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Ketu

Of the nine planets chronologically Ketu figures last. Like Rahu, Ketu is a planet in shadow and the reflection they cast during the eclipse is referred to as Umbra-Penumbra. However, the western astrological texts do not acknowledge the presence of these planets.

A detailed reference to ketu is found in Mahaabhaaratha, Bhaagavatha puraana Brahmaa vaivartha puraana and Matsya puraana. Like Rahu, Ketu is also a descendant of the demon clan and forms the nether part of Rahu. As the cosmic ocean is churned, elixir emerges and Lord Vishnu in the form of Mohini favours the distribution only to the angels. Seeing this, Rahu shifts to the line of the angels. The sun and the moon notice that and inform the same to Lord Vishnu. Mohini then beheads Rahu but by then the trickle of elixir keeps the nether part of Rahu alive and thus Ketu emerges.

Viprachitti and Simhika are the parents of Ketu. Simhika is the sister of Hiranyakashyapa, father of Prahlada. There is another story that traces Ketu’s origin to Brahma’s creation of Mrityu. It is said Lord Brahma mulled over the growing population and out of that thought, Mrityu emerged. Mriytyu was ordered to be on the killing spree, as she obviously did not like her task shed tears. Ketu is said to have been born out of those tears and Brahma named him Dhumaketu ordering him to cause both joy and sorrow to people.

The two-armed, black-robed and reddish black Ketu with a crown on the head is said to be a cruel planet. He sports Varamudra in one hand and mace in the other. He mounts an eagle though some books refer to pigeon as his vehicle. Residing in his bow shaped Adharabhoomi in Navagraha, he faces north - west. The six inch bodied Ketu belongs to Jaimini gotra, his adhidevatha is Chitrakethu and pratyadhidevata is Brahma. He was born on a new moon day on Tuesday in the year Keelaka during Margashira when the star Moola was in the ascent. (Some books mention his birth in the year Raakshasa during Chaitra maasa when the star Revathi was in the ascent.)

Ketu presides over Ashwini, Makha and Mula nakshatras. Rahu and Ketu often pester the Sun and the Moon. If the Sun and the other planets rotate in clock- wise direction, Rahu and Ketu move in anti- clock wise. According to Jaataka pala Manjari, Rahu and Ketu are 100 years old and Ketu is said to be an impotent planet. Cat’s eye is the precious stone worn to appease Ketu and horse gram should be given away to win his favour.

Ketu’s period runs for seven years and alike Rahu, this planet too is non- stationary. Ketu resides for a period of 18 months in each zodiac sign and his mahardasha lasts for 7years.Dhanush raasi is the most benefit position and Mithuna raasi is malefic to Ketu. He is the native of Meena raasi. Rahu and Ketu never reside in the same houses.

Positive effects of Ketu: He presides over intellectual acumen, enthusiasm, materialistic pleasures, friendship, wisdom, spiritual thoughts, philosophy, salvation, renunciation and interest in other languages.

Ill effectes: Misdeeds, danger, anarchy, air accidents, rebellion, loss in wealth, spinal problems, untimely death, mental imbalance and fire accidents are some of the ill effects of Ketu.

Ketu likes sacred grass, flowers, red lotuses, horse gram, mustard-powder, cow-milk, dates, pineapple, sugar, seven-wick lamp, mid-night prayers, pepper, iron, neem and yam to mention a few. Seven is his favourite number and he should be worshipped on Tuesdays and Sundays. The Beejaakshara Mantra for Ketu is

"OM SRAAM SREEM SROUM SAHA KETAVE NAMAHA"

The ordinary mantra is:

"OM KAYM KETAVE NAMAHA"

Other texts refer to Kethu mantra as:

"HREEM KROOM KRURAROOPINAY KETAVE IM SOUHU SWAAHAA"

Any of these mantras is equally efficacious.

In astrology, Rahu gives Kuja’s results and Ketu gives Sani’s results. In the orbit, when in 3,6,11 positions, Ketu yields good results. Ketu is friendly with Sun, Moon and Jupiter and malefic with Venus and Saturn. The evil effects of Ketu can be warded off by offering food to the vedic scholars.

In the zodiac, Rahu and Ketu are positioned in opposite directions. Of the two, if one teams up with the moon and the other with the sun, Lunar eclipse occurs. If the sun and the moon are in the same house and if either Rahu or Ketu teams up with them, then occurs the Solar-eclipse. Rahu and Ketu are planets in shadow.

One cannot rule out their existence, eventhough they are not visible. Indian astrologers took them into reckoning and calculated the celestial moments to their right precision without any external supports like telescope. Indian astrology without Rahu and Ketu should have been a half-baked one.

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