Moon - Chandra

Yoga of the Planets: Moon - Chandra

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Extract from Yoga of the Planets - Moon

श्रीमते नमः

om śrīmate namaḥ

1. Salutations to the one possessed of all auspiciousness.

The Vedic Astrological chart shows one’s level of Shrī or fortune. The chart is created by the movement of the Moon and its interplay with the Sun. In India, interpretation of the chart starts with the position of the Moon rather than the Sun for issues of personal experience and fortune. The Sun is like the soul because it moves steadily on in its course without variation. The Moon is like the mind as it rises and falls with its reflection of the sunlight. Among the main significations of the Moon are the mind and the mother.

In India, mothers and married women are addressed as Shrīmati. This is the feminine form of this name. The male form is Shrīman. The meaning is the same: one who is possessed of Shrī (pronounced Shree). Shrī indicates all kinds of auspiciousness. It is a name of Lakshmī, the Goddess of wealth, victory and beauty and it also stands for the number 108. In Vedic Astrology, the zodiac is divided into 108 Padas or quarters. There are four for each Nakshatra or lunar mansion (4 x 27 = 108), and nine for each Rāshi or sign (9 x 12 = 108). This is the key division of the zodiac and is especially related to the movement of the Moon, which defines the Nakshatras.

The day is naturally divided into four parts. These are separated by sunrise, midday, sunset and midnight. The Moon moves through one Nakshatra each day (approximately), so we can say that the division of the Nakshatra into four parts or Padas follows naturally from the four-fold division of the day. As each sign contains nine Padas, this is the natural division of each zodiacal sign. The fact that there are 12 signs follows from the approximate rate of 12 full moons that occur in the course of a year. As the Moon is connected to the Nakshatras, the mother is seen from the fourth house. As the Sun is connected to the Rāshis, the father is seen from the ninth. In this way, the perfect synchrony of the Nakshatras and Rāshis gives rise to the core concepts of Jyotisha.

The Moon’s cycle controls the growth of plants and human fertility. Research shows that people often relate human beauty to fertility. The Vedic texts connect beauty to auspiciousness. Of course, there is more to beauty and auspiciousness than physical characteristics or age-related fertility. The inner beauty that arises from a sweetness of consciousness is the deeper aspect of the meaning of this name. There is nothing more beautiful than a pure heart. Later, we see how the Moon is related to Soma, the nectar of divine consciousness, which is the cause of inner sweetness.


ॐ शशधराय नमः

om śaśadharāya namaḥ

2. The one carrying the hare.

This refers to the markings on the Moon that look like a hare, rabbit or deer. The Nakshatra called Mrigashira, or the head of a deer is ruled by Soma which is another name for the Moon. The connection with the deer or rabbit is not accidental. They are mild and timid animals that appear to be constantly searching. This is the nature of the mind, which is understood by studying the Moon in the Vedic astrological chart.

An old story has it that the markings are due to an incident where the Moon saw Lord Gaṇesha riding on his mouse. The Moon laughed and Gaṇesha broke off one of his tusks and hurled it at the Moon creating the marks. Everything about Gaṇesha is highly symbolic. His whole form is said to be a personification of the Om syllable. The mouse as the vehicle for such a vast body indicates the relationship between the small Jīva or personality and the infinite vastness of absolute consciousness. It also indicates the Divine consciousness controlling the plundering nature of the mind. The single tusk of Gaṇesha suggests the one-pointed nature of that consciousness in its absolute crystal clarity, as the mind’s fluctuations no longer dominate experience.