Significance of Solar Eclipse in Hinduism

Solar Eclipse is the phenomenon which occurs when the Moon moves in between the Sun and the Earth. It takes place during the New Moon Phase. Solar eclipses can be partial or full in nature and they occur up to 5 times a year.

Throughout history, different religions have acknowledged solar eclipses as significant events. The Chinese have interpreted eclipses as a giant dragon devouring the Sun since 4000 years. The ancient Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Assyrians were also curious about solar eclipses, and studied them devotedly.

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Hindus also consider a solar eclipse to be an event of religious importance. People avoid going out during an eclipse or eating food. Temples are also closed during a solar eclipse.

What Is The Importance Of Solar Eclipse In Hinduism?

  1. Hindus interpret a solar eclipse as Rahu and Ketu(the northern and southern node of the Moon) devouring the Sun.
  2. A fast is generally observed during solar eclipses as people consider all food and even water to be cursed objects.
  3. Rahu takes revenge of the time when Vishnu had cut off his head after Samudra Manthan(thus creating Ketu). Surya and Chandra were the ones who had informed Lord Vishnu about Rahu drinking the Amrit (nectar). That is why solar and lunar eclipses occur.
  4. Temples are closed during a solar eclipse. It is believed that offering prayers during an eclipse has harmful effects, as it is an unholy event.
  5. Pregnant women refrain from giving birth on this day, due to its negative energy.
  6. Worshipping Gods at home and performing aartis at home are also ineffective during a solar eclipse.
  7. All Hindus take a cold bath after the eclipse, to wash off all negative energies.

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