There’s good news for all those who enjoy watching eclipses. On 04 December, i.e., Saturday, the world will witness a total solar eclipse 2021. It will also be the last solar eclipse of the year 2021. A solar eclipse always occurs on a new moon day, which as per the Hindu Almanac or Hindu Panchang/Calendar comes in a Krishna Paksha (The darker half of the lunar month). Also, as per the Hindu Calendar, this solar eclipse will take place in the month of Margashirsha. In this detailed article, we are going to tell you not only about the solar eclipse but also how to make a solar eclipse pinhole box to view it easily and safely.
Significance of a Solar Eclipse in Vedic Astrology
As per Hindu Astrology or Vedic astrology, a Solar Eclipse occurs because of Rahu and Ketu. It is believed that when Rahu or Ketu swallows the Sun, a solar eclipse takes place. This story relates to Matsya Purana. In Matsya Purana, it is stated that during the churning of the ocean, which is also known as Samudra Manthan, the Amrit or nectar of immortality was extracted.
However, that Amrit caused a war between the Gods and Demons or Asuras. The Asuras wanted to drink the nectar to become immortal. However, the Gods were against the Asuras considering that they will cause havoc on earth. To end the raging war, Lord Vishu took a Mohini Avatar. But in the middle of all these things, Swarbhanu, a demon who also wanted to drink the Amrit, hid among the gods. However, Lord Surya (the Sun) and Lord Chandra (the Moon) exposed the Asura Swarbhanu when he was just about to drink the heavenly nectar.
Soon after learning about Asura Swarbhanu, Lord Vishnu who was also present there in his Mohini Avatar became angry. Then Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshan Chakra and separated Swarbhanu’s head and torso with it. But since Swarbhanu had somehow managed to taste some drop of the Amrit, he remained alive. Swarbhanu’s head was then named Rahu and his torso was named Ketu. Hence, as a reprisal, every year either of the two Rahu and Ketu swallows the Moon and the Sun. This phenomenon is termed the Lunar Eclipse (for the Moon) and the Solar Eclipse (for the Sun).
What’s so important about this Solar Eclipse?
Just a couple of weeks ago on 19 November 2021, the world witnessed a Partial Lunar Eclipse November 2021. But this one will be a total solar eclipse. A total solar eclipse takes place when the Moon obstructs the path of the Sun and the Earth by passing between the two and covering the entire disc of the Sun. For a total solar eclipse to occur, the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth should be in perfect alignment with each other. However, on average, solar eclipses occur every 18 months.
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This solar eclipse 2021 will be the second one of the year. This eclipse will occur on the Amavasya (new moon day) in the Hindu month of Margashirsha (Based on the Chaitradi System) and Kartik (Based on the Kartikadi System). During this solar eclipse, the sun will be transiting through the Scorpio sign in Jyestha Nakshatra. Hence, those who are all born with the Scorpio moon sign and especially under Jyestha Nakshatra need to remain cautious. They should be cautious until the next 6 months or the next eclipse, whichever is earlier. Such people need to be extremely careful while making any decision(s) related to investments and their personal life.
Time of Total Solar Eclipse
As per Indian Standard Time, the Solar Eclipse 2021 will begin on December 4 at 10:59 am. The total solar eclipse will end at 3:07 pm.
Sutak Kaal: What is it?
A Sutak Kaal is an inauspicious time that comes in effect at least 12 hours before the solar eclipse takes place, and 9 hours before the lunar eclipse occurs. During this time, people are advised not to undertake any auspicious activity. That is why in India, all Hindu Temples remain closed from the beginning of the Sutak Kaal until the end of an eclipse.
Advice for People: What to do and what not to do?
For healthy individuals who are neither a child, old aged, nor a pregnant woman are advised not to eat food, sleep, cut nails, speak ill of others, and indulge in sexual activity.
For pregnant women, they are also advised that they should neither cut anything such as vegetables nor should they roast or heat anything such as Papad or Papadam. They should also avoid going out of their house or workplace. Additionally, they should also not perform tasks such as embroidery, sewing, peeling, chopping, cutting, and cleaning. They should also avoid using knives and needles during the period of the solar eclipse. Moreover, pregnant women should chant the name of God and keep themselves in a happy environment.
