front of the sun. So observe yourself, if the moon is dark during the eclipse then you have proved that all the scientists in the world are totally wrong about the cause of solar eclipses. This is the scientific process, test the theory and if it fails reject the theory and find a new theory.

In USA (from my location in the Pacific Northwest of USA) millions of foolish people will  gaze thru their “special glasses” at the solar eclipse. In some towns people are driving in from thouands of miles away just to view this “event”. They want to have a party while the sun is eclipsed by Rahu the demon who had his head cut off by Lord Vishnu.

Even with ordinary common sense, if the suns rays, which gives life to the entire solar system is being blocked, one should think-how can this be good?? But because these foolish people are being guided by equally or more ignorant people (the so called scientists) their misfortune only increases. And worse still here in the USA  President Trump has his ascendent (rising degree) fall on the solar eclipse date. Here below is what one professional  devotee astrologer has to say:

“…Yes, the August 20-21 date coincides with the total solar eclipse that falls exactly on the ascendant (rising degree) of Trump’s chart. Already his entire administration is unraveling, yet the impact of the eclipse will be severe on him and he may have some kind of health crisis, or at least a complete and thorough meltdown of his presidency.  This isn’t something that happens very often, and in fact this is the only time it will ever happen in Trump’s life. By the end of the year, he may not be president anymore. It is said that the chart of the President, is a proxy for all the people of the country. So whatever happens to him, will have far-reaching negative outcomes on people in general. I see this happening anytime from Monday the 21st, and up to the following 6 months. ..”

PURPORT–According to the Jyotir-veda,(vedic astrology) the Rāhu planet comes in front of the full moon, and thus a lunar eclipse takes place. It is customary in India that all the followers of the Vedic scriptures bathe in the Ganges or the sea as soon as there is a lunar or solar eclipse. All strict followers of Vedic religion stand up in the water throughout the whole period of the eclipse and chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. At the time of the birth of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu such a lunar eclipse took place, and naturally all the people standing in the water were chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. (CC/adi/13/92)

According to Vedic Astronomy, the most ancient and accurate system of astronomy on the planet, solar eclipses are not caused by the Moon coming in front of the Sun as astronomers believe. Rather the Moon is described as being further away than the Sun and what happens at the time of a solar eclipse is the Moon goes behind the Sun and a dark planet called Rahu comes between the Sun and the Earth. Considering this, Rāhu, the black planet, covered the full moon, and immediately vibrations of “Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Hari!” inundated the three worlds.


RAHU – KETU

Srila Prabhupada presents the Vedic explanation of eclipses

sattvaika-niṣṭhe manasi / bhagavat-pārśva-vartini
tamaś candramasīvedam / uparajyāvabhāsate

SYNONYMS

sattva-eka-niṣṭhe—in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness; manasi—in a mind; bhagavat—with the Supreme Personality of Godhead; pārśva-vartini—being constantly associated; tamaḥ—the dark planet; candramasi—in the moon; iva—like; idam—this cosmic manifestation; uparajya—being connected; avabhāsate—becomes manifest.

TRANSLATION

Kṛṣṇa consciousness means constantly associating with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in such a mental state that the devotee can observe the cosmic manifestation exactly as the Supreme Personality of Godhead does. Such observation is not always possible, but it becomes manifest exactly like the dark planet known as Rāhu, which is observed in the presence of the full moon.

PURPORT

It has been explained in the previous verse that all desires on the mental platform become visible one after another. Sometimes, however, by the supreme will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the whole stockpile can be visible all at one time. In Brahma-saṁhitā (5.54) it is said, karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājām. When a person is fully absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, his stockpile of material desires is minimized. Indeed, the desires no longer fructify in the form of gross bodies. Instead, the stockpile of desires becomes visible on the mental platform by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

In this connection, the darkness occurring before the full moon, the lunar eclipse, can be explained as being another planet, known as Rāhu.

According to Vedic astronomy, the Rāhu planet, which is not visible, is accepted. Sometimes the Rāhu planet is visible in the presence of full moonlight. It then appears that this Rāhu planet exists somewhere near the orbit of the moon. The failure of modern moon excursionists may be due to the Rāhu planet. In other words, those who are supposed to be going to the moon may actually be going to this invisible planet Rāhu. Actually, they are not going to the moon but to the planet Rāhu, and after reaching this planet, they come back. Apart from this discussion, the point is that a living entity has immense and unlimited desires for material enjoyment, and he has to transmigrate from one gross body to another until these desires are exhausted.

