Thursday, March 30, 2006

lord of rings

Saw this on the CNN website. I havent seen a solar eclipse in the longest time. The last i remember seeing is way back in the early 80s. It was a partial eclipse. Infact i cant remember seeing a total eclipse ever. I believe a couple of them have happened over India. I have seen a few lunar eclipses tho', but even these are such rare occurances, atleast when you think back and try to remember all the ones you have heard about or seen.

I was first introduced to the lunar eclipse, called 'chandra grahanam' in sanskrit and many indian languages, by my parents and grand mother, through the story of how the celestial snake was hungry and tried to swallow the moon. Infact, we had a specific set of ritual to follow during an eclipse. No food or water was allowed to be consumed during the eclipse. We had to bathe after the eclipse to cleanse ourselves of all the poison in the air. Initially as kids, we were told that the poison is because of the snake, as we grew up, the explanation changed to a more rational reasoning. All light was blocked out from earth during a lunar eclipse, and the effect of solar light to cleanse the air is completely blocked out, and so the atmosphere was filled with germs that would have been killed by light from the sun. Food was freshly prepared after the eclipse was over. I am not sure if this how other cultures around the world and other communities in India observed this event.

The solar eclipse has always had ominous conotations associated to it. Although i havent specifically heard any bad ominous predictions associated with it. The reference to solar eclipse is plenty though in the hindu scriptures and mythology. My most favourite is the occurance of it duing the 'war of mahabaratha'. Mythology though depicts it as a maya rendered by Krishna, to help Arjuna keep his vow.

What i like about the solaris eclipse, is the ring, the ring of fire, the perfect circle of light, and a diamond that many a time appear on this gold ring. I collected some pictures from the web.
Image Image
Image Image
Image Image
source: www

I still wish that one day, i will be able to see this spectacle with my own eyes. And may be i will be able to capture it using my own film and camera.

No comments: