Nectar of Immortality

Nectar of Immortality

According to the story, “fourteen precious things” came out of the ocean, culminating withDhanvantari, the physician of the gods. He emerged from the depths, holding a pot containing the Nectar of Immortality. The Asuras immediately rushed in and grabbed the nectar, while quarreling among themselves.

Lord Vishnu again came to the rescue, taking the form of a beautiful damsel named Mohini(“the entrancing one”). He distracted the Asuras, retrieved the potion and then distributed it to the Devas. Though the Asuras realized Vishnu’s tricks, it was too late, as the Devas had already regained their immortality.

While Vishnu was handing out the potion to the assembled Gods, a demon named Rahu sat down between the Sun and the Moon. He managed to take a drink of the amrita (“no death”) and thus became immortal too. Vishnu, alert to the ruse, severed Rahu‘s head with his divine discus called Sudarshan (“the best view”). This is the mythical origin of Rahu and Ketu, the North and South Nodes of the Moon.

According to the tale, the Nodes extract periodic revenge on the Sun and Moon, because it is near the Nodes where eclipses occur. The Sudarshan Chakra is a horoscope technique where we use 3 charts at the same time: from the perspective of the Ascendant, the Moon and the Sun. Hence the name “best view”, which suggests that under such scrutiny, the horoscope can best be judged.


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