A Grahan, which is another name for an eclipse, is a religious event for many Hindus (Hindu temples) who comply with the rituals based on the Hindu calendar. Solar and lunar eclipses are the two categories that fall under the umbrella term “eclipse.” This phenomenon takes place when one celestial object completely or partially blocks the path of light emanating from another object.
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An eclipse is an amazing phenomenon and a unique astronomical occurrence that can only be seen from a certain geographical region. Many people find eclipses fascinating and can’t wait for them to happen, but ancient Hindu texts say that we shouldn’t all be so excited.
Rahu and Ketu represent the two places of junction between the trajectories of the Sun and Moon as they orbit the cosmic sphere. For this reason, the Lunar nodes Rahu and Ketu are often referred to as the North and South nodes. Eclipses occur when the moon is in a position where it is directly in line with the Earth’s orbit and the Sun.
The myth of “swallowing the Sun” originates from the notion that eclipses happen whenever the Moon and the Sun are in one of these positions. The periods of Rahu and Ketu are well-known in Hindu astrology (Jyotish Shastra). Still, the fact that Rahu and Ketu were linked to eclipses made them seem mysterious, hidden, and dark.
What transpires within Hindu temples during eclipses, and why are they closed during eclipses?
Temples are not only supposed to be places where God can be worshipped; rather, they are places where one can encounter the deeper subjective tranquillity of pure consciousness and a place where one can cherish the more profoundly divine side of existence via deeper contemplation.
It’s a place of spiritual healing where the innate geometry of the area is used to create a Yantra and channel subtle energies. This energy leads to deep subjective experiences, which lets devotees in the temple feel the divinity within themselves. As a result, shrines are able to elicit more delicate energies, which then connect with the celestial energies that come from the planetary system, stars, and other such sources. A statue that had been set up with rituals and ceremonies always gave off good energy. Still, most people go to temples to make a list of things they want rather than to find peace.
During an eclipse, there is a change in the aura all around the idol. Hindu texts say that when there is an eclipse, the sun, the moon, and other celestial bodies give off strangely negative energies. So, the gates of the temple where the main deity is kept closed keep these negative energies from interfering with the impacts of the spiritual forces on the devotees.
Tulsi leaves are put on the idols to protect them from bad energy and make sure the temple doors close when they should. Because they can take in harmful radiation, Tulsi leaves are chosen for this job. But during an eclipse, the Kalahasteeswara temple in Sri Kalahasthi is not closed. This is because this temple is the only place in India where Rahu and Ketu are honoured and prayed to. So, an eclipse has nothing to do with this temple.
Ancient wise men knew how eclipses affected temples and, by extension, how they affected us. As a consequence of this, the doors to the temples are shut in order to lessen the detrimental effects that eclipses can have on the aura of the statues, the temples, and consequently the worshippers who go to the temples.