The present study is about Rahu and Ketu who are the most dreaded planets of the solar system. The study is based mostly on the Hindu astrology.
Rahu and Ketu are the two nodes of Moon. They are the points where the orbit of Moon intersects the apparent path of Sun. The point of intersection in the north is called Rahu and that in the south Ketu. As mere points they may have some conceptual value, but not physical. It was on this basis that the western writers in the beginning did not assign any importance to them but later they realised some missing links in the events that they started studying the nodes.
Though these nodes have no physical existence of their own yet :t would be a great blunder to ignore them only for this reason. In calculating the ascendant we are not satisfied with identifying the sign of the zodiac rising in the east at the time of birth or the epoch. We want to find out the actual point of the sign rising in the east. Similarly we find out the actual point of the Nadir at the time of the epoch. On the basis of these two points we work out the 12 houses of the birth chart. These points in the Ascendant and Nadir are also merely the points having no physical existence, but we do not ignore them on this basis.
Further, the importance of the points can be realised, if we just know what our birth chart actually indicates and how it is prepared. The chart denotes the position of the event in relation to Sun, Moon and Earth. This is again an assumption of the importance of Rahu and Ketu because they are the points of intersection of the apparent oath of Sun by Moon orbit.
In all the religions it is a firm assertion that there are two powers in this manifest world acting and reacting with each other. These powers are the eternal evil and eternal good. Sun is the effulgent self of the individual. Moon reflects the rays of Sun. Rahu and Ketu eclipse the Sun or Moon at certain intervals. The eternal phenomenon of the fight between good and bad is explained in a symbolic language by the sages. The relevant story goes like this.
The gods (good) and the demons (evil) had been co-existing on this earth. They wanted to churn the ocean which covered a very large portion of the earth. It was agreed by both the parties that whatever comes out of the ocean shall be divided amongst them. Many things as a result of this came out one after the other. Amrita, the nectar that makes one immortal was the last to appear. The gods did not want to share this nectar with the demons. Lord Vishnu played a trick. He asked both the parties to stand in queues so that He could do justice to both of them. One of the demons named Swarbhanu, entered the queue of gods incognito and got his share of the nectar. He became immortal. The Sun and Moon recognised him. They complained to Lord Vishnu who chopped off his head from the trunk. The head containing the mind and brain became Rahu and the trunk part of the body became Ketu.
The good and evil in the manifest world have to co-exist eternally. Rahu is the active part of evil. Ocean is a reserve of water, which is the base of the manifest world. The story says that the churining stick was of Sumeru mountain. It is our spinal cord. The Hindu mythological tales as a matter of fact are not myths. They have great and deep meaning.
The most significant point about the nodes is that they had not been allotted any house or sign for their rulership or for their exaltation or debilitation. It is only the later savants who have assigned signs for their co-rulership with some other planets. They have granted them the akshatras under their lordship. The first sign of the zodiac Aries starts with asterism Ashwini ruled by Ketu. The 12 signs have been divided into three classes of 4 signs each namely Rajasic, Tamasic and Satvic starting from Aries, Leo and Sagittarius respectively. The starting points in all these signs are the asterisms ruled by Ketu.
In our present study we have tried to explain the importance of nodes. In the introduction we have discussed the difference between the nodes and other planets and how the dark demon Rahu envelopes Sun. Chapter -2 deals with the significance of the nodes and their place in the theory of evolution. In the third chapter the astrological importance of these nodes has been discussed at some length. These planets deal with our deeds, good or bad and also their utility in prediction. The fourth chapter deals with Kala Sarpa Yoga. In the 5th chapter there is a discussion about the solar and lunar eclipses and their effects on the lives of human beings in this terrestrial world. The next two chapters deal with the nodes as they appear in the birth charts in different houses and signs. Eighth chapter deals with the nodes in relation to planets and how they should be treated for purposes of prediction has been discussed in this chapter. The last chapter titled Epilogue expresses how and what the author feels about them. Three appendices have been added indicating the (1) basic impulses of the planets and (2) basic impulses of the signs of zodiac. (3) clarification of some of the misunderstandings about the planets in exaltation or debilitation.
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