For those who are sick or ill no matter if they are young or old, they should chant the Mahamrityunjaya mantra during the eclipse time. To get rid of such effects, several religious precautions are necessary to be followed.
A purified version of Mahamrityunjaya Mantra in Sanskrit as well as in English is stated below:
ॐ हौं जूं सः ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः ॐ त्र्य॑म्बकं यजामहे सु॒गन्धिं॑ पुष्टि॒वर्ध॑नम् ।
उ॒र्वा॒रु॒कमि॑व॒ बन्ध॑नान् मृ॒त्योर्मु॑क्षीय॒ माऽमृता॑॑त् ॐ स्वः भुवः भूः ॐ सः जूं हौं ॐ ।।
om hauṁ om jūṁ saḥ bhūrbhuvaḥ svaḥ tryaṁbakaṁ yajāmahe sugandhiṁ puṣṭivardhanam |
urvārukamiva baṁdhanān mṛtyormukṣīya māmṛtāt bhūrbhuvaḥ suvaroṁ jūṁ saḥ hauṁ om ||
Eclipse Visibility in India and Around the World
This total solar eclipse 2021 will be easily visible in different parts of the world which include Antarctica, South America, South Africa, Southern regions of the Atlantic, New Zealand, and Australia. However, this total solar eclipse will not be visible in India. The solar eclipse that will be visible in India will occur on 25 October 2022. And it will be a partial Solar Eclipse.
But if you are in India, you can watch the total solar eclipse on online streaming. On 04 December 2021, NASA will be streaming the solar eclipse 2021 live on its YouTube channel as well as on this link. Therefore, you can watch this magnificent event online quite easily.
Will Sutak Kaal Be Observed in India?
This total solar eclipse will not be visible in India. Therefore, in India, practices or rituals associated with the Sutak Kaal will not be observed. However, Indians and especially Hindus living or vacationing in countries or regions including South Africa, South Atlantic, New Zealand, Australia, and South America should try to adhere to the Sutak Kaal.
Remedial Measures to be performed during the total solar eclipse 2021
The believers and followers of Sanatan Dharma or Hindu Religion should avoid undertaking any new activity. People should also avoid the construction of a new home, taking out loans or lending money, purchasing a new vehicle, and other similar activities. One should also offer water to the Sun and recite Aditya Hridya Stotram. One can also donate items signified by the Sun such as jaggery, wheat, and copper at a nearby temple.
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Total Solar Eclipse 2021: Do’s and don’ts on 04 December
*Don’t look at a solar eclipse directly with naked eyes.
*One should never use ordinary sunglasses or dark sunglasses to view the solar eclipse. It may cause injury to your eyes.
*To view the solar eclipse, instead of dark sunglasses or ordinary ones, one should use special solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers. You can also use dark arc-welders glass.
*One should also use a protective solar filter on the lens while using telescopes, binoculars, or cameras to capture the eclipse.
How to make a solar eclipse pinhole box to view a solar eclipse?
Using a solar eclipse pinhole box projector, one can easily view any solar eclipse. The solar eclipse pinhole box comes with all the safety measures in place. But how to make a solar eclipse pinhole box?
Items you will need to make a pinhole box:
- Duct tape
- Aluminium foil
- A thumbtack or a pin
- A shoebox or any large rectangular box
- A paper cutter or you can also use a knife
- White sheet of paper (A4 size will do the work)
- Take the shoe box and cut a rectangular hole on one side of it. If your box size is small, you can tape 2 boxes together to make it a long one. If you use a longer box, the projected image will also be larger to view.
- Now take the aluminium foil. Use your scissors to cut out a piece of it. The aluminium foil piece should be slightly larger than the rectangular hole. Also, ensure that the foil piece is new and completely flat.
- Take the foil piece and tape it over the rectangular hole in the box.
- Using the thumbtack or a pin poke a tiny hole at the center of the foil that you just taped in the box.
- Now, take the white sheet of paper, and tape it on the inside of the other end of the box. Your solar eclipse pinhole box is now ready.
- During the time of the solar eclipse, you should go out in the Sun and stand with your back toward it. Keep the pinhole side of the box towards the Sun and place the box over your head. You’ll now be able to see a small projection, a reversed image, of the eclipsed Sun on the white sheet of paper inside the box. If you are still having some trouble, adjust your position until you see it.