No living entity is free from the cycle of birth and death unless he takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness; therefore in this verse it is clearly stated (sattvaika-niṣṭhe) that when one is fully absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in one stroke he is freed of past and future mental desires. Then, by the grace of the Supreme Lord, everything becomes simultaneously manifest within the mind. In this regard, Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura cites the example of mother Yaśodā’s seeing the whole cosmic manifestation within the mouth of Lord Kṛṣṇa. By the grace of Lord Kṛṣṇa, mother Yaśodā saw all the universes and planets within the mouth of Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, a Kṛṣṇa conscious person can see all his dormant desires at one time and finish all his future transmigrations. This facility is especially given to the devotee to make his path clear for returning home, back to Godhead.

Why we see things not experienced in this life is explained herein. That which we see is the future expression of a gross body or is already stocked in our mental stockpile. Because a Kṛṣṇa conscious person does not have to accept a future gross body, his recorded desires are fulfilled in a dream. We therefore sometimes find things in a dream never experienced in our present life. (SB/4/29/69)

uttarottareṇelāvṛtaṁ nīlaḥ śvetaḥ śṛṅgavān iti trayo ramyaka-hiraṇmaya-kurūṇāṁ varṣāṇāṁ maryādā-girayaḥ prāg-āyatā ubhayataḥ kṣārodāvadhayo dvi-sahasra-pṛthava ekaikaśaḥ pūrvasmāt pūrvasmād uttara uttaro daśāṁśādhikāṁśena dairghya eva hrasanti.

SYNONYMS

uttara-uttareṇa ilāvṛtam—further and further north of Ilāvṛta-varṣa; nīlaḥ—Nīla; śvetaḥ—Śveta; śṛṅgavān—Śṛṅgavān; iti—thus; trayaḥ—three mountains; ramyaka—Ramyaka; hiraṇmaya—Hiraṇmaya; kurūṇām—of the Kuru division; varṣāṇām—of the varṣas; maryādā-girayaḥ—the mountains marking the borders; prāk-āyatāḥ—extended on the eastern side; ubhayataḥ—to the east and the west; kṣāroda—the ocean of salt water; avadhayaḥ—extending to; dvi-sahasra-pṛthavaḥ—which are two thousand yojanas wide; eka-ekaśaḥ—one after another; pūrvasmāt—than the former; pūrvasmāt—than the former; uttaraḥ—further north; uttaraḥ—further north; daśa-aṁśa-adhika-aṁśena—by one tenth of the former; dairghyaḥ—in length; eva—indeed; hrasanti—become shorter.

TRANSLATION

Just north of Ilāvṛta-varṣa—and going further northward, one after another—are three mountains named Nīla, Śveta and Śṛṅgavān. These mark the borders of the three varṣas named Ramyaka, Hiraṇmaya and Kuru and separate them from one another. The width of these mountains is 2,000 yojanas [16,000 miles]. Lengthwise, they extend east and west to the beaches of the ocean of salt water. Going from south to north, the length of each mountain is one tenth that of the previous mountain, but the height of them all is the same.

PURPORT

In this regard, Madhvācārya quotes the following verses from the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa:

yathā bhāgavate tūktaṁ / bhauvanaṁ kośa-lakṣaṇam
tasyāvirodhato yojyam / anya-granthāntare sthitam
maṇḍode puraṇaṁ caiva /vyatyāsaṁ kṣīra-sāgare
rāhu-soma-ravīṇāṁ ca / maṇḍalād dvi-guṇoktitām
vinaiva sarvam unneyaṁ / yojanābhedato ’tra tu

It appears from these verses that aside from the sun and moon, there is an invisible planet called Rāhu. The movements of Rāhu cause both solar and lunar eclipses. We suggest that the modern expeditions attempting to reach the moon are mistakenly going to Rāhu. (SB 5.16.8)

This chapter describes the planet Rāhu, which is 10,000 yojanas (80,000 miles) below the sun, and it also describes Atala and the other lower planetary systems. Rāhu is situated below the sun and moon. It is between these two planets and the earth. When Rāhu conceals the sun and moon, eclipses occur, either total or partial, depending on whether Rāhu moves in a straight or curving way.

