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Chandramaa (Moon)-1

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Chandramaa (Moon)-Religious Information
See also        Chandramaa's Popular Information,        Grahan

(1) There are four Lokpaal, one for each direction - Indra is for east, Yam Raaj is for south, Varun is for west, and Chandramaa is for north. To the east of Meru Parvat is Indra's Devadhaanee Puree, to its south is Yam Raaj's Sanyamanee Puree, to its west is Varun's Nimlochanee Puree, and to its north is Chandramaa's Vibhaavaree Puree.
[Bhaagvat Puraan, 5/8]

(2) The Sun and the Moon are the two main important planets in human beings' life - the Moon being the second brightest planet after the Sun. The Sun rules the soul and the Moon rules our mind. These two planets cause the lunar phases. According to Rishi Paraashar, Avataar of Raam was from the Sun and Krishn was from the Moon. In Indian astrology, Moon is the most important planet. From New Moon to Full Moon, the changing phases of the Moon rules our mind,  emotions, sensitivity, mother, house, domestic comforts, milk, sea and all things connected and the

(3) India uses Chaandra year (Lunar year) to calculate its all auspicious days, moments, festivals etc. Chandramaa revolves around the Earth in less then 30 days (exactly in .......  ). It is the fastest moving among all the nine planets and takes approximately 2 and 1/2 days to go through one Raashi (Sign). When the Sun and the Moon are in the same Raashi, it is called Amaavasyaa, or New Moon day, or the 1st day of the dark fortnight.

The Lunar days or Tithi changes every 12 degree difference between the Sun and the Moon. When the Sun and the Moon are in exactly opposite Raashi (sign), or 180 degree apart, it is called Poornimaa, or Full Moon, or the 1st day of the bright fortnight.

Chandramaa's 16 Kalaa
The Moon has 16 Kalaa (phases), 15 of them are visible to us, but the 16th one is beyond our visibility. These 16 Kalaa are - (1) Amritaa - nectar, (2) Manadaa - that which nourishes the drug producing plants, (3) Pooshaa - shame-producing, (4) Tushti - pleasing, (5) Pushti - nourishing, (6) Rati - playful, (7) Dhriti - constancy, (8) Shashinee - containing the hare "Man in the Moon", (9) Chandrikaa - that which produces joy, (10) Kaanti - charming, (11) Jyotsanaa - ray-producing, (12) Shree - prosperity-giving, (13) Preeti- affection-producing, (14) Angadaa - body-purifying, (15) Poornaa - complete, and (16) Poornamritaa - full of nectar. 
[Naarad Puraan, p 414]

These 16 Kalaa are ruled by 16 Nityaa Devee, they are called Shodash Nityaa. They are (1) Mahaa Tripur Sundaree, (2) Kaameshwaree, (3) Bhagamaalinee, (4) Nityaklinna, (5) Bherunda, (6) Vanhivaasinee, (7) Mahaa Vajreshwaree, (8) Shivadhooti (Raudree), (9) Twaritaa, (10) Kulsundaree, (11) Nityaa, (12) Neel Pataakaa, (13) Vijayaa, (14) Sarvmangalaa, (15) Jwaalaamaalinee, and (16) Chidroopaa (Chitraa). Out of these 16 Devee, the first one, Mahaa Tripur Sundaree, is Devee Paraa Shakti herself, that is why the Kalaa ruled by her is not visible to normal mortals. We can see only the other 15 Kalaa ruled by other Nityaa Devee.

These 15 Nityaa Devee, in the form of Tithi (days), have two aspects each - Prakaashaansh which rules the day time of the Tithi, and Vimarshaansh which rules the night part of the Tithi. At night they collect the Divine nectar and during the day time they release it. On Poornimaa (Full Moon), all the 15 Nityaa are in the Moon and the Moon shines brightly. On Pratipadaa, the first day, one Nityaa leaves the Moon and goes to the Sun, hence Moon is reduced slightly in size. In this way every day one Nityaa leaves and the Moon reduces further, till all Nityaa have left and there is no Moon visible on the 15th day. This day is called Amaavasyaa (New Moon) and this decreasing of the Moon is called "waning", and these 15 days are called Krishn Paksh. After Amaavasyaa, they return one by one and the Moon starts shining again. This increasing Moon is called the "waxing" Moon. This is called Shukla Paksh. In this Paksh, Nityaa return in reverse order - Chitraa to Kaameshwaree.

Now Nityaa of Ashtamee (8th day), Twaritaa, is common and constant to both the Paksh, so she adorns the crown of Devee. It is just to let you know that Kaameshwaree is Devee Paarvatee, Vajreshwaree is Lakshmee, and Bhagamaalinee is Saraswatee.

One Krishn Paksh and one Shukla Paksh make a 30-day lunar month. Such 12 months are of 360 days. Multiplied by the two aspects of each Nityaa, there are 720 aspects of Nityaa Devee in a year. Thus each aspect of a Nityaa rules 100 Naadee in our body. This way they rule 72,000 Naadee of our body with ever changing moods and physical results in human lives. The full circle of Nityaa also represents the full circle of 21,600 breaths a human being takes in a full day and night. Thus they may be regarded as the Kaal Chakra - the Wheel of Time. 

Each Nityaa has her own Yantra, Mantra, Tantra and ritual applications; and a certain number of arms - the total number of arms being a circle of 108. Because any unit of time being taken as a microcosm, or parallel of any other valid unit, each of the 15 Nityaa thus has 1,440 breaths. These Nityaa are the vowels of Sanskrit Language alphabet and are identical with both time and space. For example if the number of Tattwa or consonants (36) is multiplied by 16 Nityaa, the result comes 576. The multiples of this number provide the number of the years in different Yug. So the circle of the Maatrikaa and the Nityaa is identical with the sidereal zodiac as well as with Mantra.

Synonyms of Chandramaa
Chaand,  Chandaa,  Chandra,  Chandramaa,
Himaanshu, Himkar (which produces coolness)
Indeevar,  Indu, 
Nishaakar (who is responsible to bring night),  
Raakaapati,  Raakesh,  Rajaneekaant (who is the lover of Rajanee - night),  Rajaneekar (who brings night),  Rajaneesh (who is the Lord of Rajanee)
Shashaank,  Shashi (because its spot resembles the silhouette of a hare),  Sheetaanshu (whose rays are cool),  Som, Sudhaakar (who brings Amrit),  Sudhaanshu (who is a part of Sudhaa, means Amrit)


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 06/09/11