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Chandra

In Hinduism, Chandra (Sanskrit चन्द्र lit. "shining") is a lunar deity and a Graha. Chandra is also identified with the Vedic Lunar deity Soma (lit. "juice"). The Soma name refers particularly to the juice of sap in the plants and thus makes the Moon the lord of plants and vegetation. He is described as young, beautiful, fair; two-armed and having in his hands a club and a lotus. He rides his chariot (the moon) across the sky every night, pulled by ten white horses or an antelope. Although the antelope is the animal most commonly depicted with Him in iconography, the rabbit is also particularly sacred to him and all rabbits are under his protection. He is connected with dew, and as such, is one of the gods of fertility. He is also called Rajanipati (lord of the night) and Kshuparaka (one who illuminates the night), Indu (lit. the bright drop). As Soma he presides over Somvar or Monday.

He is the father of Budha, (planet Mercury) the mother being Tara (Taraka). He is married to 27 Nakshatras (constellations), who are known to be daughters of Daksha.

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