Shani Dev Kee Mahimaa | Kathaa-9
|9-Glory of Raahu and Keu|
Glory of Raahu and Ketu
After having said this, Shani's Pandit stopped and a silence came over the audience. Breaking this silence, Raahu's Pandit rose from his seat and started his speech - "Raahu and Ketu are two terrible planets - the North Node and South Node; born in Asur's race. They are enemies of Soorya Dev and Chandra Dev. Whenever Soorya and Chandra enter these Nodes' spaces, they begin to quiver in fear, because Raahu and Ketu do not spare them without troubling. How do they trouble them? An eclipse occurs whenever they conjoin their space respectively. Raahu afflicts Soorya Dev, and Ketu afflicts Chandra Dev.
In the same way, on the Earth, Raahu and Ketu eclipse the lives of people. Although they also do not spare anyone, but you can be happy if you worship them and make appropriate offerings to them. As they are also the cruel planets, it is advisable to worship them regularly. When pleased, Raahu fills the people's lives with mercy and good health, no fear of snakes; while Ketu bestows transcendental knowledge.
Raahu is the severed head of the son of Viprachitti Daanav and his wife Sinhikaa (sister of Hiranyakashyap - Prahlaad, Hiranyakashyap's son, is immortal by the grace of Vishnu). Ketu is the trunk of the same son Raahu. Raahu's color is like smoke, he lives in forests and inspires fear in people's minds. While the terrifying Ketu is also like Raahu. Raahu's temple icon wears half Moon on his head and Ketu's image holds in his hands a sword and a lamp. Raahu rules lead and agate; while Ketu rules Earth and Turquoise. Together they rule South-west. Raahu's names include Swarbhaanu and Minister of Asur; while Ketu is known as the Chief.
Saagar Manthan and Birth of Raahu and Ketu
Raahu and Ketu were separated at the time of Saagar Manthan (Churning of the Ksheer Saagar - Ocean of Milk). This was performed because of the Shaap of Durvaasaa Rishi - the angriest Rishi and brother of Chandramaa.  So they went to Vishnu and told their saga. Vishnu said - "Now-a-days your Time is not good, so wait for your good Time. Meanwhile make peace with Asuras and make them agree to churn the Ksheer Saagar to obtain Amrit (Nectar). When the Amrit will come out, I will help you to get that Amrit.
This they did. They took Mandaraachal Parvat as the churning rod and Vaasuki Naag as churning rope, put the mountain. When Mandaraachal Parvat could not stay stable because of the strong waves of the sea, Vishnu assumed the Kaschap (Tortoise) Avataar and balanced it on His back. Many things came out of the sea - Halaahal (Kaalkoot poison) - Shiv drank it; Uchchshraivaa horse - King Bali took it; Airaavat elephant - Indra took it; Kaamdhenu cow - Rishi took it; Kalp Vriksh - Indra took it; Lakshmee - Vishnu took her and so on. Amrit also came out of the sea. As the Amrit came out both Devtaa and Asur started fighting for it. Asuras were stronger so they took away the Amrit. Then Vishnu had to assume the form a beautiful girl, Mohinee (the Enchantress). She mesmerized Asur and took the charge of distributing Amrit to both. She asked them to form a line, Devtaa on one side and Asur on the other side. But She was giving Amrit only to Devtaas.
Most Asur did not know this, but Raahu had noticed this favor, so he assumed the form of a Devtaa and sat between Soorya and Chandramaa. Mohinee was distributing the Amrit, She gave some Amrit to him also assuming him a Devtaa, but as soon he gulped it Soorya and Chandramaa recognized him as an Asur. They pointed out this to Mohinee and Mohinee immediately separated his head from his trunk. But since he had managed to drink some Amrit, he did not die, rather his both parts stayed alive. The head part was Raahu and the trunk part was called Ketu (tail). Later Brahmaa Jee gave both of them the status of planets. Raahu's blood fell on Earth. Wherever it fell, garlic sprang up. Since he had Amrit in his blood, garlic has Amrit-like qualities, but it has a Raahu-like effect on the minds who eat it.
I bow to Raahu and Ketu - the two shadow planets who eclipse the minds of those they afflict."
Created by Sushma Gupta on 8/9/2008
Updated on 06/09/11