Have you ever witnessed a scene where a bright sunny day suddenly turns into a dark night? This is just the moment when the moon comes between the sun and the earth and engulfs the daylight to spread darkness. This spectacular phenomenon is known as the Surya Grahan (Solar Eclipse).
Scientifically speaking, the Surya Grahan occurs when the New Moon covers the Sun and casts a shadow on the earth as it moves between the two. The constant motion of earth orbiting around the sun and the moon orbiting around the earth ensure that the Surya Grahan(Solar Eclipse) seems to be moving from one place to another.
The moon is often unable to cover the sun completely and this results into different types of Surya Grahan depending upon the magnitude of the grahan and the shadow cast over the earth. While the central region of the moon’s shadow is known as umbra, the outer region is called the penumbra.
The passing of this shadow over a particular region determines one of the following types of Surya Grahan(Solar Eclipse) :
1.Partial Surya Grahan (Partial Solar Eclipse)
It occurs when the moon only casts its penumbra over the earth by partially covering the sun.
2.Total Surya Grahan (Total Solar Eclipse)
It occurs when the entire central region of the sun is completely blocked out by the moon and the umbra is cast in such a manner that one sees a total blackout.
3.Annular Surya Grahan (Annular Solar Eclipse)
The term annular can be defined as “of a ring.” In this type of Surya Grahan, the moon is so far away that the umbra is unable to reach the earth and therefore, the middle portion of the sun is covered and this results in a ring of fire around the edges of the sun that is visible during the Grahan.
As per Vedic astrology, Surya Grahan occurs only when there is a full moon or no moon. The presence of Rahu and Ketu in the longitude of the moon is important so that the Grahan takes place as per the assigned time. Also, the moon’s latitude must be near zero for the occurrence of the event.
The position of the planet changes drastically during Surya Grahan and this results into an inauspicious time known as ‘sutak’ that can actually affect the well-being of a person. Sutak begins 12 hours before the occurrence of the Surya Grahan and ends after the completion of the Grahan.
Most of us have seen that the temples remain closed during the Sutak period and therefore you must do something during this time to avoid any harm. And if you are pregnant, then extra care must be taken so that it has no ill-effects on your unborn child.
You must not eat anything during the Sutak and Surya Grahan. But for pregnant ladies, children, old and sick people this rule is relaxed so that they must not eat only from 3 hours prior the Grahan till its completion.
Pregnant women must not go outdoors during the Grahan because the negative impact of the malefic planets Rahu and Ketu may handicap the baby. Also, the chances of miscarriage are very high during this time. They are advised not to cut or stitch anything because that might have a negative effect on unborn babies.
The activities that are strictly prohibited during the Surya Grahan are drinking water, going to the washroom, sexual encounters, brushing teeth, combing hair and oil massage.
In case you plan to witness the Surya Grahan, make sure that you do not see it with naked eyes because the ultraviolet radiation of the sun can permanently damage your retina and make you blind.
It is advisable to chant holy mantras like the Gayatri Mantra and the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra and perform meditations during this time as it will spread positivity and neutralize the effects of Sutak and Surya Grahan.
If you have any cooked food in your kitchen, then discard it immediately. Do your ablutions, purify yourself and wear clean clothes. Cook fresh food and make offerings to your ancestors and then you can go for some charity to Brahmins in order to pacify the planets as this would enhance your welfare.
Surya Grahan is one of the most important planetary movements that can have lasting impact on your life. Therefore, you must take care that you do not take it lightly and follow the suggested tips to keep you and your dear ones out of harm’s way. Life is extremely crucial, so protect yourself as much as you can!