SOLAR AND LUNAR ECLIPSES.

On this page you will find an outline of the Vaishnava perspective
of the significance of a Graha grasthah - eclipses.

.....last updated 21st May 2012


                  To view sections of this page you will need the Avanti, Balaram or Tamal FONTS

If for some reason these links malfunction and do not work please just scroll down the page.


The Scriptual references - significance:
Let's remove the doubts and understand the perspective of the shastra and sages: by Vaikuntha Kaviraja Prabhu
The Effects of Eclipses:
Remedial measures that we take to inoculate ourselves:
What is to be done ritually during elipses:

Should Vaishnavas follow fasting and chanting during eclipses - what did Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Recommend?

What to do during eclipses - Shyamasundar dasa ACBSP

Auspiciousness and Inauspiciousness discussed:

Insights from Shyamasunadara dasa ACBSP - Jyotish Siromanu

Pregnancy and Eclispes - Anuragg Goswami, Radha Raman temple Vrindavan

Charts that allow detailed information of each Lunar Eclipse:  (old and out of date - but still interesting)
Charts that allow detailed information of each Solar Eclipse:  (old and out of date - but still interesting)

Map of Solar Eclipses until 2020:

Find Your Time Difference HERE:

Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand - with eclipse details:

Links to other related sites:
Eye safety during eclipses:
US Navy's Lunar Eclipse calculation computer: (put in your location and check the times)
NASA's Solar Eclipse list 2001 - 2010 - Very useful maps and graphix

New Zealand Spiritual Resource Network's page on Eclipses - regularly updated

Animated view of Partial Eclipse of Moon on 17th October 2005
http://www.shadowandsubstance.com/

Very good eclipse information from Understanding Hinduism
http://www.hinduism.co.za/eclipse.htm

Tirupati temple shuts down for solar eclipse
Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanams Temple Re-opens After Lunar Eclipse

Very good eclipse information from Understanding Hinduism
http://www.hinduism.co.za/eclipse.htm

Atheistic scientists and what they can't see, they have no belief -  a nice example:

View the Lord of each graha-vamsha (planetary dynasty) (Surya-vamsha, Chandra-vamsha etc)
Solar and Lunar eclipse close up charts of beginnings and ending times - best charts:
http://riemann.usno.navy.mil/AA/data/docs/UpcomingEclipses.html

Solar and Lunar Eclipse Finder:
http://www.netspeed.com.au/minnah/Finder.html

More on each future eclipse - Annular, Partial and Total all listed here:
http://eclipse.span.ch/total.htm

Space Calendar - what's going on in the "heavens"
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/calendar/

Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand - where eclipses are visible:
http://www.rasnz.org.nz/Events2001.htm

Solar and Lunar Eclipse Simulators - FREE Downloads- VERY ACCURATE (have used for four years now):
http://www.astronomy.ch/

If anyone would like a World Clock Time converting program
(140 kb) then download it here FREE:
http://www.hknet.org.nz/zwrldclk.exe

If you would rather calculate the times manually here's a chart with all world time zones on:
http://aa.usno.navy.mil/faq/docs/world_tzones.html

To Vaishnava Calendar pages to see where they fit in:

How to utilize an eclipse through Muhurtha astrology:

Contact me


SOLAR AND LUNAR ECLIPSES.

"When the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, it casts a huge shadow over the Earth as it blocks out the sunlight. For those at the edge of the shadow (the penumbra) the eclipse is partial; the Moon seems to take a bite out of the Sun as it passes. But observers standing in the centre of the shadow (the umbra) see a spectacular solar eclipse.
 Unfamiliar and beautiful features become visible around the edge of the Sun. The prominence - the reddish spikes that protrude from the Sun beyond the dark edge of the moon - are columns of incandescent hydrogen; they extend thousands of miles above the Sun's surface. The Sun's halo, the pearly white corona, also becomes visible.
 For less than eight minutes these wondrous aspect of the Sun are revealed in an eerie twighlight. Then the moon continues inexorably in its orbit around the Earth, and spectacle is over."(Reader's Digest. 1988. "Facts & Fallacies". page 404.)
 

Full Moons that occur with Moon (or Sun) near Rahu or Ketu result in eclipses.  If a full Moon, then the eclipse is lunar, if a new Moon, then the eclipse is solar.


...............

These above diagrams show the functionality of a Solar eclipse.
The one on the far right shows a Partial Solar Eclipse in action 22nd August 1998.




These show the functionality of a Lunar eclipse.

I challenge you dear reader to follow the Vedik ideal and understanding of the Solar and lunar eclipses by trying a simple experiment yourselves, and see how the above graphic animations work. Actually they do not. The fact of the matter is that why we have them here is to make a demonstration of what is supposed to be happeneing according to western science, but the reality of the matter is, these graphic animations and drawings are an imposibility in actual scientific terms.

Science is all about being able to prove an experiment in tangible terms or examples right, that's what they say to us when they question where is God - show me God. (this page demonstrates their folly)

Try the experiment yourself take a strong torch and hold it and make the shadow they say will be made as the earth's shadow obscures the Moon creating a lunar eclipse. Then take a look at a real lunar eclipse and notice there's a massive difference in "shadow mass". The more realistic answer is then that there is a subtle planet called Rahu and his coming between the Sun and Moon as stated in Vedik literature is a much more realistic version. As explained below, when Rahu factor is introduced the example becomes more a practical reality.

However, and especially if one is a scientist, if you accept that fact, then you're going to have to accept all the other facts that we state about God and the Universe, and all your grants for researching theories and years of speculations have all been  for next to nothing. Just like the Moon landing hoax.

Material science is being challenged again and again by Vedik science, and those who are at least a little honest are seeing what we are presenting is true. This was very much wanted by real Vedik scientists.

"Now our PhD must collaborate and study the Fifth Canto to make a model for building the Vedic Planetarium. My final decision is that the universe is just like a tree, with root upwards. Just as a tree has branches and leaves, so the universe is also composed of planets which are fixed up in the tree like the leaves, flowers, fruits etc. So now all you PhD's must carefully study the details of the Fifth Canto and make a working model of the universe. If we can explain the passing seasons, eclipses, phases of the moon, passing of day and night, etc., then it will be very powerful propaganda."(Letter from Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to Swarupa Damodara dasa, April 27th 1976. Taken from "Vedic Cosmography & Astronomy". Richard L. Thompson - Sadaputa dasa - 1989. page 1.)

"If we go 80,000 miles above the region of the Siddhas, Charanas, and Vidyaadharas, we come to the level of the planet called Rahu. Some 80,000 miles above Rahu we reach the level of the Sun, which is said to lie between Bhurloka and Bhuvarloka in the middle of antariksha (S.B.5:20:43., S.B. 5:24:1.) We note that these measurements account for only part of the distance from Bhu-mandala to the Sun, since this is given as 100,000 yojanas (or 800,000 miles) in S.B. 5:23:9 purport.)

 In the Vedic literature it is often mentioned that Rahu causes solar and lunar eclipses by passing in front of the Sun or Moon. To many people, this seems to blatantly contradict the modern explanation of eclipses which holds that a solar eclipse is caused by the passage of the moon in front of the Sun and a lunar eclipse is caused by the Moon's passage through the Earth's shadow. However, the actual situation is somewhat more complicated than this simple analysis assumes.
 The reason for this is that the Surya-siddhanta presents an explanation of eclipses that agrees with the modern explanation but also brings Rahu into the picture. This work explicitly assumes that eclipses are caused by the passage of the Moon in front of the Sun or into the Earth's shadow. It describes calculations based on this model that make it possible to predict the occurrence of both lunar and solar eclipses and compute the degree to which the disc of the Sun or Moon will be obscured. At the same time, rules are also given for calculating the position of Rahu and another, similar planet named Ketu. It turns out that either Rahu or Ketu will always be lined up in the direction of any solar or lunar eclipse.

 In Chapter One (Richard L. Thompson - Sadaputa dasa - 1989. "Vedic Cosmography & Astronomy".) we have already described how the astronomical siddhantas define the orbit of Rahu and Ketu, and a similar definition is given for Ketu. The positions assigned to Rahu and Ketu correspond to the ascending and descending nodes of the Moon - the points where the orbit of the Moon (projected onto the celestial sphere) intersects the ecliptic, or the orbit of the Sun. These nodal points rotate around the ecliptic from east to west, with a period of about 18.6 years. One of them must always point in the direction of an eclipse, since the Moon can pass in front of the Sun or in the Earth's shadow only if the Sun, Moon and the Earth lie in a straight line. Thus, by placing Rahu and Ketu at the nodal points of the Moon, the Surya-siddhanta conforms both  with the modern theory of eclipses and the Vedic explanation involving Rahu and Ketu.
 One objection that may be raised to the explanation given in the Surya-siddhanta seems to be a cheap compromise between the Vedic account of eclipses (which many will regard as mythological) and the modern account (which many will regard as an import into India from the Greeks). It is true that Rahu and Ketu seem to play a rather superfluous role in the eclipse calculations given in the Surya-siddhanta. However, there are reasons for supposing that these planet do not appear in these calculations as a mere decoration.

