Rahu Tries to Drink the Amrit by Deceit

Rahu and other astral figures: Image by Mahesh of Chamba – Self produced scan; from “Pahari masters”, a book by B. N. Goswamy, Public Domain.

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Note: In the previous post, we read about how the asuras became desirous of possessing Goddess Lakshmi (the Goddess of abundance and wealth) and the amrit. However, Narayana (in the form of a beautiful woman) prevented them from succeeding.

In this post, we will read about how Rahu tried to disguise himself as a god and tried to drink the amrit and how he was stopped, once again by Narayana.

While the gods were drinking the amrit, a danava called Rahu was also among them. Rahu was disguised as a god and took a sip of the amrit. However, the amrit had barely reached his throat when he was discovered as an imposter by Surya and Soma (the Moon God) who immediately intimated the other gods. Without wasting any time, Narayana instantly used his discus to cut off the danava Rahu’s head because he had taken the amrit without permission.

Rahu’s separated head which was like a mountain rose up to the sky and uttered dreadful cries. His headless trunk fell on the ground and started rolling, making the entire earth tremble.

From that time, Rahu’s head has been in a state of quarrel with Surya and Soma, whom he swallows from time to time.

Note: According to astronomy and astrology, Rahu and Ketu denote the points of intersection of the paths of the Sun and the Moon as they move in their respective orbits. The incident of Rahu swallowing Surya and Soma refers to solar and lunar eclipses.

In the next post, we will read about the battle that ensued between the devas and asuras.

Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

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