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Chandrashekara – The Story Shiva as Chandrashekara – adorned with crescent moon

One of the popular names of Hindu God Shiva is Chandrashekara. He got this name after he gave refuge to Moon or Chandra on this matted locks after Chandra was cursed by Daksha.

Legend has it that Daksha Prajapati, the master of civilization, married twenty seven of his daughters – the Nakshatras, lunar asterisms - to Chandra – the moon god. But Chandra was attracted by the beauty of only Rohini Nakshatra and ignored the other stars.

The disappointed daughters complained to Daksha about Chandra’s favoritism for Rohini. This behavior of the moon god angered Daskha. He cursed Chandra that his body of which he is so proud will fade away.

Soon the body of Chandra started fading away and this caused upheaval on earth. Several plants and herbs need the moonlight to survive. Chandran then approached Lord Vishnu who directed him to Lord Shiva who is the supreme physician and the keeper of the sacred herb Soma.

Left with only one part (Kala), Chandra approached Shiva. Lord Shiva helped Chandra in regaining his lost luster and glory with the herb Soma. But Daksha cursed him again and he took the help of Lord Shiva and this continued for a long period. Finally, Shiva asked Chandra to take refuge in his lock of hair on his head where he will find enough soma to rejuvenate him periodically.

Thus the curse of Daksha causes the moon to wane and Lord Shiva rejuvenates him.
Since Shiva gave refuge to Chandra, he came to be known as Chandrashekara.

Chandrashekara is one of the pleasant forms of Shiva and in this form he is believed to cure ailments and helps in fulfilling the wishes of his devotees.