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Chandra Dev: The Hindu God of Moon
Article of the Month - Jun 2024
This article by Prakriti Anand
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Shining brightly in the sky, some days more than others, the Moon in popular culture is a
symbol of love, romance, and beauty. The ancient Hindu texts, however, mention the Moon as
an intriguing and powerful being, worshiped by sages as Chandra.
Known by names such as Indu, Soma, and Rajnipati (Lord of the Night), Chandra according to
Hindu mythology was born three times- from the mind of Brahma, as the son of Atri and
Anusuya and the third time, after being drowned in the ocean, emerging from it during the
Samudra Manthana or churning of the ocean.
Mystical and marvelous, Chandra or Chandrama is one of the Navagrahas or Nine Planets and is
deeply rooted in the culture of India.
The Iconography of Chandra Dev
In Indian art, sculptures and representations of the Hindu moon god are few, but when he is
depicted, he stands like Surya, on a chariot of ten horses or sits on a lotus seat which is placed on
the chariot of horses or antelopes.
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Chandra Dev in the Vedas
The ninth Mandala of the Rig Veda sings the glory of Chandra. He is the essence of Soma, the
plant whose juices were used in Vedic sacrificial rituals and nurture the flora- herbs, plants, and
trees on earth as their protector.
He is believed by the Vedic literature to have healing and curing powers for humans. Since
Chandra controls emotions and thoughts, he is referred to as “Vachaspati”, the Lord of Speech.
The Purushasukta, a popular section from the Rig Veda describes that Chandra was born from
the mind and the Sun or Surya from the eyes of the primordial being or “चन्द्रमा मनसो जातश्चक्षोः सूर्यो
अजायत”, hence Chandra is often evoked as the presiding deity of “Manah” or mind.
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The Birth of Chandra Dev
Anusuya and sage Atri, the parents of Dattatreya (who is an incarnation of Brahma-Vishnu-
Shiva), and sage Durvasa also gave birth to Chandra, who was made the Lord of the Moon. He
was given a place in the Navagraha Mandala and he performed various rites which made him
immensely powerful and beautiful.
Chandra, Tara and Brihaspati
Brihaspati or Guru (Jupiter) is one of the Navagraha and the teacher of the gods. His wife was
Tara, the beautiful and virtuous woman who saw Chandra one day and was attracted to his
appealing beauty. Both fell in love and the news of this adultery reached Brihaspati when Tara
left him for Chandra.
In Vedic times, the wife was important for the successful conducting of sacrificial rituals, without
whom no ritual was considered complete. Brihaspati thus not only lost his wife but also his
position as the officiating priest for the gods. Finally, Indra, the king of gods made Chandra agree
that he would let go of Tara.
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बृहस्पति खंड: Brihaspati Khanda
The Birth of Chandra’s Child
Although back with Brihaspati, Tara was found to be pregnant with Chandra’s child. Soon she
birthed Buddha or Mercury, who was cursed by an enraged Brihaspati to become a genderless
being, a neuter. The curse was later transformed into power, and Buddha became a part of the
Navagrahas with the ability to change gender at will.
Chandra and Daksha’s Daughters
Heartbroken after losing Tara, Chandra soon met the daughters of Daksha Prajapati, 27 in
number, also equated with the 27 constellations or Nakshatras. As a husband, Chandra was
deeply devoted to Rohini which led to him avoiding his marital duties toward all other wives.
Unhappy, the other wives approached their father, who intervened and demanded that Chandra
should treat all his wives equally. But he paid no heed to the warning. Angered by his behavior,
Prajapati cursed Chandra.
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The Curse of Daksha
Daksha said to Chandra that he would soon vanish from the face of the Universe, and as a result,
he started falling ill and losing his vitality. Panicking, Chandra reached the abode of Brahma and
asked him for a solution, who told him that only Shiva, who is Mahamrityunaja (he who is
victorious before death) could save him from the curse.
Chandra reached the seashore and made Shiva Lingam with sand, and started praying to
Mahadeva. The place where Chandra worshiped Shiva and was blessed by him is known as
Prabhas Patan, where the Prabha or light of Chandra was restored.
Chandra Saved by Chandrashekhara
Shiva told Chandra that the curse was given by Prajapati himself and could not be totally
undone. However, he gave a solution. Chandra was to go through different stages of waxing and
waning, losing his aura reaching absolute darkness, and being revitalized again.
