The Scientific Part:
Today- 4th of April 2015, Saturday there is total Lunar Eclipse. We all know the reason for that. The moon is not self illuminated. He reflects Sun's light. During eclipse, Earth comes in between Moon and sun, shutting off the light leading to Lunar eclipse.
Today's total eclipse is of the shortest of the century with duration of 9 minutes(that is the totality), since 13th October 1856.
The Moon will appear blood red in colour during the total eclipse, as some Sun light will pass through Earth's atmosphere and reflect off some gases. Hence the name Blood Moon.
Visibility: Most areas of North-South America, Eastern Asia and Australia. In India it is visible partially that too in the concluding stages of the eclipse.
As per Indian standard time, eclipse will start around 3.45 p.m., will be total at 5.27 p.m. and will remain total until 5.32 p.m, after which partial eclipse up to 7.14 p.m. Total time of eclipse is around 3 hours 29 minutes. There fore we can see only the eclipse from the time moon rises in our local skies.
This Lunar eclipse, Known as Chandra Grahan, is only partially visible in India skies that too in the last leg which is called as the leaving of Grahan.
Some of the astrologers are of the opinion that, since it is not visible for long time, there is no soothak.
But Since it is partially visible and also total eclipse, and the moon is rising in our skies as Grahan grasth(that is eclipsed), some are of the opinion that it is better to to perform all the rituals associated with the eclipses as laid down in our Shashtras.
When and Where is the Eclipse Taking Place:
This eclipse is on Chaitra Purnima, Saturday 4th April 2015 (as per Telugu Lunar Calendar) in Hastha Nakshtr(star) of Kanyaa Rashi(Virgo Moon Sign) and is Rahu grastha Grahan.
Who are affected:
Eclipses falling in Janma rashi and the 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th and 12th sign from the natal moon is said to give unfavorable results. Eclipse occurring in 3rd, 6th, 10th or 11th signs from the moon sign is said to give good results.
The most affected for this eclipse are the people born in Kanya Rashi, especially in Hastha Nakshatra. They should not directly see this eclipse. Those born in Uttarphalguni, Chitra, Sravana, Rohini also are affected
Here are the dos and don'ts in general for any eclipse:
Measures Before Eclipse:
- Eat by 12 o' clock noon.
- any cooked food is discarded.
- Strands of Darbha grass or Kusha Grass is placed over the containers containing water, milk, curds or grains or other eatables etc. Generally in olden days water was brought in fresh after eclipse. But now a days in cities this is not possible.
- Wash all clothes, bed linen, etc which have been used. That which cannot be washed are dusted and placed in Sun s
Measures During Eclipse:
- No one should eat or drink anything during this period as far as possible. But children, aged people, patients are exempted from this.
- Answering natures call is prohibited.
- Pregnant women should lay down comfortably during this period and spend time in keeping their minds calm and relaxed. They should not see this eclipse.
- The people born in affected Rashis or stars, can chant the Mantra of Moon (if it is lunar eclipse), Sun ( if it is Solar eclipse), Rahu(if eclipse is due to Rahu), Ketu(if the eclipse is due to Ketu), Vishnu Sahasranaama, Shiva Stotra or Shlokas and Mrutyunjaya Mantras.
- Any one whether affected or not can chant, the above said Shlokas or Mantras.
- If one cannot read or chant, one can always listen to the above Shlokas or Mantras.
- Eclipse time is considered good for practicing the mantras given by guru or for that matter any prayer.
- Chanting or doing jaap or praying or meditating during this time of eclipse gives tremendous power to the person doing this.
- For this one has to take a head bath on starting of the eclipse and sit for jaap. If possible doing jaap with wet clothes on is good. But if not better to wear clean clothes discarding the wet clothes. The entire period of eclipse can be used for the jaap. After completion of the eclipse, again head bath is taken.
- This time is considered good for meditation, or listen to chanting of Mantras, Shlokas, or even Bhajan-Kirtan.
- One can just jaap Sri Ram, Om Namo Bhagawate Vasudevaya, Om Namah Shivaya, or any other simple mantras according to their choice.
- Patients suffering from chronic diseases if take their medicine during this time, it is believed that the power of medicine increases and cures them very quickly.
- Good for bath in rivers, lakes, sea etc and chanting/ jaap on the banks.
- Good for daans-like godaan, bhudaan, suvarna daan or any daan for that matter to the needy ones
Those who are working can go about their daily routines, observing the above things as it is convenient to them. When we are working, duty comes first and foremost.
There are relaxations for aged people, children, patients, pregnant women.
- Take bath
- Clean the whole house, kitchen and cooking area, puja mandir and puja room
- sprinkle, water mixed with turmeric or go-panchata in and around our house, puja mandir
- Offer prayers to God
- Cook and have food
- Those people born in Rashis or stars affected by the eclipse should get the jaap done, for Moon/Sun and Rahu/Ketu and give daans the day after the eclipse or with in a week and also perform Sarpa Suktha sahitaEkadasa Rudra Abhishekam (or even one Rudram) to Shiva to ward off the unfavourable affects.
- Any one whether in the affected Rashis or stars can get the Rudra Abhishekam done to Shiva after an eclipse according to their ability for positive results
The affects of the eclipse depending upon its intensity is said to be effective at least three days before and after the eclipse. So generally any important works, or starting of new ventures, travelling for some good or specific reason like yatras is avoided. But this does not stop our daily activities or daily travels etc. Moreover when it becomes unavoidable, then there are exceptions and other pariharas that one can do.
The above guidelines are general age old traditions practiced by our elders and for information sake. Those who believe them can follow to the extent it is possible and convenient.
Since today's eclipse is only partially visible in India, its affect is said to be mild.
However, those born in Hastha nakshtra and in Kanya Rashi, may get the jaap done for Chandra and give daan of rice and silver, get Rudra Ahishakam performed at a temple.
In general any one can get the Rudra Abhishekam done in Shiva temple the day after the eclipse or within a week for positive energy.
Consult elders, or Gurus, or astrologers for remedial measures and act accordingly.
The above article has been posted for information sake, outlining the general beliefs and traditions, practices associated with eclipses. The visitors to this site are free to use their own discretion and free will for making their own decisions.