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
¦8th Pisces         ¦9th Aries          ¦10th Taurus        ¦11th Gemini       ¦
¦                   ¦                   ¦ Rahu D     14°51' ¦ Saturn Rx   2°47'¦
¦                   ¦                   ¦                   ¦                  ¦
¦                   ¦                   ¦                  ¦                  ¦
+-------------------+---------------------------------------+------------------¦
¦7th Aquarius       ¦                                       ¦12th Cancer       ¦
¦                   ¦                                      ¦ Jupiter D  24°13'¦
¦                   ¦                                       ¦                  ¦
¦                   ¦              Rasi Chart               ¦                  ¦
+-------------------¦                 for                   +------------------¦
¦6th Capricorn     ¦      Solar eclipse 4th Dec 2002       ¦1st Leo           ¦
¦                   ¦                                       ¦ Ascendant  12°36'¦
¦                   ¦                                       ¦                  ¦
¦                  ¦                                       ¦                  ¦
+-------------------+---------------------------------------+------------------¦
¦5th Sagittarius    ¦ Ketu D     14°51' ¦3rd Libra          ¦2nd Virgo         ¦
¦                   ¦ Sun        18°10' ¦ Mars        7°56' ¦                  ¦
¦                   ¦ Moon       19°09' ¦ Venus       9°21' ¦                  ¦
¦                   ¦ Mercury    29°18' ¦                   ¦                  ¦
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Here's a practical example of the Sun, the Moon and Ketu (on this occassion) being the source of the eclipse in the 4th house of Capricorn, and Rahu in Taurus in the 10th house. Some eclipses involve Rahu, some involve his severed body Ketu. Here, below is a practical example of how the Sun and the Moon are about to be afflicted by Rahu in this chart for London, England for the morning of the 11th August 1999, Total Solar eclipse - Sun and Moon and Rahu with Mercury in the 11th house.
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
¦7th Pisces         ¦8th Aries          ¦9th Taurus         ¦10th Gemini       ¦
¦                   ¦     Jupiter 10°50'¦                   ¦                  ¦
¦                  ¦      Saturn 23°01'¦                   ¦                  ¦
¦                   ¦                   ¦                   ¦                  ¦
+-------------------+---------------------------------------+------------------¦
¦6th Aquarius       ¦                                       ¦    Mercury  6°17'¦
¦                   ¦                                       ¦     Rahu D 19°11'¦
¦                   ¦                                       ¦       Moon 23°33'¦
¦                   ¦              Rasi Chart               ¦        Sun 24°27'¦
+-------------------¦                 for                   +------------------¦
¦5th Capricorn      ¦                London                 ¦12th Leo          ¦
¦      Ketu D 19°11'¦             11th August 1999          ¦   Venus Rx  8°20'¦
¦                   ¦                                      ¦                  ¦
¦                   ¦                                       ¦                  ¦
+-------------------+---------------------------------------+------------------¦
¦4th Sagittarius    ¦3rd Scorpio        ¦2nd Libra          ¦1st Virgo         ¦
¦                   ¦                   ¦        Mars 22°58'¦  Ascendant 14°26'¦
¦                   ¦                   ¦                   ¦                  ¦
¦                   ¦                  ¦                   ¦                  ¦
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 The principle reason for this is that the positions of Rahu and Ketu plays an important role in astrology. This means that astrologers need some system of calculation that will tell them where Rahu and Ketu are at any given time. We have argued in Chapter One (Richard L. Thompson - Sadaputa dasa - 1989. "Vedic Cosmography & Astronomy") that astrology has traditionally played an important role in Vedic culture. From this it follows that some methods for calculating the positions of Rahu and Ketu have traditionally been required in Vedic society. Since we have no evidence that any other method of calculating these positions has ever been used, this can be taken as an indirect indication that the method used in the Surya-siddhanta has coexisted with the Vedic shastras for a very long time.

 Of course, by this argument we cannot conclude definitely that this particular method of calculation has always been used. But we can at least be sure that the Vedic society, with its emphasis on astrology and the astronomical timings of religious ceremonies, has always needed more than a mere qualitative story to account for eclipses and other astronomical phenomena.
 In the West there is also a long tradition ascribing solar and lunar eclipses to the action of some celestial beings of a demonic nature. There these beings have also been associated with the nodes of the Moon, and they are known as the head and tail of the dragon. The story of this eclipse-dragon may help give us some indication of how little we really know about history. Figure 16 (Richard L. Thompson - Sadaputa dasa - 1989. "Vedic Cosmography & Astronomy" page 98.) is a medieval Islamic picture showing an angel severing the head of the eclipse-dragon. (This is reminiscent of the story of the decapitation of Rahu by Lord Vishnu) Figure 17 (Richard L. Thompson - Sadaputa dasa - 1989. "Vedic Cosmography & Astronomy" page 99.) is a strikingly similar picture showing St George, the patron saint of England, slaying a dragon. Unless this is a complete coincidence, it would seem that the story of the eclipse-dragon was somehow woven into the iconography of early Christianity without any indication of its significance being preserved. (St. George is said to have been born in Asia Minor in about A.D. 300. but there is apparently no information indicating how he came to be connected with a dragon (Chambers R. 1967. The Book of Days, page 539.) Unfortunately, our knowledge of the ancient history of this story is practically nonexistent.(Richard L. Thompson - Sadaputa dasa - 1989. "Vedic Cosmography & Astronomy" pages 97-101.)
.
tan niçamyobhayaträpi bhagavatä rakñaëäya prayuktaà sudarçanaà näma bhägavataà dayitam astraà tat tejasä durviñahaà muhuù parivartamänam abhyavasthito muhürtam udvijamänaç cakita-hådaya äräd eva nivartate tad uparägam iti vadanti lokäù.
.
TRANSLATION  -  SB 5:24:3.
After hearing from the sun and moon demigods about Rähu’s attack, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viñëu, engages His disc, known as the Sudarçana cakra, to protect them. The Sudarçana cakra is the Lord’s most beloved devotee and is favoured by the Lord. The intense heat of its effulgence, meant for killing non-Vaiñëavas, is unbearable to Rähu, and he therefore flees in fear of it. During the time Rähu disturbs the sun or moon, there occurs what people commonly know as an eclipse.
.
PURPORT:
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viñëu, is always the protector of His devotees, who are also known as demigods. The controlling demigods are most obedient to Lord Viñëu, although they also want material sense enjoyment, and that is why they are called demigods, or almost godly. Although Rähu attempts to attack both the sun and the moon, they are protected by Lord Viñëu. Being very afraid of Lord Viñëu’s cakra, Rähu cannot stay in front of the sun or moon for more than a muhürta (forty-eight minutes). The phenomenon that occurs when Rähu blocks the light of the sun or moon is called an eclipse. (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srimad Bhagavatam 5:24:3. purport.)
.
In the eighth canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam there it "...describes how the demons, being enchanted by the beauty of the Mohiné form, agreed to hand over the container of nectar to Mohinédevé, 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, Mohiné, 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, Mohiné-mürti, 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 Mohiné-mürti, they remained silent. But one demon, named Rähu, 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 Rähu was cheating, He immediately cut off the demon’s head. Rähu, 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. Çukadeva Gosvämé ends this chapter by describing how powerful is the chanting of the holy names, pastimes and paraphernalia of the Supreme Personality of Godhead." (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srimad Bhagavatam 8:9th chapter Summary.)
.
"O King, as the demigods and demons sat facing east in an arena fully decorated with flower garlands and lamps and fragrant with the smoke of incense, that woman, dressed in a most beautiful sari, Her ankle bells tinkling, entered the arena, walking very slowly because of Her big, low hips. Her eyes were restless due to youthful pride, Her breasts were like water jugs, Her thighs resembled the trunks of elephants, and She carried a waterpot in Her hand." S.B 8:9:17.
.
"Her attractive nose and cheeks and Her ears, adorned with golden earrings, made Her face very beautiful. As She moved, Her sari’s border on Her breasts moved slightly aside. When the demigods and demons saw these beautiful features of Mohiné-mürti, who was glancing at them and slightly smiling, they were all completely enchanted." S.B. 8:9:18.
.
"Demons are by nature crooked like snakes. Therefore, to distribute a share of the nectar to them was not at all feasible, since this would be as dangerous as supplying milk to a snake. Considering this, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who never falls down, did not deliver a share of nectar to the demons." S.B. 8:9:19.
.
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead as Mohiné-mürti, the master of the universe, arranged separate lines of sitting places and seated the demigods and demons according to their positions."
S.B 8:9:20.
.
"Taking the container of nectar in Her hands, She first approached the demons, satisfied them with sweet words and thus cheated them of their share of the nectar. Then She administered the nectar to the demigods, who were sitting at a distant place, to make them free from invalidity, old age and death." S.B. 8:9:21.
..
"O King, since the demons had promised to accept whatever the woman did, whether just or unjust, now, to keep this promise, to show their equilibrium and to save themselves from fighting with a woman, they remained silent." S.B 8:9:22.
.
"The demons had developed affection for Mohiné-mürti and a kind of faith in Her, and they were afraid of disturbing their relationship. Therefore they showed respect and honour to Her words and did not say anything that might disturb their friendship with Her." S.B 8:9:23.
.
"Rähu, 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 Rähu, understood the situation. Thus Rähu was detected." S.B 8:9:24.
..
"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, using His disc, which was sharp like a razor, at once cut off Rähu’s head. When Rähu’s head was severed from his body, the body, being untouched by the nectar, could not survive." S.B 8:9:25.
.
"Rähu’s head, however, having been touched by the nectar, became immortal. Thus Lord Brahmä accepted Rähu’s head as one of the planets. Since Rähu 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." S.B 8:9:26.
.
Those of you who are able to cast a Vedic Astrological chart can experiment with this phenomenon yourself on the tithis when and eclipse is due - what happens is exactly as is said in the shastra - Rahu enters the house where the Sun and Moon are situated, and then comes between the Sun and the Moon. If you cast your charts or easier look on a computer screen that shows the movements of Rahu one can clearly see him come into position in what people call the penumbra and then after the penumbra he has clearly entered the penumbra, and the umbral period is experienced, then he exits via the penumbral shadow of the other side and the eclipse is thus concluded and Rahu head's off (no pun intended) into another House/Graha.