Below Rāhu by another 1,000,000 yojanas are the planets of the Siddhas, Cāraṇas and Vidyādharas, and below these are planets such as Yakṣaloka and Rakṣaloka. Below these planets is the earth, and 70,000 yojanas below the earth are the lower planetary systems—Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talātala, Mahātala, Rasātala and Pātāla. Demons and Rakṣasas live in these lower planetary systems with their wives and children, always engaged in sense gratification and not fearing their next births. The sunshine does not reach these planets, but they are illuminated by jewels fixed upon the hoods of snakes. Because of these shining gems there is practically no darkness. Those living in these planets do not become old or diseased, and they are not afraid of death from any cause but the time factor, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (Link to this page)

śrī-śuka uvāca
adhastāt savitur yojanāyute svarbhānur nakṣatravac caratīty eke yo ’sāv amaratvaṁ grahatvaṁ cālabhata bhagavad-anukampayā svayam asurāpasadaḥ saiṁhikeyo hy atad-arhas tasya tāta janma karmāṇi copariṣṭād vakṣyāmaḥ.

SYNONYMS

śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; adhastāt—below; savituḥ—the sun globe; yojana—a measurement equal to eight miles; ayute—ten thousand; svarbhānuḥ—the planet known as Rāhu; nakṣatra-vat—like one of the stars; carati—is rotating; iti—thus; eke—some who are learned in the Purāṇas; yaḥ—which; asau—that; amaratvam—a lifetime like those of the demigods; grahatvam—a position as one of the chief planets; ca—and; alabhata—obtained; bhagavat-anukampayā—by the compassion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; svayam—personally; asura-apasadaḥ—the lowest of the asuras; saiṁhikeyaḥ—being the son of Siṁhikā; hi—indeed; a-tat-arhaḥ—not qualified for that position; tasya—his; tāta—O my dear King; janma—birth; karmāṇi—activities; ca—also; upariṣṭāt—later; vakṣyāmaḥ—I shall explain.

TRANSLATION

Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: My dear King, some historians, the speakers of the Purāṇas, say that 10,000 yojanas [80,000 miles] below the sun is the planet known as Rāhu, which moves like one of the stars. The presiding deity of that planet, who is the son of Siṁhikā, is the most abominable of all asuras, but although he is completely unfit to assume the position of a demigod or planetary deity, he has achieved that position by the grace of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Later I shall speak further about him. (SB 5.24.1)

yad adas taraṇer maṇḍalaṁ pratapatas tad vistarato yojanāyutam ācakṣate dvādaśa-sahasraṁ somasya trayodaśa-sahasraṁ rāhor yaḥ parvaṇi tad-vyavadhāna-kṛd vairānubandhaḥ sūryā-candramasāv abhidhāvati.

SYNONYMS

yat—which; adaḥ—that; taraṇeḥ—of the sun; maṇḍalam—globe; pratapataḥ—which is always distributing heat; tat—that; vistarataḥ—in terms of width; yojana—a distance of eight miles; ayutam—ten thousand; ācakṣate—they estimate; dvādaśa-sahasram—20,000 yojanas (160,000 miles); somasya—of the moon; trayodaśa—thirty; sahasram—one thousand; rāhoḥ—of the planet Rāhu; yaḥ—which; parvaṇi—on occasion; tat-vyavadhāna-kṛt—who created an obstruction to the sun and moon at the time of the distribution of nectar; vaira-anubandhaḥ—whose intentions are inimical; sūryā—the sun; candramasau—and the moon; abhidhāvati—runs after them on the full-moon night and the dark-moon day.

TRANSLATION

The sun globe, which is a source of heat, extends for 10,000 yojanas [80,000 miles]. The moon extends for 20,000 yojanas [160,000 miles], and Rāhu extends for 30,000 yojanas [240,000 miles]. Formerly, when nectar was being distributed, Rāhu tried to create dissension between the sun and moon by interposing himself between them. Rāhu is inimical toward both the sun and the moon, and therefore he always tries to cover the sunshine and moonshine on the dark-moon day and full-moon night.

PURPORT

As stated herein, the sun extends for 10,000 yojanas, and the moon extends for twice that, or 20,000 yojanas. The word dvādaśa should be understood to mean twice as much as ten, or twenty. In the opinion of Vijayadhvaja, the extent of Rāhu should be twice that of the moon, or text of the Bhāgavatam, Vijayadhvaja cites the following quotation concerning Rāhu; rāhu-soma-ravīṇāṁ tu maṇḍalā dvi-guṇoktitām. This means that Rāhu is twice as large as the moon, which is twice as large as the sun. This is the conclusion of the commentator Vijayadhvaja. (SB 5.24.2)

tan niśamyobhayatrāpi bhagavatā rakṣaṇāya prayuktaṁ sudarśanaṁ nāma bhāgavataṁ dayitam astraṁ tat tejasā durviṣahaṁ muhuḥ parivartamānam abhyavasthito muhūrtam udvijamānaś cakita-hṛdaya ārād eva nivartate tad uparāgam iti vadanti lokāḥ.

