Solar and Lunar Eclipses are carrying innumerable mythological beliefs with them. However, the story of Rahu-Ketu is very popular. According to the same legend, it is believed that due to the enmity shared between Rahu-Ketu and Sun-Moon at the time of Amrit Manthan, this phenomenon of eclipse happens every year.
This enmity was born when fourteen different types of gems emerged from the ocean during the process of “Churning Of The Ocean”. Among them was the Nectar of Immortality or Amrit, which every God and Demon wanted to consume. On the other hand, any demon consuming this Amrit would have proven to be fatal for the world. Realizing this, Lord Vishnu made a plan and accordingly, took the form of the divinely beautiful Apsara Mohini to subdue all the Demons or Asuras and prevent them from consuming the Nectar.
During this time, the nectar was divided equally and people on both sides started consuming the Nectar. Here, Lord Vishnu tricked the Asuras by offering them normal water instead of the Amrit, whereas the Devtas consumed the Nectar of Immortality. However, before all the Asuras getting tricked by Lord Vishnu, a demon named Swarbhanu understood the plan and after falsely taking the form of Devtas, stood among them.
When Lord Vishnu in the form of Apsara Mohini offered the Amrit to Swarbhanu, Surya and Chandrama recognized him and alerted Lord Vishnu. However, by then, Swarbhanu had consumed some drops of the Amrit. Enraged by this trick, Lord Vishnu severed the body of Swarbhanu into half with his Sudarshan Chakra. Since he had become immortal, he didn’t die, which is why his head became Rahu, whereas his torso became Ketu.
Since Lord Sun & Lord Moon revealed the true identity of Swarbhanu, it is believed that Rahu and Ketu, due to their ongoing enmity, create an eclipse over the Moon and Sun every year.
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