For the Students of Hindu Vedic Astrology by Dr. A. Shanker

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what is the Importance of Raahu and Ketu in Native's Horoscope?

Raahu and Ketu are called Raas or Zamb in Persian. In Sanskrit and Urdu, they are called Raahu & Ketu but they are not included in planets. They are situated in the Zodiac on the points of the equinox. They are divided into two circles. The Northern circle is called raas while the Southern circle is known as zamb. The two always stay opposite to each other at 1800 degrees in the seventh celestial house. Their motion is always opposite to the planets. Despite being not reckoned with planets due to their proximity to planets, their impacts and conditions are taken into consideration. They are at a distance of several million miles from the earth. Like other planets, they too revolve around the Sun. When closer to the earth their tail faces the Sun. Their average speed is constantly 3 minutes and 2 seconds. It covers one celestial house in 18 months and twelve celestial houses in 18 years.

A detailed description of Rahu and Ketu occurs in the scriptures. When the gods and the demons together churned the ocean it divulged fourteen gems while the venom was consumed by Lord Shiva.

On the second churning there appeared Kaamdhenu cow. On the third churning there appeared a handsome white horse called Uchisarva which was given to Raja Bell at the request of demons. On the fourth churning, there appeared a white four-tusk elephant called Iradat which the gods gave to Inder for the personal ride. On the fifth churning there appeared Kosba jewel that was offered to God. On the sixth churning, a tree named parchatak which was a source of blessings and was possessed by demons. At the time of distributing fourteen gems there took place ferocious fight between Gods and demons.

The gods became victorious. Prakshat tree was carried to Inderpuri, the world of gods. On the seventh churning there appeared a nymph named Rambha. She was given to none and she began to roam around in the world of gods. There appeared a youthful Lakshmi on the eighth churning with a lotus flower in the right hand and a wreath in the left hand.

Both the gods and the demons were infatuated with Lakshmi. All of them wanted to possess Lakshmi, who wanted to go to the one having all qualities in him. Accordingly, goddess Lakshmi put the wreath held in her left hand around the neck of Shri Narain. On the ninth churning goddess, Parvati (Mandira) appeared in the garb of a damsel whom the demons possessed. On the tenth churning a very handsome male named Dhanvantar appeared there. In one hand he held a pitcher full of the nectar of life and a bowl in another. As soon as the demons saw Dhanvantar they started   waving to him, grab the pitcher of nectar. And it happened exactly so as one of the demons snatched the pitcher from Dhanvantar’s hand. A fight ensued. Everyone tried to snatch the pitcher from another. None had got an opportunity to drink from it.

At the request of gods Shri Bhagwan appeared in a female disposition. Then the demon's spell bounded by such a beauty offered her to act as an umpire in distributing the nectar. Shri Bhagwan in female disguises declared that both gods and demons were to be shareholders in the drink. He suggested both parties sit in separate queues. God will be served first and then there will come the demon’s turn. This done, Shri Bhagwan started serving the demons and when he reached the place where the Sun and the Moon were sitting a demon named Rahu saw that the woman has fed entire nectar to the gods.

Assuming the guise of gods, he sat between the Sun and the Moon and received a cup of the nectar. There the Moon pointed out to Shri Bhagwan that the one served with the nectar was a demon. Therefore, the remaining nectar was given to the Moon and Rahu was beheaded with Sudarshan Chakra. On this, both the Sun and the Moon suggested to Mahani Bhagwan that on cutting the body of Rahu its parts will turn into demons under the influence of the nectar. Rahu was freed and pronouncing a blessing said to him to get worshipped by staying with the seven planets. His head was named Rahu as and torso as Ketu. That is why they always move in reverse directions. Rahu and Ketu have a grudge against the Sun and the Moon for the piece of advice they had given to Mohani Bhagwan. They demonstrate their light through solar eclipse on Amavash and through lunar eclipse on Purnmashi night.

Dr. A. Shanker

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