This is the reason for the different phases in a Lunar cycle. Shiva also gave Chandra a place on
his head, making him evermore powerful and divine and in this way, Shiva became Somnath, the
Lord of Soma or Chandra, and resides in the Tirtha of Prabhas Patan as Somnath Jyotirlinga in
Gujarat.
Lord Shiva on Crescent Moon | Watercolor on Paper
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Chandra And Ganesha
According to this legend, returning from the festive celebration held by Lord Kubera, Ganesha
who was riding his Mushak (rat) was shocked to see a snake come suddenly in his path and lose
his balance. During his fall, Ganesha’s stomach burst and all the food he had consumed at the
feast fell out.
Chandra, who was witnessing this incident, started laughing at Ganesha, who was angered by
his reaction. Enraged, Ganesha cursed the Moon-God that his prideful laugh would cost him his
beauty and he would lose his shine. When Chandra asked for mercy, Ganesha forgave him and
decreased the effect of the curse, making the moon grow and contract in size.
Ganesha and The Moon (And Other Stories)
Chandra And His Eclipses: The Reason Behind
Chandragrahana
During the Samudra-manthan, when the amrita or nectar was being distributed to gods by
Vishnu as Mohini, Rahu transforming himself into a god sat amongst them and waited to be fed
with the immortalizing amrita. Surya and Chandra saw through his deception and pointed him
out.
Vishnu took his Sudarshana chakra and severed Rahu in two halves, creating Rahu and Ketu.
Disgruntled and angry, Rahu-Ketu vowed to devour Surya and Chandra, which is the reason
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behind Chandragrahana or lunar eclipses.
When Chandra Was Divided in Two: The Story of Chandrabhaga from The Mahabharata
Once there was a conflict between Shiva who always carried Chandra in his Jata (matted hair)
and the wives of the Moon-God who wanted to have their husbands back. Lord Brahma in order
to end the dispute, divided the Moon into two halves, giving one part to Shiva and the other to
the wives.
The spot where this divine division of the Moon happened is known as “Chandrabhaga”, literally-
“where the Moon was split”. The river that originates from this place is also known by the same
name. Made up of two streams named Chandra and Bhaga, the river Chandrabhaga flows from
the Himalayas.
Chandra And the Goddess
The icons and paintings of goddess Kali, often depict her with the crescent Moon or
ardhachandra shining on her forehead. One of the Nine Goddesses or Navadurga is called
“Chandraghanta” meaning “she who carries a bell-shaped Moon”.
Being a deity of emotions that are often connected to the feminine parts of a human being, the
Moon with the goddesses symbolizes the control of these female deities over the mind. As
warrior-goddesses, Durga and Kali wear the crescent moon to underline their grip over the
always-moving mind, fear, anxiety, and other negative emotions - a victory that is the supremest
of all conquests.
Chandrahaasa: The Mighty Sword of Ravana
“Chandrahaasa” means the laughter of the Moon and it is one of the most powerful weapons in
Hindu tradition. According to literature, when Ravana prayed to Shiva and tried to take Kailasha
to Lanka, his efforts pleased Shiva, who blessed him with many boons, one of which was the
potent sword, Chandrahaasa. The khadag or sword of Shiva was invisible and wielding it made
Ravana even more valorous.
In Conclusion
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Much like the luminous, calming, and eternal presence of the Moon in the sky, the Moon-God
Chandra in Hinduism shines gently with his persona and powers. Worshiped in rituals as a part of
the Navagraha and in Jyotisha astrology as a deity who bestows strength of mind, his popularity,
unlike his light, seems to only increase, from the Vedic age to the present day.
