SOLAR ECLIPSE: LEGENDS AND DEEP IMPORT OF WORSHIP
A sequence of solar and lunar eclipse is noted every year. In order that the changes in the atmosphere at such times develop our personality in a positive manner we must render meditation and worship intense and prolonged.
What exactly an eclipse with reference to the sun and moon? As an answer to this even a young student will say that a lunar eclipse occurs when there is an obstruction regarding the sun’s light reaching the moon and hence the shadow of earth falls on the moon. In the same way a solar eclipse occurs when the moon creates an obstruction for sunlight to reach the earth. But this explanation is limited. The process of eclipse encompasses within it Astronomical Science and the deep import of cosmic movements influencing the subtle world of consciousness.
According to astronomers of repute the earth takes 24 hours to rotate on its axis. At various degrees of latitude and longitude its speed varies. At the equator region its speed is 1040 miles/hour, at 30 degrees it is 900 miles/hour, at 45 degrees it is 735 miles/hour and at 60 degrees it is 520 miles/hour. Further apart from rotating on its axis the earth also revolves around the sun. It takes 365 days to complete 1 revolution at the speed of 18.5 miles/sec. in reality if one measures accurately it takes 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes and less than 46 seconds. The earth’s axis on which it rotates is tilted at 62.5 degrees angle.
In interstellar space the sun’s path is 16 degrees wide wherein the sun, moon and other planets move. This path in space is called Zodiac. To identify it has to be separated into 12 parts and they are called Zodiac signs (Rashis). Every Zodiac sign is of 30 degrees. It takes the sun 2 hours to enter one Zodiac sign from another. These signs are called Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.
When a ball that is spinning falls it staggers all the while it is spinning continuously. Its axis too rotates. The Earth’s axis too moves thus. If this axis is extended higher up in the sky it rotates in a different circle. This is the earth’s special movement which lay students are unaware of. It takes 2600 years to complete 1 rotation and its speed influences all eclipses.
The moon takes 27 days 7 hours 43 minutes and 11.5 seconds to complete 1 revolution around the earth. This is called a lunar month. The moon returns to its original position after completing 1 revolution. But in the mean time the earth goes far ahead in its annual revolution. In comparison with the earth’s scale the moon has to go further ahead to complete 1 revolution. Thus it takes 29 days 12 hrs 44 minutes 2.8 seconds and is called ‘Sanyuti Maas’.
If the movement of earth and moon were in tandem then on every full moon day there would be a lunar eclipse and on every moonless night there would be a solar eclipse. When the moon revolves around the earth its revolution is similar to it in space. The lines that cut these revolutions at least 2 times in a year is pointed at the sun’s centre and at that time the earth, moon and sun come in 1 straight line which is called an eclipse. From this it is clear that definitely 2 eclipses that could be solar both times can be seen on any region of the earth. The maximum number of eclipses is 7 in which 4 or 5 are that of the sun and the remaining are lunar. Every eclipse takes place after 18 years and 11 days. But it is not necessary that they occur in their previous positions because the point of union is always mobile in nature.
Ordinarily lunar eclipses should occur in larger numbers than solar eclipses. But the fact is that solar eclipses are more in number. The reason being that lunar eclipses are seen in more than half the areas of earth, whereas solar eclipses are seen in very small areas i.e. generally, less than 100 miles wide and 2 to 3 thousand miles long on earth’s surface. If a total solar eclipse occurs in Mumbai then in Surat it is seen as a partial eclipse and no eclipse in Ahmedabad.
The moon is away from the earth maximum 25300 miles and minimum 221600 miles. When it is nearer earth its speed increases and decreases when it lies afar. The earth and moon have no light of their own. They are lit up via the light of sun. When at a certain point their movements induce them to queue up in one line an eclipse occurs. When the moon is in between then from earth one cannot fully see sun light. When that portion of the sun is not seen by earth it results in a solar eclipse. Solar eclipses are chiefly of 3 types: 1) Total eclipse which totally hides the sun. 2) Bracelet or bangle shaped eclipse in which the central portion of the sun is covered. 3) Partial eclipse which covers only a small portion of the sun. In the same way when the earth comes in the path of the sun and then the moon passes in the shadow of earth it is called lunar eclipse. If during lunar eclipse someone lands on the moon he/she will visualize a solar eclipse.
Maybe that these astronomical calculations have carved a niche in the past 100 to 200 years but ancient Indian seers were well versed with them thousands of years back. Maharshi Atri was the first scholar of eclipse based research studies. Right from the times of Rig Veda the study and research of eclipse have been carried out in minute detail. In one verse of the Rig Veda this miraculous description has been found:
O Sun! Demon Rahu has wounded you via darkness and thus hidden you. As a result human beings cannot see you fully and are hence confused in their various activities.