SYNONYMS

tat—that situation; niśamya—hearing; ubhayatra—around both the sun and moon; api—indeed; bhagavatā—by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; rakṣaṇāya—for their protection; prayuktam—engaged; sudarśanam—the wheel of Kṛṣṇa; nāma—named; bhāgavatam—the most confidential devotee; dayitam—the most favorite; astram—weapon; tat—that; tejasā—by its effulgence; durviṣaham—unbearable heat; muhuḥ—repeatedly; parivartamānam—moving around the sun and moon; abhyavasthitaḥ—situated; muhūrtam—for a muhūrta (forty-eight minutes); udvijamānaḥ—whose mind was full of anxieties; cakita—frightened; hṛdayaḥ—the core of whose heart; ārāt—to a distant place; eva—certainly; nivartate—flees; tat—that situation; uparāgam—an eclipse; iti—thus; vadanti—they say; lokāḥ—the people.

TRANSLATION

After hearing from the sun and moon demigods about Rāhu’s attack, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, engages His disc, known as the Sudarśana cakra, to protect them. The Sudarśana cakra is the Lord’s most beloved devotee and is favored by the Lord. The intense heat of its effulgence, meant for killing non-Vaiṣṇavas, is unbearable to Rāhu, and he therefore flees in fear of it. During the time Rāhu disturbs the sun or moon, there occurs what people commonly know as an eclipse.

PURPORT

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu, is always the protector of His devotees, who are also known as demigods. The controlling demigods are most obedient to Lord Viṣṇu, although they also want material sense enjoyment, and that is why they are called demigods, or almost godly. Although Rāhu attempts to attack both the sun and the moon, they are protected by Lord Viṣṇu. Being very afraid of Lord Viṣṇu’s cakra, Rāhu cannot stay in front of the sun or moon for more than a muhūrta (forty-eight minutes). The phenomenon that occurs when Rāhu blocks the light of the sun or moon is called an eclipse. The attempt of the scientists of this earth to go to the moon is as demoniac as Rāhu’s attack. Of course. their attempts will be failures because no one can enter the moon or sun so easily. Like the attack of Rāhu, such attempts will certainly be failures. (SB 5.24.3)

śiro ’harad yasya hariś / cakreṇa pibato ’mṛtam
saṁhrādasya kṛtir bhāryā- / sūta pañcajanaṁ tataḥ

SYNONYMS

śiraḥ—the head; aharat—cut off; yasya—of whom; hariḥ—Hari; cakreṇa—with the disc; pibataḥ—drinking; amṛtam—nectar; saṁhrādasya—of Saṁhlāda; kṛtiḥ—Kṛti; bhāryā—the wife; asūta—gave birth to; pañcajanam—Pañcajana; tataḥ—from him.

TRANSLATION

While Rāhu, in disguise, was drinking nectar among the demigods, the Supreme Personality of Godhead severed his head. The wife of Saṁhlāda was named Kṛti. By union with Saṁhlāda, Kṛti gave birth to a son named Pañcajana. (SB 618.14)

This chapter describes how the demons, being enchanted by the beauty of the Mohinī form, agreed to hand over the container of nectar to Mohinīdevī, who tactfully delivered it to the demigods.

When the demons got possession of the container of nectar, an extraordinarily beautiful young woman appeared before them. All the demons became captivated by the young woman’s beauty and became attached to Her. Now, because the demons were fighting among themselves to possess the nectar, they selected this beautiful woman as a mediator to settle their quarrel. Taking advantage of their weakness in this regard, Mohinī, the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, got the demons to promise that whatever decision She might give, they would not refuse to accept it. When the demons made this promise, the beautiful woman, Mohinī-mūrti, had the demigods and demons sit in different lines so that She could distribute the nectar. She knew that the demons were quite unfit to drink the nectar. Therefore, by cheating them She distributed all the nectar to the demigods. When the demons saw this cheating of Mohinī-mūrti, they remained silent. But one demon, named Rāhu, dressed himself like a demigod and sat down in the line of the demigods. He sat beside the sun and the moon. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead understood how Rāhu was cheating, He immediately cut off the demon’s head. Rāhu, however, had already tasted the nectar, and therefore although his head was severed, he remained alive. After the demigods finished drinking the nectar, the Supreme Personality of Godhead assumed His own form. Śukadeva Gosvāmī ends this chapter by describing how powerful is the chanting of the holy names, pastimes and paraphernalia of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (SB 8.9 Summary)