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Chandra Dev: Unveiling the Mystery of the Moon God

  • 1. Chandra Dev: The Hindu God of Moon Article of the Month - Jun 2024 This article by Prakriti Anand  Add a Comment Shining brightly in the sky, some days more than others, the Moon in popular culture is a symbol of love, romance, and beauty. The ancient Hindu texts, however, mention the Moon as an intriguing and powerful being, worshiped by sages as Chandra. Known by names such as Indu, Soma, and Rajnipati (Lord of the Night), Chandra according to Hindu mythology was born three times- from the mind of Brahma, as the son of Atri and Anusuya and the third time, after being drowned in the ocean, emerging from it during the Samudra Manthana or churning of the ocean. Mystical and marvelous, Chandra or Chandrama is one of the Navagrahas or Nine Planets and is deeply rooted in the culture of India. The Iconography of Chandra Dev In Indian art, sculptures and representations of the Hindu moon god are few, but when he is depicted, he stands like Surya, on a chariot of ten horses or sits on a lotus seat which is placed on the chariot of horses or antelopes. Explore our developer-friendly HTML to PDF API Printed using PDFCrowd HTML to PDF
  • 2. Chandra Dev in the Vedas The ninth Mandala of the Rig Veda sings the glory of Chandra. He is the essence of Soma, the plant whose juices were used in Vedic sacrificial rituals and nurture the flora- herbs, plants, and trees on earth as their protector. He is believed by the Vedic literature to have healing and curing powers for humans. Since Chandra controls emotions and thoughts, he is referred to as “Vachaspati”, the Lord of Speech. The Purushasukta, a popular section from the Rig Veda describes that Chandra was born from the mind and the Sun or Surya from the eyes of the primordial being or “चन्द्रमा मनसो जातश्चक्षोः सूर्यो अजायत”, hence Chandra is often evoked as the presiding deity of “Manah” or mind. Explore our developer-friendly HTML to PDF API Printed using PDFCrowd HTML to PDF
  • 3. The Birth of Chandra Dev Anusuya and sage Atri, the parents of Dattatreya (who is an incarnation of Brahma-Vishnu- Shiva), and sage Durvasa also gave birth to Chandra, who was made the Lord of the Moon. He was given a place in the Navagraha Mandala and he performed various rites which made him immensely powerful and beautiful. Chandra, Tara and Brihaspati Brihaspati or Guru (Jupiter) is one of the Navagraha and the teacher of the gods. His wife was Tara, the beautiful and virtuous woman who saw Chandra one day and was attracted to his appealing beauty. Both fell in love and the news of this adultery reached Brihaspati when Tara left him for Chandra. In Vedic times, the wife was important for the successful conducting of sacrificial rituals, without whom no ritual was considered complete. Brihaspati thus not only lost his wife but also his position as the officiating priest for the gods. Finally, Indra, the king of gods made Chandra agree that he would let go of Tara. Explore our developer-friendly HTML to PDF API Printed using PDFCrowd HTML to PDF
  • 4. बृहस्पति खंड: Brihaspati Khanda The Birth of Chandra’s Child Although back with Brihaspati, Tara was found to be pregnant with Chandra’s child. Soon she birthed Buddha or Mercury, who was cursed by an enraged Brihaspati to become a genderless being, a neuter. The curse was later transformed into power, and Buddha became a part of the Navagrahas with the ability to change gender at will. Chandra and Daksha’s Daughters Heartbroken after losing Tara, Chandra soon met the daughters of Daksha Prajapati, 27 in number, also equated with the 27 constellations or Nakshatras. As a husband, Chandra was deeply devoted to Rohini which led to him avoiding his marital duties toward all other wives. Unhappy, the other wives approached their father, who intervened and demanded that Chandra should treat all his wives equally. But he paid no heed to the warning. Angered by his behavior, Prajapati cursed Chandra. Explore our developer-friendly HTML to PDF API Printed using PDFCrowd HTML to PDF