At that time Maharshi atri with his Turiya Tantra (instrument to ascertain sun’s motion) attacked the shadow and thus delivered the sun-Rig Veda (5/40/5-6).
In the Sambhavadhikar Parva of Sidhant Shromani Shri Bhaskaracharya makes the process of eclipse that much clearer by saying ‘Bhuma vidhum vidhurinam grahanay pidhantay’. The same thing has been said in the Surya Sidhant in the chapter on lunar eclipse i.e. the moon which is below covers the sun like a cloud. The moon that moves in the east enters the shadow of earth. Hence the earth’s shadow covers the moon. The author of Surya Sidhant calls the earth’s shadow as Rahu and moon’s shadow as Ketu. This shadow according to its planet moves in a proper and controlled manner hence it is included in the 9 planets.
Indian seers have experienced the cosmic import of eclipse within their own bodies. In the 4th Khand of Jabalopanishad for the nature of a bodily lunar eclipse has been depicted along with its spiritual import.
Mahayogi Dattatreya taught his disciples Sankati-Ashtanga Yoga. In it one finds a description of Ida, Pingala and Kundali. At the centre of the shoulder is the Sushumna nerve surrounding which there are 72000 other subtle Yogic nerves. On the left side of Sushumna is Ida nerve and in the south is Pingala nerve. At a distance of 2 fingers from the navel is the Kundali nerve. A lunar eclipse takes place when the vital force enters Kundali from Ida nerve. It is a solar eclipse when the vital force enters Kundali via the Pingala nerve. This argument with reference to the eclipse and the body verily is mind boggling.
But which ever human community of various nations were unaware of this secret science of the body and universe, were involved in many hearsays and rumors with reference to the eclipse. China for example believed that at the 2 extremes of the sky dwelt the demon dragon with his family. While revolving round the sun the moon came in close proximity to the dragon and hence the former was attacked. Listening to the noise of the human world they flee out of fear and devour these demigods. In Greece the eclipse was thought to be an attack by demons. American Red Indians and African people believed in the mythology that the sun and moon became ill. In other countries it is believed that it is an attack of sheep, dogs, tigers and snakes. Many islanders of some regions have a more wild imagination than this. They say that the sun is the lover and the moon it’s beloved. When it is their good fortune they meet which results in eclipse. They feel shy to show themselves meeting thus and hence they cover their faces.
Some intellectuals by taking benefit of hearsays and illusory beliefs have succeeded in making use of eclipse. In order to calm the revolt of American aborigines Columbus cleverly used the concept of eclipse. He called their leader and told him that the gods are unhappy with your activities. In the form of a prophecy he said that on a certain day the gods will take away the moon in their baskets and then you will face a lot of problems. The aborigines thought this prediction to be true on that very day. As a result they were scared and gave their total support to Columbus.
How ever much is important the process of eclipse along with its deep import and myths, more important is the actual time span of the eclipse. Scientists find research that much more facile at the actual time of solar eclipse. During total solar eclipse it is comparatively easier to research into the special qualities of nature. In the past so many important research studies have been carried out during solar eclipse.
During eclipse not only does light decrease but that a lot of other changes take place in the atmosphere. Birds are more intuitive regarding this fact. As a result they flutter in fear and take shelter in their nests. Whereas when large clouds loom in the sky and induce more darkness they have no fear and continue with their daily activities. This strange change in the atmosphere specially influences normal life and objects. As a result there is a dire need of protection and being cautious about their condition. There is a deep spiritual import when such atmospheric changes occur. In the Agastya Samhita it is said:
Let everyone resolve to get initiated in a Mantra at a holy spot or during a lunar or solar eclipse. There is no other time like the solar eclipse. The Mantra chanting gets fulfilled with ease during solar eclipse.
According to Ganapatya Upanishad (8):
During solar eclipse if you chant your Mantra near a great river or sacred image it bears fruits immediately.
Generally a sequence of solar and lunar eclipse is noted every year. In order that the changes in the atmosphere at such times transform/develop our personality in a positive manner we should render our meditation and worship more intense and prolonged. In the coming days there will be an increase in solar eclipse because this is the time of union. Without doubt worship executed during these times will be the cause of showering of grace by Sun God.
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shriram Sharma Acharya founder of the International Gayatri Family was a great Yogi seer and incarnation of God who wrote volumes of scientific literature mainly on spiritual subjects for world welfare and peace. For more scientific e-books visit: http://www.shriramsharma.com/ and http://www.akhandjyoti.org/