+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
¦7th Pisces         ¦8th Aries          ¦9th Taurus         ¦10th Gemini       ¦
¦                   ¦     Jupiter 10°50'¦                   ¦                  ¦
¦                   ¦      Saturn 23°01'¦                   ¦                  ¦
¦                   ¦                   ¦                   ¦                  ¦
+-------------------+---------------------------------------+------------------¦
¦6th Aquarius       ¦                                       ¦    Mercury  6°17'¦
¦                   ¦                                       ¦     Rahu D 19°11'¦
¦                   ¦                                       ¦       Moon 23°33'¦
¦                   ¦              Rasi Chart               ¦        Sun 24°27'¦
+-------------------¦                 for                   +------------------¦
¦5th Capricorn      ¦               London                 ¦12th Leo          ¦
¦      Ketu D 19°11'¦                                       ¦   Venus Rx  8°20'¦
¦                   ¦                                       ¦                  ¦
¦                   ¦                                       ¦                  ¦
+-------------------+---------------------------------------+------------------¦
¦4th Sagittarius    ¦3rd Scorpio        ¦2nd Libra          ¦1st Virgo         ¦
¦                   ¦                   ¦        Mars 22°58'¦  Ascendant 14°26'¦
¦                   ¦                   ¦                   ¦                 ¦
¦                   ¦                   ¦                   ¦                  ¦
+------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Here is a practical example of how the Sun and the Moon are about to be afflicted by Rahu in this chart for London, England for the morning of the 11th August 1999. A similar story will be there for all destinations in the path of the eclipse.
..
The planetary positions on the zodiac will be exactly the same for 11:30 UT in London and 19:30 Malaysian time (+8 UT) in KL. Only the lagna and house positions of the planets will change. This change of house is of course always going on according to lagna movement. Throughout that day (before, during and after the eclipse), Rahu and Sun will be continuously switching. Sometimes they will be together in the same house, sometimes one house apart (whichever method of house division we employ).

.

Let's remove the doubts and understand the perspective of the shastra and sages:
by Vaikuntha Kaviraja Prabhu

Now, the sastras tell us that when we have doubts we should try to resolve them by approaching the spiritual master who is sarva-samsaya-samchetta. Sastra doesn't say that we are to ignore our doubts, but that we should try to resolve them."

So I have done that, by listening to my Guru Maharaja. And he has the following to say:

Student: I have finished my studies and now I am taking a break, a vacation. Sridhar Maharaja: please don't take offense, but that you are involved in the present system of education means that you are diving deep in the ocean of ignorance. You are making progress in the ocean of ignorance. As a student of nescience you are moving in the opposite direction from truth. You are being taught that you and other souls of your type are the subjects - the center of the universe - and everything, all else, is an object meant only for your exploitation.

We see that by the movement of the different planets a solar eclipse is produced by the moon's shadow falling upon the earth. And yet in the scriptures it has been described that during an eclipse the palnet Rahu is devouring the sun or the moon. When Srila Bhaktisiddhanta was in Puri during his last days and an eclipse came, one devotee, who was supposed to know siddhanta, was sitting next to Prabhupada. He suddenly ridiculed the idea given in the Bhagavatam that during the solar or lunar eclipse Rahu devours the sun or moon.

I could not tolerate that such a remark should be passed in regard to the Bhagavatam and argued that what it has stated is not to be taken lightly. I offered what seemed like some far-fetched support. I said that in his Jaiva Dharma, Bhaktivinoda Thakur has created so many characters, but I think that they are not imaginary. What he has written might have occurred during some other millenium or day of Brahma and that has now come to the surface. In this way I went on to support the cosmological position of the Bhagavatam by arguing that what is necessary to prove reality must also have some real position. IT CANNOT BUT BE. In this way my argument went and Prabhupada supported me.

In understanding the position of the planet Rahu, what Sukadeva and Vyasa have said is geographically impossible, but their statements are there in the Bhagavatam and the literal meaning of the scriptures is not to be taken lightly. Considering the importance of the literal meaning od scripture. Bhaktivedant Swami Maharaja presented Bhagavad-gita asit is. I thought, 'How am I to prove what the Bhagavatam says? I don't know. But what is said in the Bhagavatam must be true. I have faith in that.'

There are so many statements on the cosmology of the universe in the scriptures. The Aryans, the spiritually developed men of former times, used to see everything as conscious. They saw that the shadow is also conscious. The shadow, abhasa, is also considered a stage of consciousness. The personification of the shadow may be referred to as Rahu.
________________________________________

The following should also be understood in relationship to Rahu as representing a dark force. This is from "Foundational Topics in Vedic Astrology" and was presented in my article "The Fallacy of the trans-Saturnian Planets." (Shyamasundara dasa ACBSP http://www.shyamasundaradasa.com )

21.7 Graha Versus Planet

There is a fundamental difference between the Vedic concept of graha and the Western use of Planets in astrology. Graha, by definition, is anything which has the power to seize, grasp or influence. In this case "seizing or influencing the destinies of men in a supernatural manner."  The word for planet on the other hand is translated as loka in Sanskrit. Not all grahas are lokas, nor are all lokas grahas. In English, this means that the class of entities or objects which have divinatory significance includes planets, but not all planets have divinatory significance. (We are reminded however that while certain planets may be grahas, in a divinatory sense, they are not causal agents. They do not cause anything to happen. But as mantic grahas they do have the power to be used in a divinatory language to explain the will of God. Just as omens do not cause anything but are divine signs.)

In Vedic Astrology the ten major grahas are: The Ascendant,  Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu (North Node of the Moon) and Ketu (South Node of the Moon). Of these ten grahas the Ascendant, Rahu and Ketu are not lokas or planets but rather mathematical points calculated by the astrologer. Though not planets they are of great significance. Vedic astrology also has numerous upa-grahas (minor grahas) and kala-velas (sensitive points in time). Of these up-grahas and kala-velas, Mandi is considered most important and is especially used in Kerala. Mandi is definitely not a planet in the Western sense, but it is a graha.

Vedic Astrology is a limb of the Vedas and was revealed to Rishis from a higher source. Ultimately, Jyotisha is revealed knowledge coming from Lord Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus, the traditional assignments of grahas is not trivial, meaningless or haphazard. We also note the Vedic  distinction between the classification of graha (divinatory agent) and loka (planet).

Western Astrology entirely lacks the concept of graha; they are left only with planets. As a consequence, they assume that simply because something is floating "out there," whether it be a planet like Neptune, or Ganymede (a moon of Jupiter) or asteroids like Athena; in all cases they should be incorporated into the chart. We suggest that such an attitude creates an incomprehensible hodge-podge which further erodes the axiomatic basis of their school of astrology. (What about comets and meteors? While Vedic astrology doesn't use asteroids in delineations, it does recognize and use comets and meteors, especially in Mundane astrology and nimitta.)
(Text PAMHO:2679117) ---------------------------------------
 

..The Effects of Eclipses:
Eclipses are, from an astrological point of view, often described as inauspicious events, and we know of recent cases where educated people stayed in their homes and even kept their children from going to class because of a partial solar eclipse.  In our perusal of the literature, we found that eclipses that occur near Rahu tend to be favourable, while those that occur near Ketu tend to cause roughness.  The problem with using these rules is that there is not a lot of research to validate what works and what does not.  Furthermore, eclipses are somewhat unique in that they become a point in the chart, but not a permanent one.  That is, take the eclipse point and mark it on the chart.  Now look for conjunctions or oppositions with that point involving transiting grahas, and see if they act as trigger points.  This point is supposed to last for as many years as the solar eclipse lasted in hours, so after some time this point should be removed from consideration.  In this sense, the eclipse point acts as a point of time-varying influence, with the influence generally decreasing with time.  We know of no measure of this decrease, but perhaps it is possible to define an exponentially decaying strength (bala) value to eclipse points.  It would be an interesting research project.

