27 April 2011

Moon at Arunachala

Shiva is known as Chandrasekhara, which means, one crowned by the Moon. Lord Shiva wears on his head the crescent of the fifth-day moon. In some cultures the appearance of the new crescent moon has been celebrated as a return of the moon from the dead.

The moon is a powerful influence on the human psyche. Its influence which is always available at Arunachala is celebrated in disparate ways during Shivaratri and Poornima.

Shivaratri is the fourteenth day of the lunar fortnight, when the moon is waning and the sun is in the sign of Aquarius. It is a night of consecration and illumination. Each month there is Shivaratri and once a year a Mahashivaratri. Chandra, who is the deity of the moon and presiding deity of the mind loses one sixteenth of his brilliance every day after the full-moon day and continues waning until, by Shivaratri, he is left with just one sixteenth of his power. It is on this night of the waned moon (Shivaratri) that it is believed the mind is most tractable and can be easily conquered.

Whereas the nights of Siva are usually associated with mastery of the mind and success of spiritual ambitions, Poornima (full moon) is more about success of boons, vratas and heartfelt prayers. Doing pradakshina on Monday, (the day of the Moon -- Chandra) is particularly helpful if one wishes to start a new project, attain a high elevation in life or rid oneself of the fear of death.

In Sanskrit Chandra means, 'bright and shining'. In Vedic Astrology, Chandra represents brain and mind, emotions, sensitivity, softness, imagination, Queen and mother. The bright moon is considered a benefic, and for this reason answers to prayers connected with the Poornima (full-moon) aspect, are believed to be more easily attained.

Chandra has the following associations: the colour white, gender female, metal silver, gemstones; pearl and moonstone, element water, direction north-west, season Winter, body part blood, food rice, taste salt, day Monday, guna Sattwa.

Hinduism propounds the idea that the (nine) Navagrahas (of which Chandra is one) are 'markers of influence' -- living energies which put out waves which affect our awareness by seizing our consciousness when we come under their influence. Reports of psychics and seers agree that Grahas cause a direct energy influence upon the energy bodies and minds of all life on earth. The nine planets (Navagrahas) are transmitters of Universal, archetypal energy and the qualities of each planet helps maintain the overall balance of polarities in the solar system.

The sun is the indicator of the soul and the moon is the vehicle of the mind that receives the light of the soul. Even though all the Navagrahas are represented at Arunachala, the moon with its particular association with Lord Shiva (Chandrasekhara) is believed to have an extraordinary and particular influence at Arunachala.

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