Create a new article
Write your page title here:
We currently have 2,416 articles on Monstropedia. Type your article name above or click on one of the titles below and start writing!


Svarbhānu or Swarbhanu is a Hindu Asura (demon) traditionally held responsible for solar eclipses in Vedic mythology.


Svarbhānu literally means Splendour of Radiance


Svarbhānu is described as an asura twice in the Family Books of the Rig Veda. Svarbhānu is described to strike the Sun with darkness, overshadowing the sun with darkness. Stella Kramrisch considers Svarbhānu as a deity greater than the sun due to this act. The Rig veda further narrates that 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 black Yajurveda and the Brahmanas. According to the Brahmanas, Svarbhānu with darkness pierced Āditya (the Sun) who was, by means of svara.

Svarbhānu was also an assistant of Shukra, the teacher of the asuras and god of the planet Venus. He quaffed the amrita proffered by Mohini and achieved immortality as two beings: his head as Rahu, his body's trunk as Ketu.

According to the Mahabharata, Svarbhānu is described to incarnate as Ugrasena, though here, Svarbhānu denotes Rahu. The Sun god Surya is also described by the attribute the "enemy of Svarbhānu". Svarbhānu is described to strike both the sun and moon with arrows; the celestial bodies are revived by Atri as in the Rigveda.

According to the text Hari-vaṃśa, Svarbhānu ushered Kalanemi through the galaxy. In a Purana, Svarbhānu is described as son of the goddess Siṃhikā ('Little Lioness').


  • Ketu and its Forms by J. Sarat Chander
  • The Indian Theogony by Sukumari Bhattacharji. Cambridge University Press, 1970.
  • Traditions of the Seven Rishis by John E. Mitchiner. Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1982.