In Regard To The Lunar Eclipse At The Time Of Lord Chaitanya's Birth.
"The pious Sri Jagannatha Misra, Chaitanya's father, lived in Navadvipa.  Like Vasudeva, he conscientiously performed his spiritual duties. His devout and faithful wife Srimati Sacidevi was a second Devaki - the beloved mother of everyone. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Narayana appeared in the womb of Srimati Sacidevi, and as Sri Krsna Chaitanya, He became the most precious possession of everyone's heart.
 The Adi Khanda of Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat begins by describing the appearance of Lord Chaitanya on an auspicious full moon evening in the month of Phalguna when the moon went into eclipse. The tumultuous chanting of Lord Hari's holy name filled all directions, inspiring everyone to sing together. The Supreme Lord Chaitanya was born amidst the chanting."(Sarvabhavana dasa. 1984. English trans. Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat.)

"The Supreme Proprietor of the entire creation remained in the womb of Srimati Sacidevi, and on the full moon night in the month of Phalguna He appeared. That full moon night was the summum bonum of all the auspicious holy occasions of the cosmic manifestation combined. The Supreme Personality descended, accompanied by the process of congregational chanting of the holy name.  He propagated this process by practising it Himself. Who is able to know the wonderful pastimes of the Supreme Lord?  He arranged a lunar eclipse at the time of His birth. Upon seeing the lunar eclipse the residents of Navadvipa began to loudly chant the Lord's holy name and make other auspicious sounds. Endless teeming millions convulsed on the Ganges for holy ablutions and filled the air with loud chanting of the Lord's name. The tumultuous sound of their chanting penetrated the coverings of this material universe and travelled beyond Brahmaloka. All the saintly persons marvelled at this wonderful chanting and prayed for a perennial eclipse. All the devotees experienced deep exhilaration and exclaimed, "Such great joy! Maybe the Supreme Lord Krsna is making His appearance. The devotees went to the Ganges for their ablutions followed by the roar of chanting from all directions.  Women, children, aged, pious, and impious - everyone loudly chanted Lord Hari's holy name during the lunar eclipse. The only sound within the universe was the all-prevailing chanting of "Hari! Hari!" The demigods showered flower confetti everywhere and proclaimed victory as they beat clamorously on their dundubhi drums. Amidst the resounding adulations, the Lord and the very soul of the universe appeared as the son of Srimati Sacidevi. The moon was eclipsed by Rahu; the ocean of the holy name inundated Navadvipa, drowning and subduing the darkness of Kali Yuga.  The Supreme Lord was manifest!  All the fourteen worlds resounded with the profound news. The moon-like Lord Chaitanya, Gauranga, had arisen; the residents of Nadia were freed from all sorrows just seeing the Lord.  Their happiness and prosperity increased day by day. The roll of the dundubhi drums, the trumpeting of thousand conch shells, the shrill of flutes and horns, accompanied Vrndavana dasa's songs of praise to their Lordship Sri Chaitanya and Sri Nityananda Prabhu. His beautifully brilliant lustre overshadowed the sun's shining rays and dazzled my eyes.  His drawn out, slightly drooping eyes defied description. The air was surcharged with joy; Lord Chaitanya had descended to the material world! One roaring sound of Lord Hari's name reverberated throughout the universe, beyond Brahmaloka carrying the tidings of Lord Chaitanya's birth. His exquisite complexion was the colour of sandalwood paste.

His all expansive chest was decorated with a gently swaying wildflower garland and His iridescent, moon-like face is pleasing, cooling and comforting. His elongated arms reached down to His knees. Sounds of victory and praise permeated all directions and the earth felt especially blessed at the advent of Lord Chaitanya. Some sang in great joy while others danced in ecstasy.  But for Kali it was a calamity in the midst of spiritual revelry. The crown jewels of all Vedic conclusions are the Supreme Lords Chaitanya and Nityananda Prabhus. Their causeless mercy made no discrimination between the ignorant or the derelict. I, Vrndavana dasa, offer this song to them. The Golden moon, Lord Chaitanya, had arisen as sounds of great joy filled the air.  His beauty humbled a million cupids, and He smiled at His own dancing and singing. His lovely face and charming eyes added to the list of other marks of divinity on His transcendental person; His feet were marked with the signs of flag, lightning etc.  His entire exquisite form was decorated to enchant the minds of everyone. All fear and despondency was dissipated and the world was showered with immense fortunes. I, Vrndavana dasa, offer this song to my very life and soul, Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda.  The demigods became overjoyed and sang in praise of Lord Chaitanya's appearance.  A mere glance at the Lord's beatific, moon like face was enough to extirpate all miseries.  This was a glorious and happy occasion. Lord Ananta Shesha, Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva and other demigods all took up their new forms and, using the lunar eclipse as an excuse, continuously sang Lord Hari's name.  I cannot fully describe their exultation. Milling crowds poured in to Nadia with shouts of "Hari, Hari".

Navadvipa was in the grips of unbounded bliss. The Supreme Lord, the demigods and the human beings had all come together to frolic with one another.

The demigods came to the Srimati Sacidevi's house in the darkness of the eclipse and, unseen by humans, fell to the ground and offered obeisances to Lord Chaitanya.  Who can describe these abstruse pastimes of the Lord.  Some broke out in types of glorification, some held the umbrella and some fanned the Lord with a chamara, while others showered flowers in ecstasy and still others sang and danced exuberantly. Lord Chaitanya appeared with all His pure devotees and the atheist will never understand it. I, Vrndavana dasa sing the nectarine glories of Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda. The rumble of Dundubhi drums, hymns, prayers and sweet music mingled and resounded in the air. Today, without delay, we can meet that Supreme Personality who is a mystery even in the Vedas. The demigods in Indrapura were tumultuously happy; busily decorating themselves, they felt extremely fortunate that they could receive Lord Chaitanya's blessed association in Navadvipa.  They embraced and kissed each other without shame in exultation that the Lord of Navadvipa, Lord Chaitanya, had taken His birth.  There was no distinction of friend or foe.   In great curiosity the demigods came to Navadvipa amidst loud chanting of God's name.

Infected by the transcendental mellow of Lord Chaitanya they became almost unconscious in ecstasy and joined in singing the glories of Lord Chaitanya. They saw the beautiful form of Lord Chaitanya.  He was more exquisite than a thousand rising full moons. He accepted the human form and made everyone loudly chant the Lord's holy name, using the eclipse as a good excuse. The Lord descended with all his energies and expansions; this is incomprehensible to the atheists.  Vrndavana dasa Thakura says, "Let me sing in adulation about my life and soul, Lord Sri Chaitanya and Sri Nityananda Prabhu."

It may be noted herein that the effects of solar and lunar eclipses are not limited to the place where they may be seen only, but are in fact pervasive to the entire planet at that time, but the place where the "shadowy effect" passes over is certainly seen to be affected more. To find your exact time zone, longitude and latitude for your location and find the time relation to eclipses in the world please download the free software for world time zones from the link at the top of this page.

Types of Solar Eclipses (from a western perspective)
http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/time/eclipses.html

The preceding figure allows three general classes of solar eclipses (as observed from any particular point on the Earth) to be defined:

Total Solar Eclipses occur when the umbra of the Moon's shadow touches a region on the surface of the Earth.
Partial Solar Eclipses occur when the penumbra of the Moon's shadow passes over a region on the Earth's surface.
Annular Solar Eclipses occur when a region on the Earth's surface is in line with the umbra, but the distances are such that the tip of the umbra does not reach the Earth's surface.

As illustrated in the figure, in a total eclipse the surface of the Sun is completely blocked by the Moon, in a partial eclipse it is only partially blocked, and in an annular eclipse the eclipse is partial, but such that the apparent diameter of the Moon can be seen completely against the (larger) apparent diameter of the Sun.

A given solar eclipse may be all three of the above for different observers. For example, in the path of totality (the track of the umbra on the Earth's surface) the eclipse will be total, in a band on either side of the path of totality the shadow cast by the penumbra leads to a partial eclipse, and in some eclipses the path of totality extends into a path associated with an annular eclipse because for that part of the path the umbra does not reach the Earth's surface.

Total Solar Eclipses
A total solar eclipse requires the umbra of the Moon's shadow to touch the surface of the Earth. Because of the relative sizes of the Moon and Sun and their relative distances from Earth, the path of totality is usually very narrow (hundreds of kilometers across). The following figure illustrates the path of totality produced by the umbra of the Moon's shadow. (We do not show the penumbra, which will produce a partial eclipse in a much larger region on either side of the path of totality; we also illustrate in this figure the umbra of the Earth's shadow, which will be responsible for total lunar eclipses to be discussed in the next section.)

Local Visibility of Lunar Eclipses - years 1951 to 2050
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/LEvis/LEvis.html

How to use an eclipse:

Astrologically, or should I say in the use of Muhurtha astrology they have different effects; for example in say stock trading which is ruled by the eclipses, where there's an eclipse of Ketu worth of stock has a tendency to go down, whereas Rahu eclipses are good for rising stock prices on the exchange, let us explain.

