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Indians knew water on Moon

Updated on September 13, 2012

Romancing the moon

Recently India’s maiden lunar mission, Chandrayaan-I has found evidence of water on the moon. India's love for moon is not a new one!

In Indian mythology, the moon was male though in other Asian countries, it was predominantly female. In Indian mythology, the male moon married the daughter of the sun.

The lunar calendar is believed to have originated in India.

In Indian mythology there were several symbols commonly associated with the moon.

In Hindu art, the god Soma represented the moon and was depicted as a bull. The god Soma evolved into a lunar deity. Soma’s twenty-seven wives were the star goddesses, the Nakshatras – daughters of the cosmic progenitor Daksha.

Soma was the name of a drink said to be consumed by the gods. Full moon was the time to collect and press the divine drink. The moon was also the cup the gods used to drink.

Indian great Schloar, Varahamithira (thanks to Dr T Venugopal) mentioned moon as Jala Graha meaning watery planet. How did he know?

Surva Sidhanta, an ancient book on Indian Astronomy gave the sidereal period of moon’s nodes as 6794.443 mean solar days (very near to the exact value 6793.5 days). The Hindus knew that the solar and lunar eclipses depended on the positions of moon’s nodes at the time of conjunction and opposition. So the ascending and descending nodes were respectively known as the Rahu and Khedu in Indian Astronomy. Hindus knew that the same kind of eclipses would be repeated in the same order in a period of 6585 days. The phenomena of the eclipses were given by Bhaskara in his Sidhanta Siromoni. They knew about the parallaxes of the sun and moon.

Chandran means moon. So India’s lunar mission is named as Chandrayaan meaning ‘travel to moon’. Several popular songs use the moon as the romantic theme of comparing the heroine to the moon.

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    • Rubanraj profile image

      Rubanraj 4 years ago from South India

      Long Live Mother! Thank you.

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Thank you for providing this insight. :) Voted up.