A human skin is draped over his back. His principal weapon is a bow, held by the two main arms. In his remaining left hand he holds a writhing sea-serpent and the right holds a dragon-headed goad which guides us to righteous action.
According to ancient Indian mythology, Rahu (Rahula) was a titan who disguised himself and tried to steal the nectar of immortality from the gods. The sun and the moon both exposed him to Vishnu who promptly cut off his head. It is believed that Rahu avenges himself by periodically swallowing up the sun and the moon, thus causing eclipses. He is hence known as the Lord of Eclipses. Indeed with its myriad eyes his dark body is reminiscent of the starry night sky. The gaping mouth in his belly symbolizes his swallowing-up of the sun and the moon.
Esoterically, with his believed links extending into the depths of the cosmos, Rahula is traditionally invoked to avert negative astrological circumstances.
This thangka painting was created by Shri Ram Bdr. Lama, at the Lama Thanka Painting School in Bhaktapur, Kathmandu.
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