deva-liṅga-praticchannaḥ / svarbhānur deva-saṁsadi
praviṣṭaḥ somam apibac / candrārkābhyāṁ ca sūcitaḥ

SYNONYMS

deva-liṅga-praticchannaḥ—covering himself with the dress of a demigod; svarbhānuḥ—Rāhu (who attacks and eclipses the sun and moon); deva-saṁsadi—in the group of the demigods; praviṣṭaḥ—having entered; somam—the nectar; apibat—drank; candra-arkābhyām—by both the moon and the sun; ca—and; sūcitaḥ—was pointed out.

TRANSLATION

Rāhu, the demon who causes eclipses of the sun and moon, covered himself with the dress of a demigod and thus entered the assembly of the demigods and drank nectar without being detected by anyone, even by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The moon and the sun, however, because of permanent animosity toward Rāhu, understood the situation. Thus Rāhu was detected.

PURPORT

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Mohinī-mūrti, was able to bewilder all the demons, but Rāhu was so clever that he was not bewildered. Rāhu could understand that Mohinī-mūrti was cheating the demons, and therefore he changed his dress, disguised himself as a demigod, and sat down in the assembly of the demigods. Here one may ask why the Supreme Personality of Godhead could not detect Rāhu. The reason is that the Lord wanted to show the effects of drinking nectar. This will be revealed in the following verses. The moon and sun, however, were always alert in regard to Rāhu. Thus when Rāhu entered the assembly of the demigods, the moon and sun immediately detected him, and then the Supreme Personality of Godhead also became aware of him. (SB 8.9.24)

cakreṇa kṣura-dhāreṇa / jahāra pibataḥ śiraḥ
haris tasya kabandhas tu /sudhayāplāvito ’patat

SYNONYMS

cakreṇa—by the disc; kṣura-dhāreṇa—which was sharp like a razor; jahāra—cut off; pibataḥ—while drinking nectar; śiraḥ—the head; hariḥ—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tasya—of that Rāhu; kabandhaḥ tu—but the headless body; sudhayā—by the nectar; aplāvitaḥ—without being touched; apatat—immediately fell dead.

TRANSLATION

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, using His disc, which was sharp like a razor, at once cut off Rāhu’s head. When Rāhu’s head was severed from his body, the body, being untouched by the nectar, could not survive.

PURPORT

When the Personality of Godhead, Mohinī-mūrti, severed Rāhu’s head from his body, the head remained alive although the body died. Rāhu had been drinking nectar through his mouth, and before the nectar entered his body, his head was cut off. Thus Rāhu’s head remained alive whereas the body died. This wonderful act performed by the Lord was meant to show that nectar is miraculous ambrosia. (SB 8.9.25)

eta jāni’ rāhu kaila candrera grahaṇa
‘kṛṣṇa’ ‘kṛṣṇa’ ‘hari’ nāme bhāse tri-bhuvana

SYNONYMS

eta jāni‘-knowing all this; rāhu—the zodiac figure Rāhu; kaila—attempted; candrera—of the moon; grahaṇa—eclipse; kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa—the holy name of Kṛṣṇa; hari—the holy name of Hari; nāme—the names; bhāse—inundated; tri-bhuvana—the three worlds.

TRANSLATION

Considering this, Rāhu, the black planet, covered the full moon, and immediately vibrations of “Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Hari!” inundated the three worlds.

PURPORT

According to the Jyotir-veda, the Rāhu planet comes in front of the full moon, and thus a lunar eclipse takes place. It is customary in India that all the followers of the Vedic scriptures bathe in the Ganges or the sea as soon as there is a lunar or solar eclipse. All strict followers of Vedic religion stand up in the water throughout the whole period of the eclipse and chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. At the time of the birth of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu such a lunar eclipse took place, and naturally all the people standing in the water were chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. (CC/adi/13/92)

Prabhupāda: Oh. [break] …modern, that the earth comes in front of the moon or the sun and then there is eclipse. Do they not?
Dr. Patel: They, all the scientists also say the same thing, sir. When it comes in the straight line the eclipse…
Prabhupāda: No, no, no. I am saying, repeating their word. But why, then, eclipse takes place irregularly?

