Mythological references to eclipse are found in Srimad Bhagavatham and Mahabharatham and epics related to Maha Vishnu.In Hindu mythology it is believed that eclipses are caused by Rahu and Kethu.
In astronomy Rahu is considered the dragon's head and is also known as the north node of moon,the point where the Moon's orbit crosses the ecliptic.Kethu is known as the dragon's tail,which gives birth to comets and meteors and is known as the descending or the south node of the Moon.When Sun, Moon, Rahu and Kethu fall in the same zodiacal longitude,a solar eclipse takes place.
The entire period of eclipse is called as "parvakala" and highly charged.Therefore, during this period performing prayers, recitation of upadesha mantras, pithru tharpanam and charity are considered to be very sacred.Even chanting of veda mantras and slokas are highly recommended.It is believed that every action performed during the period of eclipse yields multifold results and that is exactly the reason why it is imperative to maintain one's purity and discipline during eclipse.The charity of Rs.100 during eclipse yields results of innumerable 100s,likewise,a sloka that is chanted one time during eclipse has the power of 1000 rectitations of the same. The Universe is contained within our system and therefore, during eclipse we are charged along with the atmosphere surrounding us.
Our scriptures shun acts of answering nature's call, sleeping, sexual act, eating and drinking during eclipse.It is also important to avoid any injuries to the body during eclipse in order to maintain purity and to avoid the negative results through certain actions.
For veena players, the best would be to practice veena all through the eclipse period.The practitioner would gain million times more than what he would gain out of practising during a normal course of time. During solar eclipse,the practitioner could play 'Surya Moorthe' in Sowrashtram , 'Chandram Bhaja Manasa' in Asaveri, 'Smaraamyaham sadaa Rahum' in Ramapriya, 'Mahaa suram' in Shanmukhapriya (if the practitioner does not know the krithis, compostions on Durga for Rahu and Moon and Vighneswara for Kethu could be rendered) and krithis on all deities with utmost devotion.It is important to tune the instrument perfectly,so that off-key tones are not charged.It is also essential to play on a veena ,whose melam is perfectly set,to avoid apaswarams,that could yield multi-fold bad results.
Playing veena during eclipse (solar or lunar) gives exceptional power to the player.Practising during that period is equal to penance on veena.In the forthcoming total solar eclipse,natives belonging to Pushyami, Anuradha, Utharabhadrapada, Punarvasu and Aslesha should perform remedial measures by performing suitable pariharams.
My DVD in which I had rendered Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatham, Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam and Bhaja Govindam was recorded during total solar eclipse in the year 2002.This was the year when Smt.M.S.Subbulakshmi was ailing , the producer of the album, Mr.Rajesh Dhupad, C.E.O. of Symphony Recording Company had arranged for the album to be released by Smt.M.S.Amma herself by her bedside in her residence in Kotturpuram.Smt.M.S.Amma had blessed me with the title,"Sangeetha Kala Saraswathi" during the occasion.The others present were my husband, Sri.E.V.Ramakrishna and Sri Atma.