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In Jyotisha, stories are used to make astrological concepts easier to learn and remember. This wiki article describes the story of Chandra as such:

Budha, a beautiful child, was born to Tara. Chandra claimed to be the father of Budha, but Tara kept silent. Budha himself got angry over this tussle and asked his mother to tell the truth. Tara said that Chandra was the father of Budha.

Chandra was a student of Brihaspati, the Teacher of devas. Tara was the wife of Brihaspati. Chandra one captured Tara and forcefully married her. Brihaspati became angry and eventually, a war started between Chandra and Brihaspati. Shukracharya, the teacher of the Asuras, joined Chandra in the battle, while The devas joined Brihaspati. As the battle was due to desire for Tara, it was known as Tarakaamayam. Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, feared the war might abolish the world. Hence, he came down and stopped the war. He convinced Tara, took her away from Chandra, and gave her back to Brihaspati.

Can this story be traced back to a Hindu text? If so, what is the story?

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    Short version of story is narrated in Shiva Purana- story of Somnatha Jyotirlinga – The Destroyer May 5 '16 at 3:35
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    This is in fact one of the most famous stories told in the Puranas. – Surya May 5 '16 at 5:21
  • Awesome, so, its mentioned in both Shiva Purana and Vishnu Purana – Amit Saxena May 5 '16 at 14:35
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Unlock my post or delete it. You cannot sway at your own will. I "Quoted" because you are so obsessed with Quotes. Sorry my language IS harsh. I want my post be deleted now or unlocked. – user12826 Mar 30 '18 at 18:54
  • @KeshavSrinivasan and I want all my questions and answers be deleted. – user12826 Mar 30 '18 at 18:55
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This story is told in this chapter of Vishnu Purana:

CHAP. VI.

Kings of the lunar dynasty. Origin of Soma, or the moon: he carries off Tárá, the wife of Vrihaspati: war between the gods and Asuras in consequence: appeased by Brahmá. Birth of Budha: married to Ilá, daughter of Vaivaswata. Legend of his son Pururavas, and the nymph Urvaśí: the former institutes offerings with fire: ascends to the sphere of the Gandharbas.

MAITREYA.--You have given me, reverend preceptor, an account of the kings of the dynasty of the sun: I am now desirous to hear a description of the princes who trace their lineage from the moon, and whose race is still celebrated for glorious deeds. Thou art able to relate it to me, Brahman, if thou wilt so favour me.

PARÁŚARA.--You shall hear from me, Maitreya, an account of the illustrious family of the moon, which has produced many celebrated rulers of the earth; a race adorned by the regal qualities of strength, valour, magnificence, prudence, and activity; and enumerating amongst its monarchs Nahusha, Yayáti, Kártavíryárjuna, and others equally renowned. That race will I describe to you: do you attend.

Atri was the son of Brahmá, the creator of the universe, who sprang from the lotus that grew from the navel of Náráyańa. The son of Atri was Soma 1 (the moon), whom Brahmá installed as the sovereign of plants, of Brahmans, and of the stars. Soma celebrated the Rájasúya sacrifice, and from the glory thence acquired, and the extensive dominion with which he had been invested, he became arrogant and licentious, and carried off Tárá, the wife of Vrihaspati, the preceptor of the gods. In vain Vrihaspati sought to recover his bride; in vain Brahmá commanded, and the holy sages remonstrated; Soma refused to relinquish her. Uśanas, out of enmity to Vrihaspati, took part with Soma. Rudra, who had studied under Angiras, the father of Vrihaspati, befriended his fellow-student. In consequence of Uśanas, their preceptor, joining Soma, Jambha, Kujambha, and all the Daityas, Dánavas, and other foes of the gods, came also to his assistance; whilst Indra and all the gods were the allies of Vrihaspati. Then there ensued a fierce contest, which, being on account of Táraká (or Tárá), was termed the Tárakámaya or Táraká war. In this the gods, led by Rudra, hurled their missiles on the enemy; and the Daityas with equal determination assailed the gods. Earth, shaken to her centre by the struggle between such foes, had recourse to Brahmá for protection; on which he interposed, and commanding Uśanas with the demons and Rudra with the deities to desist from strife, compelled Soma to restore Tárá to her husband. Finding that she was pregnant, Vrihaspati desired her no longer to retain her burden; and in obedience to his orders she was delivered of a son, whom she deposited in a clump of long Munja grass. The child, from the moment of its birth, was endued with a splendour that dimmed the radiance of every other divinity, and both Vrihaspati and Soma, fascinated by his beauty, claimed him as their child. The gods, in order to settle the dispute, appealed to Tárá; but she was ashamed, and would make no answer. As she still continued mute to their repeated applications, the child became incensed, and was about to curse her, saying, "Unless, vile woman, you immediately declare who is my father, I will sentence you to such a fate as shall deter every female in future from hesitating to speak the truth." On this, Brahmá again interfered, and pacified the child; and then, addressing Tárá, said, "Tell me, daughter, is this the child of Vrihaspati, or of Soma?" "Of Soma," said Tárá, blushing. As soon as she had spoken, the lord of the constellations, his countenance bright, and expanding with rapture, embraced his son, and said, "Well done, my boy; verily thou art wise:" and hence his name was Budha....... ...

Read here for full story.

  • No wonder it is told by Parasara – Amit Saxena May 5 '16 at 14:34
  • There is no mention os Shukracharya? – Amit Saxena May 5 '16 at 14:34
  • @Amit Saxena as it tells all the Daityas Danavas came... so I think Sukracharya also went there... I think Mahabharat describes presence of Sukracharya also... – Tejaswee May 7 '16 at 12:04
  • Okay. But, from what little I know, I don't think there can be a story on this in Mahabharata – Amit Saxena May 7 '16 at 12:31
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This is the one of the Most Important Stotries as it is the Very Beginning of ChandraVansha , the Lunar Dynasty in Hinduism.

