Saturday, January 11, 2020

No Effect of January-2020 Lunar Eclipse on Temples

Temples of Vrindavan observe no Sutak on January-2020 Lunar Eclipse

The world-famous temples of Banke Bihari Ji and Radhavallabha in Vrindavan, Mathura did not observe Sutak on the first Lunar Eclipse of the year-2020.  There are certain set of rules prescribed in Hindu scripture which must be followed during the Sutak Kala of an eclipse, either it is Solar or Lunar eclipse. During Sutak Kala, temple gates are closed and entry is strictly prohibited for everyone. Observance of any auspicious activity and rituals are also forbidden during this time. The inside premises of temples and deity idols are protected by Tulsi leaves. After the Sutak Kala gets over, the entire temple premises is first cleaned. Then ritualistic Puja is offered to deities before opening the gates for Darshan.

Devotees visiting Banke Bihari Ji Temple in Vrindavan during the January-2020 Lunar Eclipse

The main Hall of Banke Bihari Ji Temple packed with devotees on the day of Lunar Eclipse

When Drik Panchang correspondent spoke with one of the priests in Vrindavan, Jyotishacharya Jagdish, he explained the reason for the non-observance of Sutak during the January-2020 lunar eclipse. He explicated that because the January-2020 Lunar eclipse was Penumbral, it holds no significance in Hinduism. Temples observe no rules or perform prescribed religious activities to be done during the Sutak Kala if it is a Penumbral Eclipse.

Penumbral Eclipse occurs when the moon passes through Penumbral region of the shadow without touching the Umbral region of the shadow. Penumbral Lunar Eclipses are of less important and often go unnoticed as those are not visible to the naked eye. Hindu calendar does not even list Penumbral Eclipse and ignores it completely.

Unless Lunar Eclipse is visible to the naked eye, it is of no significance to Hindus and Hindus don't consider it for any religious activities. Penumbral Lunar Eclipses are not visible to the naked eye hence no rituals related to Chandra Grahan should be observed. If Lunar Eclipse is visible during Umbral Phase then only it should be considered for religious activities. Most Hindu Panchang don't list Penumbral Eclipses.

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