Image from Moor.
Basic Descriptio n: Chandra
is the god of the moon. He is seated on the pedestal of lotus placed in
a beautiful chariot pulled by seven horses. He is one of the Nine Planets.
Alternate Name s: Kumudapati
(Lord of lotus), Mriganga (Spotted), Pavamana (Liqueur purifier), Oshadipati
(King of grass), Shivashekara (Crest of Shiva), Sitamarici (With cool rays),
Somanatha or Someshwara (Lord of the Soma), Soma.
Chandra is an early Vedic God of the Moon. In present Indian Hinduism
he is not nearly as highly regarded as he was two to three thousands years ago.
Chandra and Soma merged in later Hinduism.
Worship of Chandra is beneficial for relief from all
sorrows an d helps in curing mental afflictions. It is his cool rays that radiate
happiness around. The most effective way to get Chandra to answer one’s
prayers is to worship him on Monday. Since t he
Hindu name for the day Monday, Somavara, is named after him. Palasa is sacred to him.
Chandra is most often shown seated on a lotus in a chariot being drawn
either by two antelope or seven white horses. In
art Chandra is portrayed as a copper colored man. He has a red banner and rides in a chariot
drawn by an antelope.
His power is so great that at one point in time even Indra worshipped
him. Chandra’s force gave life to all animals, Gods, humans
and spirits. The progression from full to half to new moon represents
the Gods eating Chandra for his vital energy. But because he is so powerful,
even after being completely consumed, he always returns. He has a co-ruler whose name is Candi. She rules the
Moon the month after Chandra has been eaten. When Candi is devoured, Chandra
returns. Chandra causes nightfall, strengthens the mind, purifies
the blood and is the mother who radiates nectar. This nectar is the dew which
falls on the plants overnight. Thus Chandra is a fertility god.
Myth concerning Rohini: the other Nakshatras were upset at
Chandra’s obvious preference for Rohini so they told their father Daksha. Daksha argued with Chandra and when Chandra
refused to repent, cursed him with consumption.
Now ailing, Chandra finally repented and after fifteen days Daksha cured
Myth concerning Tara:
Chandra adored Tara so much that he kidnapped
her. For a while he refused to return
her, but eventually Brahma convinced him to give her back. When she was returned to Brahmanaspati she
was discovered to be pregnant. When the
child was born, she named him as Chandra’s child. Brahmanaspati was angered by this and
incinerated her, but she was revived by Brahma and once again reunited with
Brahmanaspati. After this Brahma forbade
Chandra from entering the heavens, thus he has been forced to remain in the
Riding Animal: His
vahana (vehicle) is an antelope.
The Hindu Pantheon . Los Angeles: Philosophical research society,
Thomas, P. Epics, Myths
and Legends of India. Bombay, India: D. B. Taraporevala Sons &
Co. Private Ltd, 1961.
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