śatakatrayam 1.26: santyanye’pi bṛhaspatiprabhṛtayaḥ (in the very presence of the sun and moon)

by Jahnabi Barooah

सन्त्यन्येऽपि बृहस्पतिप्रभृतय: संभाविता: पञ्चषा-
स्तान्प्रत्येष विशेषविक्रमरुची राहुर्न वैरायते ।
द्वावेव ग्रसते दिनेश्वरनिशाप्राणेश्वरौ भास्वरौ
भ्रात: पर्वणि पश्य दानवपति: शीर्षावशेषीकृत: ।।२६।।
नीतिशतके

although others are present,
five or six planets are exalted,
foremost of them bṛhaspati (jupiter).
rāhu,* a demon rapacious for power,
is not inimical towards them.
o brother, look!
the lord of demons,
who has been reduced to his head,
swallows every fortnight
the luminous masters of night and day. ||26||
nītiśataka

This verse presumes knowledge of a few Puranic myths: (i) Viṣṇu beheaded the demon Rāhu for stealing from the gods’ share of nectar. Since Rāhu had already swallowed a few drops, his head survived, even as the rest of this body was destroyed. (ii) Rāhu periodically swallows the sun and moon creating solar and lunar eclipses.

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