Who Is Chandra the Hindu God?

The Hindu god Chandra is the moon god, associated with the moon's phases.
... Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Chandra is the powerful and influential Hindu god of the moon. Typically, he is pictured holding a lotus while seated in a beautiful chariot pulled by ten white horses or an antelope. Many of the stories surrounding Chandra explain the phases of the moon. Although Chandra is not as well known among modern Hindus as he once was, he is still a significant god for a number of reasons. In Hinduism today there are many widely practiced rituals regarding Chandra.

1 Chandra's Powers

Chandra is a very powerful god. He is often credited as having the power to give life to all creatures and even to spirits. He is also revered as a god of fertility. Chandra has the ability to strengthen the mind, purify the blood and create positive energy and harmony among those who worship him. Chandra is said to be responsible for the dew that falls on plants at night and for the coming of nightfall.

2 Chandra and the Moon

Chandra is connected to the moon. In Hinduism, Chandra became the god of the moon after his mother swallowed it. The moon’s waning phase from full to new is explained as the other Hindu gods eating Chandra to consume his vital energy to strengthen themselves. However, because Chandra is so powerful, he always returns. Chandra has a co-ruler, Candi. When Chandra “disappears” as the moon is eaten by the other gods, it is Candi who becomes the ruler of the moon. Then Candi is devoured and Chandra returns explaining the phases of the moon.

3 Chandra and Hindu Ritual

Chandra is an early Hindu god. Although Chandra is not as important and well known as he was 2,000 years ago, he is still influential to modern Hindus. By worshiping Chandra, modern Hindus believe they can find relief from sorrow and mental afflictions. Chandra is said to radiate happiness. He is named after the Hindu word for Monday and so Monday is regarded as the best day to worship him. He represents the mind, feminine nature, beauty and happiness.

4 Representations of Chandra

Chandra is most often depicted holding a lotus and seated in an elaborate chariot drawn either by two antelope or ten white horses. In other representations Chandra is portrayed as a copper-colored man. He is shown wearing a red banner and riding in a chariot drawn by an antelope. Chandra is a lunar deity and is also known as Soma.

Meg English has been an education professional for more than 25 years. She has taught elementary, middle and high school students in both inner-city and rural schools. She also publishes a weekly newspaper column titled "Education Matters." English holds a doctorate in educational administration from the University of South Dakota.