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Lunar Eclipse – Chandra Grahan in August 2008 in India

A partial lunar eclipse, Chandra Grahan, will be visible in India from 0106 hrs to 0415 hrs (Indian Standard Time) on August 17, 2008 (Sunday night to early morning). It must be noted here that the Chandra Grahanam takes place during night and therefore it is being referred in some Hindu calendars and panchangam as taking place on August 16. According to NASA, the eclipse will be visible in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

It will be visible in South America, United Kingdom, Europe and in some parts of United States on Saturday, August 16, 2008 (night). In India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Malaysia on August 17, 2008 (Night to early morning). It is a partial lunar eclipse in all places.

A lunar eclipse occurs when Sun, Earth and Moon are in a single line with Earth in the middle. If this occurs, the Moon does not receive light from the Sun because it is in the shadow of the Earth, and thus the Moon becomes invisible.

Image courtesy NASA

In Hinduism, the reason for the Surya Grahan and Chandra Grahan (Solar and Lunar Eclipse) is the myth associated with Rahu gobbling up Sun (Surya) and Moon (Chandra).

Fasting (Upvaas) is done by certain communities in Hindu religion during Chandra Grahanam. The fast begins about 9 hours before the beginning of Chandra Grahan. People also take a bath in cold and chant mantras dedicated to Lord Vishnu or Shiva like the Ashtakshara Mantra or Mrityunjaya Mantra. This is done whenever Surya and Chandra are under the influence of Rahu.

Since the Chandra Grahan on August 17, 2008 is taking place at night and early morning most people will not see it and therefore it is not going to have any major effect.

There was a Surya Grahan (partial solar eclipse) on August 1, 2008.

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The story of Rahu reason for Surya Grahan and Chandra Grahan in Hinduism