Thursday, 16 June 2011

Lunar Eclipse Coinciding with the Night of Lord Buddha's Parinirvana.

I heard that the there will be a lunar eclipse at around 1.00am on 16th June, and it would last around 1oo minutes,  the longest and darkest total lunar eclipse of the century in the morning. Therefore, I was eagerly waiting to see it and waited enthusiastically for the day to end though the fantastic show is to take place only at mid night. By that time when everyone would be snoring in fact.  The day was not so bright yesterday. It was cloudy most of the time and there was a little drizzle towards the evening, bringing down the heat of soaring temperature to the minimum. At around 11.00pm the sky was clear and moon was shining brightly but soon clouds rolled in and I could not wait further to see the incident in the heaven.
Lunar eclipse: googles

Lunar eclipse though, it’s a phenomenon involving the sun, earth and moon where the three lies on the same horizontal plane with earth in between sun and moon and Earth casting its shadow over the Moon, our ancestors never knew the cause of it and remained in the realm of superstition. Though most of us are aware of the facts of the such incidents like the earthquake (caused due to the collision of plates under the earth), the solar and lunar eclipse, the rotation and revolution of the earth causing the day & night and seasons respectively, many of our parents who are uneducated and illiterate would still remain in the realm of superstition.

When I was a child, I saw one such incident. It was a solar eclipse day. As the eclipse grow stronger, the sun was slowly getting dimmer. Then I saw people climbing on their roofs and shouting and whistling saying that free the sun. From the temples, they beat drums, blow the trumpets, and prayed for the freedom of sun. It was believed in my locality that a monster known as “Zaa” is eating the sun (solar eclipse) and moon (lunar eclipse) to satiate its hunger and if not requested by the people from earth, it may end up eating the entire sun, leaving the earth in total darkness. As such, there are many myths in different religion worldwide. One such myth states as follows:
“Hupa Indians of northern California
The Moon is a man who has twenty wives and a house full of pets consisting of mountain lions, bears and snakes. To feed his pets, the man goes out to hunt. After the hunt he carries all the game back to his house for his pets, but they are not satisfied with what he has brought them. In anger, the pets attack the man, who begins to bleed. This is represented by the Moon turning a reddish colour during a lunar eclipse. One of the Moon's wives is Frog and when she sees the predicament her husband is in, she rushes to help him. Frog beats away the pets. Then she and the other wives collect up the Moon's blood and he can then recover.”   

Unfortunately, for those who believe in such myths and superstitions, the lunar eclipse this year coincided with the Lord Buddha’s Parinirvana, which is a bad omen.  Their minds would be filled with apprehensions that the world might end up very soon, (in 2012 as heard in rumours) or they might consider it as an inauspicious year prone to face lots of calamities and natural catastrophes, as happened in Chamkhar or Japan in the case of world. Some might have even thought that the spread of Buddhism will be confronted with devilish acts with man afflicted with tobacco, alcohol and drugs and land sinking into poverty with excessive drought and famine. Some might have gone to the extent of thinking that the moon is going to be finished yesterday night when the duration was too long. 
lunar eclipse 15/06/2011:

Today morning when I woke up, the sky was overcastted with clouds and day seems so gloomy. The lawn was filled with mist and soon there was a downpour. Is God weeping and earth sinking into his tears due to prolonged lunar eclipse? Or is it a good omen that the monsoon will be timely and the yields will be bounty?

For now forget all such superstitions and myths and wait another such lunar eclipse later this year in December. The next such eclipse (Long duration) will occur 130 years later – only in 2141, according to planetary scientists.


  1. Felt like I was in Geography class, Interesting! I wish if the moon could remain "Pure White" forever then we on earth wouldn't worry about the disappearance. I guess, Human are also Moon's wife (we know about moon and we worry about the moon) :)

  2. Hi Yeessi, thanks for dropping by my stuffs and liking it. Glad to learn that you found it interesting. Keep visiting la.

  3. I guess it was a good omen because monsoon came timely to New Delhi :)
    and there is same story in Hinduism that the monster(rakshas) named Rahu engulfs the Sun on solar eclipse and moon on lunar eclipse and God comes over to save them. The eclipse ends with Rahu's defeat. :)
    Nice article :)