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FAQ on Surya Grahan: Info compiled through self, Internet and Sri

Ramachandra-Bangalore. NVR(nvravi@hotmail.com)
1. What is Surya Grahan – The moon coming in the way between Sun and the Earth forming a kind
of shadow thus the sun is eclipsed partially or fully. More explanation is as below

If the Moon's inner or umbral shadow sweeps across Earth's surface, then a total eclipse of the Sun is seen. The
track of the Moon's umbral shadow across Earth is called the Path of Totality. It is typically 10,000 miles long but
only about 100 miles wide. It covers less than 1% of Earth's entire surface area. In order to see the Sun become
completely eclipsed by the Moon, you must be somewhere inside the narrow path of totality.

The path of a total eclipse can cross any part of Earth. Even the North and South Poles get a total eclipse sooner
or later. Just one total eclipse occurs each year or two. Since each total eclipse is only visible from a very narrow
track, it is rare to see one from any single location. You'd have to wait an average of 375 years to see two total
eclipses from one place. Of course, the interval between seeing two eclipses from one particular place can be
shorter or longer. For instance, the last total eclipse visible from Princeton, NJ was in 1478 and the next is in
2079. That's an interval of 601 years. However, the following total eclipse from Princeton is in 2144, after a
period of only 65 years

2. This Month, when is surya Grahan Falling – 15th of Jan’2010 the next day after Makara Sankranti.

3. What is the time duration of this Month Surya Grahan - Solar Eclipse
(11-17 a.m. to 3 -11 p.m.) about 3 hours 54 min – this data is pertaining to Bangalore. This time differs from region
to region.

4. What is Rahugrasta or Ketu Grasta – Basically, Rahu and Ketu are not grahas. They are only a
Chaya grahas. In astrology it is nodal points on the moon in the North and south respectively.
In vedic astrology it is considered as one of the nine grahas, that is why along with
7(sun,Moon,Mars,Mercury,Jupiter,venus,and Saturn,)grahas, these Rahu and ketu constitutes to
be 8th and 9th graha. Thus we have (9) Navagrahas. If the grahna is happening from Rahu’s side
of Moon, then it is Rahugrasta. If it is otherway round, then it is Ketugrasta.

5. Which are the Nakshatra and rashi affected for this grahana(Eclipse)- Uttarashada Nakshatra –
dhanurrasi, Makara rasi are affected.

6. Whether it is partial or full In India, - it is Partial Surya Grahan this year. The grahan on January
15, 2010 passes between the southern tip of India and northern Sri Lanka. Both regions lie
within the path where maximum annularity lasts for 10 minutes 15 seconds. Maximum grahan
will be visible in Trivandrum and other regions in south Kerala and in Tirunellveli, Madurai,
Thanjavur and Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu

7. Whether I can see the graham in naked Eyes- Never. Use proper U/V Protected Glasses.
8. What are the Normal do’s and Don’ts during Solor Eclipse
Never Watch eclipse in naked Eye. Use UV glasses. Pregnant women/children below 5 yrs,
donot come out during eclipse time. Have granhana snana and be pure. Recite Mantraas and
Japa of your choice. Keep the devara deepa, and wear madi cloths/mogata/silk Dhoti cloth-
traditional way. Pl. do not watch TV. Maintain silence to enable a good ambiance to prey god
during that time. Tarpanadhikaris – give Tarpana before the Madya Kala. Pl. avoid going to
Urinals during Grahana Time. Eating and dancing etc.,(any kind of entertainment) is prohibited.
Ladies can chant all stotras that they know. Especially Adity hridaya, Vishnu sahasra nama,
Lalitha Soundarya lahari, shivaaparadha stotra etc., and any japas can be done which is already
been taught by a Guru, like shakti, bala, Ganapathi etc.,

Added info:

Dos/Don’ts for during and before & after Grahana

Dos :

We must not eat/drink anything after Vedaaramba. If we eat some thing during grahana period, we
have to observe three days fasting for parihara of the grahana dosha.

We must take bath once when the Grahana starts and once when the grahana ends.

Even those who are observing soothaka also must observe Grahana snaana.

Even the Rajaswala ladies must observe Grahana snaana.

While doing sparsha snaana, we must do the snaana with the clothes we are wearing in.

Before Grahana Madhya kaala, tarpanaadhikarigalu must give tarpana to sarva pitrugalu.

