The planet Rahu is not a physical planet but rather a shadow planet. In fact, both Rahu and Ketu are shadow planets joined together at imaginary points in the sky where the elliptical orbits of the moon and the sun intersect.
In the Hindu Puranic Scriptures, the two outermost points on the elliptical orbit are called Rahu and Ketu. The north lunar node is referred to as Rahu and Ketu is the south.
Though they are not physical planets, their position has a great impact on our lives. There are many different opinions on the influence on an individual’s life. These influences have been described and debated by the wise and learned since ancient times.
The Legend of Rahu and Ketu
In the Puranas it is said that at the time of the churning of the milk ocean, when the Gods desired to drink the nectar of immortality, one Ashura disguised himself as a God and began to drink the nectar.
The Gods cried out to Vishnu in consternation, and Vishnu took his discus and severed the head from the offending Ashura.
However, the Ashura did not die — he had already consumed enough nectar to make himself immortal. So, although he was cut into two parts, he was saved from eternal extinction. The head of the Ashura was named Rahu, and the rest of the body became known as Ketu. Both are immortal.
The story is told that Chandra, the Moon, was the one who had alerted Vishnu to Rahu’s deceit. Rahu, aware of Chandra’s actions, creates difficulty from time to time for Chandra by causing an eclipse of the moon.
Qualities of Rahu
Rahu is considered a malefic planet. He is extremely feared because he rules over the knowledge derived from the senses, the tanmatras, known as: sight, sound, smell, taste, and feeling. Having authority there, he creates insatiable desires and extreme emotions.
Whenever Rahu has authority, people will be unsatisfied, full of desires, burning with extreme passion, with a feeling that they are compelled to enjoy the object of their desire.
He or she has great hunger, stubbornness, desires, extreme thirst, and a desire for frequent enjoyments.
Seeking always to please himself, Rahu creates jealousy, enmity, conflict. When Rahu dominates the mind, people becomes greedy and selfish.
Those born with Rahu in authority have a tendency also to be highly sensitive and very emotional, with the capacity for very intense and exact feelings.
Because of their highly sensitive emotional nature, they cannot remain in one attitude for too long a time.
So fickle is the mind dominated by Rahu, that an individual with a strong Rahu influence, will frequently change his or her karma and modes of activities.
For example, in their professional life, they will have a tendency to change jobs, careers, and associates often.
In their home life, they will not feel bound by relationships to wife, children, and family.
It is not possible for people under Rahu’s influence to remain content with one type of activity or interaction.
An individual under Rahu’s influence may display difficulties wherever they choose to reside — in the forest or in society. If they choose to live in the forest, even their societal relationships experience pain. If they choose to mix with society, they will find themselves incapable.
It is believed that Rahu gives his orders to all Bhogis who strive for enjoyment, to those of obscure consciousness, to those of bad behavior, to those who are dirty, to those who are dressed inappropriately, to prostitutes, to those of no nobility, to impure individuals, to individuals with animalistic natures, to those who live in bad environments, to those who are worthy of rebuke, to thieves, and to dacoits.
But this is only part of the belief, for, just like with all planets, there is some good that comes from Rahu. Rahu, along with Shani (Saturn), is a creator of welfare. And though Rahu can extend fear, pain, and confusion, he can also provide significant wealth and golden opportunities for business people and politicians.
While most individuals see objects in creation with a tint of jealousy, kings and the wealthy may view their wealth as the blessings of Shani and Rahu. With great satisfaction they accept all wealth, and they are able to create more wealth from that. The key is to accept wealth with gratitude and stay away from negative attachments.
Worship of Rahu
Worshiping Rahu lessens the delusion of materialism and puts us on the path of righteousness. If you are influenced negatively by Rahu, Shree Maa and Swamiji suggest chanting Rahu’s Mantra. Get your copy of the Mantras of the Nine Planets to chant along with Shree Maa!