Have you ever wondered why the temples are closed during an eclipse? While everybody knows this, very few know the reason behind this. Well, this is what we are going to tell you today, the real reasons why the temples are closed during an eclipse. Read on.
Eclipse is an astronomical event when an astronomical object is temporarily obscured. The reason can be the coming of another object between this object and the viewer.
There are two kinds of eclipses - lunar and solar. The solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth. A lunar eclipse occurs when moon passes directly behind the earth. While solar eclipse happens on a new moon day, the lunar eclipse takes place on a full moon day. According to Hinduism, during an eclipse, the temples remain closed.
As the Sun and the Moon move around the celestial paths, there are two points of intersection between their paths. These points are known as Rahu and Ketu. Many often confuse Rahu and Ketu as planets which is not the case. They are two points, also denoted as the two lunar nodes of the North and the South. When the Moon passes through these nodes, the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth. This creates an eclipse.
For the Hindu temples, a set of rules have been ascribed pertaining to their architectural designs. These points are to be kept in mind at the time of construction of the temples. The construction of the temples determines the kind of environment that is created in the temple. The aim is that whenever a devotee comes to visit a temple he should feel immense peace and tranquility. This peace should help him realize the presence of God around.
Spirituality says that the human body is made up of subtle energy. This subtle energy is the essence of life. It is what the spirit or the soul is made of. The presence of same subtle energy is experienced by the devotees when they visit a temple. This energy is radiated by the idols kept inside. It is believed that the idols contain the elements of God, in the form of this subtle energy. Before the installation of an idol in a temple, the enchantment of mantras is done so that the same subtle energy can be imbibed in them. That is how the idols radiate divinity and satisfaction; and the devotee feels at peace after visiting the temple.
However, during an eclipse the heavenly bodies, such as the Sun and the Moon contain negative energies. Just as the Rajasika and the Tamasik negative energies affect the frequencies of Satvik energy in the surroundings and prevent it from reaching the holy places. Similarly, this negative energy might reach the idols and affect them negatively. The subtle energy of the idols is then affected and there are chances of its effectiveness getting reduced.
Therefore, to prevent this energy from reaching the idols placed in a temple, the doors of the temple, especially of the puja room, where the idols are actually kept, are closed. Sometimes the idol is also covered with basil leaves. Basil leaves absorb all the negative energies, thus, protecting the idols underneath.