Ketu and Interdependence

Human Values and Astrology
Value: Love Sub-value: Interdependence
Planet (graha) Ketu (South Node)

Kethu, Kaala, kalayitha, dhhomrakethur, vivarnaka,
Loka Ketu, maha Kethu, sarva kethur, bhaga pradha.

Ketu, 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.

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,

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 due to poison,

Pravrujyadho jnanadhascha theertha yathra pravarthaka,
Pancha vimsathi namani kethoryahatham padeth.

One who has forsaken everything, one who is wise,
And one who makes pilgrimages to sacred places happen.

If these twenty five names of Ketu are read,

Thasya Nasyathi badha cha sarva Kethu prasadatha,
Dhana dhanya pasoonaam cha bhaved vrudhir na samsaya.

Due to the grace of Ketu all his troubles will come to an end,
And without doubt his wealth, cereals and animals will increase.


Ketu, the South Node

Ketu, the node opposite to Rahu, came into being during the churning of the Ocean of Milk. The last gift of that churning was the emergence of the God of Healing, Dhanvantari, with the pot of amrit, the nectar of immortality. Ketu and Rahu were whole at that time, in the form of a demon known as Swarbhanu, who engaged in subterfuge to obtain the nectar whilst it was being served out by the enchantress Mohini. The deception was discovered by the Sun and Moon, who ran a tale-telling to Vishnu, who promptly sent his discus and separated the head from the body; the body is today known as Ketu, South Node of the Moon.

In other legends, Ketu is known as the tail of the dragon. Ketu is considered to be signifier of Limitlessness; Ketu is thought to be absent, wandering, disinterested, disengaged, disembodied, diffused, apathetic, directionless, destitute, beheaded, surrendering, abandoning, lost. We keep in mind that Ketu is a shadow planet, a karmic repository and an important agent on the journey toward the goal of life. Ketu (which means flag) – due the deep inquiry that this shadow planet is capable of actually flags important staging posts on the human journey of return to the Source.

Human Values

Our values are our principles, our guides to action. Values are our internal codes of conduct, the principles upon which we run our lives and make our decisions. Our values are first given to us by our parents. These values develop, expand and are tested in experience. Other people impress their values upon us. We may take on the values of people we admire, such as our peers, our teachers, or elders in the Community. Our moral values are often sourced from our faith. When we look to Ketu and values, Ketu embodies an important principle – that of self-inquiry. Upto 70% of our time should be spent in self-inquiry. Without knowing the self, one cannot reach the goal of life.

Our values often include universal principles such as truthfulness, peace, love, right conduct and non-violence. These principles are often essential for our personal and social survival. In our observation, when we reverse the order of perception, we can often work out what values are active and guiding a situation or an event or a reaction (our own)(someone else’s) when we analyse the motives of either ourselves or others. We keep in mind that behaviour reveals choices – choices are based on our values. Our values guide our actions.

In Vedic Astrology, Ketu is the Observer, the witness who is incomplete. The balance for Ketu is Love, with the sub-value of inter-dependence. Inter-dependence brings in its retinue a sense of belonging, networks, bridging, bonding, diversity, participation. Whereas we might know Ketu one who disregards identity boundaries, who is absent from the body, is an other-defined chameleon or avatara, and in public presents irrelevance of the personality. There are none born without love; love is present in the child, which is then nurtured in the family. Ketu has love, and love is the foundation of what it means to be human. Hence, Ketu has a quality of interdependence which needs to be cultivated if it is not actively part of character and action.

Ketu and Inter-Dependence:

Interdependence as a sub-value of Love illustrates that we are all embodiments of divine love; we are all interconnected, we need one another to function, to progress in society toward the goal of life; interdependence scopes to productivity, progress and prosperity.

When we look to whom we are interdependenct, we find we are family, we have friends, peers, we have an employer and work associates, and we have social capital: the more connections in society, the more our social capital. Social capital includes our values, norms, outlook in life. Social capital is something we share with others in our circle, it is a form of citizen power. Social capital is participation, reciprocity, feelings of trust and safety, that sense of belonging through our networks, bonding and reaching out to others.

Interdependence is a functional relationship. While Ketu chooses to be alone and self sufficient, Ketu also functions in relationships at the same time. We have a landlord, we may have a bank to whom we have a mortgage, we exchange monies for food and clothing, we spend on travel and entertainment, and consumables. All these activities, Ketu participates in and is guided by values, however much Ketu may make us feel disconnected, incomplete, detached. We all live in mutual relationships and do things for each other’s benefit.


interdependence involves interaction, interface, and cooperation


Another way of looking at interdependence is to look at the human condition: the human condition is the fact of depending on each other in order to function and undertake activities. Humans need each other and rely on one another, depend on one another. There can be life-long interdependence between families, couples, spouses.

There is interdependence among the different forms of life on Earth. The various kingdoms – mineral, plant, insect and animala – have an interdependency of structure which unites the different portions of an organic agent into a coordinate whole.

So when we are acting with interdependence, we,

  • mutually dependent;
  • exchange resources with one another;
  • interact in order to achieve our goals;
  • express interconnection with all of life; all life has divine love;

It is said that Ketu is giver of Liberation due Ketu having lack of attachment to the world. Ketu is certainly the Observer, the witness. This does not mean that Ketu acts in the world without interaction with others, however long Ketu might remain in the cave or the desert or the Himalayan lakes. Love is the basis of all, and interdependence and relation with the Divine forms the basis of Liberation. One does not get liberation, moksha, without relationship.

Liberation is an extremely subtle state of being; devotion is the easiest way to reach this state. Liberation is very close and intimate; God is one’s nearest and dearest friend. We call people our ‘friends’ according to their positions and status. Today’s friends maybe tomorrow’s enemies, but God is always with us and in us. One should develop devotion with that indwelling God. What is the reason for man’s restlessness today? It is his loss of self-confidence which leads to misery. We should have self-confidence, self-satisfaction, self-sacrifice and reach self-realisation. The first, self-confidence, is like the foundation of a house. The walls are self-satisfaction, the roof is self-sacrifice, and life is self-realisation. We must always enquire, “Who am I?” We say my body, my mind, and my senses, but who am I? I am not the body, the mind, or the senses; these are only my instruments. I am the Master. If you take the body, mind and senses along the wrong path, it is your mistake. To avoid error, follow the witness in the body, the ‘conscience’. The senses are ‘conscious’; conscience comes from consciousness; consciousness comes from Brahman who is all-pervasive. The entire creation has come from Brahman’, there is no place without Him.


Moksha is not a journey taken without the society

Ketu Gayatri Mantra chanted daily is given below:



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