Emergence of the Nodes

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        <p>Emergence of the nodes<br>

<br>

Astronomy<br>

<br>

The Moon revolves around the earth; the average inclination of its orbit
to the ecliptic is 5°- 8'. Owing to this, the Moon assumes North
latitude for half year and South latitude for the rest of the year. <br>

<br>

The plane of the ecliptic and the plane of the Moon's orbit intersect at
two points called Nodes. The line joining these points is called the
Nodal axis. The point where the luminary crosses the ecliptic from South
to North is called the North Node, and the other is the South Node. The
former is named Rahu, the Dragon' head and the latter, Kethu, the
Dragon's tail.<br>

<br>

Does the Moon really revolve around the earth? In fact they orbit each
other around a common centre of gravity about 3000 miles from the centre
of the earth! The moon also wobbles like the earth and so the Nodes
regress (move backwards) along the ecliptic. Hence the nodes always have
a retrograde movement. The nodes take roughly about 18.6 years for one
cycle. <br>

<br>

 Full Moon and New Moon occur when the luminary is aligned in line with
the earth and the Sun, but not always at the nodal points, when eclipses
take place (Moon assumes 0° latitude).<br>

<br>

Study the picture http://www.astronewnet.com/nodes.gif<br>

<br>

The Myth<br>

<br>

The emergence of Rahu and Kethu is depicted in the Puranas. The king of
the Paradise, Indra was once riding on his elephant Airavata when he met
sage Durvasa known for his anger. The sage offered him the garland of
fortune. Not knowing the merit of the garland Indra put it on the
elephant’s trunk who in turn threw it on the floor.      <!--
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<br>

Enraged by this, the sage cursed that he and his team of demigods lose
all their power and fortune. <br>

<br>

There is another story too! Vedha Vyasa is considered to be one of the
exponents of 'Jyothish', vedic astrology. He has narrated the emergence
of the nodes Rahu and Kethu in his 'Shrimad Baghavataham'. Once
Sukracharya, the Guru of the asuras, the demons did a great penance and
was rewrded the 'Sanjeevini Mantra'. He could by this raise the dead to
life.<br>

<br>

Knowing this, the demons wanted to defeat the demigods with the help of
their guru. Without heeding to the advice of Sukracharya, they started
the battle. Duty bound Sukracharya gave life to all the dead asuras and
finally, the asuras won the battle.The demons headed by Bali, gained
control of the Universe.<br>

<br>

The demigods suffered innumerable insults and finally appealed to Lord
Vishnu to help them, who advised them to do 'Sagar Manthan' to get the
'Amirdha'. They could regain their lost strength only if they drank
Ambrosia, the nectar of immortality, by churning the Ocean of Milk. But
it was a great task which could be accomplished only with the help of the
demons. The greedy demons were willing to churn the ocean along with
demigods. Their plan was to cheat the other party and have the nectar for
themselves. But the divine plan was otherwise! <br>

<br>

When the ocean was being churned with the Mandara Mountain as the rod and
Vasuki, the snake, as the chord, many invaluable things, gods, and
goddesses appeared. At the end Dhanvandiri rose with the pot of
nectar.<br>

<br>

The demons at once snatched the pot and began to fight among themselves.
Lord Vishnu appeared as an enchanting woman (Mohini Avatar). Overcome by
her charm, the demons agreed to her plan that the nectar be first offered
to the demigods so that they could have all the rest. The demigods and
the demons were seated on opposite rows and the elixir of immortality was
being served to the demigods first, by the Mohini. <br>

<br>

A wicked idea struck in the mind of one of the demons, Swarbhanu. He
assumed the form of a demigod and stealthily sat in the row of the
demigods. This was noticed by the Sun who told this to Moon. Moon
reported to Lord Vishnu who got so angry that He cut the demon's head.
But as the demon had already tasted the nectar he did not lose his life.
<br>

<br>

After fervent appeals by Rahu and Kethu, the head and the tail, they were
offered the status of planets with instructions that they go to the ocean
of Cancer, learn all the scriptures before assuming office. This was
sincerely carried out by the nodes. So the node Rahu always chases the
luminaries often trying to swallow them in vain, accompanied by his other
part Kethu.   <br>

<br>

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