The most important factor in determining a shift in the stock market is a solar eclipse.  This occurs when the Sun and Moon are conjunct with the North (Rahu) or the South (Ketu) Nodes of the Moon. A solar eclipse occurs every six months either in Rahu or Ketu.

An eclipse is very unpredictable, but one thing is for sure -- they cause reverses. A Ketu eclipse causes a down trend in the market, whereas a Rahu eclipse will cause an up trend. The shift begins to move toward the following eclipse. Planets conjoined or aspecting these eclipse points flavor the effects. The sign (sidereal) the eclipse falls in has great emphasis on what kinds of stocks will rise or fall.

A station of a planet is of paramount importance. This will magnify that planet’s effect. As the planet changes direction, the planetary effect shifts. Retrograde planets bring stock down. When the planet goes direct, the stock will begin to rise.

A planet is strong when it is either stationary, or it is conjunct or opposite a recent eclipse point.

The planet that rules the type of stock must be identified. For the business or stock to do well, this planet must be strong.

Always choose a first trade chart that is compatible with your own chart. Look for positive connections between both charts.

First one will have to determine whether the eclipse is caused by Rahu or Ketu before entering into the Stock exchange environment, so if you need that assistance in your investments send me an 
 



Remedial Measures Vaishnavas Take To Protect Ourselves During Eclipses:
 "The controlling demigods are most obedient to Lord Viñëu, although they also want material sense enjoyment, and that is why they are called demigods, or almost godly. Although Rähu attempts to attack both the sun and the moon, they are protected by Lord Viñëu. Being very afraid of Lord Viñëu’s cakra, Rähu cannot stay in front of the sun or moon for more than a muhürta (forty-eight minutes). The phenomenon that occurs when Rähu blocks the light of the sun or moon is called an eclipse." (A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. SB 5:24:3. purport.)

Dr. Patel: Are we not observing this eclipse rituals, that, during the eclipse we stop aratis and all of this...
PrabhupAda: Why?
Dr. Patel: And after the eclipse is over, take bath and then do the arati?
PrabhupAda: Yes, they take bath.
Dr. Patel: Even the other Vaishnava mandirs don't do arati during that period if it comes within that...
PrabhupAda: Hare Krsna.
(Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. Morning Walk -- November 17, 1975, Bombay)

"The Lord has described the purity and impurity of different places, times and material objects. According to the laws of nature, that which is impure contaminates a particular person in accordance with that person's situation, as described here. For example, on certain occasions, such as a solar eclipse or just after childbirth, one must restrict the intake of food according to ritualistic injunctions."(Hridayananda das Goswami. SB 11:21:11. purport.)

Çréla Gaura-kiçora däsa Bäbäjé remained in Çré Navadvépa-Dhäma, living in different villages and realizing their non-difference from the holy places of Våndävana. He begged by gathering dry foodstuffs from the householders of the Holy Dhäma. He would sometimes offer those foodstuffs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead by the simple expedient of holding them in his hand. In order to cook he would collect dry wood from the paths, and he would wash earthen pots discarded by the villagers along the roadside near the Ganges River on the occasion of eclipses (due to the effects of an eclipse such pots were considered impure and unusable). (Biographies of Previous Acharyas and Bhaktas, Babaji Maharaj, Çréla Gaura-kiçora däsa Bäbäjé, Family life and renunciation, by Karnamrita dasa)

Prabhupäda: ...served five thousand years ago at Kurukñetra. In India there is still that place, Kurukñetra, and religious men go there especially on the occasion of solar eclipse. So recently there was solar eclipse. Still, many millions of Indian population gathered there. Those who have gone to India might have seen this holy place, Kurukñetra. There is a railway station also of the name Kurukñetra, and it is a vast field. The Battle of Kurukñetra took place also during Lord Kåñëa's time, and the Bhagavad-gétä is the product in the Battlefield of Kurukñetra. (Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. New York, July 18, 1976)

So the Lord advented Himself on the Phalgooni Purnima evening of 1407 Shakabda and it was by the will of the Lord there was Lunar eclipse on that evening. It is the custom of the Hindu public to take bath in the Ganges or any other sacred river during the hours of eclipse and chant the Vedic mantras for purification. When Lord Chaitanya was born during the Lunar eclipse, the whole of India was roaring with holy sound of HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE. (Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad. Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto One Vol one, Introduction 1962 edition)

According to the Jyotir-veda, the Rähu 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 Kåñëa mahä-mantra. At the time of the birth of Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu such a lunar eclipse took place, and naturally all the people standing in the water were chanting Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa, Hare Hare Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare. (Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Sri Chaitanya Charitamritam Adi-lila 13:92 purport)

From BTG magazine. 23-07 1988. Lokanath Swami "Return to Dvarka".
    As the pada-yäträ procession moves toward the city of Dvärakä, its skyline predominated by the magnificent Dvärakädhéça temple, devotees relish chanting and dancing in the fresh, cool morning air.
Near the city we stop at a small roadside temple for prasädam, which is served late because of the solar eclipse. The priests say that food cooked during an eclipse is considered inedible, so the cooking was delayed. While we wait for prasädam, Çrédhara Swami speaks to us about the citizens of Dvärakä. No ordinary soul can live in Kåñëa's land, he says. They are very special people, and they are warm and friendly. We should treat them with respect and give them a good impression of the Kåñëa  consciousness movement.

Generally throughout India devotees take pre-caution to not perform any kind of activity such as rituals; Deity puja - worship; cooking or eating; any samskaras, but especially not to perform garbhadhanam, no yajnas are performed either, no studying, etc., during a lunar or solar eclipse. Rather following in the footsteps of Lord Sri Krishna Who along with the cowherds visited Kurukshetra, and the above mentioned instant, and as Srila Prabhupad himself showed by example, devotees take full shelter of the Holy Names of the Lord and if in India submerge themselves in sacred rivers such as the Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Namadi, Sind, Kaveri, Tungabhadra, Godavari, or even the sea, etc., whilst jubilantly chanting the Holy Names of God - hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare / hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare.
.
"And you say that several hundred people joined in chanting and dancing during the eclipse. All these things are very much encouraging to me." (Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Letter to: Damodara das - Los Angeles 24 March, 1970)

"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 the Vedic religion stand up in the water throughout the whole period of the eclipse and chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra". (Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi-lila 13.124. purport.)

Furthermore it is mentioned by Ayurvedic kaviraj's that as a pre-cautionary measure that women who are bearing children in their wombs should neither sew, make garlands, cut anything such as paper, or look at the eclipsing sun or moon least it be detrimental to the health and well being of the unborn child. Ayurved mentions that a pregnant woman looking at the eclipsing sun or moon is often born with a child with a hair lip (torn or scared upper lip), if she sews, piercing anything or cuts anything this too may cause impairment of internal organs of the child. Consequently pregnant women stay in doors and chant the Holy names of the Lord, being careful not to also fall asleep. Falling asleep or taking rest during these times can leave one subjected to the attacks of ghosts (bhuta, preetas, etc.). Some people don't believe in ghosts, but believe me that still doesn't make them go away.

Even devotees do not study the scriptures during an eclipse as the mind can be influences and twisted from the correct shastric conclusion. As a rule all temples close, all food and water is covered. Clothes are not put out on the line to dry during an eclipse as they then become contaminated - in the similar way that we hang out woolen chaddars or blankets to be purified by the rays of the Moon on full Moon nights being purified by those rays, so in the same way the graha-grastha rays contaminate all cloth hung out and it needs re-washing.
    Similarly water that is in a window, or in a jug that the rays of an eclipse toughed will need to be thrown out, so similarly foodstuffs too, can be given to the lower animals, or composted - even prasadam. Of course we accept that prasadam itself is never contaminated, and always remains pure in the spiritual sense, but still it can become covered or infected dirty or impure things that are physically placed on or in it. We're not sentimental, even Raghunath dasa Goswami washed off the external garbage from the prasadam remnants he found and honoured. Here, with Eclipses, even that is not the recommended method as the residual effects cannot easily be washed away in the conventional manner, so it is to be disgarded instead.

There's more on this later.


The performance of Rituals at the time of Graha-Grastah – eclipse:
Generally it is to be understood that what you are proposing to do for rituals/pujas/ceremonies, etc., are NEVER to be done during a lunar or solar eclipse - graha-grasthah. Rather as mentioned earlier, if you notice ALL TEMPLES CLOSE at the time of an eclipse, nothing is cooked, no offerings are made, etc. Foodstuffs are covered, water is not stored, washing is not left out on the clothes line, etc. If one needs to eat then one does it before the eclipse comes into penumbra or leaves it until after the umbra and penumbra have completely passed - a maximum of but four or so hours. This is supported in Surya Siddhanta of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada, Chapter 4 texts 16 and 17 read:

"The middle of the eclipse is to be regarded as occurring at the true close of the lunar day. If from that time, the time of half-duration be subtracted, the moment of contact (grasa) is found. If the same (half-duration) be added, the moment of separation (moksha)."

"In like manner, if from and to it there be subtracted and added, in the case of a total eclipse, the half-time of total obscuration, the results will be the moments called those of immersion and emergence."

