Lord shiva is one of the most popular gods of Hinduism. He wears a tiger skin, holds a trident in his hand, and wears a snake around his neck and the moon of his matted hair. These ornaments may sound quite uncanny to most of us. Lord shiva ornaments have their own significance.
The trident in his hand represents the three ‘gunas’ present in a human being and the power over all these gunas. His ‘damru’ represents the beginning of sound and the snake around his neck signifies the lord’s justice and every being on the earth. Lord shiva wears the crescent or on his matted hair. Like lord shiva ornaments on his body, the moon also has its own significance and story.
Story behind the Crescent:
According to the mythology, daksha prajapati, one of the sons of lord brahma had 21 stars as his daughters. These stars were married to the moon.
However the moon had a special attraction towards one of the daughters called Rohini. So, all the wives of the moon complained to their father that the moon was not treating well. So, daksha got angry and cursed the moon that it will loose its shine day by day.
Soon the moon started loosing one part of its light to everyday passing. He was afraid of the curse; the moon disappeared into the ocean. Because of that the balance of nature was disturbed and the light of the moon started suffering. To end the problem, all the deities requested mahadev to do something because the one part of its light left, the moon took refuge in mahadev matted hair. Hence shiva wore the moon crescent on his head and making the moon grow in size for 15 days and for another 15 days causing the full moon and the new moon.
Significance of the crescent:
Lord shiva is known by the name of ‘Chandrasekhar’ or one who holds the moon on his head. The crescent worn by bholeshankar is actually the moon in its fifth day and symbolizes the cycle of time through which the process of creation evolves the beginning till the end. Therefore the moon is only his ornament and not an integral part of the lord. Thus the crescent moon on mahadev head signifies his control over time and the fact that he is the beginning and the end of all things in the universe.