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CHANDRA

Chandra is one of the many stars visible in the sky. Indian astrology treats Chandra as a planet. Physics classifies Chandra as a satellite.

Purusha Sooktam (Rgveda) describes Chandra as born from the intelligence of the almighty. That is why Chandra is the controller of the mind according to astrology. Human mental status also fluctuates just like the changes that take place in Chandra during the full moon and new moon fortnights.

Bhaagavata Puranam, Maarkandeya Puranam, Matsya Puranam, Varaaha Puranam, Bhaaratam, Vinaayaka Charitam, Brahma Vaivartaka Puranam give some information about Chandra.

Maarkandeya Puranam: Great Sage Atri and his consort Anasuya were together when the Marharshi’s semen was spilled on to the earth. Vaayudeva, the wind god made it into three parts and one of the parts entered maharshi Atri’s eyes. The reason for Chandra’s birth is the transfer of Brahma’s ‘Amsha’ to the saintly couple Atri and Anasuya, so it is said that Chandra is born to Atri and Anasuya with the Amsha of Brahma.

Matsya Purana : Sage Atri was ordained by Brahma to construct the worlds and Maharshi went into deep meditation. Divine light emanated from the eyes of Atri. The Dikpaalakaas could not bear the light and threw it into the sea. Lord Brahma bestowed masculinity to that light. When the Devas and Daanavaas churned the sea of milk, Chandra and Lakshmi took birth out of the sea. Thus Chandra is the brother of Lakshmi. He is also described as the left eye of Lord Vishnu.

Bhaaratam: During the churning of the sea of milk (as above) elixir had also come out. Lord Vishnu, in disguise as Jaganmohini, distributed the elixir among the gods. Two daanavas by name Rahu and Kethu stealthily joined the gods and tried to drink the elixir. At that time Chandra hints to Lord Vishnu about the cheating of Rahu and Kethu and Lord Vishnu beheaded the both with his Sudarshana Chakram. That’s why Rahu and Kethu entertain a grudge on Chandra and trouble him on some fullmoon days by eclipsing him.

Chandra’s family: According to Brahma Vaivartaka Puranam the 27 stars, Aswani, Bharani, ete.., are the daughters of Daksha Prajaapati (one of the 9 Brahmas) and were married to Chandra. Chandra was differentiating amongst them and loved Rohini more. When Daksha came to know of it, he cursed Chandra to deteriorate indefinitely. Chandra went to Lord Shiva praying for immunity from the curse. Lord Shiva wears Chandra on his head. Daksh Prajaapati approaches Lord Shiva and requests him to release Chandra for which Lord Shiva refuses. Shiva and Daksha started to quarrel. At that juncture, Lord Vishnu appears there and evolves a formula which satisfies the curse of Daksha as well as the promise of the grace of Lord Shiva don’t go waste.

Accordingly Chandra was divided into two parts. One part adores the head of Lord Shiva and the other part suffers the demission and growth, and progressively every fortnight. These two fortnights make up one month and are known as Shuklapaksham and Krishnapaksham and make up the month of the Hindu calendar. From then on Chandra of 16 phases i.e the steps of decline or growth with the net 15 phases comprises of the two halves of the month.

Chandra was a student of Brihaspati, the preceptor of gods. Brihaspati’s wife Tara fell in love with this student, Chandra, and begot a son. The name of the son is Budha (one of the 9 planets). Wednesday is known after his name as Budhavaaram.

Varaaha Puranam: When Daksha Prajapati cursed Chandra, Chandra also retaliates and curses Daksha to get destroyed. He himself disappears and hides inside the sea. Due to the disapperance of the moon i.e Chandra, the growth of herbs, crops ete.., was hampered and religious austerities came to a stand still. All the gods got worried and approached Lord Brahma requesting him to reveal where Chandra was hiding. Brahma informs them the whereabouts of Chandra and suggests them to churn the milky ocean to get Chandra out. Accordingly Chandra takes birth at the time of the churning of the milky ocean.

Once Chandra was attending a big Yagnam (religious austerity) being performed by Daksha Prajaapati. Lord Shiva and his followers destroyed the Yagnam. Chandra comes under the feet of Lord Shiva in the ensuing melee. Then he shouts for grace and spontaneously Lord Shiva saves him and wears him on his head.

Once Lord Ganapathi (son of Lord Shiva) was unable to prostrate before his father due to his big belly. Chandra who was on the head of Lord Shiva laughs at the plight of Ganapathi and as a consequence of that evil sight, Ganapathi’s stomach burst and all the eatables inside were strewn around the place. Goddess Parvathi, annoyed at the plight of her son, gives a curse that anybody who sees Chandra on the Chaturdhi in Bhaadrapada will face false allegations.

Later on when all the gods requested her that the curse would be very severe, she modified the curse exempting the people who listen to the birth story of Ganapathi, from the curse.

Astrology: Chandra is one of the 9 planets and is situated in the north west direction of the almanac in the shape of square. Pearl is the gemstone attributed to him. He is the Lord for Monday and the Lord of Cancer (Karkataka Raasi), Taurus (Vrishaba Raasi) is his state of exalting.

People worship Chandra on Mondays. Chandra Dasa (span) in the horoscope is for 10 years. People wear Pearl to beseech him. An austerity by name Chaandrayana Vratam is also performed. The person who performs the Vratam eats only that number of morsels of food on that number of the day according to ‘Chandra phase’ and fasting on the new-moon day is the procedure of this Vratam.

Some precious stones named Chandrakaantha Mani, which turns frosty (in moonlight) was used in the olden days in the construction of sit outs in places. The pleasing nature of moonlight is well known to be described. Sea exhibits very high ebb and tide on the full-moon day.

Appearance and natures of Chandra : Chandra the king of Yamuna Desam is white and wears a white umbrella. He circles around Meru Parvata. He has a chariot drawn by 10 horses. Chandra was born on the full moon day the month of Kaarthika falling on a Monday. His gotram was Aatreyasa and he is the controller of Karkataka raasi. Silver is his favourite metal. It is suggested to donate rice to appease him.

Chandra is very fair and white in colour. His clothes are white, his chariot and his horses are also white and he wears a golden crown and a necklace of pearls. One of his hands carries a mace and the other hand symbolises Vara Mudra (to bless). Lord Krishna was born in his dynasty. (Chandra Vamsam).

Brahma has entrusted Chandra with the lordship on crops, herbs, water and Brahmins. The devotees worship Chandra on full moon day with boiled rice mixed with honey and sugar in a copper vessel and dedicate it to him. Chandra’s chariot has three wheels. He is the consort of the 27 stars. He travels with each star on one day during his encircling the earth, which takes 28.5 days. This period comprises of one month based on the moon’s transit and is known as Chaandramaanam (Lunar System).

Lunar eclipse occurs yearly twice that too on full moon days. Astrologically if Chandra is not favourable in the almanac, that person will suffer from lack of mental peace and respiratory diseases. Somavaara Vratham, worship of Lord Shiva, wearing pearls on the body, donating rice, white clothes, silver, white sandal, sugar, oxen etc., should be done.

Chandra is one of the most handsome gods. In Indian literature a woman’s face is compared to that of full moon and her fore head to a part moon. His is the second place amongst the nine planets. If Chandra occurs in the eighth house in horoscope it is said that the person will suffer from ill health from his child hood.

Aum Shraam Shreem Shroum Saha Chandraaya Namaha is Chandra’s Beejaakshara mantram.

Scientifically Chandra is perceived as a satellite to the Earth. His orbit is at a distance of 50425 yojanaas (one yojana is equal to eight miles). He is the closest planet to the earth.

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