Why Lord Shiva has crescent on his head?

Deeply disappointed and angered by Chandra’s behaviour, Daksha cursed his son-in-law by saying that his body would perish. 

By Gayatri Sankar | Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017, 10:38 AM IST
Why Lord Shiva has crescent on his head?
Pic courtesy: Thinkstock image.

Have you ever wondered why there is a crescent on Shiva’s locks of hair? What does the crescent signify and why isn’t the moon in its full shape on the Lord’s head? Here’s the answer.

According to one of the legends, King Daksha, son of Lord Brahma, got his 27 daughters (Nakshatras) married to Chandra (Moon). But Chandra was only smitten by Rohini. This didn’t go well with the rest of the 26 wives of Chandra, who approached their father Daksha to complain about their husband.

Deeply disappointed and angered by Chandra’s behaviour, Daksha cursed his son-in-law by saying that his body would perish. And as a result, Chandra gradually started losing his form. Fearing he would cease to exist, Chandra rushed to Lord Shiva for help.

To save Chandra from perishing, Lord Shiva asked him to take refuge in his locks to protect him from Daksha’s curse. Hence Shiva is also known as Chandrashekhar. The Lord is also known as Somnath (or protector of Som).

The moon wanes and waxes time and again owing to Daksha’s curse and Shiva’s blessings.