During Grahana we must do daanaas – Godaana, Suvarna Daana, Bhoodana, dhaanya dhaana
(yathaashakthi. )

Milk, curds, vegetables, water and other items are free from Grahana dosha provided a kusha (darbe) is
kept on the items. But baked items are not free from grahana dosha, even though darbe is kept on
them.

Two days prior and two days after Grahana are Varjya for “Shubha Kaarya”.

During Grahana period do as much japa as possible, do paarayana of Ista daivatha. Ladies can do
Harinama japa, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, and Yo Sou VajraDharo Devaha… etc.,

DO NOTs :
We must not go for urinals/latrine during Grahana – If we go for urinals – we will get daaridrya, if we go
for latrine – we will get the Janma of insect.

We must not sleep during Grahana Time, if we sleep we will get diseases

We must not do maithuna during Grahana – if done, we will get Janma of pig

We must not do abhyanjana snaana – if done, we will kusta roga.. As such, one must not eat, sleep,
urinals, maithuna, bhojana during grahana kaala

9. What is Grahanaacharane: Grahanaacharane is nothing but taking a bath(along with clothes on)
during the start of grahan time and keeping devaradeepa and chanting devaranama and japas
during Grahana avadhi , tarpanadhikaaries taking a 2nd bath before madyakala and giving
pitrutarpana, and taking a final bath after the grahana moksha kala and looking at
shuddhabimba darshana and breaking fast. The next day to clean the pooja room and all
vessels at home and washing of pooja vessles and God idols present at home with tamarind,
changing the cross thread and performing normal devara pooje on the next day completes
Grahanacharane.

10. Who is Tarpanaadhikari – Male person, whose Father, or Mother or both have passed away (at
least a year before) and he is done his upanayana, is a Tarpanaadhikari.

11. What is the mantra to be told during Solor Eclipse - Some of the important mantras that are
chanted during the Surya Grahan include:
a. Gayatri Mantra
b. Ashtakshara Mantra dedicated to Shri Krishna. Ashtakshara mantra is ‘Shri
Krishna ha sharnam mama.’ Astakshari Mantra is also taken as ‘Om Namoh
Narayan Na Yah.’ (Narayana)
c. Mahamrityunjay Mantra is also chanted during eclipse.(Tryambakam)
d. Other mantras chanted are Surya Kavach Strotra and Aditya Hridaya Strotram or
any mantra which is taught by your Guru like Durga, Ganapathi,
sivapanchakshari, Bala, chandi etc.,
e. It is important that one chants mantra or remember god in any form at this time to
keep calm and the aura clean.
f. Refer the last page below and chant the same. Applicable to both genders and all
Varnas.
12. What is the sloka to recite during Solor Eclipse? – Look in panchaanga – page 13. Yo sou
vajradharo sloka along with above slokaas.(given also in last page here)

13. When shall I start my tarpana- After 2nd bath before madyakaala.

14. After tarpana, can I have supper/Dinner – No. You can have light Phal ahara(fruits or light
Breakfast.

15. How many times should I take bath and when during this Grahana – 1st bath at the start of the
Grahanatime. 2nd bath at the end of Grahana. Only tarpanaadhikari will take a bath in between
for the sake of giving pitru tarpana.

16. What is Grahana Vedha Kala – Vedhakala is getting started to get affected. This is 10 hours
before actual Grahana timings for Chandra grahana. And 12 hours for Surya Grahana. You
should not have any meal after Vedhakala upto shudda Bimba darshana(full View).

17. What is Grastodaya and Grasasta, - Some times, the grahana would have already started before
the sunrise in our region. In that case, the sun rises in our region with grahana affected. This
condition is called as “Grastodaya”. In the same way, some times sun sets in our region without
grahana being complete. In that case, he set with grahana on…. This condition is called as
“Grasasta”. In grasasta case, we should wait for the next day to have full view(shudda bimba
darshana) and then, we can have meal.

18. What is Madya kala – It is normally given in panchanga. It is the middle time beween starting of
grahana and ending. This changes from region to region.

19. What is Moksha kala – This is the time at which, the release of Grahana happens to our region.
This time differs from region to region.

