Why do Hindus hold the moon in special reverence?


Next to the sun, the moon has always attracted great attention and reverence. In Chandogya Upanishad it is said that whoever prays to Chandrama (the moon) lives a good life. All sins and bad deeds are absolved. One is free of problems and sorrow. With good health one lives a complete life and finds happiness in this world as well as the next.


Chandrama is a god of the mind. Since the mind is very fickle and wavering, Chandrama keeps it under control. It is a symbol of special powers. In the body Chandrama resides on the forehead between the two eyebrows. This is where tilak is applied. Chandrama appreciates this. The support of Chandrama is essential in Hatha Yoga. Even in Tantra, Chandrama has special importance. On the head of Lord Shiva one finds the half moon. This is symbolic of Shiva being a great yogi. Being a symbol of hope, the half moon is offered prayers. Lovers have always drawn great inspiration from the moon. Women offer prayers to it for happiness in their married life and for the welfare and long life of their husbands.


In Brahmvaivartpuran it is said that Chandrama married the daughters of Daksh Prajapati. When Chandrama failed to look after Daksh's daughters, they returned disappointed to their father's house. Enraged at Chandrama's behaviour, Daksh cursed him to suffer a debilitating disease. Chandrama immediately sought the help of Lord Shiva. To protect him from the curse Shiva took him on his forehead. Frustrated, Daksh asked Shiva to send Chandrama back to him. Otherwise, Shiva would have to bear his wrath through a curse. Shiv a went to Lord Vishnu for advice. To set right the dilemma Vishnu gave Chandrama two forms. He gave one to Daksh, and the other was placed on Shiva's forehead. In this way, the curse of Daksh did not lose its validity, and Chandrama too remained free from the curse. Because of the curse Chandrama wanes for 15 days, and then grows again in the next 15 days.


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