Ketu and Rahu

Anthony P Stone stone_catend at COMPUSERVE.COM
Mon May 24 09:21:12 UTC 1999

On May 21, 1999, Martin Gansten wrote:

> from standard grahastotras and -namavalis it is clear that Ketu 
>is supposed to be the detached head (shiromaatra) of the demon, 
>while Rahu is the body (kabandha). 

In astrological texts it is the other way round: Rahu is the head (Brihat
Samhita, 5 [I think - anyway it is in Raahucaara-adhyaaya]).    As for
Ketu, Varahamihira uses the term for comets, etc (Brihat Samhita, 11).  
Later, Ketu became the name of the tail of Rahu.   The history is complex, 
and is sketched in my book, 'Hindu Astrology - Myths, Symbols and
Realities' (Select Books, New Delhi, 1981. The publisher has now gone out
of business).

Tony Stone

Dr Anthony P. Stone       Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1582 626647      [Fax requries
prior voice call]

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