Dr. Patel: This is a question of simple harmonic motions according to the scientists here who explain it. The simple harmonic motion principle is that several motions are, I mean, going, gathered at a time. Then all of them come together. Then you see that thing occurs.

Prabhupāda: No…
Dr. Patel: So that motions are different. The different timings come.
Prabhupāda: But that means they do not know actually the motions.
Dr. Patel: And the old astrologers and scientists of India, they have planned it perfectly, when it comes out.
Prabhupāda: Our śāstra says that it is Rahu’s attack. So attack does not come regularly.
Dr. Patel: That you may call allegorically.

Prabhupāda: One… Suppose you have got enemy. You are not going to attack regularly, but when there is some opportunity you go to attack. Harer nāma [Cc. Ādi 17.21].

Dr. Patel: Are we not observing this eclipse rituals, that, during the eclipse we stop aratis and all of this…
Prabhupāda: Why?
Dr. Patel: And after the eclipse is over, take bath and then do the arati?
Prabhupāda: Yes, they take bath.
Dr. Patel: Even the other Vaiṣṇava mandirs don’t do arati during that period if it comes within that…
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Dr. Patel: Some sort of cosmic disturbances must be occuring in the cosmos during this period of gṛhana(?) or eclipse. We do not know, the modern science. Some movement must be happening.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Our śāstra says it is attack by Rahu. Rahu…

Dr. Patel: Rahu means…The other side of the earth’s shadow is Rahu, as we say. The modern scientists, the Rahu means other side of the shadow. When the sun shines on the earth, the other side of the earth is, I mean, the night and the shadow of the earth is long, drawn up in the cosmos. And in the view of that shadow, if moon comes, then it is caught by the shadow.

Prabhupāda: No, in the… Rahu, Rahu… Rahu comes in front...

Dr. Patel: That is… The shadow is the Rahu. What else could be? That shadow of earth in the cosmos is the Rahu, most probably to me, because when the moon… Generally moon does not come so very often therein in the purview of that shadow. When it comes, it gets eclipsed.

Prabhupāda: No, no. They give that the earth comes in front of the sun or the moon, therefore the shadow.

Dr. Patel: Earth comes in front of the sun. Then it becomes sun eclipse.
Prabhupāda: Yes. So, but why, if the movement is regular, then the earth come regularly.
Dr. Patel: But there are several movements also. The movement of the earth, sun, and moon.
Prabhupāda: That means again escaping.
Dr. Patel: All harmonic motions…
Devotee (5): Many shooting stars…
Dr. Patel: Things should be thought scientifically.
Prabhupāda: What is the scientifically if you cannot say how many movements are there?
Dr. Patel: All the movements that the heavenly stars and other things are going on in a particular way.

Prabhupāda: No, you do not know what are the movements. You therefore say there are several movements, but you do not know what are these movements. That is not scientific. To avoid the explanation, if the scientist says that there are several movements… But you explain what is that movement? According to our śāstra there is no individual movement. The whole system is moving, making center the polestar. That we can see at night. They have… Star and planet, they have no separate movement. They are fixed up. Just like this tree. There are so many leaves. The tree is moving, so the leaves and twigs, they are moving, not that the leaf is moving.

Dr. Patel: This is a question of relativity, sir.
Prabhupāda: Yes. But that we can see, this…

Dr. Patel: Now, the earth moves round the sun and the moon moves round the earth…

Prabhupāda: No, no...

Dr. Patel: And the rate of movement is different on either side. And the axis or ground on which it moves also differs. So when all of them collide or sort of a thing, then eclipse comes. That is the modern understanding.

Prabhupāda: And the… When Brahmānanda was speaking that word yesterday, I refuted your argument?
Brahmānanda: You were asking, “Why is it Sunday, Monday…” So I explained that the sun is the center of the universe; therefore the sun comes first.

Dr. Patel: No, various suns are there. All the stars are the suns of various universes.
Prabhupāda: No, we don’t accept that. No. Sun is one.
Dr. Patel: That is the fundamental difference of opinion that we don’t go ahead of it, sir.
Prabhupāda: No, why shall I go according to the dictation of the rascals? We are not so rascal.
Dr. Patel: And now we are define who is a rascal.

