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 Kavacham should be read on Tuesdays to ward of any evil caused by this planet.
Kethum karala vadanam, chithra varnam, kireetinam, Pranamami sada kethum, dwajaakaaram graheswaram., 1
I always salute Kethu, who has face filled with horror,
Who is of multiple colours, has a crown,
Who is shaped like a flag and is the Lord of planets.
Chithra varna sira pathu, bhalam dhoomra samudhyuthi, Pathu nethre pingalaksha, sruthi may raktha lochana., 2
Let the multicolored one protect my head,
Let my hair be protected by he who produces smoke,
Let my eyes bye protected by one with reddish brown eye,
And let what I hear be protected by he who has red blood eyes.
Granam pathu swarnabha, schibukam simhikasutha, Pathum cha kandam may Kethu, skandou pathu grahadhipa., 3
Let my smell be protected by him who shines like gold,
Let my chin be protected by the son of Simhika,
Let my neck and feet be protected by Kethu,
And let the lord of planets protect my shoulder
Hasthou pathu sura sreshta, kukshim pathu maha graha, Simhasana katim pathu, madhyam pathu mahasura., 4
Let my arms be protected by the chief of devas,
Let the great planet protect my belly,
Let my hip be protected by he who sits on the throne,
And let the great asura protect my middle.
Ooru pathu maha seersho, januni may athi kopana, Pathu padhou cha may kroora, sarvangam nara pingala., 5
Let my thighs be protected by the great head,
Let my knees be protected by him with great anger,
Let my feet be protected by the cruel one,
And let all my parts of body be protected by the reddish brown god.
Ya idham kavacham divyam, sarva roga vinasanam, Sarva shathru vinasam cha, dharanad vijayi bhaved., 6
This holy armour destroys all diseases,
Destroys all enemies and,
Once worn will make you victorious.
Ithi Brahmanda Purane Kethu Kavacham sampoornam.