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Rahukaal (also spelled as Rahukalam, Rahu kaal, Raukaal, Raahu kal, Raahu kaal, 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 Vigyan, Rahu Kaal is one of the 8 segments of the day and considered inauspicious period in Indian astrology due to its association 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 Panchang Panchangas, the ever varying planetary configurations mean that the auspicious hours during each day will not always fall at the same moment of time. Rahu kaal (Raahukaala), Gulikakaala, Yamagandakaala (Yama Ghantam) and Vishaghati are the time periods which are especially considered inauspicious or unlucky (Ashubh).
The planets according to Indian astronomers are the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu. Even though Rahu and Ketu are not physical bodies, they are sensitive points called lunar nodes on the intersection of the ecliptic (the apparent path of motion of the Sun) by the Moon's orbit. Rahu is the northern node and Ketu is the southern node. Ancient astronomers felt that the mighty Rahu and Ketu have the strength to obscure the sun, thus causing a solar eclipse. Hence it is considered inauspicious to begin any undertaking during this "Rahukaal". Every day this Rahukaal lasts for around 90 minutes, but the duration differs according to the length of the time between sunrise to sunset.
To calculate Rahukaal, the time between the sunrise and sunset is divided into 8 units or time-groups, which time-group will have the Rahukaal depends on the weekday. Several websites offer calculation for a given place and time.
For each weekday, Rahukaal falls as under:
- Sunday - 8th Muhurt (Unit)
- Monday - 2nd Muhurt
- Tuesday - 7th Muhurt
- Wednesday - 5th Muhurt
- Thursday - 6th Muhurt
- Friday - 4th Muhurt
- Saturday - 3rd Muhurt
The timespan of Rahukaal 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.
In English, the mnemonic phrase is "7.30am Mother Saw Father Wearing The Turban Suddenly"
- Mother = Monday (7.30-9.00)
- 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)
One of the mnemonics in Tamil is "திருநாள் சந்தடியில் வெய்யிலில் புரண்டு விளையாட செல்வது ஞாயமா? "
- திருநாள் - திங்கட்கிழமை - Monday - 0730 hrs to 0900 hrs
- சந்தடியில் - சனிக்கிழமை - Saturday - 0900 hrs to 1030 hrs
- வெய்யிலில் - வெள்ளிக்கிழமை - Friday - 1030 hrs to 1200 hrs
- புரண்டு - புதன்கிழமை - Wednesday - 1200 hrs to 1330 hrs
- விளையாட - வியாழக்கிழமை - Thursday - 1330 hrs to 1500 hrs
- செல்வது - செவ்வாய்க்கிழமை - Tuesday - 1500 hrs to 1630 hrs
- ஞாயமா - ஞாயிற்றுக்கிழமை - Sunday - 1630 hrs to 1800 hrs