Prabhupāda: No, rascal is meant, who has no authority. They are changing every day. They are changing. We don’t change. These rascals are changing…

Dr. Patel: These fundamentals, sir, cannot be changed.
Prabhupāda: In nineteenth century one theory and twentieth century another theory and then another theory, another theory. This is going on.
Dr. Patel: The truth is not changed but…

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes, they are changing. You see here… You have not seen that, our Svarūpa Dāmodara’s book? He has given: simply changing, simply changing, these rascals. Changing means rascal. He does not know. “It is this. It is this.” Another man, “No, no, it is not this. It is this.” Therefore all of them rascals.

Dr. Patel: About this Kakubh Kapoor Cakra(?), our scientist, Mihila(?), has planned it, and according to the eclipse and sun and the moon eclipse come. That means his science was perfect. Otherwise it would not come at that particular day, time, and…

Prabhupāda: We… Our… Five thousand years ago Śukadeva Gosvāmī said that “As I have heard it, I am explaining.” That means time immemorial, the thing is, same thing is coming. There is no change, not that after few days, “No, no. It was wrong. This is now right.” Again somebody comes.

Dr. Patel: They are explaining the truth in their own way. That is the change of theory. But the truth is the same.
Prabhupāda: That is the truth of rascaldom, as soon as you change your position.
Dr. Patel: Theory is rascal, but the truth is never rascal.
Prabhupāda: No, no, truth you do not know. Therefore rascaldom.
Dr. Patel: They do not know how to explain. Truth is there, sir.
Prabhupāda: No, no. Anyway, he does not know. Therefore he is a rascal, either you say this way or that way.
Dr. Patel: Truth is there.
Prabhupāda: No, no, truth is there, but they cannot present the truth rightly. That is rascaldom. Truth is there; that is certain. But they cannot present the truth in right way.
Dr. Patel: You mean they are groping in the dark.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is rascal. How things are happening—every ten years they are changing their theory. And that has been explained by, not by a layman like me. The Dr. Svarūpa Dāmodara, he has explained. He has concluded Darwin’s theory completely wrong. You have read that small booklet?

Dr. Patel: Yes.
Prabhupāda: And he has given reason, quotation, how simply he’s speculator.

Dr. Patel: As a matter of, sir, the whole cosmos is full of, I mean, intelligence. That is God. But then that intelligence is struck in different way to the, what you call the mind, which is embedded in the matter. So, I mean, each one explains it in his own way, as he understands…

Prabhupāda: No, no. You cannot explain truth in your own way. (Morning walk conversation – Bombay, India  – November 17, 1975)

[Rahu and Ketu]

The history of Rahu (causing the eclipse):

During the churning process many wonderful things were produced, until finally the “amrita” or nectar of immortality appeared. Immediately there was a fierce struggle and the demons forcefully took possession of the nectar. At that time, to help the demigods, Lord Vishnu, expanded Himself into Mohini-murti, the most enchanting of all beautiful goddesses. The demons, who were completely love-struck, allowed the Goddess to have the nectar, which she began to distribute amongst the demigods.

At that time, the great demon, Rahu, disguised as a demigod, entered the line of eager devas, between the Sun and Moon gods. As soon as the nectar was tasted by Rahu, he was exposed by the Sun & Moon gods, and Lord Vishnu, in His Mohini form, immediately severed Rahu’s head with His Sudarshan Chakra (discus). Because Rahu had tasted the amrita his head became immortal, while his body fell away dead. Seeing this wonderful event, Lord Vishnu, then awarded Rahu the exalted post of Graha (planetary deity) as the malevolent North Node of the Moon.

Rahu still hates the Sun and Moon gods for the destruction of his body from the neck down, and he attacks the Sun and Moon out of revenge, following a schedule of eclipses, which are predicted and recorded to this day by astronomers and astrologers.

The Srimad Bhagavatam describes the history of Rahu as follows:

“Rahu, the demon who causes eclipses of the sun and moon, covered himself with the dress of a demigod and thus entered the assembly of the demigods and drank nectar without being detected by anyone, even by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The moon and the sun, however, because of permanent animosity toward Rahu, understood the situation. Thus Rahu was detected.