In other words, the lunar phase is indeed the key. The start of pratipat is to be regarded as the midpoint according to the Surya Siddhanta (the Moon, Sun and Earth are exactly in line, longitude-wise).
    For example, the duration of the umbra sweep as given by NASA is from 09:31 UT (North Atlantic) to 12:36 UT (Bay of Bengal). Around three hours. Half-duration is 93 minutes. 11:03 UT was quoted as point of maximum eclipse, which also happens to be the midpoint of the sweep. And true to the Surya Siddhanta, pratipat occurs around this time.
    So for our purposes, the local timing of duration to be avoided will be 09:31UT-12:36UT for all places on the planet. But this is for the umbra only, not penumbra. So better to play safe and follow the rule of thumb we gave earlier - two hours on either side. Which means from 09:03UT-13:03UT. (or half an hour each side for short eclipses)(see the eclipse in action from the simulator)

    Instead as we recollect in the life and birth of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu everyone is encouraged to absorb oneself in the Holy Name and if so fortunate goes to the Ganga and chants the Hare Krishna mahamantra.
    Devotees do not even study during an eclipse. As stated in Sanatan Goswami and Gopal Bhatta Goswami's Dik Darshini Tika; in connection with Quotes from the Visnu Purana about how the Grihastha should work in this world "(text 44) At the time of thundering in the sky, or on the eighth day of the waxing or waning moon, in an unclean condition, and during an eclipse, a learned person does not study scriptures".

"During the hours of eclipse it was the custom of the Hindu public to take bath in the Ganges or any other sacred river and chant the Vedic mantras for purification. When Lord Chaitanya was born during the lunar eclipse, all India was roaring with the holy sound of Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare."(A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1 Introduction.)

 Otherwise it is customary according to the shastra to go to a Holy place and take shelter there to be free from the contaminating effects of Rahu (Rahu is the cause of eclipses not Ketu).
 "In this connection, the darkness occurring before the full moon, the lunar eclipse, can be explained as being another planet, known as Rähu. According to Vedic astronomy, the Rähu planet, which is not visible, is accepted. Sometimes the Rähu planet is visible in the presence of full moonlight. It then appears that this Rähu planet exists somewhere near the orbit of the moon. The failure of modern moon excursionists may be due to the Rähu planet. In other words, those who are supposed to be going to the moon may actually be going to this invisible planet Rähu."(A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. SB 4:29:69. purport.)

See Moonlanding Hoax page in this regard:

Auspicious or inauspicious, and for what - functionality of auspiciousness:
Certainly there are some places in the Bhagavatam and other shastras that prescribe certain activities as being auspicious. Sometimes there is confusion as to the meaning of "auspiciousness", and what the functionality of auspiciousness actually is. There is for example a natural auspiciousness that occurs when a great saintly devotee enters or leaves the world, so similarly that of the Lord, and recognising that as being ALL auspicious devotees absorb ourselves in thought and remembrance of the pastimes thereof. That is in itself auspicious centred around a spiritual event in the Panjika (Calendar).

    Now there is also another kind of auspiciousness or inauspiciousness that we find occurring for use. that is a specific functionary auspiciousness that allows us conditioned beings to utilised certain favourable elements (the time; mase - month, and lagna/rasi - zodiac, paksha - light or dark fortnight, tithi - phase of the moon, nakshatra - stellar constellation, varam - day, muhurtha - time capsule, segment of the day) for a specific use. These elements just mentioned have their various natures, and thus uses, and should not necessarily be always accepted as being auspicious or inauspicious of their own free standing. To understand how to utilise these we use special formulas that are revealed in the shastra to inform us according to combinations of the above what is to be used, or is auspicious for what - those shastras are generally called Panchangas, Panjikas, or Kalaprakashikas, etc.

    Therefore this allows us to understand the differences and functionality of the elements mentioned in the above books.  This way we can clearly define what is the element that makes a thing auspicious or inauspicious, and assists us in choosing the right times for doing what needs to be done, or prioritizing the auspiciousness of a day. This will help us to also understand the difference in something being auspicious as in the Janma-asthami of Lord Krishna's "birth", Radha-asthami of Srimati Radhika's appearance, the Nrisimha-Chaturdasi and why they are auspicious. The function that rules their auspiciousness is not their qualitative potency, but their being blessed by the appearance of the Lord on those tithis. The tithis themselves are not used for creating good in this world otherwise. Rather some Vama-tantriks and other karmakhandis utilise their potency for other things, closer to the nature of the tithi. In a similar manner we would like to suggest to you that these days such as Fullmoons/Purnimas, and Amavasyas/Newmoons are not to be utilised to celebrate functionary activities of a samskarik nature as their auspiciousness is based upon the appearance of the Lord UNDER CERTAIN full or new moons and NOT ALL.

Unlike the followers of the karma khandha we are NOT hung up over auspicious, or inauspiciousness. But like any intelligent person we ARE interested in proper and practical functionality. Who would go to the beach to witness a Tidal wave - no-one but a fool. Who in their right mind hangs out their clean clothes if you know a dust or sand storm or hurricane is coming?

…you may even notice that where it is said in the Srimad Bhagavatam that one should perform the Shraddha ceremony on the ekadasi tithi in the text, Prabhupad cites Srila Jiva Goswami as saying that: "Çréla Jéva Gosvämé has given quotations from many çästras stating that the çräddha ceremony of oblations to the forefathers should not be performed on Ekädaçé tithi. When the tithi of the death anniversary falls on the Ekädaçé day, the çräddha ceremony should be held not on Ekädaçé but on the next day, or dvädaçé. In the Brahma-vaivarta puräëa it is said:
 If one performs the çräddha ceremony of oblations to the forefathers on the Ekädaçé tithi, then the performer, the forefathers for whom the çräddha is observed, and the purohita, or the family priest who encourages the ceremony, all go to hell." (A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. SB 7:14:20-23. purport.)

Similarly Kalaprakashika and the Grhya Sutras advise that one should NOT perform yajnas, pujas, initiations, installations, conceive children, get married, or even cook - any activity that is considered Sat Kriya Karmani during either a solar sankranti or solar or lunar eclipse.

"Hearing that a total eclipse of the sun was soon to occur, people from all over Bhärata-varña, including the Yädavas, converged at Kurukñetra to earn special pious credit. After the Yadus had bathed and performed other obligatory rituals, they noticed that kings of Matsya, Uçénara and other places had also come, as well as Nanda Mahäräja and the cowherd community of Vraja, who were always feeling the intense anxiety of separation from Kåñëa. The Yädavas, overjoyed to see all these old friends, embraced them one by one as they shed tears of happiness. Their wives also embraced one another with great pleasure."(A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. SB 10:82nd chapter summary.)

What I suggest to you here is that the devotees gathered at the Holy place of pilgrimage bathed in the Holy Tirthas there, and then after the eclipse had passed then purified performed their sacrifices and pujas. My reason for saying this is also that one MUST NEVER bathe directly after a yajna or sacrifice or experiencing some auspicious event, rather even religious avavrtya baths are taken some time after a sacrificial event. To take immediatly after infers some impurity needed to be cleansed from what what just performed......

And supporting that theory "At the Räjasüya-yajïa, on the other hand, Duryodhana’s jealousy against the Päëòavas became irrevocably inflamed. Soon after this, Duryodhana challenged Yudhiñöhira and his brothers to the gambling match, in which he cheated them of their kingdom and exiled them to the forest. Right after the Päëòavas’ return from exile, the great Battle of Kurukñetra took place, during which Bhéñma and Droëa were killed. So it is not logically possible for the solar eclipse at Kurukñetra to have happened after the Räjasüya sacrifice."(A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. SB 10:82:1. purport.)

Although it is mentioned by Srila Prabhupad that it is auspicious to fast and perform worship during ekadasi and an eclipse (SB 10:82:2. purport), the kind of worship prescribed is Harinam and not ritual as paraphernalia/dravya is subjected to dravya suddhi and would become impure in itself and unofferable.

B. V. Raman's book on Muhurtha Astrology (1986.) says that one should not perform auspicious ceremonies upon such days least one creates a Grahanothpatha Dosha, and especially if the day was chosen for a wedding/marriage such a constellation (nakshatra) that the eclipse fell upon must be avoided by six months. His emphasis is that the eclipse effects are long lasting and unwanted. Usually any negative effects are seen within three months, we can take note of recent events in the world; earthquakes, earth changes, extremes in temperature and even violence, as under Rahu's (as well as Uranus, Neptune - who are sometimes equated with Rahu and Ketu) demoniac influence.

As far as rituals that are performed or recommended in shastra, some are for Vaishnavas and some are not (ie. Ucchatan, Vidweshan, Maran, Ishstanbhan, Vashi Karan etc). There are certainly rites that can be performed during an eclipse, and even in the cemetery at mid-night, or seated upon the body of a corpse, or standing naked to invoke Vashi Karan (mesmerization) upon someone, but generally we don't get involved in these too much.

