Eclipses (Grahanam) and How to Do Remedies (Pariharam) During Eclipse - By Vijayakumar Alagappan
The Hindu scriptures, the Purãnam (written by Veda Vyasar), narrate the story of how the eclipse came into existence: Eclipses have fascinated man since time immemorial, but the real scientific cause was known to Siddhas, Yogis, Rishis and Saddhus, even during ancient times. In order to make matters clear to young children, they used to tell the story of how Rahu, the dragon would swallow up the Moon or Sun during eclipse time and release them after some time. The story goes that Rahu sat for a feast disguised as a Deva (though he was an Asura), when Lord Vishnu in His Mohini Avatar distributed nectar to the Devas which was obtained at the time of churning of the Milky Ocean. Lord Surya-Sun along Lord Chandra-Moon exposed the designs of Rahu and hence, the story goes, Rahu chooses to punish the luminaries for this, as an act of revenge. In India, all scientific truths are imbibed in our routine life, by explaining then through Puranic stories. Through tradition or custom, all scientific truths are brought to the stage of implementation in day to day life. Therein lies the wisdom of our great Siddhas, Yogis, Rishis and Saddhus.
Performing Pariharam-Remedies during Eclipse
Persuing spiritual activities, especially doing Japa of mantras, is recommended during the eclipse period. In order to overcome adverse effects of eclipses, one should bathe in holy waters, offering tarpanam to departed ancestors and do some charities.Those who are running the major or sub periods of Rahu or Ketu should chant Rahu mantra, Nagaraja mantra or Goddess Durga mantra (Hmmm Dum Durgaya Namaha) to get rid of the afflictions.Those facing hurdles in marriage or carrier also should take to worship during eclipse at home (generally temples will be closed during eclipse). After the eclipse is over, take bath again and eat the food, which is prepared fresh after the eclipse.
The most recommended ritual to be done on this day is Tarpanam, the ritual to appease the souls of your ancestors. The gateway to heaven is the Sun and Moon. During eclipse, the gates open and the souls visit the earth plane making it the right time to access their blessings and divine energy.
Holy Dips and Items Recommended for Charity during Eclipse
It is believed that during an eclipse all the water becomes as pure as the water of the holy river Ganga. Any surging water (say, waterfall or a fountain) or water in the lakes, river and the seas is regarded as a good omen, its auspiciousness increasing in the above sequence. The more pious may go to some sacred place or to the nearest seashore for taking a holy bath. There is a strong belief that any donation given during the eclipse hours is most auspicious and valuables such as money, clothes, cows, horses, land and gold are to be gifted away.
Charity of ten items is recommended, to ward off inauspicious effects arising out of eclipse are as follows:
- Cow : (people who cannot afford to give a cow, which is expensive, can substitute this by giving a coconut)
- Land (since land is expensive Sandal Stick is given as a substitute for land)
- Gold (one gram piece of gold are available in shops and they are fit to be donated)
- Silver Vessel
Charity of five items is recommended are as follows:
All Hindu Temples remain closed during Surya Grahanam. Temples open only after proper rituals are performed to get rid of the ill effects of the Surya Grahanam. However, some Lord Shiva temples remain open during Surya Grahanam as Lord Shiva Himself is an embodiment of darkness.
Why mantras should be chanted during eclipse times?
During eclipse, the sound vibrations get intensified. As a result, the person who recites a mantra gets manifold benefits than while it on a normal day. There is a second version to this also. When there is an eclipse, both the Sun and Moon are afflicted by Rahu or Ketu. So a person's mind will not function well. If he takes a decision at that time, it will prove wrong, because mind is affected at that time. To prevent him from working at that time, the mind should be diverted to something else. So it is ordained that some spiritual karma like chanting of mantras should be done, at the time of eclipse. Aditya Hridayam, Gayatri Mantra or Vishnu Gayathri mantra are also gives beneficial effects when chanted at the time of eclipse.
Preservation of Food Items
It is also said food items get contaminated, when the rays emanating during the time of eclipse pervade the atmosphere. Herein lies the utility and value of Darbha grass. Darbha / Kusha grass grows freely in hot and dry places. It is said that if we put a single Darbha grass on food items, that enough to protect it harmful efforts of eclipse. Darbha grass is also used in many religious functions. It has even been proved scientifically that even X-ray radiation can be absorbed by Darbha grass. This grass should be freely used to protect foodstuffs during times of eclipse.
Do's and Dont's during Grahanam
- avoid performing any important work or deal
- bath before and after grahanam; taking a dip in rivers, water falls or lakes is highly auspicious
- avoid eating during and the food which is cooked before grahanam
- take the food which is cooked after grahanam
- do not sleep during the grahanam
- do not go outside during Grahanam
Lighting of Lemon Ghee lamps during the eclipse time will also be very useful in weakening the negative effects of Rahu. Those belonging to Jyesta (Kettai) & Moola stars should avoid looking/getting exposed to the Eclipse. Specific prayers to Goddess Durga (for Rahu), Lord Sri Krishna and Lord Shiva (For Moon), Lord Hanuman, Moon God are required to be made during eclipse. For those under the constellation of Moola whose star lord is Ketu it is suggested to pray Lord Ganapathi also during eclipse time.