|This article does not cite any references or sources. (April 2007)|
Rahukaalam (also spelled as Rahukal, Rahu kaala, Raukaala, Raahu kala, Raahu kaala, or Rahu kalam) or the period of Rahu is a certain period of time every day that is considered inauspicious for any new venture according to Indian Vedic astrology.
In Hindu mythology, Rahu Kaala is one of the 8 segments of the day and considered inauspicious period in Indian astrology due to its associated with malefic, Rahu. The segments are calculated by taking the total time between sunrise and sunset, at a given place, and then dividing this time duration by 8. Astronomically in the Hindu Panchangas, the ever varying planetary configurations mean that the auspicious hours during each day will not always fall at the same moment of time. Rahukaalam (Raahukaala), Yamagandakaala (Yama Ghantam) and Vishaghati are the time periods which are especially considered inauspicious or unlucky (Ashub).
The planets according to Indian astronomers were the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu. Rahukaalam (Raahukaala) and Gulikaalalam (Gulikakaala) are calculated based on these planets. Even though Rahu and Ketu are not physical bodies, they are sensitive points on the intersection of the ecliptic (the apparent path of motion of the Sun) by the Moon's orbit. Rahu is the northern point and Ketu is the southern point. Ancient astronomers felt that the mighty Rahu and Ketu have the strength to eat the sun, thus causing a solar eclipse. Hence it is considered inauspicious to begin any undertaking during this "Rahukaalam". Every day this Rahukaalam lasts for around 90 minutes, but the duration differs according to the length of the time between sunrise to sunset.
To calculate Rahukaalam, the time between the sunrise and sunset is divided into 8 units or time-groups, which time-group will have the Rahukaalam depends on the weekday.
For each weekday, Rahukaalam falls as under:
- Sunday - 8th Muhurtha (Unit)
- Monday - 2nd Muhurtha
- Tuesday - 7th Muhurtha
- Wednesday - 5th Muhurtha
- Thursday - 6th Muhurtha
- Friday - 4th Muhurtha
- Saturday - 3rd Muhurtha
The timespan of Rahukaalam varies each day and needs to be calculated as per the sunrise and sunset time. The times below can be used in absence of access to accurate Rahukaal. These times are accurate only if the daylight lasts for 12 hours, and the sunrise is at 6.00 AM. For longer or shorter days, the times need to be adjusted.
The mnemonic phrase is "7.30am Mother Saw Father Wearing The Turban Suddenly"
- Mother = Monday (7.30 AM-9.00)
- Saw = Saturday (9.00-10.30)
- Father = Friday (10.30-12.00)
- Wearing = Wednesday (12.00-13.30)
- The = Thursday (13.30-15.00)
- Turban = Tuesday (15.00-16.30)
- Suddenly = Sunday (16.30-18.00 PM)
Another mnemonic is "Edward Bought Home A Good Ford Car".
The first letter of each word represents days of the week starting from Monday, i.e., E for Monday, B for Tuesday, and so on.
The rahukala for Monday can be found using the following calculation:
The letter for Monday is E. E is the 5th letter of the English alphabet. Divide 5 by 2 which is 2 and half. To this, add 5 (for E) which results in 7 and a half.
Therefore, on Monday, raahukaala starts at 7:30 and ends by 9:00.