Lord Rahu God of Darkness Prayer Cloth Small Size
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- Lord Rahu God of Darkness Prayer Cloth Small Size
- Thai text translation: Lord Rahu, Lord of Wealth Creation, (please grant) Safe Travels".
- Referred to as "Phra Rahu Om Jarn"/ Rahu Swallowing the Moon in Thailand. The rare natural occurrence of the eclipse is believed to have the power to alter people's destiny and change bad luck and fortune to good luck and fortune.
- Measures Approx. 5 1/2" x 3 1/2"
- Material: 100% cotton sheet printed with ink
- Origin is Thailand
- There are many variations of the story of Rahu, which stem mainly from Hindu, Buddhist, Tamil legend. The most common legend is the Hindu version which describes Rahu as an Asura (demon deity) named Swarbhanu, who was transformed into Rahu after drinking an elixir which would assure his immortality. The legend recounts that Swarbhanu secretly stole the elixir from the Hindu Deities, but was seen by the Heavenly Brothers Chandra (the Moon God) and Surya (the Sun God). Chandra and Surya informed Mohini (the female avatar of Vishnu),while conducting the Elixir distribution who then promptly chopped off Swarbhanu's head. A small amount of Elixir had already been sipped by Swarbhanu before Mohini could chop off his head, so his head and upper body had already attained a state of immortality and transformed into the immortal Rahu. Rahu later takes his revenge upon Chandra and Surya by swallowing the Moon and the Sun every time he sees them, thus causing an eclipse.
- The Rahu and Ketu in Hindu Mythology:
- The Rahu is the son of Viprachitti and his wife Simhika, the sister of Prahlada. Ketu is the dismembered body of which Rahu is the head.
- The demi gods or the Devas were losing their glory and power due to a curse cast by the powerful sage Durvasas (who felt slighted by Lord Indra and the Devas during a ceremony he attended), and the King of Devas (the mighty Indra himself) then lost his Kingdom of the Heavens to the Asuras or the devils.
- The Devas approached Supreme Father, and Creator of the Universe, Lord Brahma for help, who guided them to Lord Vishnu, the Preserver of Universe. Lord Vishnu made a plan and suggested the Devas approach the Asuras and ask them for their co-operation in churning the Mighty Ocean of Milk (where Vishnu often rests) to obtain Amrita, the Nectar of Immortality, which Devas and Asuras can divide among themselves and can become immortal. The Devas approached the Asuras, who agreed as this task required combined efforts and strength of both Devas and Asuras.
- They started churning the Ocean of Milk by using Mount Mandara as a rod and the Serpent Vasuki as a rope. Lord Vishnu incarnated as a Tortoise to hold up the mountain on his back and provide stability. As the churning of the ocean started several things emerged and were released as a result, starting with poison Halahala which threatened to destroy all the universe, but Lord Shiva kept it contained in his throat without swallowing it. Kamadhenu, the Wish-Fulfilling Cow, Celestial Horse Ucchaishravas, Airavata, the Celestial Elephant, the Kausthubha Gem (worn by Lord Vishnu), the Parijataka (Wish-Fulfilling Tree), the Apsaras (the Beautiful Celestials Maidens), Lakshmi, the Goddess of Prosperity, Varuni, the Goddess of Liquor appeared one by one. Finally Dhanvantari the God of Medicine, appeared holding the pot of Amrita, the Elixir of Immortality. The Asuras forcefully snatched it, and refused to give or share it with the Devas.
- Lord Vishnu then incarnated as Mohini, the Enchantress, the most beautiful female form in the universe. The Devas knew of this plan and controlled their desires, but the Asuras were overwhelmed with lust for her and agreed to her decision for distribution of nectar as per her rules. She asked all the Devas and Asuras to sit in two separate lines and started distributing nectar first to Devas. Rahu disguised himself as one of the Devas and sat between the Sun and Moon Gods, who recognized him and told Vishnu, who then was in the form of Mohini. Lord Vishnu severed Rahu's head with his discus, the Sudarshan Charka, but not before Rahu managed to drink a drop of the nectar and become immortal.
- Thus his Head and Body become separate but both become immortal as separate entities due to nectar. The Head is known as Rahu and the headless body is the Ketu. Since then, Rahu and Ketu constantly chase Sun and Moon for revenge in causing the separation of the head and body of the devil Rahu. And when they succeed catching Sun and Moon, they swallow them thus causing Solar or Lunar eclipse. However Rahu and Ketu cannot hold them for long as they are a split being, and Sun and Moon emerge again intact as they also had the nectar and are immortal.
- In year 1997, Wat Srisa Thong in Nakhon Pathom took part in a ceremony seeking blessings from Rahu, God of Darkness. The ceremony was important to Rahu followers because of the total lunar eclipse. Followers believe the eclipse was caused by Rahu’s shadow over the full moon. In year 1997, many Thai people believed that the economic crisis had been caused by Rahu, the God of Darkness.
- Rahu covers the sun and the moon with his darkness, then it becomes so dark that the people became unable even to identify their whereabouts or their "place" or "direction". Rahu is thus associated with "Safe Travels".
- According to Animist beliefs, an eclipse takes place when the angry God Rahu tries to swallow the sun. The only way to prevent worldwide disaster is to scare Rahu away with noises or placate him with offerings.
- The best day to offer Rahu is every Wednesday after sunset. Offering items must be all in black, presented with 8 black incense sticks and 8 offerings in 8 containers....
- 1. black grapes - for good business
- 2. black liquor (or beer) - for courage to risk or invest
- 3. black coffee - to fulfilling wishes
- 4. black jelly or Shoa Guay - means patience and graceful thought.
- 5. black beans - for nourishing progress and growth
- 6. black sticky rice -for wealth and family love
- 7. black thai desert/ cake - for rewards, success and good luck
- 8. black fermented eggs - for successful contacts and errands
- Common substitutions for any of the above or black chicken, coke, black rice and so on.....
- Rahu is also mentioned explicitly in a pair of scriptures from the Samyutta Nikaya of the Pali Canon. Rahu attacks Surya, the Sun deity and Chandra, the Moon deity before being compelled to release them by their recitation of a brief stanza conveying their reverence for The Buddha. The Buddha responds to their devotion by enjoining Rahu to release them, which Rahu does rather than have his "head split into seven pieces". The verses recited by the two Celestial Deities and The Buddha have since been incorporated into Buddhist liturgy as protective verses recited by monks as prayers of protection.