20. When is the last meal I can have before the Grahana – 12 hours before the actal start time at
your region.

21. When shall I have my meal after the Grahana- after bath and shuddha bimba darshana.

22. What is Mythological significance of Grahana- Surya Grahan, solar eclipse, is widely
mentioned in the Holy Scriptures of Hinduism. There is also an interesting myth
regarding the occurrence of Surya Grahan. It happened during the Samdura Manthan
(churning of ocean) episode in the Puranas. Rahu (Demon) and Mohini, an incarnation of
Lord Vishnu, are the main characters in the incident.
The Amrit (elixir) that was obtained from churning the ocean was cunningly stolen by
Ausras (Demons). Lord Vishnu took the form of Mohini, a beautiful damsel, to win back
the Amrita. She achieved her mission by enamoring the Asuras, they fell for her beauty
and handed over the Amrita to her.

Mohini returned to the Devas and started distributing it. Devas sat in a line and mohini
gave a portion to each one of them. Rahu, an Asura, who found out that they were tricked
took the form a Deva and sat in the line between Chandra (Moon God) and Surya (Sun
God).
When Mohini approached Rahu, Chandra and Surya realized that Rahu was not one
among them and soon identified him as an Asura. Mohini soon severed the head of Rahu
which flew into the sky. Rahu’s, depicted in the form of a Snake head occasionally,
continued to live and decided to avenge Surya and Chandra.
Thus periodically Rahu engages in a war with Surya and Chandra. The Chandra Grahan
(Lunar eclipse) and Surya Grahan (Solar eclipse) takes place when Rahu gobbles up
Moon and Sun respectively. Surya and Chandra then fights to free themselves.

23. Whether can I travel during Grahana – not advisable. As during this time, we need to sit at one
place and prey.preferably at Home. Even if you are away from home, restrict your movement
during the grahana time.

24. What is the exceptions for Pregnant Women,Kids, Old age and sick people- while the normal
people can have their last mean before the start of Vedha kala, that is 12 hours before start of
Eclipse time, the pregnant women, old people and children are considered to be soft and
vulnerable. They should finish their meal before 3 hours.
25. Whether Pregnant women can travel during Grahana- There is lot of fear among many
Hindus regarding Surya Grahan (Solar Eclipse) and Pregnancy. Most people want to
know about precautions to be taken during Surya Grahanam. The only precaution that
you should take is that you should never look at the Sun directly during the Grahan. As a
clear cut solution, ancient seers in Hinduism recommend pregnant women remain indoors
during Grahan. The mantra chanted during the period is the Santana Gopala Mantra.
Astrological View Point
Now for those of you believe in astrology, there is a ‘punya kala’ when the Surya Grahan
is visible. And people observe fasting during this period. If the Grahan is not visible in
the particular region, there is no ‘punya kala’ and there are no restrictions.
There is no restriction in moving around if there is no Surya Grahan in your region.
Ayurvedic View Point
Some traditions in Hindu religion ask pregnant wome n to sit or lie down on a mat
containing Darbha grass or Kusha Grass. It is also advised to keep some Kusha Grass
with the pregnant woman.
Fasting during Grahan
Now there are several Hindu communities that fast (Upvaas) during Surya Grahan. A
pregnant woman should take the advice of her doctor before fasting. If you are so
particular about fasting, you can fast just during the Surya Grahan period and avoid a
complete fast.

26. Which page of Ontikoppal Panchaang the grahana details are printed- page 13.

27. If you are a Hindu, whether you should perform Grahanacharane wherever you are – See the
Map of grahanam, or your local panchaang, or consult an astrologer and decide whether Grahan
is visible in your region. If yes, go thorugh the rituals. Otherwise, not required.

28. If the Grahan is not visible in your region, whether you should perform grahanacharane(rituals)
– No – not required. For example, people in USA need not observe any rituals for this particular
graham as the grahana is not visible there this time.

29. Why is most of the temples are closed during grahana time – During Grahana time, because of
Rahu/Ketu, either Sun are moon are eclipsed. Due to this, we need to observe sutaka(Malina).
Due to which, the temples are closed for the Grahana Period and opened after Grahana Moksha
kala and cleaned/washed, and Punyaha is performed according to the temple rituals and re-
opened for public.
Here is some additional and beautiful points added by our friend Sri Ramachandra about
Grahana Anusthana and Krama: Pl. go through it.

Grahana Anusthana Purpose and Krama:

Grahana being astounding natural phenomenon, a heavenly splendor, an astronomical reverence,


an event of caution that has got historical and mythological importance and above all a parvakala for
Mantra Anusthana.

