Phra Rahu: The Lord of Darkness
Updated: Jul 30
Phra Rahu is known as the Lord of Darkness and is worshipped throughout Thailand, especially among practitioners of black magic. He takes on a demonic human form normally coloured black with only torso and head showing and biting on the sun. Phra Rahu is mainly worshipped to prevent harm and is a popular Sak Yant (Thai tattoo) or amulet to be worn around the neck.
According to legend, Phra Rahu was once the deity of the sun and moon but a complaint was made to Vishnu that he had violated the laws of heaven. Vishnu became angry and cut Rahu in half which is why only the upper body of Rahu is ever seen. As it turned out Rahu was falsely accused which made him so mad that he swallowed the deity of the sun and moon.
Visitors at temples such as the Huay Yai Temple in Pattaya or Wat Srisathhong in Nakhon Pathom Province pay homage to Phra Rahu with black flowers, black joss sticks, black candles and black cloth with magic figures.
The following offers are given in Thailand:
Business success = black grapes
Favours = black eggs
Return on investment = black spirits or liquor
Wishes = black coffee
Progress = black beans
Wealth and love = black sticky rice
Rewards = black cake
Patience = black jelly
Phra Rahu is said to swallow and spit out his two brothers the moon and the sun from time to time which is the popular explanation for eclipses. It is also believe in Thailand by many that Phra Rahu the God of Darkness was responsible for the economic crash in 1997.
Phra Rahu is said to hate backstabbers and villains and if in need of his help believers ask him to eliminate enemies who receive karma adequate to their actions. By visiting a temple to pay homage to his shrine or by wearing an amulet with his image it is believed that Rahu will offer protection throughout.
Check out our collection of amulets here