Purport: The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Mohini-murti, was able to bewilder all the demons, but Rahu was so clever that he was not bewildered. Rahu could understand that Mohini-murti was cheating the demons, and therefore he changed his dress, disguised himself as a demigod, and sat down in the assembly of the demigods. Here one may ask why the Supreme Personality of Godhead could not detect Rahu. The reason is that the Lord wanted to show the effects of drinking nectar. This will be revealed in the following verses. The moon and sun, however, were always alert in regard to Rahu. Thus when Rahu entered the assembly of the demigods, the moon and sun immediately detected him, and then the Supreme Personality of Godhead also became aware of him.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 8:9:24)

“….The demons, being enchanted by the beauty of the Mohini form, agreed to hand over the container of nectar to Mohinidevi, who tactfully delivered it to the demigods.
When the demons got possession of the container of nectar, an extraordinarily beautiful young woman appeared before them. All the demons became captivated by the young woman’s beauty and became attached to Her. Now, because the demons were fighting among themselves to possess the nectar, they selected this beautiful woman as a mediator to settle their quarrel. Taking advantage of their weakness in this regard, Mohini, the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, got the demons to promise that whatever decision She might give, they would not refuse to accept it. When the demons made this promise, the beautiful woman, Mohini-murti, had the demigods and demons sit in different lines so that She could distribute the nectar. She knew that the demons were quite unfit to drink the nectar. Therefore, by cheating them She distributed all the nectar to the demigods. When the demons saw this cheating of Mohini-murti, they remained silent. But one demon, named Rahu, dressed himself like a demigod and sat down in the line of the demigods. He sat beside the sun and the moon. When the Supreme Personality of Godhead understood how Rahu was cheating, He immediately cut off the demon’s head. Rahu, however, had already tasted the nectar, and therefore although his head was severed, he remained alive. After the demigods finished drinking the nectar, the Supreme Personality of Godhead assumed His own form.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 8:9 Summary)

Rahu – The Lunar Eclipse

In this connection, the darkness occurring before the full moon, the lunar eclipse, can be explained as being another planet, known as Rāhu. According to Vedic astronomy, the Rāhu planet, which is not visible, is accepted. Sometimes the Rāhu planet is visible in the presence of full moonlight. It then appears that this Rāhu planet exists somewhere near the orbit of the moon. The failure of modern moon excursionists may be due to the Rāhu planet. In other words, those who are supposed to be going to the moon may actually be going to this invisible planet Rāhu. Actually, they are not going to the moon but to the planet Rāhu, and after reaching this planet, they come back. Apart from this discussion, the point is that a living entity has immense and unlimited desires for material enjoyment, and he has to transmigrate from one gross body to another until these desires are exhausted. (SB 4.29.69 purport)

śiras tv amaratāṁ nītam / ajo graham acīkḷpat
yas tu parvaṇi candrārkāv / abhidhāvati vaira-dhīḥ

Translation: Rāhu’s head, however, having been touched by the nectar, became immortal. Thus Lord Brahmā accepted Rāhu’s head as one of the planets. Since Rāhu is an eternal enemy of the moon and the sun, he always tries to attack them on the nights of the full moon and the dark moon.

Purport: Since Rāhu had become immortal, Lord Brahmā accepted him as one of the grahas, or planets, like the moon and the sun. Rāhu, however, being an eternal enemy of the moon and sun, attacks them periodically during the nights of the full moon and the dark moon. (SB 8.9.27)

a-kalaṅka gauracandra dilā daraśana / sa-kalaṅka candre āra kon prayojana
eta jāni’ rāhu kaila candrera grahaṇa / ‘kṛṣṇa’ ‘kṛṣṇa’ ‘hari’ nāme bhāse tri-bhuvana

[Ketu] Translation: When the spotless moon of Caitanya Mahāprabhu became visible, what would be the need for a moon full of black marks on its body? Considering this, Rāhu, the black planet, covered the full moon, and immediately vibrations of “Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa! Hari!” inundated the three worlds.

Purport: According to the Jyotir-veda, the Rāhu planet comes in front of the full moon, and thus a lunar eclipse takes place. It is customary in India that all the followers of the Vedic scriptures bathe in the Ganges or the sea as soon as there is a lunar or solar eclipse. All strict followers of Vedic religion stand up in the water throughout the whole period of the eclipse and chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. At the time of the birth of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu such a lunar eclipse took place, and naturally all the people standing in the water were chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. (CC Adi 13.91-92)

Ketu – Comet – Decapitated Body of Rahu

It is sometimes said that when one is influenced by evil stars like Saturn, Rāhu or Ketu, he cannot make advancement in any prospective activity. (SB 7.4.37)