[Prayer to Kethu]
From Skanda Purana
Translated by P. R. Ramachander
[Kethu is an asura (unlike other planets) and son of sage Kasyapa and an ogre called Simihika. He was born with a serpent head. When Mohini (the feminine form of Lord Vishnu) was distributing the nectar to the devas, Kethu entered the row and ate the nectar. The Sun and moon who saw this informed Lord Vishnu about this. Lord Vishnu cut him in to two pieces. The piece with the head is Rahu. The piece without head is Kethu. Both pieces continued to live and circle the earth in an anti clock wise manner. Kethu creates all the problems that are created by planet Mars. This prayer should be read on Tuesdays to ward of any evil caused by this planet.]
Kethu, Kaala, kalayitha, dhhomrakethur, vivarnaka,
Loka Kethu, maha Kethu, sarva kethur, bhaga pradha. 1
Kethu, he who causes death, he who makes time, smoky headed one,
One who is multi coloured, head of people, great head,
One who has only head, one who torments the Sun.
Roudhro, Rudhra priyo, rudhra, kroora karma, suganda druk,
Palala dhooma sankkhasa, chithra yagnopaveetha druk. 2
He who is angry, he who likes Shiva, he who is fierce,
He who does cruel deeds, He who is seen by pleasant smell,
One who resembles the smoke of husk, one who is seen wearing sacred thread.
Thara gana vimardhi cha jaimineeyo grahadhipa,
Ganesa dhevo, vignesa, visha rogarthi nasana, 3
One who troubles star groups, one who belongs to the clan of Jaimini,
One who is the lord of all planets, one who is God Ganesa,
One who is the lord of obstacles, one who destroys disease de to poison,
Pravrujyadho jnanadhascha theertha yathra pravarthaka,
Pancha vimsathi namani kethoryahatham padeth. 4
One who has forsaken everything, one who is wise ,
And one who makes pilgrimages to sacred places happen.
If these twenty five names of Kethu are read,
Thasya Nasyathi badha cha sarva Kethu prasadatha,
Dhana dhanya pasoonaam cha bhaved vrudhir na samsaya. 5
Due to the grace of Kethu all his troubles will come to an end,
And without doubt his wealth, cereals and animals will increase.