Brahmanda and the eclipse

Brahmanda Guruji is a famous TV person. He became popular due to many ridiculous claims on TV. I recently came across a video which shows many of the claims he has made. Here it is.

Recently he was on public TV discussing about the effects of the upcoming lunar eclipse.

His claims were,

1. “Chandrama Manaso jatah”. So moon affects the minds of people. But in truth, the verse “Chandrama Manaso jatah” means, the moon was born from the mind (or will) of Brahma. It has nothing to do with the mind controlling power of the moon.

2. There will be more accidents due to the lunar eclipse.

This is ridiculous. There are at least 2 lunar eclipses in a year. And here ar the accident statistics from Bangalore traffic police.

 

So the eclipses should have raised the number of accidents but that’s not the case…

He had many other claims too which you can see in the video. It is a waste of time to explain all the claims he makes. But you van leave comments and I will try to explain them for you.

 

My lunar eclipse experience

As we wait for the total lunar eclipse on Jan 31st, 2018, let me recall my earlier eclipse experience on 10 Dec 2011. It was a wonderful lunar eclipse since the whole eclipse was visible from India. I went out of the city to a village near Tumkur which has very clear skies and no light pollution.

As the sun set in the western sky, the moon rose in the eastern sky. We (the earth) were exactly in between the sun and the moon. I had a 1000mm focal length telescope with me to photograph the eclipse. I was using my old Canon 450D camera. As the moon rose, one portion of the moon started to get blackened. We were all excited.

As the eclipse progressed, the moon was getting covered in earth’s shadow. After about 60% of the eclipse, we started seeing the dim red glow of the moon (which is due to refraction of light in earth’s atmosphere).

After about 90 minutes, the moon was completely covered. Usually on a full moon day, you don’t see many stars. But on this occasion, the moon had become a lot fainter glowing with faint brown-red color and we could see many stars in the sky.

The color and brightness of the moon depends on the dust in the earth’s atmosphere and can vary drastically between eclipses.

We enjoyed this phase of the eclipse using binoculars and telescopes. My camera was still clicking photos. By this time, everyone was hungry and we feasted on Bisi Bele Bath and curd rice. This was also to bust the myth that eating food during an eclipse causes indigestion.

After an hour of totality, the earth’s shadow started moving out of the moon. After an hour and half, the full moon was back again. It was so bright, I wondered if it was the same moon we saw all night.

 

Lunar eclipse myths

Throughout the history, the eclipses have been recorded and studied. While the scientific community had the complete understanding of the phenomenon centuries ago, it has not deterred the astrologers and other people to spread false information about the eclipses. Here are some of the myths related to eclipses.

1. You should not have food during the eclipse. The food becomes contaminated during the eclipse. You should cover the food with darbha grass to prevent the contamination of the food.

Obviously this is false. Just think about it. Have you ever heard anyone get sick by eating food during the eclipse? Dr. H Narasimhaiah even distributed food during the eclipse to spread awareness. Also, keeping 2 sticks of darbha grass on the food container does nothing.
2. It is not safe for the people to go watch the eclipse, especially for pregnant women. There will be additional radiation during the eclipse.

Eclipses are totally safe to watch. If it is a solar eclipse, since the sun is too bright, you will need protective solar goggles. For lunar eclipse, you don’t need anything. Just go out and enjoy the show. The eclipses occur when the earth, moon and the sun are aligned in a line such that one of them covers the other casting a shadow on the third body. So there is no question of additional radiation. As for the pregnant women, the eclipses are perfectly safe for the pregnant women to see. The only thing is that, they have to watch their step while walking and also they should not get overexcited looking at the beauty of the nature.

3. Rahu and ketu eat the sun and moon during eclipse. You have to pray to god to save them.

Lol. People used to do this 5000 years ago when they had no clue about the universe. You don’t live in stone age. Don’t believe this crap. However, Rahu and Ketu represent the ascending and descending nodes of the moon’s orbit.  

