A rich Indian mythology addresses the Earth’s Moon. In the VEDAS it was called Chandra (or can-dramas). The name SOMA, who in the Vedas was a god with special characteristics, later was used for the Moon as well.
   Chandra, too, is a god, one of the nine planets, and the leader of the stars. Whereas in the West the Moon’s appearance is likened to the face of a man, in Indian mythology, the Moon has the form of a rabbit. The Moon is understood to be swallowed by a headless snake at the time of eclipses and regurgitated again later. The nectar of immortality (AMRITA) is found on the Moon in plenty. The crescent Moon is found in the topknot of SHIVA.
   Further reading: John Dowson, Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology, Religion, Geography, History, and Lit-erature (Portland, Oreg.: Trubner, 2003); E. Washburn Hopkins, Epic Mythology (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1986).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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