Whenever there occurs an Eclipse, Hindu Culture tends follow a series of customs and rules under its Scriptures. People, who follow the belief, prefer to stay inside the house, do not consume food, stay empty stomach, and do not perform any ritual during an Eclipse.
Usually, we are instructed not to step out during an Eclipse considering staying away from the negative effects of the Eclipse. Apart from all these Do’s and Don’ts during an Eclipse, Have you ever wondered why Hindu Temples remain closed during its occurrence? Well, many might have heard and known about it. But a very few tend to know the actual reason behind it.
Eclipse is of two types, Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse and it occurs when an astronomical object obscure the path of rays partially or fully, due to the placement of a second object. While many find eclipses amazing and eagerly wait for its happening, Ancient Hindu texts suggest that it is not something that we should all be eagerly waiting for.
From time immemorial the temples across the country close them during the eclipse period. Some say its just a pure myth and there is nothing scientific in it. There are many Practices that are followed to deal with both Solar and lunar eclipses by Hindu’s. Well, those who believe in these customs also tend to also provide proof supporting their belief.
Reason behind Temples remain closed..
According to Hindu Texts, during an eclipse, heavenly bodies, particularly the Sun and the moon, emit abnormal negative energies. Therefore, the doors of the temple housing the main deity are closed to prevent and minimize these negative energies that could disturb the effects of the Divine energy on the devotees. Ensuing, closing of the Temple doors, Tulsi leaves are also placed on the idols to cover them against the negative energy.Tulsi leaves are specifically chosen for this purpose as they have the capacity to absorb harmful radiations.
Kalahasteeswara Temple in Sri Kalahasthi is the only temple not closed during an eclipse. The reason is said that this Temple is the only Temple in India which offers Pooja and prayers to Rahu and Ketu, thus, this temple is not affected by an Eclipse.
Role of Rahu and Ketu..
As the Sun and the Moon move around the celestial paths, there are two points of intersection between their paths. These points are known as Rahu and Ketu. Many often confuse Rahu and Ketu as planets which is not True. They are two points, also denoted as the two lunar nodes of the North and the South. When the Moon passes through these nodes, the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth. This creates an eclipse.
For the Hindu temples, a set of rules have been ascribed pertaining to their architectural designs. These points are to be kept in mind at the time of construction of the temples. The construction of the temples determines the kind of environment that is created in the temple. The aim is that whenever a devotee comes to visit a temple he should feel immense peace and tranquility. This peace should help him realize the presence of God around.
However, during an eclipse the heavenly bodies, such as the Sun and the Moon contain negative energies. Just as the Rajasika and the Tamasik negative energies affect the frequencies of Satvik energy in the surroundings and prevent it from reaching the holy places. Similarly, this negative energy might reach the idols and affect them negatively. The subtle energy of the idols is then affected and there are chances of its effectiveness getting reduced. Therefore, to prevent this energy from reaching the idols placed in a temple, the doors of the temple, especially of the puja room, where the idols are actually kept, are closed. Sometimes the idol is also covered with basil leaves.