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Rahu, the planet in shadows, is accorded recognition by the Indian astrologers and like Ketu, this planet is also not visible in the galaxy.

Source material: A mine of information about Rahu is available in Brahmaavaivartha puraana, Mahaabhaagavatha, Mahaabhaaratha, Matsya puraana, Rigveda and Vishnu puraana.

Rahu was born to Simhika and Viprachitthi. Rahu’s mother simhika (also known as Simhita) was the daughter of Hiranyakashyapa (Bhakta Prahlada’s father). There are several brothers to Rahu and they are Salya, Nabha, Vaataapi, Ilvala and Namuchi. It is also believed that Rahu is the eldest of the 100 brothers. He also has a sister by name Maahishmathi.

Bhagavatha makes a mention of Rahu in the cosmic churning. As the demons and the gods went on churning the milky ocean with Meru parvatha, several interesting things surfaced and the ambrosia (amrita) is one among them. Lord Vishnu, disguised himself as Mohini, a celestial dancer and took upon himself the task of distributing the amrita. In this process, he elbowed the demons and went on offering the amrita to gods and angels. Seeing this, Rahu impersonates as one of the gods and sits in the row of the gods to partake the amrita. Noticing this surya and chandra alerted mohini. Mohini, loses no time in beheading but by then Rahu swallowed amrita and so he could not be killed. Henceforth the neckline became Rahu and the torno is referred to as Ketu. Since then Rahu is said to have nursed a gurdge against the surya and chandra, and gobbles them up in the wake of an eclipse.

Nature: The fierce face of Rahu adorns a crown and a garland runs round his neck. Clad is black, the four shouldered Rahu sports sword, shield, trishula and varamudra in his four hands. He sits on a lion. As the faint trace of nectar made him immortal, Lord Brahma conferred upon him the status of a planet. The eight horse driven chariot of Rahu is darkness. The presiding deity of Rahu is Yama and Surya in his pratyadhidevata. His position in the galaxy is south - westwards and it resembles a winnowing fan.

Astrology: Born into paithenasa gotra, Rahu is fierdish in nature. He was born in the year parthiva(Rakshasa –in some other books) in bhaadrapada maasa, krishna paksha on the fourteenth day of the waving moon on a Sunday. Visakha is his birth star. Rahu dasa lasts for 18 years. He has no aura of his own as he is considered a "chaaya graha". At the intersecting points of lunar and solar circumferences, there are two dots. The northern dot is called Rahu or the dragon headed and the southern dot is referred to as dragon’s tail. Rahu, like other planets does not preside over particular zodiac sign. Vrishabha lagna is his best place whereas vrishchika lagna is his worst. For ketu, vrishchika is the best place. According to parasara samhitha, kanya rasi is his nature place.

Mrityunjaya japa is considered to be highly efficacious to pacify Rahu. The beejaakshara runs thus:


This mantra or the mantra in the Navagraha stotra pertaining to Rahu need to be chanted for 18000 times.

Rahu lords over aardra, swathi and satabhisha nakshatras. Like Kuja and Sani, Rahu too yields favours when he is positioned in 3, 6 & 11th houses from the janma raasi.

Malific effects of Rahu: Social backwardness, mental tension, misuse of power, electric shock, lack of interest, evil thoughts, bad dreams, trouble while in a foreign land, loss of money in vices, ill health, fear of thieves, legal hassles, possession of evil spirits to mention a few.

Beneficial effects: Command over foreign languages, courage, research, social service, interest in magic sciences, photography are some of the positive traits.

What Rahu likes most: To pacify Rahu, black gram should be given away. Caldera flowers, black lillies are used in his worship. Fishes, grapes, almonds, liquor, red sandal paste, 10 wick-lamp, graveyard land, panchaloha Rahu pratima, gomedhika, blue clothes, marijuana lotus leaves and aluminium are some of the things used in Rahu pooja.

To pacify Rahu, gomedhika gem studded ring is to be worn. Wearing this finger ring leads to prosperity success, financial prosperity, education and good health.

Eclipses: Rahu and Ketu, if one is with sun and the other with the moon, then it is lunar eclipse. If the sun and the moon are with either Rahu or Ketu, then the solar eclipse occurs.

Tirunagendram at Kumbhakonam in Tamilnadu is a sacred place of Rahu worship. Kalahasthi in Andhra Pradesh is also known for its Rahu worship. Soornaarkoil in Kumbhakonam or any temple with Navagrahas is ideal for Rahu worship.


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