Chandra – The Moon – Indian Mythology


Chandra is said to have emerged from the sea of milk, when it was churned by both the Asuras and Devas. Due to his brilliant form he was given the status of a planet, one of the Navagrahas. He is considered one of the Devas. He is also referred to in the texts as Soma.
He is weak-minded, and was involved in a disastarous liason with Tara, the wife of his guru Brihaspati. The child born out of this illicit relationship is Budha (Mercury). The child hated his father, as his birth was the result of a deadly sin. In Indian astrology, mercury and the moon are rival planets.
Later, Chandra married the twenty seven daughters of Daksha, who is a Prajapati. They are the pleides. The one condition imposed by their father was that Chandra must not favor one above the rest, that he should love them all equally. Chandra could not keep this promise, as he was more fond of Rohini than any of the others. This angered Daksha and he cursed Chandra to loose his divine lusture. After undergoing many penances, Chandra was able to regain some of his lost lusture. This cycle of losing and regaining his lustre is reflected as the phases of the moon.
The Maarkandeya Purana makes Chandra to be the son of the sage Atri and his wife Anasuya, by the divine grace of Brahma. According to this story, the power of Brahma entered Atri and was born as Chandra to his wife.

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