rāhu राहु

Definition: m. (fr. rabh-; see graha-and grah-) "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 astronomy rāhu- 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[ see graha-],and as the regent of the south-west quarter[ ];among Buddhists many demons are called rāhu-) etc.

Dictionary: Monier-Williams
Literary Sources: Laghuj., AV.
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Parse Time: 0.197s Search Word: r��hu Input Encoding: IAST: rāhu