Ever felt like as if everything was going wrong for you? Like you didn’t know when you had to do something important? Like you didn’t want to make the right decision at the wrong time? When things were simply not going your way?
Once upon a time, long long ago, Indira (God Elect) was taking a peaceful stroll on his elephant. He had set the beast on cruise mode and was enjoying his ride, when all of a sudden he was stopped by a sage called Durvasa. Indira assured him that his ride was not speeding. Durvasa, though had stopped Indira to hand him a garland. Indira did not fancy the flowers so much so he gave it to his elephant. His elephant did not take a fancy to the flowers and gave it to the ground. Durvasa, who was a witness to this, did not take fancy any of what he saw, gave Indira a curse. He robbed him and his entire clan (Devas) of their Mojo.
Indira and the Devas were aghast at what had happened. Without their Mojo, they could never take on the dark side, i.e. the Asuras (Bad guys. Please note – no reference to skin color made). They went to Vishnu (God CXO) to ask Him for His advice. Vishnu heard everything and decided that the Ocean of Mojo needed to be churned so that the Mojo (nectar) would come out and Devas could get their powers back. But the Devas were aghast! They would have to share the Mojo with the Asuras?! To which Vishnu smiled one of his trade-mark smiles, which Rajinikanth would copy aeons later, and said – “I yam there ya!”
The Devas sought the help of the Asuras and with a mountain for a dasher and snake for a rope, the Asuras to one side and the Devas to the other, they proceeded to churn the Ocean of Mojo. A lot of good things and bad things came out. But finally, Dhanvanthari made an appearance on the scene and with him he carried the fabled Mooooojooooo. The Asuras and the Devas made a dash for it, but the Asuras being Asuras (no beauty, ergo lots of brains) managed to steal the Mojo and take it to their camp.
The now completely aggrieved Devas, went back to Vishnu and informed Him that the Mojo had crossed over to the Dark Side. Vishnu again smiled and said “Ippudi Choodu” (which curiously enough would again be copied by Rajinikanth in 2007). So saying He transformed Himself into a Herself. (S)he had taken on the form of Mohini, an enchantress whose beauty was like none other ever seen before. Mohini walked into the Asura camp and needless to say, the Asuras forgot all about the Mojo. While the Asuras drooled all over the place, Mohini swept up the Mojo and started back towards the Deva camp.
Now it is here where most stories would end, that our hero’s tragic story begins. While Mohini went back, a smart Asura called Rahu followed stealthily behind. He donned the disguise of a Deva and waited in line with the other Devas while Mohini distributed the Mojo among all the Devas. At the precise second that it was Rahu’s turn, he sipped some of the Mojo. Surya (Sun) and Chandra (Moon) being the enlightened ones smelt a snake and snitched on Rahu to Mohini. Mohini urf Vishnu immediately made like an Angel of Charlie and dispatched a disc which cut off Rahu’s head from his body. The body fell down to the ground, but lo and behold! The head floated up! The Mojo had coursed through his throat, but before it could make its way to his body, his head was severed off. While this meant that his body was dead, his head on the other hand had become immortal. Filled with wrath, he (the head part of he, at least) decided to take revenge on his snitchers-in-chief, the sun and the moon, by swallowing them up. Unfortunately, every time he did so, they would escape from the open end at back of his throat. This is what English called many years later, an eclipse.
And that is the sad story of Rahu.
And now, much to your suprise I am sure, the point of this post was not to discuss about the sad story of Rahu. I shall wait for a moment for your eyeballs to settle down.
There is a Rahu kalam (period) everyday. This is a 90 minute period in every day when no important work should be started and no important decision should be made.Technically, these are periods of the day when the sun’s orbit intersects with the moon’s orbit. These periods is usually given in an Panchangam (almanac) which indicates the Rahu kalam for any given day. You can see it here :- http://www.panchangam.com/. Just enter the date and you can see the Rahu kalam on the next page.
However, I have not been able to find any good sites on how the Rahu kalam can be calculated for countries other than India. Most Panchangams give the Rahu kalam only for India, which does not make sense in America, for example. So I decided to find out how the Rahu kalam is actually calculated. It is a simple procedure actually. And yes, this is the point of the post.
For Other Countries:-
Step 1 :- Go to this website. Choose your country and the date on which you want to check the Rahu kalam. Note the length of the day (sunrise to sunset). This is A
Step 2 :- Divide the day into 8 equal periods. B = ( A / 8 ).
Step 3 :- For all Mondays, the Rahu kalam is the 2nd portion. For all the other days, it is Mo-Tu-We-Th-Fr-Sa-Su = 2-7-5-6-4-3-8. Each period will be B mins for that day.
On Friday, Nov 21st, 2008 in Sharjah,U.A.E.,
Step 1:- Sunrise is at 6:40 a.m. and sunset is at 5:28 p.m. This makes the day 10h,48m,27s i.e. A = (10×60)+(48)+(0.5) = 648.5 minutes
Step 2:- B = 648.5/8 = 81.06 minutes.
Step 3:- On Friday the the Rahu kalam starts at the 4th Bth period after sunrise
i.e. Start – 6:40 a.m. + (81.06×3) = 6:40 + 243.18m = 6:40 + 4h 3m = 10:43 a.m.
End – 10:43 a.m. + 81.06m = 10:43 + 1h 21m = 12:04 p.m.
Kiru used to tell me a very nice way to remember the Rahu kalam period when I was in India.
All you need to remember is that
a) “Mother Saw Father Wearing The Turban Suddenly”
b) Any Rahu kalam can start only at 7:30 a.m.
In India, this means the Rahu kalam on all Mondays is from 7:30- 9:00 a.m. On all Saturdays, it is from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. On Fridays, it is from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and so on and so forth.
Ed Note:- I later found a site where you can accurately check the Rahu kalam and a whole lot of other kalams for any city in the world. Check this site :- http://www.mypanchang.com/panchang2008.html
Krish Ashok pulls one back for the Asura’s in his post. Now that you are privy to the story, you can appreciate his great sense of humor.