Surya Grahan is what Solar Eclipse is known according to traditional Hindu terminology.

Eclipse means to overshadow, and thus the partial or total coverage of the sun; due to the moon’s obstructive presence between the sun and the moon is called solar eclipse. Surya Grahan can be complete or partial in terms of the Sun or the surya’s visibility.


  • Scientifically how does the solar eclipse or Surya Grahan happen?


Moon, the Earth’s satellite orbits around the earth.  An eclipse occurs when the moon is in line with the earth and the sun. There are at least two solar eclipses or Surya Grahan in a year there are at least two solar eclipses visible, and no, every month the new lunar phase does not lead to an eclipse.


Though, scientifically the solar eclipse or the Surya Grahan is a completely natural phenomenon which can be scientifically explained, the rarity of its occurrence has led to numerous myths around it. Traditional Hindu astrology believes Surya Grahan to be a potent and a negative time.


  • What is the scientific or astronomical study of Surya Grahan or solar eclipse?


Though partial eclipse or angshik Surya Grahan lasts only for a limited period of time and does not wield much result, researchers have come up with some interesting data regarding the effects of Surya Grahan. According to scientists, Earth’s wind speed during the eclipse slows down to an extent and also to a small angle the wind’s direction turns counter clockwise. Again, because the sunrays are partially or totally hidden during an eclipse or a Surya Grahan, the earth’s temperature cools down to a certain extent.


  • Is there any astrological study or the solar eclipse or Surya Grahan’s results?


Of course there is a study about the effects of Surya Grahan or solar eclipse according to traditional Hindu astrological studies. The astrological view regarding this phenomenon stems from the mythological root of this occurrence.


According to mythology, when the ocean was being churned because of nectar of immortality or Amrita, Lord Vishnu, took the form of a beautiful seductress or Mohini to deviate the demons’ attention from the amrita. But, Rahu, the demon became alert of Lord Vishnu’s ploy and sat amidst Sun and Moon when the Amrita was being distributed amongst the Gods. Upon being alerted by Sun and Moon, Lord Vishnu beheaded him, but he had become immortal by that time by consuming the amrita, so he was cut to two pieces.  Enraged, he threatened and vouched to cast shadow on both the sun and the moon as a mean to take revenge on them.  Thus the Surya Grahan period is considered to be extremely inauspicious as the beneficial effects of the sun wanes away and the harmful effects of Rahu and Ketu comes into play.

  • Is there anything to be cautious about the Surya Grahan or Solar Eclipse period?


As mythogically suggested, during the period of Surya Grahan the beneficial effects of the Sun gets negated by the harmful effects of the Rahu or Ketu. Thus it is forbidden to initiate any venture on this day. It is also extremely in conducive for any kind of auspicious activity. People are even suggested to stop all kinds of regular normal activities such as eating, bathing; cooking, cleaning etc till the period of Grahan is over.   Purifying bath after the graham is over is beneficial.  It is also believed astrologically that the life giving powers on earth as germination, fertilization or fetal growth too is at its lowest during this dark period of Surya Grahan and thus people are advised to resume their normal life once the Surya Grahan is over. However, if an Amavasya couples with Surya Grahan, then it is considered to be an extremely potent time to offer shraddha or tarpana for departed ancestors.