Generally in the Vaishnava sampradayas Mantra Diksha is done under the following co-ordinates, the idea being to get as many of them as possible right. I know that in Iskcon these things haven't been so much emphasized, and from the understanding of what Srila Prabhupad was doing, and the man-power that he had to work with he didn't overburden the devotees with so many rules and injunctions, just to get on with it. This doesn't mean that the times mentioned in shastra, and even in Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada's Navadwip Panjika (available yearly from Gaudiya maths) are not applicable or dare someone say wrong. I think not.

Traditionally a guru would find an astrologically auspicious day for his disciples to take diksha, or to take sannyas (under Vrishabh lagna/Taurus, with a steady nakshatra in a steady rasi etc), giving them the best benefit of the conditional aspects of diksha as well as the spiritual rite itself, etc.

MONTHS.         VAISAKHA, ASHADHA, SRAVANA, KARTIKA, MRGASIRSA, PHALGUNA.

PAKSA.          KRSNA                               SUKLA
TITHI.              2, 3, 5.                        2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13*.

 *  The Sri Vaishnava diksha is generally done on the trayodasi (13).

VARJITAM:    (forbidden tithis) Full moon and Dark Moon – Amavasya (this takes into account any likelihood of an eclipse, as they only come on Full Moons and Dark Moons and not otherwise.)

VARAM.          SUNDAY, MONDAY WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY.

NAKSHATRAM.
Asvini, Rohini, Mrgasirsa, Punarvasu, Pushyami, Magha, Uttara Phalguni, Uttara Ashadha, Uttara Bhadrapada, Hasta, Citra, Svati, Visakha, Anuradha, Mula, Sravana, Satabhisakam, Dhanistha, Revathi.

"The Lord has described the purity and impurity of different places, times and material objects. According to the laws of nature, that which is impure contaminates a particular person in accordance with that person's situation, as described here. For example, on certain occasions, such as a solar eclipse or just after childbirth, one must restrict the intake of food according to ritualistic injunctions."(Hridayananda das Goswami. SB 11:21:11. purport.)

Asaucham ( times of ritual impurity) involving Sutakam (birth of a child) and Mritakam (death)

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

"According to the Jyotir-veda, the Rähu 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 Kåñëa mahä-mantra. At the time of the birth of Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu such a lunar eclipse took place, and naturally all the people standing in the water were chanting Hare Kåñëa, Hare Kåñëa, Kåñëa Kåñëa, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare."(A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Chaitanya charitamrta Adi-lila 13:92. purport.)

"Seeing the lunar eclipse and laughing, both Advaita Äcärya and Haridäsa Öhäkura immediately went to the bank of the Ganges and bathed in the Ganges in great jubilation. Taking advantage of the occasion of the lunar eclipse, Advaita Äcärya, by His own mental strength, distributed various types of charity to the brähmaëas."(CC Adi-lila 13:100 txt.)
PURPORT
"It is the custom of Hindus to give in charity to the poor as much as possible during the time of a lunar or solar eclipse. Advaita Äcärya, therefore, taking advantage of this eclipse, distributed many varieties of charity to the brähmaëas. In the Çrémad-Bhägavatam there is a statement in the Tenth Canto, Third Chapter, verse 11, that when Kåñëa took His birth, immediately Vasudeva, taking advantage of this moment, distributed ten thousand cows to the brähmaëas. It is customary among Hindus that at the time a child is born, especially a male child, the parents distribute great charity in jubilation. Advaita Äcärya was actually interested in distributing charity because of Lord Chaitanya's birth at the time of the lunar eclipse. People could not understand, however, why Advaita Äcärya was giving such a great variety of things in charity. He did so not because of the lunar eclipse but because of the Lord’s taking birth at that moment. He distributed charity exactly as Vasudeva did at the time of Lord Kåñëa’s appearance."(A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Chaitanya Charitamrta Adi-lila 13:100. purport.)

Then just as my conclusion (because I've run out of time allotted for this) Srila Prabhupad outlines the sequence of events so that the pilgrimage involved in visiting a Holy Tirtha at the time of an eclipse is NOT for ACTUAL RITUALS but for cleansing, distibuting charity and remembering the Lord, THEN when the eclipse has passed again one takes bath and begins to cook etc., for the actual service of the Lord. This follows the Sat suddhis of Pancharatrik practices (atma suddhi, sthan suddhi, murthy suddhi, manasa suddhi, chit suddhi, mantra suddhi).

 "After arriving in Kurukñetra, the members of the Yadu dynasty took their baths ceremoniously, with self-control, as enjoined in the çästras, and they observed fasting for the whole period of the eclipse in order to nullify the reactions of their sinful activities. Since it is a Vedic custom to give in charity as much as possible during the hours of the eclipse, the members of the Yadu dynasty distributed many hundreds of cows in charity to the brähmaëas. All those cows were fully decorated with nice dress and ornaments. The special feature of these cows was that they had golden ankle bells and flower garlands on their necks.

 After the eclipse, all the members of the Yadu dynasty again took their baths in the lakes created by Lord Paraçuräma. Then they sumptuously fed the brähmaëas with first-class cooked food, all prepared in butter. According to the Vedic system, there are two classes of food. One is called raw food, and the other is called cooked food. Raw food does not include raw vegetables and raw grains but food boiled in water, whereas cooked food is made in ghee. Chapätés, dhal, rice and ordinary vegetables are called raw foods, as are fruits and salads. But purés, kachaurés, samosäs, sweet balls and so on are called cooked foods. All the brähmaëas invited on that occasion by the members of the Yadu dynasty were fed sumptuously with cooked food.

 The ceremonial functions performed by the members of the Yadu dynasty externally resembled the ritualistic ceremonies performed by the karmés. When a karmé performs some ritualistic ceremony, his ambition is sense gratification—good position, good wife, good house, good children or good wealth—but the ambition of the members of the Yadu dynasty was different. Their ambition was to offer perpetual faith and devotion to Kåñëa. All the members of the Yadu dynasty were great devotees. As such, after many births of accumulated pious activities, they were given the chance to associate with Lord Kåñëa. In going to take their baths in the place of pilgrimage at Kurukñetra, in observing the regulative principles during the solar eclipse, or in feeding the brähmaëas—in all their activities—they simply thought of devotion to Kåñëa. Their ideal worshipable Lord was Kåñëa, and no one else."(A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Krsna Book chapter 82. Krishna and Balaram meet the inhabitants of Vrindavan.)

The bottom line is that we need to take shelter of the Lord's HOLY NAME at this time as is the tradition followed still today throughout India, and now all over the world. There's no need of doing any separate ritual. Being so absorbed in chanting the Lord's names at this time no other activities go on, or need to go on. Especially no cooking or offering or eating is done, no sleeping, no procreating etc. Simply chanting, and if you have access to the sacred rivers then bathe in them and chant the maha-mantra.

As far as understanding in specific which form of the Lord is in control of what aspect or what planet you might find the following information useful.

Lord Varaha deva, the wild boar incarnation of the Lord is the Avatara who is the Lord of the Rahu-vamsha (Rahu-dynasty).

NaaLEnna seyyum kOLenna Seyyum
NaarAyaNan Thiruvadi piditthARkkE

(Meaning ): what can the Thithi (phase of the Moon) and nakshathrams (stellar constellation) do for one, or to one, who has firmly grasped Sriman NaarAyaNA's Thiruvadi (Lord Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Vishnu or Lord Sri Krishna) as one’s protection ? Nothing. No need to fear Grahams (planets) and their effects. Graha PhalamEmi asks Saint ThyagarAja for those who has recieved the anugraham of Sri Raamachandran (Sri Rama).

Shastra tells us that the worship of Garuda and Bhagavan Narasimha wards off all evil effects from the navagrahas (nine planets). The Nrisimha PuraNam specifically glorifies this aspect in the RuNa vimOchana stotram salutation "krUragrahaI: piidithAnAm bhakthAnAm abhaya pradham".

Also from an astrological astronomical perspective to again re-inforce emphasis on ONLY taking shelter of the Lord and not temporal material endevours it is suggested in each of the Vaishnava sampradayas that recitation of Srila Jayadev Goswami's (Gaudiya line), or Sripad Vadiraj Tirtha's (Madha line), or Swami Desikan's (Sri Vaishnava line) recite the Dashavatara stotram (prayers in glorification of the 10 primary incarnations) safeguards one from all evil effects of navagrahas (nine planets). In that regard Lord Matsya avataram rules over Ketu, while Kurma avataram confers protection against the effects of Shani (Saturn), Lord Varaha grants succour from the effects of Rahu, Lord Narasimha from Mars (Kuja or Mangal), Lord Vamana from Brihaspati (Jupiter), Bhargava Rama (Parasuram) from Shukran (Venus), Dasharathi Rama (Lord Ramachandra) from the Sun (Surya-vamsha), Krishna from the Moon (Chandra-vamsha), Lord Balarama from Gulikan, and Lord Kalki from Budhan (Mercury) - again a wonderful demonstration of the compassion of Our Paramacharyan (gurus) for their followers.

More on the Dasavatara forms of the Lord may be viewed HERE:
http://www.hknet.org.nz/Dasavatara-page.htm
 

Insights from Shyamasunara prabhu ACBSP - Jyotish Siromani
http://www.shyamasundaradasa.com

"It may be noted herein that the effects of solar and lunar eclipses are not limited to the place where they may be seen only, but are in fact pervasive to the entire planet at that time."

