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Popular Stories Of Chandra – The Moon God – In Hinduism

Chandra, the Moon God, is a significant deity in Hindu mythology and appears in various stories that highlight his importance and influence. Here are some popular tales involving Chandra:

Chandra and Tara: 

One of the most famous stories involving Chandra is his relationship with Tara, the wife of Brihaspati, the guru of the gods. Chandra abducted Tara, leading to a great conflict known as the Tarakamaya War. The gods intervened, and eventually, Tara was returned to Brihaspati. However, Tara was pregnant and gave birth to a son, Budha (the planet Mercury), whose father was Chandra. This incident is significant in Hindu astrology, linking the celestial bodies and their mythological narratives.

The Curse of Daksha: 

Chandra was married to the 27 daughters of Daksha Prajapati, representing the 27 Nakshatras (lunar mansions) in Hindu astrology. Chandra, however, favored one wife, Rohini, more than the others. This partiality angered Daksha, who cursed Chandra to wane and lose his brilliance. To mitigate the curse, Chandra performed a penance to Lord Shiva, who partially lifted the curse, causing Chandra to wax and wane periodically, explaining the phases of the moon.

Chandra and Ganesha: 

According to another story, Chandra once laughed at the elephant-headed deity Ganesha, mocking his appearance. In response, Ganesha cursed Chandra, causing him to lose his luster. Chandra apologized, and Ganesha modified the curse, allowing Chandra to regain his brightness but causing his phases of waxing and waning. This story is often recounted to explain why it's considered inauspicious to look at the moon on Ganesha Chaturthi.

Chandra's Role in the Churning of the Ocean: 

During the Samudra Manthan (churning of the ocean), Chandra emerged from the ocean along with many other treasures and deities. The gods and demons churned the ocean to obtain Amrita, the nectar of immortality. Chandra was one of the precious items that surfaced, and he was accepted into the heavens and given a place in the night sky.

Chandra and Soma: 

Chandra is often identified with Soma, the divine drink consumed by the gods. The Rigveda, one of the oldest texts in Hinduism, frequently mentions Soma as both a deity and a sacred ritual drink that bestows immortality. Chandra, as Soma, is depicted as the presiding deity of the sacred elixir, which is also associated with the moon and its nourishing qualities.

These stories illustrate Chandra's multifaceted role in Hindu mythology, highlighting his importance in celestial events, astrology, and religious rituals.