In Hindu mythology there are several myths about moon. Even
amavasya or no moon has a mythological explanation behind it.
Somdev or Chandra dev is the God of the moon according to Hindu
mythology. He is shown riding a chariot pulled by ten white horses
or an antelope. His image is of a young, beautiful, fair man,
holding a club and a lotus in his hands. All rabbits are under his
protection and he presides over Monday. But what causes his
periodical waxing and waning? Lets get into some mythological
explanations for the natural phenomenon of no moon.
- Somdev is said to have been married to the 27 daughters of Prajapati Daksha. Among all of them he loved Rohini the most as she was very beautiful. All the other daughters complained to their father of this injustice and Daksha became very angry. An infuriated Daksha cursed Chandra to lose his beauty and radiance. But the world became too dark without a shining moon in the sky at night. So Chandradev came down to earth and worshipped lord Shiva to free him of the curse. Lord Shiva extremely impressed by his penance freed him of the curse of darkness but not completely. This causes the periodical waxing and waning of moon. And once in a month it becomes completely dark which is popularly known as amavasya.
- Another story that runs with the same background is that when Daksha came to know of Chandra's negligence towards his other 26 daughters due to his passionate love for Rohini he became very angry. Daksha cursed Chandra with darkness . He also said that Chandra would lose his beauty as he was very proud of it. So whenever he neglects his other wives and is with Rohini there is amavasya or no moon in the sky. But as soon as he starts paying his other wives a visit he passes out of the amavasya stage and stars gaining back his light and vigour.
- Soma was an important drink of energy and intoxication in the Vedic period. This juice is extracted from the stalks of the plant and a drink is made. The Moon God is also called Somdev as he is thought to be the storehouse of this elixir. The moon wanes when the Gods drink out of the store of this drink. And when the store depletes completely it is amavasya or no moon.
All these myths are an integral part of Hindu mythology. The phenomenon amavasya has a scientific explanation behind it. But in spite of all known scientific facts, these mythological stories fascinate us and take us into an otherworldly aura.