Om Rksadhinathmitraya Namaha, Salutations to the Sun who is the friend of the first lord and luminary of the night sky and the stars: the Moon.
ādi Hin., San. m. the beginning, origin; original archetype. ‘Neither the gods nor the sages know my origin.’ (Bhg. X.2)
ādi- Hin. ādi-, ādya San. adj. when compounded with other words primordial, earliest, the very first, primary; original.
nāth Hin. nātha San. m. Lord, master, director, authority; guardian, protector; owner; husband.
mitr Hin. m., f. mitra San. m., n. a friend, companion, ally.
ṛkṣa—heavenly bodies SB 1.19.30
ṛkṣa—the firmament SB 2.5.11
ṛkṣa—the influential stars SB 2.6.13-16
ṛkṣa—luminaries like Aśvinī SB 3.11.13
ṛkṣa—constellations SB 4.9.20-21
The Moon – is the brightest object in the skies when the stars are visible; hence it is first luminary and lord of the night skies. The light of the Moon is the reflection of the Sun, hence the Sun and Moon are friends each to the other in Vedic Astrology. The Deity presiding over the eye is the Sun (Surya). He gives the eye the power of vision. Without the Sun, in the dark, the eye cannot see. The Moon is the presiding deity the mind and presides over the night skies; the moon is cool and calm, and hence, significator of shanti, peace.
The Bright One
“Now you must first understand what is meant by Sukla Paksha or the bright fortnight. It is the half-month when the light of the moon increases day by day. But what is the relationship of the light of the moon to man and his death? The moon is the symbol of the mind of man. ‘Chandramaa manaso jaathah; out of the moon was the Manas (mind) born.’ The bright half of the moon, therefore signifies the progress of the mind spiritually, in divine discipline; the full-moon signifies the fullness of that achievement. The bright half is, thus, the period when spiritual progress is attained. For the body, the visible moon; for the mind, the symbolic moon-deity presiding over the mind! The increasing splendour of the mind due to the increasing realisation of one’s own divinity is what is meant by the word, ‘Suklapaksha’.”
Whereas the moon signifies the progress of the mind spiritually, in divine discipline, what then are the characteristics of this divine godward path for the human?
- Purity of emotions,
- Awareness of the unity of all creation,
- Control of the senses,
- Equanimity, absence of anger or resentment,
- Inner peace,
- Refraining from scandalmongering and talking ill of others,
- Absence of greed,
- Sweetness and softness of speech,
- Fear of Adharmic (unrighteous) acts,
- Absence of fluctuations in the mind,
- Courage during disaster, patience and fortitude,
These are all attributes which signify divine discipline, control of the mind and self respect. Such are signs of a tidy, orderly mind, where the Moon is the presiding deity, unafflicted and benefic.
The Moon takes 27 days to circumambulate the skies, the zodiac. Each evening, we see the Moon in a different spot in the skies, having moved 13°. And so it is said that the Moon has 27 lunar mansions it resides in, each lunar month. These mansions are known as nakshatras, the domains of the gods, or cosmic powers. Each nakshatra has a mythology and deities who are ruling that particular part of the constellations. More colloquially, the nakshatras are known as “wives” of the Moon who prepare the lunar mansion for the Moon’s stay.
The shadow of the Moon in the depth of the lake seems to quiver and shake because of the waves; but look up and you see the Moon, steady as ever. The true devotee of the Lord has steadiness of mind as the chief characteristic. Hence, steadiness is one of the characteristics of both Moon and Sun; both pursue dharma, both follow their path through the skies and give illumination, night and day, seasons and tides, dawn and dusk.
Indra (The Lord of celestial Gods) is the presiding Deity of the Hand and the Indra yagna confers the communion of human labour; the collective co-operation of human industry for the progress of the individual and of society. Also, Brihaspathi (Spiritual teacher of celestial gods) is the Deity of the Intellect and the sacrifice associated with his name establishes cordiality and coordination. The Chandra sacrifice for the Moon) similarly tends to develop the harmony of hearts and the Aditya sacrifice for Sun gives the promotion of sameness of vision among all, for the Sun is the Deity presiding over the Eye. Every yajna has a great unseen influence on human affairs, for these mantras are potent sounds, charged with subtle mysteries.
”Dadhi Shankha tushaa-raabham Khseero Darnava Sambhavam
Namaami Shashinam Somam Shambhor Mukuta Bhooshanam.”
”The one who has the hue of curd and icebergs, who rose from Ksheasagar and who adorns the head of Shiva. I prostrate to the Moon, the ruling deity of the soma juice.”