  • 5. The Curse of Daksha Daksha said to Chandra that he would soon vanish from the face of the Universe, and as a result, he started falling ill and losing his vitality. Panicking, Chandra reached the abode of Brahma and asked him for a solution, who told him that only Shiva, who is Mahamrityunaja (he who is victorious before death) could save him from the curse. Chandra reached the seashore and made Shiva Lingam with sand, and started praying to Mahadeva. The place where Chandra worshiped Shiva and was blessed by him is known as Prabhas Patan, where the Prabha or light of Chandra was restored. Chandra Saved by Chandrashekhara Shiva told Chandra that the curse was given by Prajapati himself and could not be totally undone. However, he gave a solution. Chandra was to go through different stages of waxing and waning, losing his aura reaching absolute darkness, and being revitalized again. This is the reason for the different phases in a Lunar cycle. Shiva also gave Chandra a place on his head, making him evermore powerful and divine and in this way, Shiva became Somnath, the Lord of Soma or Chandra, and resides in the Tirtha of Prabhas Patan as Somnath Jyotirlinga in Gujarat. Lord Shiva on Crescent Moon | Watercolor on Paper Explore our developer-friendly HTML to PDF API Printed using PDFCrowd HTML to PDF
  • 6. Chandra And Ganesha According to this legend, returning from the festive celebration held by Lord Kubera, Ganesha who was riding his Mushak (rat) was shocked to see a snake come suddenly in his path and lose his balance. During his fall, Ganesha’s stomach burst and all the food he had consumed at the feast fell out. Chandra, who was witnessing this incident, started laughing at Ganesha, who was angered by his reaction. Enraged, Ganesha cursed the Moon-God that his prideful laugh would cost him his beauty and he would lose his shine. When Chandra asked for mercy, Ganesha forgave him and decreased the effect of the curse, making the moon grow and contract in size. Ganesha and The Moon (And Other Stories) Chandra And His Eclipses: The Reason Behind Chandragrahana During the Samudra-manthan, when the amrita or nectar was being distributed to gods by Vishnu as Mohini, Rahu transforming himself into a god sat amongst them and waited to be fed with the immortalizing amrita. Surya and Chandra saw through his deception and pointed him out. Vishnu took his Sudarshana chakra and severed Rahu in two halves, creating Rahu and Ketu. Disgruntled and angry, Rahu-Ketu vowed to devour Surya and Chandra, which is the reason Explore our developer-friendly HTML to PDF API Printed using PDFCrowd HTML to PDF
  • 7. behind Chandragrahana or lunar eclipses. When Chandra Was Divided in Two: The Story of Chandrabhaga from The Mahabharata Once there was a conflict between Shiva who always carried Chandra in his Jata (matted hair) and the wives of the Moon-God who wanted to have their husbands back. Lord Brahma in order to end the dispute, divided the Moon into two halves, giving one part to Shiva and the other to the wives. The spot where this divine division of the Moon happened is known as “Chandrabhaga”, literally- “where the Moon was split”. The river that originates from this place is also known by the same name. Made up of two streams named Chandra and Bhaga, the river Chandrabhaga flows from the Himalayas. Chandra And the Goddess The icons and paintings of goddess Kali, often depict her with the crescent Moon or ardhachandra shining on her forehead. One of the Nine Goddesses or Navadurga is called “Chandraghanta” meaning “she who carries a bell-shaped Moon”. Being a deity of emotions that are often connected to the feminine parts of a human being, the Moon with the goddesses symbolizes the control of these female deities over the mind. As warrior-goddesses, Durga and Kali wear the crescent moon to underline their grip over the always-moving mind, fear, anxiety, and other negative emotions - a victory that is the supremest of all conquests. Chandrahaasa: The Mighty Sword of Ravana “Chandrahaasa” means the laughter of the Moon and it is one of the most powerful weapons in Hindu tradition. According to literature, when Ravana prayed to Shiva and tried to take Kailasha to Lanka, his efforts pleased Shiva, who blessed him with many boons, one of which was the potent sword, Chandrahaasa. The khadag or sword of Shiva was invisible and wielding it made Ravana even more valorous. In Conclusion Explore our developer-friendly HTML to PDF API Printed using PDFCrowd HTML to PDF
  • 8. Much like the luminous, calming, and eternal presence of the Moon in the sky, the Moon-God Chandra in Hinduism shines gently with his persona and powers. Worshiped in rituals as a part of the Navagraha and in Jyotisha astrology as a deity who bestows strength of mind, his popularity, unlike his light, seems to only increase, from the Vedic age to the present day. RELATED ITEMS 3” Small Face of Chandra Wall… 3.80 INCH HEIGHT X… $35 FREE Delivery Express Shipping Ganesha and The Moon (And Other… BY PRABHA NAIR $16 Express Shipping A Book On Moon (Tamil) BY SADASIVAM $17 Express Shipping Lord Shiva on Crescent Moon |… 8.7 INCH HEIGHT X 6… $295 FREE Delivery Express Shipping बृहस्पति Brihasp BY DR. B $30 F Express   Explore our developer-friendly HTML to PDF API Printed using PDFCrowd HTML to PDF