(Last Updated on : 16/04/2015)
Chandra or moon is a Hindu deity who is also known as, Soma. The 'Soma' means juice or sap of the plants and thus Chandra is the lord of plants and vegetation. Chandra is also considered as the Graha or planet according to Hindu astrology.
In Puranas (ancient Hindu legends), Chandra is described as young, beautiful, fair, two-armed god who has club and lotus in his hands. He rides a chariot pulled by ten white horses or an antelope and moves around the sky at night. The other names of moon are Rajanipati (lord of night), Indu (the brighten drop) and Kshuparaka (one who illuminates the night).
Chandra has many wives namely Tara, Rohini, Anuradha and Bharani, who are the twenty-seven Nakshtras (constellations) and daughters of Daksha. Budh (planet Mercury) is the son of Chandra and Tara.
As Soma, Chandra presides over Somvar or Monday. Worshipping Chandra god on Mondays is very effective as it grants one's prayer. Chandra is also considered as fertility god since the dews that fall on plants; overnight giving them life, seem to come from moon. Thus Chandra is prayed when a couple wants to have a child. As a 'Graha' Chandra helps to get relief from the sorrows and cure mental afflictions. According to Puranas, Chandra is thought to adore the head of Lord Shiva. Sages and devotees invoke the Goddess mother in Chandra and meditate for hours.