Affiliation Graha, Deva
Planet The Moon
|Sanskrit transliteration Candra|
Mantra Om Chandramasē Namaha
In Hinduism, Chandra (Sanskrit: चन्द्र, IAST: Candra, lit. "shining") is a lunar god and a Graha. Chandra is synonymous with Soma. The Chandra is the lord of plants and vegetation.
Chandra is described as young, beautiful; two-armed and having in his hands a club and a lotus. He rides his chariot across the sky every night, pulled by ten white horses or an antelope.
In Hindu mythology, Chandra is the father of Budha (planet Mercury). He is married to 27 daughters of Daksha, after whom the Nakshatras in Hindu astrology are named.
In Hindu mythology, there are many versions of legends around Chandra's family. In one, he meets Tara, the wife of Brihaspati (planet Jupiter). From their union, Tara became pregnant giving birth to Budha (planet mercury). Brihaspati becomes upset and declares a war. The Devas intervene, and Tara returns to Brihaspati. In another, Chandra marries the twenty-seven daughters of Daksha. The Moon favors Rohini – one of his wives, the others become upset and complain to Daksha. He places a curse on the moon, which he then overcomes by devoting himself to Shiva, who partially releases him from the curse, and this partial release accounts for the Moon's waxing and waning, according to the legend.
Dark spot on the Moon
One popular story to account for the dark spot on the Moon is that Ganesha, once filled with food, fell from his mouse and broke his stomach. Chandra laughed at this, for which Ganesha injured him by breaking off and throwing away one of his tusks; and cursed him so that it would be forbidden to behold Chandra on Ganesh Chaturthi.
Chandra is also the word in Sanskrit, Hindi and other Indian languages for the Moon. It is also a common Indian name, both male and female and exists as a name in many South East Asian languages that originate from Sanskrit.
Indu, one of the other names for Chandra, is also the name of the first chakra of Melakarta ragas in Carnatic music. The names of chakras are based on the numbers associated with each name. In this case, there is one, the Moon and hence the first chakra is Indu.
In popular culture
Chandra plays an important role in one of the first novel-length mystery stories in English, The Moonstone.
The Sanskrit word Chandrayāna (Sanskrit: चन्द्रयान, Moon Vehicle) is used to refer to India's lunar orbiters.