नीलाम्बरो नीलवपुः किरीटी करवालवक्तः करवालशूली ।
चतुर्भुजश्चर्मधरश्च राहुः सिंहाधिरुढो वरदोऽस्तु मह्यम् ।।
Rahu is the most enigmatic of the navgrahas who is often slandered and misunderstood for his demonic traits and the havoc he unleashes on the human life.
To begin with, let us recall the stories and facts associated with Rahu where he gained prominence through his valor, wit and how puranas describe him. I would be posting series of the post on Rahu to equally balance his malevolent and benevolent horizon.
Puranic story and interpretation
Rahu was the one of the chieftain of the asuras during the devasura sangram. While the devas and asuras worked hard in unison to acquire the various gifts during the churning of ocean, Rahu’s role in the entire episode of the distribution of amrita cannot be ignored. The asuras had snatched the pot of amrita- elixir from the hands of Dhanavantri – God of ayurveda. The disillusioned devas then appealed to all powerful Sri Vishnu for help. Thus, in order to save the creation and with the intention of keeping in check the asuric forces, Sri Vishnu manifested himself as Mohini – the only female avatar of Vishnu. Such was the form of mohini that it enamored the entire creation, every being including the very primordial Gods who were completely enchanted by her appearance. Her grace and seduction even aroused lust in the heart of Shiva. It is she who procured the truce between the Devas and Asuras that she would equally distribute the elixir between the two warring clans. A women has natural gift of Sammohan and Akarashan – enchantment and attraction. This is proven to be true in events of Mohini avatar. Vishnu in Mohini avatar was the complete and absolute manifestation of enchantment and seduction that a women can possibly ever reflect and possess. When the very God who is the epitome of penance could not resist the charms of such a damsel, what can we say of trivial asuras and devas. Amidst such a chaotic situation, It was Rahu the only being in the crowded assembly of Devas and Asuras who could see through Vishnu without him being overpowered by the feeling of lust.
How can such a Rahu be only associated with only wrong doings ? Single pointed determination to achieve ones objective even at the cost of incurring the wrath of all powerful is the most cherished quality of Rahu. If such a trait is inherited for doing penance and spiritual objective, can it termed as bad or wrong is my question ?
The characteristic of Rahu was such that he could overstep the boundary, crossing over from side of asuras to the group of suras disguised and without being noticed.
It was only after he drank the amrita, did the luminaries – Sun and Moon informed Sri Vishnu to strike Rahu with sudarshan chakra. Now this has an esoteric meaning and underlying interpretation. Everything in our puranas and Vedas have an underlying meaning
As long as Rahu-Ketu were one bodied, the flow of kundalini was complete from mooladahara to sahasrara and beyond, otherwise how would he see Vishnu.
The moment, he was cut in two – the flow was disrupted and thus only in those divisional charts – where nodes are together, It become extremely important as they can trigger supernatural experiences and siddhis and even lead to mokshas.
Maharshi VedaVyasa’s mantra for Rahu is as follows
अर्धकायं महाघोरं चन्द्रादित्य विमर्धनं
सिम्हिकसुतं तं राहुं प्रनमम्यहम्
Which means the half bodied – extremely ferocious Rahu is the tormentor of Sun and Moon,who he is the son of Simhika to whom we bow in reverence.
Literally speaking it means Sun and Moon gets oppressed by Rahu.. But nothing is literal or as it appears in the scriptures. The movement of Sun and Moon in the chart relates to the tithis, Surya is the owner of all rashis and Moon the ruler of naskhatras. A big hint is given in the VedaVyasas mantra to be interpreted as per ones intellect and ones understanding of the subject- a grace of Maharshi.
To be continued……..