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Story Of Ketu Navagraha – His Original Name

Ketu was a demon named Saimhikeyan. He was the son of demon Viprachithi and demoness Simhika. The popular story of Ketu begins with him sitting disguised among Devas (demigods) to get amrit (elixir of life) being served by the Mohini Avatar of Vishnu after the famous churning of ocean episode. Surya and Chandra who were sitting nearby recognized the demon and alerted Vishnu Bhagavan. Vishnu used his Sudarshana Chakra and cut off the head of demon Saimhikeyan.

The amrit that the Saimhikeyan had eaten had reached up to this throat; as a result both his head and body remained alive. From that day onward Saimhikeyan came to be known as Rahu and Ketu. The head portion was known as Rahu and the body portion was known as Ketu.

Dwajasthambam or flag post seen in temples are known as ketu as they are headless. The demon got the name Ketu from the flag post as he had a headless body.

As per Navagraha stotra Ketu has the color of the flower of palash tree. He has an extremely angry form.

Ketu and Rahu developed intense hatred for Surya (Sun) and Chandra (Moon). They occasionally fight with Surya and Chandra and this result in grahanam or eclipse.