Chandra, candra dEva

Chandra Deva, as Atri’s son and Indra’s Uncle :

  1. Chandra Deva, too was the son of a rishi, rshi Atri and thus a grandson of Brahma
  2. Chandra’s father Atri Maharshi, Indra’s grandfather Marici (Kasyapa’s father),Brihaspati’s father Angirasa and  Ravana’s grandfather Pulastya were brothers.
  3. Chandra was of Brhaspati’s generation,(and his cousin) and therefore competed with him for Tara’s affection.
  4. Prior to Indra, Chandra was considered the most handsome man.
  5. Chandra’s son was Budha. Tara was Budha’s mother.
  6. So Budha and Viwaswan and Indra were cousins.
  7. Viwaswan had a son called Vaivaswatha Manu, whose daughter was Ila.
  8. While Ila was a woman she married Budha and had a son called Pururavas. When Ila was a man her name was Sudyumna and she inherited Pratishthanapura. (Pratishthanapura: Capital of Satavahanas and of Sudyumna / Ila). That she gave to her son Pururavas.
  9. So now we have Pururavas who married Urvasi and eventually became the forefather of the Kauravas.
  10. Thus, Chandra’s grandson was Pururavas.
  11. Durvasa was the son of Atri Maharshi and Anasuya. Thus Durvasa and Chandra were brothers. Dattatreya was also their brother. (datta – AtrEya)
  12. Chandra was married to the 27 daughters of Daksha Prajapati, the nakshatras. His favorite was Rohini. Balarama’s mother Rohini was named after her. Balarama’s wife Revati was named after another nakshatram. (Daksha : He named the fixed stars!Revathi Nakshatram, Revati,Yugas, Nakshatras, Grahas, Varas, Rasis, Masas, Rtus ).
  13. Chandra annoyed Vinayaka once, and one of his Vianyaka’s dantas hurled at him. (See Vinayaka)

Candra in the Purusha Suktham of the Rg Veda :

  • RV_10.090.13.1{19} candramā manaso jātaścakṣoḥ sūryo ajāyata
    • The moon (candrama) was born from His mind and the sun (sUrya) from His eye.
  • RV_10.090.13.2{19} mukhādindraścāgniśca prāṇād vāyurajāyata
    • From His face were born Indra and Agni and from his breath (inward breath), vAyu was born.

In Devas: Human or Divine? I have considered various interpretations of the Devas. (Indra, Agnih Devata, Vayu, Surya and Chandra are all Devas.  Of these Indra and Surya are aditionally Adityas. See : Aditi and Kasyapa, Adityas – Suras, Daityas, Danavas)

In this Suktam, the meaning can be easily interpreted in a “naturalistic way”.. eg the wind is born of breath of God as the Sun is born from His eye and the moon from his mind. The seasons are part of His Vedic Yajna. If we take one step away from the literal, then we see the grandeur of the Purusha who is everything and is of the scale of the universe.

The RSi of this sUktam is nArAyaNa. His father’s name is (rather surprisingly) not mentioned. (Of course my mind hovers around the RSi badarInArAyaNa.. , I have no data for this at this time). See Rshis, Rushis, Rishis.

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The birth of Chandra Deva (The Moon)

“Skepticism is an essential part of the scientific method…Extra-ordinary claims require extra-ordinary evidence… Long held ideas are discarded if these ideas fail to agree with new observations and experiments… That is why the validity of scientific knowledge is always temporary.” (Universe, 9th edition, Freedman, Geller, Kaufmann).

“Many planets and their satellites were shaped by collisions with other objects. The moon may itself be the result of a catastrophic collision between the earth and a planet sized object shortly after the solar system formed. Such a collision could have torn sufficient material from the primordial earth to create the moon… The oldest objects found on earth are meteorites.. these are 4.56 billion years old (radio-active dating), using which we conclude that the solar system was formed 4.56 billion years ago”. (Universe, 9th edition, Freedman, Geller, Kaufmann).

Just as present day scientists change their views as data appears and often disagree with one another, so also the RSis (Rishis, Rushis),  who were Ancient Indian Scientists and Philosophers, had views on “how things came to be” and changed their views over time and often disagreed with one another.

Narayana Rishi tells us in the RV 10.90 : Purusha (puruSa) Suktham (sUktam) , that chandrama emerged from the manas of the Purusha. (This implies that the Purusha had a manas, which is debated by some philosophers).

We hear through some texts that Chandra, candra dEva (moon in astronomy) was the son of Atri Maharshi, a grandson of Brahma, father of Budha (Mercury, in astronomy) and cousin plus student of Brihaspati (Jupiter in astronomy), with whom he competed for Tara’s affection. This Chandra is the paternal ancestor of Bhishma.

And we hear through the incident of the Ksheera Sagara Mathanam, that Chandra was born when the ocean was churned and as such he is the son of Sagara (the ocean) and a brother ofLakshmi Devi, and therefore a brother-in-law of Vishnu.

One version holds that it is Angaraka, or mars who is the son of Earth and Siva (and not the moon as present day science holds.)

Who is right?

That will depend on what you hold as pramANa (trustable authority).

Generally, whatever I write, people who hold an alternate view leave me some irritated and irritating comments and try to “correct” me to their point of view. (And I spam them.)

  • As a general rule in matters of astronomy, I tend to go with present day science and I change my views when the scientists tell me to. Therefore at this time I believe, the moon could have been caused by the collision of the earth with a planet sized object, after the solar  system was formed.
  • I think Narayana Rishi was telling us in philosophical poetic sense that the moon was a conception of the mind of the Purusha, which I can accept. I don’t take it literally as some people do, or want me to.
  • I think Chandra Rishi, the son of Atri Rishi was definitely, the ancestor of Bhishma. I think that either the man was named after the luminary or the luminary was named after the man. The Chandratreya brahmins are his descendants.
  • I have written already that the Ksheera Sagara Mathanam episode refers to the moon rising over the Indian Ocean, and that Lakshmi was light. I still think so.

phAla candra, candra s’Ekhara :

  • ChandraSekhara refers to Siva, who has the moon on his head. I understood this always to be the moon as seen over Mt Kailas or other holy mountain.
  • Phaala Chandra refers to Vinayaka, who wears/has the moon on his forehead. To me the sky wears the moon on its forehead. And I recall that s’loka where Ganesha is called Vishnu (s’uklAmbaradharam “vishnum”). All the deities blur into each other on some points. And omni-presence like the sky is common to Ganesha and Narayana!
In addition, we hear in the Mahabharatam, that it was Chandra’s son who took birth as Arjuna‘s son, Abhimanyu, with a promise to Chandra to return quickly after “doing his share!
Authorship and Copyright Notice : All Rights Reserved : Satya Sarada Kandula
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