Lord Shiva is also known as Chandrasekhara, which literally refers to the 'Person who wears the moon'. In some cultures the appearance of the new crescent moon has been celebrated as a return of the moon from the dead. This celestial body is a powerful influence on the human psyche. Its influence which is always available at Arunachala is celebrated in disparate ways during Sivaratri and Poornima. It is also recognised in all Pradoshams that fall on Mondays, as did the last Pradosham (in the below photographs) which was observed on September 2, 2013.
|Gods at Soma Pradosham|
|Soma Pradosham, September 2, 2013|
As you come into Tiruvannamalai via the Chengham Road, in front of the Agni Tank, there is Rotary Club sign proclaiming this place to be Moon City. What a wonderful name for our Tiruvannamalai.
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.
Lord Shiva wears on his head the crescent of the fifth-day moon. Placed near his fiery third eye this shows the power of Soma, the sacrificial offering, which is the representative of Moon and signifies that Shiva possesses the power of procreation co-existent with that of destruction. 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. 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) has an extraordinary influence.
In one legend, Chandra is considered the son of the ocean as he was one of the fourteen ratnas (Jewels) that emerged from the ocean during its churning and was gifted, by the Gods and Demons to Lord Shiva, who wore the crescent moon on his head.
Chandra is a lovable God; pleasing to children as well as elders. Sages and devotees invoke the Goddess in Chandra. A benefic Moon is often found in the charts of doctors, healers or psychologists, as well as good mothers and wives. A strong Moon can give power and creates a good administrator or leader open to the needs of his people and indicates relationship, interchange, and communication. A strong Moon also shows sensitivity, receptivity, caring for others and a nurturing attitude in life. It gives emotional maturity, responsibility and the capacity to have a beneficial effect upon society.
To read a wonderful legend explaining why the Moon's light is so soft, and cool, and beautiful even to this day go to an earlier posting “Moonlight,” at this link here.
Meditations of the Moon
Half of the human race lives in manifest obedience to the lunar rhythm; and there is evidence to show that the psychological and therefore the spiritual life, not only of women, but of men too, mysteriously ebbs and flows with the changes of the moon. There are unreasoned joys, inexplicable miseries, laughter and remorse without a cause. Their sudden and fantastic alternations constitute the ordinary weather of our minds. These moods, of which the more gravely numinous may be hypostasized as gods, the lighter, if we will, as hobgoblins and fairies, are the children of the blood and humours. But the blood and humours obey, among many other masters, the changing moon. Touching the soul directly through the eyes and, indirectly, along the dark channels of the blood, the moon is doubly a divinity.