In Fiji, the lunar eclipse is known as Chandra Grahan. The last lunar eclipse in the past 3 years happened on the 8th November 2022 and the next lunar eclipse will occur in 2025. Lunar eclipse happens when the sun, earth and moon are aligned. During this time, the moon happens to appear much darker than red, also known as blood moon, as it passes the earth’s shadow. The lunar eclipse is visible in Fiji at 8pm and will end around 1:56am on the 9th November 2022.
According to the Hindu culture, it is advisable not to watch the blood moon as it can cause damage to the eyes, and in extreme cases, cause blindness.
What does the lunar eclipse symbolize in Hinduism
According to the Hindu mythology, Grahan is considered inauspicious. Hindus worship the sun, and during an eclipse, the sun disappears making it an omen of all things evil. Grahan happens because of the fight between God and demons. The Hindus believe that during the distribution of nectar (Amrit that gives immortality), a demon disguised himself as deva and tried to drink the nectar, but when the sun and moon got to know about this, it was too late as the demon had already drank bit of the nectar and Lord Vishnu chopped his head off. Because he drank the nectar, his head became immortal, and since then, he has been named Rahu and his body Ketu. It is also believed that during an eclipse, Rahu swallows sun and moon causing Grahan. Which is why during the lunar eclipse, Hindus pray so that the moon gets free from evil.
Things Hindus do during Grahan
It is very important to take a bath before and after the eclipse to cleanse the body and the soul. It is also mandatory to eat well, clean the house and purify the house with Ganga Jal (holy water) before the start of the eclipse. Elders who are sick need to be given proper care during this period. It is believed that putting Tulsi leaves (basil) in food and water helps to avoid contamination. During the period of eclipse, we should pray and stay calm.
Things not to do during Grahan
Cooking, eating and drinking food after the eclipse has begun is discouraged during Grahan. In Hindu culture, it is believed that the rays of the eclipse can contaminate foods. Thus, it is very important not to stay outdoors during this time as it is not safe. Eating meat and sexual activity is also strictly prohibited during the lunar eclipse. Pregnant women should not work at all during an eclipse. They are not supposed to cut or stitch clothes, or use a knife or sharp objects as this will affect the baby. In Hindu culture, it is often suggested that pregnant women cover their belly with cow dung as it is considered to be safe and protects the baby.
Lunar eclipse is both beneficial and harmful to people according to their star signs as the moon changes position. Hindus in Fiji and overseas have been following the do’s and don’t for years to be safe from harm.
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