To the best of my knowledge this is not true. Eclipses are actually only important, from an astrological perspective, in the regions of the world where they are observed, not in others. For example lunar eclipse is only visible at night, so if the eclipse takes place in other parts of the world when it is daylight hours for you then it has no effect on you. Similarly a solar eclipse is only visible in the day time thus if the time the eclipse takes place in other parts of the world is during the night hours of your location you are not affected.

Another thing to note that in the case of solar eclipse the path traced by where the eclipse is "total" or at is maximum is where the greatest effect will be and the effect deminishes with distance from the path of totality.
To see what I mean by path of totality visit the following link:

http://tinyurl.com/s85j8

Another point is that while an exlipse will start and end at particular times, the time that you will be concerned with is only the time it is visible in your location which may only be a subset of the whole duration of the eclipse. This happens because the eclipse is truncated due to its proximity to either sunrise or sunset in your locality.

Note when we mean astrological perspective we mean Mundane Astrology -- the astrology which has to do with nations, poltics, weather, market fluctuations, earthquakes, etc -- in other words the Astrology of the World (Mundo).
 



Grahanamandana of Parameshvara - further insights from the Vedik perspective



              Lunar Eclipses: 2000 - 2005

Date Eclipse Type Umbral Magnitude Total Duration Geographic Region of                   Eclipse Visibility
2000 Jan 21 Total 1.330 78m Pacific, Americas, Europe, Africa
2000 Jul 16 Total 1.773 108m Asia, Pacific, w Americas
2001 Jan 09 Total 1.195 01h02m e Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia
2001 Jul 05  Partial 0.499 - e Africa, Asia, Aus., Pacific
2001 Dec 30 Penumbral -0.110 - e Asia, Aus., Pacific, Americas
2002 May 26 Penumbral -0.283 - e Asia, Aus., Pacific, w Americas
2002 Jun 24 Penumbral -0.788 - S. America, Europe, Africa, c Asia, Aus.
2002 Nov 20 Penumbral -0.222 - Americas, Europe, Africa, e Asia
2003 May 15/16 Total 1.134 00h53m c Pacific (not Aus-NZ), Americas, Europe, Africa
2003 Nov 09  Total 1.022 00h24m  Americas, Europe, Africa, c Asia
2004 May 04 Total 1.309 01h16m S. America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Aus.
2004 Oct 28 Total 1.313 01h21m Americas, Europe, Africa, c Asia
2005 Apr 24 Penumbral -0.139 - e Asia, Aus., Pacific, Americas
2005 Oct 17 Partial  0.068 - Asia, Aus., Pacific, North America 

 

Region of Solar Eclipse Visibility.

Date Eclipse Type  Eclipse Magnitude  Central Duration Geographic Region of Eclipse Visibility
1999 Feb 16 Annular  0.993 00m40s s Africa, Antarctica, Australia, N. Z. 
[Annular: s Indian, Australia]
1999 Aug 11 Total  1.029  02m23s e N. America, n Africa, Europe, Asia 
[Total: England, Europe, Middle East, Turkey, India]
2000 Feb 5 Partial  0.579   -  Antarctica 
2000 Jul 01 Partial 0.477  -  S Pacific Ocean, s South America
2000 Jul 31  Partial  0.603  - n Asia, nw North America 
2000 Dec 25 Partial 0.723   -  North & Central America 
2001 Jun 21 Total  1.050 04m57s   e S. America, Africa 
 [Total: s Atlantic, s Africa, Madagascar]
2001 Dec 14  Annular 0.968 03m53s N. & C. America, nw S. America 
[Annular: c Pacific, Costa Rica]
2002 Jun 10  Annular  0.996 00m23s  e Asia, Australia, w N. America 
[Annular: n Pacific, w Mexico]
2002 Dec 04 Total  1.024 02m04s  s Africa, Antarctica, Indonesia, Australia 
[Total: s Africa, s Indian, s Australia]

2003 May 31 Annular 0.938 03m37s Europe, Asia, nw N. America 
[Annular: Iceland, Greenland]
2003 Nov 23 Total 1.038 01m57s Australia, N. Z., Antarctica, s S. America 
[Total: Antarctica]
2004 Apr 19 Partial 0.736 - Antarctica, s Africa
2004 Oct 14 Partial 0.927 - ne Asia, Hawaii, Alaska
2005 Apr 08 Hybrid 1.007 00m42s N. Zealand, N. & S. America 
[Hybrid: s Pacific, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela]


 

To see detailed descriptions of Solar Eclipses chart 1999-2002:
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/eclipse.html

All Eclipses 2001-2005:
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/eclipse.html

Solar and Lunar eclipse close up charts of beginnings and ending times - best charts:
http://riemann.usno.navy.mil/AA/data/docs/UpcomingEclipses.html

All the Lunar Eclipses for years 2001 - 2010 AD:
http://www.mreclipse.com/Special/LEnext.html

All Eclipses 2001-2005:
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/eclipse.html

The Eclipse Web-site - NASA:
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/eclipse.html

Eclipses for 2002:
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/OH/OH2002.html

Eclipses for 2003:
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/OH/OH2003.html

Eclipses for 2004:
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/OH/OH2004.html

Eclipses for 2005:
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/OH/OH2005.html



Here a few related sites. I personally found them very useful, you may or may not.

Eclipse Chaser:
http://www.eclipsechaser.com/

Solar and Lunar Eclipse Finder:
http://www.netspeed.com.au/minnah/Finder.html

Solar Eclipses up to 2010 AD
http://www.ct.astro.it/eclissi.html
 

List of events

http://www.earthview.com/timetable/1999aug11.htm

http://www.earthview.com/

http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/eclipse.html

has a nice chart that goes into details on future eclipses to apply our guidelines to...

http://spacescience.com/headlines/y2000/ast19jan_1.htm
This page shows how the moon turns a demonic copper colour for 77 mins during the lunar eclipse.




Balaji Temple Re-opens After Lunar Eclipse
http://newstodaynet.com/05may/ld7.htm

TIRUPATI, INDIA, May 5, 2004: The Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala reopened this morning after it was closed last night for the lunar eclipse. According to the age-old temple customs and rituals, on any eclipse, either solar or lunar, the Hindu temples would be closed till the eclipse was over. The temple sources said the lunar eclipse commenced at 12:38 am today and ended at around 4:30 am. After, the temple priests entered the temple and performed sacred special rituals like cleansing the temple by chanting sacred Vedic hymns. After performing these rituals, devotees were allowed into the temple for darshan at around 9:30 am, temple sources said. Tirumala temple had been receiving unprecedented rush since three days and the waiting time  for darshan on Sunday and Monday exceeded 78 hours before it was closed last evening at around 7:30 pm on the eve of the eclipse.

Courtesy of Hinduism Today digest http://www.HinduismToday.com/

Here's some pictures of that eclipse:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~carlkop/eclipsmaan/leclips2004.html

Tirupati temple shuts down for solar eclipse
http://news.webindia123.com/news/showdetails.asp?id=127381&cat=Science

Hyderabad | October 03, 2005 12:15:06 PM IST

The world-famous temple of Lord Venkateswara at Tirupati and other adjoining temples were closed for the day Monday in view of the annular solar eclipse.

As the event is not considered auspicious for worship, the temple atop Tirumala hills and eight other temples in the surrounding areas have been shut down for the day.

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the temples, closed the doors at 9.15 a.m. Monday. The doors will reopen at 7 p.m., after the eclipse that starts at 4.21 p.m. and lasts till 6.13 p.m.

Thousands of Hindu pilgrims from all over the country and abroad throng the Venkateswara and other temples every day. The sprawling premises of the country's richest temple were deserted as temple authorities also postponed all rituals connected with the annual Brahmotsavams.

Some other major temples, including the Sri Sitharamachandraswamy temple in Bhadrachalam, have also been closed.

Hindu astrologers believe that the solar eclipse this year is not auspicious and could affect earth and seas, triggering natural calamities.

Vedic expert and astrologer Vishwapati has pointed out that the solar eclipse would be followed by a lunar eclipse on Oct 17. According to him, it was rare for a solar and lunar eclipse to occur within a fortnight.

Astrologers are of the view that people should be celibate, not eat or drink or go to the toilet during the eclipse, which occurs under the star of 'Hasta'. They advised pregnant women and unwell people to remain indoors.

(IANS)




Eye Safety During Eclipses:
http://umbra.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/980226/text/eye-safety.html
It is MOST important that one does not look at solar eclipses with the naked eye.


I hope that this is of some use to you so that you don't go about performing marriages, yajnas, pujas, cooking and eating and mating, etc.,  during the solar and lunar eclipses, rather utilise that time in taking shelter ONLY in the HOLY NAME of the Lord as taught by the great purva-acharyas (previous spiritual masters). 


Here's an Excellent Time Placement and Astrological Tool that shows all aspects of the Panchangam, and casts Astrological charts, a necessity for the Pandit and the layman alike:
http://members.aol.com/rgopalan/panchang.html



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