108 Names of the Moon: Chandra Ashtottara Shatanamavali #7

Moon - a royal planet

Om sadaradhyaya namah – Salutations to the One who is worshipped eternally.


glossary
sadā Hin., San. adv. always, continually; eternally, perpetually, ever.
ārādhana: worship Adi 3.101, Adi 4.270, Madhya 11.99, Madhya 15.136, Madhya 22.6
ārādhana: worshiping SB 5.8.29, Adi 3.107, Madhya 3.190
ārādhana: of devotional service SB 2.8.19
ārādhana: worship. Adi 16.105
manohar Hin. manohara (manas+hara) San. adj. ‘mind-destroying’ – attracting the mind and stealing the heart; charming, enchanting, entrancing, captivating, fascinating; bewitching M. epithet of Shiva, Vishnu (V. 461) and Krishna, who are irresistible to the hearts and minds of devotees, compelling their undivided attention.
manoharī (manas+harī) San. adj. f., F. as above. Epithet of the goddesses.
nigraha: in destruction SB 7.2.39
nigraha: controlling, etc. SB 1.3.22
nigrahaḥ: suppression Bg 3.33
nigrahaḥ: subduing SB 1.17.10-11


 

What are some facts about the Moon?

  • The Moon is Earth’s only permanent natural satellite.
  • The Moon is the second-densest satellite.
  • The Moon always shows Earth the same face.
  • The Moon’s surface is actually dark.
  • Tides are caused by gravitational forces of the Moon and the Sun.
  • The Sun and the Moon are not the same size.

The Sun is huge, but it is 360 times farther from the Earth than the Moon. Even though the Moon is much smaller than the Sun, it has two times more influence on tides than the Sun, simply because it is much closer to the Earth. The Moon’s gravitational force pulls on water in the oceans and causes bulges that create “high tide.” The moon’s gravitational pull is strongest on the side that faces the Earth. You might think that the opposite side of the Earth would experience a low tide, but that would be incorrect! Also, the moon’s gravity creates a high tide on both sides of the Earth. As the Moon’s gravity pulls on the Earth, it pulls water into a bulge on the side closest to it. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Earth, there is another high tide created by the Moon slightly pulling the Earth away from the still water on that side.

Why do we worship the Moon?
The Moon follows its duty. It creates the tides, influences the seasons, provides lunar light and magnetism, is Lord of the Night and bestows energy for propagation of plants and crops.

The Moon follows dharma. It is not the Sun, it reflects the light of the Sun. It is the presiding deity of the mind, and reflects light and magnetism to the human body, particularly the mind.

The Moon is worthy of worship because it is cool and refreshing, calm and constant in our night skies, except on Amavasya, no-moon night. The Moon is calm, it has purity, self-respect, harmlessness, helpfulness and is the model of self-discipline and performance of allocated duty.

Shiva and the Moon
The Moon’s day is Monday (Somavara); Monday is also the day for worship of Lord Shiva. When Kshirasamudra – the ocean of milk – was being churned, one of the things that emerged was the Crescent Moon. Lord Shiva seized it and made it his diadem.

The Crescent Moon stands for time, since measurement of time as days or months depends on the waxing and waning of the Moon. By wearing the Cresent Moon as a diadem, Lord Shiva shows that the all-powerful time is only an ornament for him.

The Light of Shiva:
Shiva has four light froms as Sun, Moon, Fire and Lightning. These symbolise different aspects of light in different levels of the Universe, individual and collective, inner and outer.

Shiva as the Moon or the Attractive light of bliss:

The light of Shiva is sometimes said to be while like the Moon. It is cool, peaceful, serene, untainted and undisturbed, a source of endless beauty and delight that nourishes the soul. The light of Shiva is said to be as brilliant like a million suns but simultaneously, as delightful as a million Moons. The is the calm light of the peaceful mind.

Well, the night is dominated by the Moon. The Moon has 16 kalas or fractions; and each day when it wanes a fraction is reduced, until it is annihilated on new Moon night. After that, each day a fraction is added, until it completes itself on Full Moon night. The Moon is the presiding deity of the Mind; “Chandramaa manaso jaathah“, out of the manas of the Purusha, the Moon was born. There is a close affinity between the manas (mind) and the Moon; both are subject to decline and progress. The waning of the Moon is the symbol for the waning of the mind; for the mind has to be controlled, reduced and finally destroyed. All spiritual activity is directed towards this end. Manohara, the mind has to be killed, so that Maya may be rent asunder and the reality revealed. Every day during the dark half of the month, the Moon, and symbolically its counterpart in man, the manas (mind), wane, and a fraction is diminished: its power declines. Finally, on the fourteenth night, Chathurdasi, there is just a wee bit left, that is all. If a little extra effort is made that day by the devotee of the Lord, even that bit can be wiped off and manonigraha (destruction of the mind) completed. The Chathurdasi of the dark half is therefore called Sivarathri, for that night should be spent in the japa (rosary, repetition of the divine name) and dhyana (meditation) of Shiva, without any other thought either of food or sleep. Then success is assured, And, once a year on Mahasivarathri night, a special spurt of spiritual activity is recommended, so that what is Savam (a inert form, a tamasic person) can become Sivam by the removal of this dross called manas (mind).

Om sadaradhyaya namah – Salutations to the One who is worshipped eternally.

 

 

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