Needless to mention, the references to eclipse are found in Ramayana,Mahabharatha,Bhagavatha


and other puranas. Shastras consider eclipse as most opportune time to perform Snana (sacred bath
in Ocean, River etc), Prayer, Mantra Diksha initiation ,Purascharana of Upadesa Manthra, Pitru
Tharpana and Dana.

As per jyothishya shastra, Rahu is Mantra karaka and Ketu is Mantra Siddhi & Moksha Karaka.

Remarkably, during the eclipse, these two grahas are powerful and hence Mantra Anushtana yield
quick results in the form of MantraSiddhi.

The second reason being as per tantra/yoga, during the eclipse, Ida and Pingala Nadis that are the
symbolic representations of Sun and Moon are united as one at Muladhara. Hence during the
eclipse only Sushumna Nadi shines apart that pave the way for Kundalini rising upwards at
Sahasrara. During the eclipse, there is no obstruction for Kundalini Shakti and so mantra japa yields
quick results.

Sun and Moon are the Jagat Chakshus. When these two disappear under the influence of eclipse,
the SUTAKA(Maalinya) has to be observed by the people and hence head bath is advised. Mantra
when not chanted during eclipse becomes dead (mritha- i.e. due to Maalinya Dosha).

Because of the sutaka, the potency of the mantra diminishes. And hence sankalpa is "mantra
viryatva siddhyarthe jape viniyogah". Even if you do the purascharana on other days, you have to do
the japa on eclipse day otherwise the mantra becomes impotent (lack of mantra siddhi).

They are two types of Mantra Anusthana Kramas during the Grahana:

One being, the Puraschara Krama (sachela snanam krutva sakrudeva japamacharet) which requires
to take head bath, sankalpam and aasana vidhi before starting of the Grahana spasha kala (Start)
and continue to chat only one mantra reverentially all along towards the end (Mukthi Pariyantam)
and perform head bath (Sachela snanam i.e. head bath with the wearing clothes) which will yield
Mantra siddi of the chanted mantra and good results from upaasya devataa.
Other Krama being, taking head bath after the Sparsha (Start) of the Grahana and chant all the
mantras which are initiated (Gayathri,Ganapathi, Bala,Chandi, Panchashari..etc..) until the end
(Mukthi pariyantam) take a head bath (Sachela snanam) to complete the anusthana which is
generally followed amongst us.

Also, please find a brief list of Do’s and Don’ts in the course the Grahana to be followed.

Do’s:

1) Do keep Dharbha on all the stored items like Water, Pickles, Milk, Curd etc

2) Grahana tharpanam should be performed who are eligiable to do so.

3) Dana is very much appreciated in this occasion and Brahmins whom the dosha is specifically
mentioned in Panchanga are preferred to do Bimba Dana. During the Chandra grahana, silver
Chandra bimba and golden Naga bimba and during the Surya Grahana, Golden Surya bimba and
Naga Bimba should be kept in Thambra /Kanchu bowl filled with Ghee along with Vastra, Tila and
Dakshina to be given to a Vipra at the end of Grahana. Only in those who are born in specific Stars
(Nakshatra) need to perform this Shanti pariharam.

4) Other varnas do have a practice to offer Dakshina with Wheat for Surya Grahanam and Rice for
Chandra Grahanam as shanthi pariharam offering to any Brahmin after the Grahanam.

5) Tantric mantras like mantras for scorpion sting, garuda mantra etc. are more effective during this
period. If not, then Gayatri Mantra till the eclipse ends. After that, have a head bath.The next day, all
the devatharchana idols have to be washed.

6) Some Andraites and Tamilnadu people do change the upavitha and new upavitha is donned next
day.

7) Navagraha Strotras, Shiva Kavacha with Indrakshi Strotram are also recommended for chanting
during the Grahana.

Don’ts:

1) Avoid eating /cooking food during eclipse.

2) Avoid sleeping during eclipse.

3) Pregnant women avoid getting exposed per se to Eclipse.


4) Expose to Eclipse is not recommended as all our actions and thoughts come under the purview of
subtle basic components viz. sattvik, rajasik and tamasik or a combination of them. It is believed that
during eclipse time lot of rajo & tamo frequencies are transmitted. Entire eclipse period is said to be
a parva kala during which time we are supposed to reduce rajo & tamo activities like sleeping,
consuming food ,attending nature calls..etc which will add to the negative energies. Instead, utilize
the opportunity spiritually to ward off the negative energies that gets activated during eclipse times.

Please forward across in your circles if you any one requires the above information.

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