Shani Dev Kee Mahimaa | Kathaa-2
|2-Glory of Chandramaa (The Moon)|
Chandramaa (The Moon)
After the Sun's representative finished his talk about the Sun, everybody admired his presentation. Now the Moon's advocate's turn to tell about him so he rose up and started speaking about him - "The Moon is everybody's mind, the Lord of the senses and the emotions. His worship helps people to ward off their diseases and gain health. He is the king of Lunar mansion. Shiv adorns his crescent form on his head. Some say that this makes the Moon the 1/8th incarnation of Lord Shiv.
Although he is the Lord of the night but he schedules rituals and is the haven for ancestors. When people do Yagya, they drink Som and surely they go to Chandra Lok. Ved say that the Moon and the King Som (food of the Devtaa) are the same. Whenever the sacrifice is completed, its offerings go to the Moon only. He lords all the plants, herbs and trees. He helps them to grow. He is the master of waters and controls tides in the sea.
He wears white clothes, loves white flowers, his metal is bronze or silver, and his gem is white pearl. He loves to wander and is Vaishya by caste. He rules the blood in the body and because he is of the nature of the semen, he is passion-filled. Whoever seeks sexual satisfaction should worship the Moon. He is the Dikpaal (Lord of direction) of northwest direction, Lord of Monday and his own home is Kark (Cancer) in constellations. He is the husband of 27 Nakshatras. These 27 Nakshatras are the 27 daughters of Daksh.  He is the friend of the world. The Sun's Sushumna ray develops the Moon day by day during the bright half of the month and makes it complete on the day of Poornimaa (Full Moon). In the other dark half Devtaa get nourished drinking that Som. On the last day of the dark fortnight, Amaavasyaa (New Moon), Pitar drink that Som. This cycle continues like that.
How Chandramaa Was Born
Some say that he was born from the tears of joy of Rishi Atri (one of the 10 brain children of Brahmaa - see Notes 6). Some say that Chandramaa was born from the sea when Devtaa and Daitya churned the sea to extract Amrit from it.
There is another story about his birth. Once Rishi Atri and his wife Ansooyaa did a severe Tap to get children. The Supreme got very pleased with their Tap and appeared before them in the forms of Brahmaa, Vishnu and Shiv. When Atri saw all of them, he was in a flux. Who were they, he was worshipping only the Supreme, then how come these three appeared before him? So he asked them - "Who are you?" They said - "We are the ones whom you were worshipping for." Atri Jee said - "But I was worshipping only the Supreme, not you three, who are you?" They said - "We are the same you were worshipping for assuming the three forms. Ask what you wish for." Atri Jee said - "I did Tap to ask for a son." They said - "So be it." Thus because those three bestowed him with a son, so he had three children - Dattaatreya as Vishnu's Avataar, Durvaasaa as Shiv's Avataar, and Chandramaa as Brahmaa's Avataar.
There is yet another story of his birth. Atri's wife Ansooyaa was a Pativrataa woman. Once Brahmaa, Vishnu and Shiv thought to test her Paativrat, so all assumed the form of Braahman and came to beg. When Ansooyaa came out give them food, they said - "We don't accept alms like that. Come without clothes and then give us alms." Hearing this Ansooyaa got in a great flux. She prayed the Supreme and with the power of her Tap, she changed them into newborn babies. She took off her clothes and started breastfeeding them. That is how she kept their words, as well as protected her Paativrat Dharm. Pleased with her intelligence and her Paativrat Dharm all asked her to ask for a boon. She said - "I wish that I should breastfeed you three as my real children." The trio bestowed her with this boon and they were born as Durvaasaa, Dattaatreya and Chandramaa in her house.
Another story of his birth - When Brahmaa bestowed Atri with a son, he gave him like this. Atri Rishi stood raising his arms for 3,000 years without blinking. Then when his body became perfused with Som, he himself became Som. The Som juice filled his body so much so that it overfilled him filling the Heavens with luminosity. The goddesses of the ten directions gathered to receive that Som and collected it in their wombs. But they could not hold it for long time and their fetus dropped on the ground and took the form of Moon. All celestials worshipped the Moon.
