Vishnu cuts the head of immortal Svarbhanu, leading to creation of Rahu and Ketu
|Affiliation||Asura, Two Graha, divided into Rahu and Ketu|
|Planet||North Node and South Node|
|Children||Prabha (wife of Ayus and Mother of Nahusha)|
Svarbhānu or Swarbhanu (Sanskrit: स्वरभानु, lit. Splendour of Radiance) is a Hindu Asura traditionally held responsible for solar eclipses in Vedic mythology. The name is also used as an attribute of the demon Rahu and Ketu in Puranic mythology, who are also connected to Solar Eclipse and Lunar Eclipse.
Svarbhānu is described as an asura twice in the Family Books of the Rig Veda. Svarbhānu is described to strike Surya dev, overshadowing the sun with darkness. Stella Kramrisch considers this act as Svarbhānu as a deity greater than the sun. The Rig veda further narrates after this, the king of heaven - Indra struck down Svarbhānu and sage Atri found the hidden sun and replaced it in the sky. Svarbhanu again appears in the Yajurveda and the Brahmanas. According to the Brahmanas, Svarbhānu with darkness pierced Āditya (the Sun), whom, however, the gods set free by means of svara (accents).
An assistant of Shukra, Svarbhānu was the teacher of the asuras and god of the planet Venus. He deceitfully quaffed the amrita proffered by Mohini, thereby achieving immortality as two beings despite being beheaded immediately after: his head as Rahu and his body as Ketu.
According to the Mahabharata, the sun god Surya is also described as an "enemy of Svarbhānu". Svarbhānu was said to strike both the sun and moon with arrows, the celestial bodies being revived by Atri as in the Rigveda.
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