AUM tryambakam yajamahe
sugandhim pusti vardhanam
urvarukam iva bandhanum
Mrtyor mukshiya ma amrtat
“We bow to the three eyed one,
Who is fragrant, Who nourishes and gives life fullness
May we be released from all bondage and suffering just as the stalk gently releases the cucumber.
May our minds be overtaken by this supreme light, which is the immortal nectar of Shiva.”
Once upon a time, high in the night sky, the Moon, Chandra, lived along with his 27 wives. These wives were sisters, you see, and each sister lived among the stars around him. Before they were married, Chandra had promised the father of all these sisters, King Daksha, that he would share his love and light upon his daughters equally. But it didn’t take Chandra long to begin to develop a particular infatuation with one of his wives, Rohini, who was the brightest star. He started to spend more and more time with Rohini, neglecting his other wives. Eventually, the wives got jealous and told King Daksha what was happening.
Furious that Chandra had broken his promise, Daksha cursed Chandra, and proclaimed that he would slowly die and fade away…
One of Daksha’s other daughters, Sati, gave this healing mantra to Chandra to gain the favor of Shiva. He sang it so beautifully that Shiva offered his blessings on Chandra. He placed Chandra in his hair, so that Chandra could drink of Shiva’s immortal nectar. But every time after Chandra would drink, he would slowly fade again, and need to have another drink. And like this he remains, bound for eternity. Waxing and Waning. Being full of light, then fading away to darkness.
Chandra represents the mind, with its tendency to wax and wane. To be full of interest in something one moment, then that interest slowly fades. The mind, like the moon, does this, in part, because it is reflected light. It is not self luminous, therefore it is susceptible to continuous fluctuation and change. When we seek our light from the outside, we are bound to chase after bright stars (Rohini) hoping they will fill us with light. We seek light on the outside because we have yet to realize our own self illuminating nature.
Do you ever notice that when you really like something, you are full of passion for it and full of life, but if you don’t seem to like something that your passion and energy fade? This is the moon, this is Chandra. He has light for Rohini, but not as much light for everything else in life.
When you seek your light from the outside, you will be dull unless you are doing something your mind/ego deems favorable. By drinking the nectar of Shiva, who represents self luminous consciousness, the sun, one realizes that we can be full of light, full of life, in all situations (not just the ones that are favorable to the mind). We find equanimity. Our light shines equally upon all situations and all of life.
If you keep seeking your light on the outside, if you keep chasing Rohinis, you will be bound, like Chandra, to the eternal state of the waxing and waning of your mind. If you identify if you mind and thoughts, you will be bound to this cycle. Instead, turn inward. Find your inner light, your inner sun. Realize your self luminous nature and shine your light on everything, and you will break the curse of King Daksha.