Why Chandramaa Wanes and Waxes
He married Daksh's 27 daughters. When Daksh married his 27 daughters to Chandramaa, he said to him - "Love all my daughters equally." But still among them he loved Rohinee the most. Anyone can see the full Moon in the constellation of Rohinee. His other wives did not like this at all, so they pleaded him to to visit each of them as well, but the Moon ignored their complaints. At this they went back to their father and complained to him. Daksh warned the Moon about it, but the Moon ignored him also. When the Moon ignored him second time, the third time he cursed him with consumption. So he started waning losing his glory everyday. No sacrifice could cure him.
All the world's planets, vegetation, herbs trees etc stopped growing. All living things also stopped growing. All went to Daksh and asked his favor for Chandramaa. Then considering the problem for the world, he got ready on this condition that Chandramaa will be waning for 15 days and then waxing for the next 15 days. So Chandramaa now waxes and wanes as he visits his each wife once a month, for one day and one night at a time."
The Moon's advocate further said - "That is why O King, we should always remember that who over-indulge themselves in sexual activities are liable to be consumed." Vikram asked - "I have heard that Daksh also had to suffer when his another son-in-law cursed him." The advocate said - "True Sir, you are right. When Daksh dared his another son-in-law he had to lose his life and was reborn only through the intercession of Chandramaa." Vikram said - " I want to hear that story
How Chandramaa Caused His Father-in-law Reborn
The Moon's advocate said - "There was a great king named Prithu who had 10 great grandsons named Prachetaas (the mindful ones). Their father asked them to multiply, so they went to the ocean, took bath in there and did Tapasyaa for 10,000 years to get a son. Their Tapasyaa was successful and they got a boon to get such a son. When they came out of the sea, they were infuriated to see how earth's surface was covered with long tall trees which were touching Heavens. They got angry at this and they spread fire and with the wind it started spreading and burning trees.
The Moon was the ruler of the ocean and the trees as well. Seeing this the Moon intercepted them and said - "O Prachetas, This is not going to serve you any purpose, besides what will you get by destroying these innocent trees? They are helpless, they cannot even retaliate. Make peace with them and accept this innocent daughter of trees, Maarishaa, as your wife."
Vikram got surprised to hear this - "Daughter of the trees? I have never heard that. Tell me how it happened." The Moon's advocate said - "Yes, Mahaaraaj, This girl was the daughter of Rishi Kandu and Pramlochaa Apsaraa. In fact this Apsaraa came down to Earth to tempt Rishi Kandu. She succeeded in it and got pregnant. After giving birth to a baby girl, she abandoned her on the Earth and she herself went to Heaven. The same girl was brought up by these tree-deities. When that girl would cry with hunger, Chandramaa let her suck Som from his finger. Thus Prachetaas accepted that girl and had a son from her named Daksh. This Daksh was the incarnation of the old Daksh."
The Pandit continued - "Because of Daksh's curse, Chandramaa has no issue by Daksh's 27 daughters, but he he does have four sons from his another wife Manoharaa - the first one was Varchaa who incarnated on Earth at the time of Mahaabhaarat war as the son of Arjun and Subhadraa - Abhimanyu. Chandramaa did not want to send his son to Earth but he had to send him. So he kept the condition that he wanted his son back soon - after the age of 16 years. [That is why he died at the age of 16 fighting heroically.]
His another son was the planet Budh (Mercury) in whose lineage many great kings have been born - Pururavaa, Nahush, Yayaati, Yadu, Dushyant, Bharat, Shaantanu etc. Even Lord Krishn incarnated in his Vansh only. There is a great story of Budh's birth. Chandramaa got attracted towards Dev Guru Brihaspati's wife Taaraa and he impregnated her. When Brihaspati came to know about this, he asked his wife whose child is this? Taaraa did not reply anything. Then Brahmaa Jee had to intervene and asked Taaraa about it. Taaraa still kept quiet, so the child shouted from the womb - "Why don't you tell him?" Then Taaraa told him that the child was Chandramaa's. When Budh was born, he was so beautiful and shiny that both Chandramaa and Brihaspati claimed him, but Brahmaa Jee declared him as Chandramaa's son and named him as Budh. (read also about Budh)
I offer my humble respect to Chandramaa who pours his coolness on the world and creates ecstasy."
Created by Sushma Gupta on 8/9/2008
Updated on 11/23/12