|Affiliation||Deva, Graha, Navagraha|
|Mantra||Om Chandramasē Namaha|
|Mount||Chariot pulled by an Antelope|
|Consort||Rohini (1 of 27 Nakshatra
Revathi and other 23 daughters (including Rohini) of Prajapathi DakshTara (illegitimate)
|Children||Budha and Chandravanshis|
Chandra (Sanskrit: चन्द्र, IAST: Candra, lit. "shining" or "moon") is a lunar deity and is also one of the nine planets (Navagraha) in Hinduism. Chandra is synonymous to Soma. Other names include Indu ("bright drop"), Atrisuta ("son of Atri"), Sachin ("marked by hare"), Tārādhipa ("lord of stars") and Nishakara ("the night maker").
In Hindu mythology, there are multiple legends surrounding Chandra.
In one, Chandra met Tara, the wife of Brihaspati (planet Jupiter) and abducted her. From their union, Tara became pregnant, giving birth to Budha (planet Mercury). Brihaspati, being upset, declared a war but the Devas intervened and Tara was returned to Brihaspati. Budha's son was Pururavas who established the Chandravanshi Dynasty.
After Tara returned to her husband Brihaspati, Chandra had an emotional breakdown because he couldn't satisfy his feelings by having infinite children with Tara and so He (Mind) was overcome with lust (emotions). He tried to marry Daksha's 27 daughters to sate his ever-growing desires for sexual union. Among all of his 27 wives, Rohini is the most favoured. The 26 other wives became upset (after knowing that Chandra spent more time with Rohini alone) and complained to Daksha who placed a curse on Chandra. The curse was overcome only after Chandra devoted himself to Shiva, who partially released him from the curse.
According to another legend, Ganesha was returning home on his mount Krauncha (a shrew) late on a full moon night after a mighty feast given by Kubera. On the journey back, a snake crossed their path and frightened by it, his mount ran away dislodging Ganesha in the process. An overstuffed Ganesha fell to the ground on his stomach, vomiting out all the Modaks he had eaten. On observing this, Chandra laughed at Ganesha. Ganesha lost his temper and broke off one of his tusks and flung it straight at the Moon, hurting him, and cursed him so that he would never be whole again. Therefore, It is forbidden to behold Chandra on Ganesh Chaturthi. This legend accounts for the Moon's waxing and waning including a big crater on the Moon, a dark spot, visible even from Earth.
Chandra literally means the "Moon" in Sanskrit, Hindi and other Indian languages. The word "Chandra" is also a common Indian name and surname. Both male and female name variations exists 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.
Soma, the moon deity
|Mount||Three-wheeled chariot pulled by white horses|
Soma (Sanskrit: सोम) connotes the Moon as well as a medicinal deity in post-Vedic Hindu mythology. In Puranic mythology, Soma is a moon deity, but the name is sometimes also used to refer to Vishnu, Shiva (as Somanatha), Yama and Kubera. In some Indian texts, Soma is the name of an Apsara; alternatively it is the name of any medicinal concoction, or rice-water gruel, or heaven and sky, as well as the name of certain places of pilgrimage.
The earliest use of Soma to refer to the Moon is a subject of scholarly debate, with some scholars suggesting that the reference to Moon as Soma is to be found in the Vedas, while other scholars suggest that such usage emerged only in the post-Vedic literature. The Hindu texts state that the Moon is lit and nourished by the Sun, and that it is Moon where the divine nectar of immortality resides.
Soma's iconography varies in Hindu texts. The most common is one where he is a white colored deity, holding a mace in his hand, riding a chariot with three wheels and three or more white horses (up to ten).
Soma is the root of the word Somavara or Monday in the Hindu calendar. The word "Monday" in the Greco-Roman and other Indo-European calendars is also dedicated to the Moon. Soma is part of the Navagraha in Hindu zodiac system. The zodiac and naming system of Hindu astrology, one that includes Moon as Soma, likely developed in the centuries after the arrival of Greek astrology with Alexander the Great, their zodiac signs being nearly identical.
Soma was presumed to be a planet in Hindu astronomical texts. It is often discussed in various Sanskrit astronomical texts, such as the 5th century Aryabhatiya by Aryabhatta, the 6th century Romaka by Latadeva and Panca Siddhantika by Varahamihira, the 7th century Khandakhadyaka by Brahmagupta and the 8th century Sisyadhivrddida by Lalla. Other texts such as Surya Siddhanta dated to have been complete sometime between the 5th century and 10th century present their chapters on various planets with deity mythologies. However, they show that the Hindu scholars were aware of elliptical orbits, and the texts include sophisticated formulae to calculate its past and future positions:
Chandra plays an important role in one of the first novel-length mystery stories in English, The Moonstone (1868). The Sanskrit word Chandrayāna (Sanskrit: चन्द्रयान, Moon Vehicle) is used to refer to India's lunar orbiters.