m. (fr.rabh-; seegraha-andgrah-) "the Seizer", Name of a daitya- or demon who is supposed to seize the sun and moon and thus cause eclipses (he is fabled as a son of vipra-citti- and siṃhikā- and as having a dragon's tail;when the gods had churned the ocean for the amṛta- or nectar of immortality, he disguised himself like one of them and drank a portion;but the Sun and Moon revealed the fraud to viṣṇu-, who cut off rāhu-'s head, which thereupon became fixed in the stellar sphere, and having become immortal through drinking the amṛta-, has ever since wreaked its vengeance on the Sun and Moon by occasionally swallowing them;while at the same time the tail of the demon became ketu- [q.v.] and gave birth to a numerous progeny of comets and fiery meteors;in astronomyrāhu- is variously regarded as a dragon's head, as the ascending node of the moon [or point where the moon intersects the ecliptic in passing northwards], as one of the planets[ seegraha-],and as the regent of the south-west quarter[ ];among Buddhists many demons are called rāhu-) etc.
m. [√ rabh] seizer, N. of a demon, whose head after he had attempted to drink the nectar obtained at the churning of the ocean was cut off by Vishnu, but having be come immortal periodically revenged itself on his betrayers, the sun and moon, by swal lowing them at the times of eclipse; he is also regarded as one of the nine planets; eclipse; moment of occultation; -gata, pp. eclipsed (sun or moon); -grasana, n. being swallowed by Râhu, eclipse; -grasta-nisâ kara, a. whose moon has been swallowed by Râhu (night); -graha, m. demon Râhu; -grahana, n. seizure by Râhu, eclipse (of sun or moon): -darsana,n. eclipse.
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