4. Eclipse are a bad omen…

Again, this is the belief that belongs to the stone age where they freaked out looking at the sun or the moon disappear from the sky and they were not sure whether they would reappear nor not. Obviously they thought it was a bad omen.

5. Tides are more powerful on an eclipse day than during regular new moon/full moon days

Tides depend on numerous other things and not only on the phase of the moon. The change in tides due to an eclipse is insignificant.

6. Eclipses are rare. The online posts say that this month’s eclipse is very rare and happened 150years ago.

No, the eclipses are not rare. They happen quite frequently. People are calling this month’s eclipse as blue blood supermoon eclipse and are telling that this happens once in 150 years. But it is the same type of eclipse as any other previous eclipses…

7.  Eclipses have long term effects on human beings.

There is no proof for this. Also there is no reason for this to happen.

Eclipse glossary

Jan 31st 2018, we are going to witness a rare phenomenon, the total lunar eclipse. It has been called the “Blue moon, super moon, blood moon lunar eclipse”, a rare phenomenon which only occurs once in 150 years… Here is the explanation for some of the terms used in the eclipse.

Blue moon: You might have heard the phrase ” once in a blue moon” which refers to a rare event. The time between 2 full moons is approximately thirty days. So, in a month, we usually have only one full moon. If the full moon occurs on the first or second day of the month, the next full moon will be on the 30th or 31st day of the same month. This second full moon is called a blue moon. In Jan 2018, the first full moon was on 2nd and the next full moon will be on 31st. There is absolutely no astronomical significance for a blue moon. It is just due to the fact that a month can have 31 days. 

Supermoon: Supermoon is a full moon which is slightly (10-14%) bigger than the normal full moon. Since the moon travels around the earth in a slightly elliptical orbit, it comes close to the earth on some days, and is slightly far away on other days compared to the average distance. The farthest point is called the apogee and the nearest point is called the perigee. When the moon is at perigee, it looks the biggest. When it is at apogee, it looks the smallest. The difference between these is just 10-14%, and this happens every month. A supermoon is the day when the moon is at perigee and the phase of the moon is full… Again, this has no astronomical significance. The change is tides is barely noticeable and does not cause any threat to him an or marine life. This term was made popular by some western astrologer. The correct name for supermoon is “perigee full moon”.

Bloodmoon: when the moon raises‌ on Jan 31st in our part of the world, it is already eclipsed. So it looks dark red-brown color (typically – the color can vary based on atmospheric conditions). The Moon appears to be reddish because of Rayleigh scattering (the same effect that causes sunsets to appear reddish) and the refraction of that light by Earth’s atmosphere into its umbra. But contrary to the name, it is not blood red in color. It is more like copper color. So the correct name would be copper moon than blood moon.

Rahu and Ketu: 

Short answer: Rahu and Ketu are ascending and descending nodes of the lunar orbit over the ecliptic.

Long answer: Rahu and Ketu are not demons. If you look at old astronomical texts, they are called chaya grahas, which means they are invisible. They are not Uranus or Neptune. That’s another misconception.

Also, when you look at the 12 houses in the jaathaka, the rahu and ketu are always in opposite houses. Ex: if rahu is in Pisces, ketu will be in Virgo.
Also, if we look closely, on the day of a lunar eclipse, sun and rahu (or ketu) will be in the same house. Moon and ketu (or rahu) will be in the same house.
Ex: on this particular eclipse, moon and rahu are in the same house. Sun and ketu are in the same house. That’s why it is called rahu-grastha Chandra grahana.
All these point to the fact that, rahu and ketu are the points in space where the path of the sun meets the path of the moon.
Scientifically,
Rahu is the “ascending node” and ketu is the “descending Node”
Why did our ancestors track these points? Simple. It helped them to predict eclipses.
They also built stories around rahu and ketu. Like, rahu is the head of the demon and ketu is the body of the demon, which is to say that they are always at opposite sides to each other.
Also the stories say that rahu and ketu hate the sun and the moon. So they chase sun and moon and eat them, thus causing eclipses.
Obviously this is just a funny story signifying the scientific facts about rahu and ketu and eclipses.