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Why does Lord Shiva have Moon on His head?

The crescent Moon on Lord Shiva’s head adorns His overall spiritual personality. Every item possessed by Him has significance. There are many legends in the Vedic literatures regarding the objects possessed by the Trinity and other gods.

After marrying twenty seven daughters of Daksha, the Moon god Chandra loved and paid attention only to Rohini, one of Daksha’s daughters and ignored the others. After hearing such an unwelcoming treatment for his daughters, Daksha cursed Chandra that he will lose all his shine and gradually fade away. Scared of the curse, the Moon God immediately went to Lord Brahma who asked him to approach Shiva. After hearing from Chandra, Lord Shiva said that the curse cannot be counteracted. Without the Moon, the balance of Nature soon became troubled as many lives hinged upon moonlight.

In the Bhagavad Gita, the Lord says “Gaam aavishya cha bhootaani dhaarayaamy aham ojasaa, pushṇaami caushadheeḥ sarvaaḥ somo bhootvaa rasaatmakaḥ”, which means that, I enter into each planet, and by My energy they stay in orbit. I become the Moon and thereby supply the juice of life to all vegetables. It is Chandra or Moon who is given powers to maintain vegetation on this earth.

Blessing Chandra, Shiva declared: During Krishnapaksha you will be waning and during shuklapaksha you will be waxing. So everyone would be satisfied.Shiva then personally kept the Crescent Moon (the Moon personified) on His head in order to increase his Glory for a Fortnight. This is how waxing and waning of the Moon came into existence. Lord Shiva is beyond the concept of time. The waning and waxing of the Moon is controlled by Him because He can control the time.

Another Vedic school of thoughts says that the Moon God controls the mind. All the meditational energies to the person comes from Shiva who controls even the Lunar deity for Shiva Himself meditates and stays aloof from the material world. This is however does not mean He is indifferent to anyone. He is quick to bless anyone striving to discipline and control their mind.

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