NOTE : Now the story called "Taarakaamaya" is very big to be written completely here, so I am writing it with all details in a short form.

The story in full English translation can be read here - Devi Puraana, Book 1, Chapter 11

Story in short with all details:

  1. One day Chandra (Moon God) saw Taaraa, wife of Brihaspati (Jupiter God) in a garden and got attached to Her.

  2. So another day when Tara went to Chandra Loka (as Chandra was Yajamaan of Brihaspati) Chandra captivated Her and they both enjoyed sexual intercourses.

  3. Many days passed , Brihaspati got anxious and went to Chandra and angrily said to give back Tara as it was also a great sin to enjoy wife of Guru.**

  4. VakPati Guru constantly warned Chandra. Indra, Brahma, Rudra, MarutDevataas all requested Chandra, but He attracted by Tara did not listen to them.**

  5. Now Shiva got angry at Chandra, so Rudra waged a war against Chandra.**

  6. Shukra Deva because of enmity towards Guru, commanded army of Asuras for Chandra, also promising to help Chandra with Mantra Shakti.

  7. Rudra Deva had also studied from Angiras(father of Guru) , so Rudra led army of His Ganas (Bhoota, Yaksha, Pishaach et ct.) for Guru Brihaspati. Indra with Devas also joined for Brihaspati.

  8. A very terrible fight took place which got famous as "Taarakaamaya" fight , as it was done for the beautiful Taarakaa Devi (It is तारका , not to be confused with ताड़का राक्षसी).

  9. Brahmaa seeing the terrible destruction of world as well as deaths of innumerable Devas and Asuras, Bhoot Pishaach et cetera, counselled with Chandra and Chandra agreed to give back Taaraa.

  10. Some days later Taaraa gave birth to an exceeding beautiful and Shining son. At the birth rituals of the son, both Brihaspati and Chandra started arguing it is my son not yours. Again Deva and Asuras assembled for fight.

  11. All people constantly asked Taaraa whose child is this. The Kumaara (Budha) feeling ashamed and ready to curse Her, asked angrily from Tara who is my father.

  12. Then LokaPitaamaha Brahmaa averted the Kumaara from casting the curse, and took Tara to a private space and asked Her tell Me whose child is this, otherwise again a great fight will occur.

  13. Then Mother Taaraa silently said "Of Chandra (चन्द्रस्य)" and went inside. Chandra got very Happy and took the Kumaara and named him as Budha.

  14. Budha Deva courted with Ilaa and Pururavaa was born who started the Chandra Vansha the Lunar Dynasty.

Links of Story in Various Puraanas-

  1. Devi Puraana, Book 1, Chapter 11
  2. Brahma Vaivarta Puraana, Prakriti Khanda, Chapter 58-61**
  3. Vishnu Puraanam, Part 4, Chapter 6**
  4. Shiva Puraana, Koti Rudra Sanhita, Chapter 14
  5. Brahmaanda Puraana, Madhya Khanda, Chapter 65
  6. Harivansha PuraaNa, HariVansha Parva, Chapter 25
  7. Bhaagavata PuraaNam, Book 9, Chapter 14**
  8. Padma Puraan, Srishti Khanda, Chapter 12

Notable Verses from various Puraanas

The story is variegated in all Puraanas, as you can see below- , so I have written the story above by combining from all Puraanas I came across. The main plot however is same.

  1. BrahmaVaivarta, Vishnu, HariVansha, Brahmaanda, Bhaagawata Puraanas contain the name of the fight as "Taarakaamaya".

    तत्र तद्युद्धमभवत्प्रख्यातं तारकामयम् ।
    देवानां दानवानां च लोकक्षयकरं महत् ॥ 2.65.34 Brahmaanda Puraana

    There a huge war waged between Deva and Asura, known as "Taarakaamaya", which could destroy the world.

  2. Devi, BrahmaVaivarta, Vishnu, Harivansha, Bhaagawata, Brahmaanda Puraanas tell that Shukra assisted Chandra with Army of Asuras.

    शुक्रो बृहस्पतेर्द्वेषादग्रहीत्सासुरोडुपम् । 9.14.6 Bhaagawata Puraana

    Shukra due to enmity with Guru, led Chandra along with Asuras to the war.

  3. All Puraanas tell that Rudra assisted Brihaspati with army, and Indra with Devas joined also.

    शङ्करस्तु तदाकर्ण्य गुरुदाराभिमर्शनम् ।
    गुरुशत्रुं भृगुं मत्वा साहाय्यमकरोत्तदा ॥ 1.11.66 Devi Puraana

    Bhagavan Shankara hearing the sorrow of Guru bereaved of his wife, took Shukra to be enemy of Guru and thus assisted Guru in the fight.

  4. Brahmaanda, Vishnu , Bhaagawata, Harivansha Puraanas tell that the Kumaara (Budha) got angry at Tara and ready to curse Her asked who is my father.

    पृच्छ्यमाना यदा देवैर्नाह सा साध्वसाधु वा ।
    तदा तां शप्तुमारब्धः कुमारो दस्युहन्तमः ।
    तं निवार्य ततो ब्रह्मा तारां पप्रच्छ संशयम् । 1.25.42 HariVansha Puraana

    Tara being constantly asked , did not say anything thinking is it good or not to speak. Then the Kumaara (Budha) getting angry was ready to curse her, but Brahma averted him and asked Tara in private.

  5. Padma, Brahmaanda, Harivansha Puraanas tell that Rudra used the extremely powerful BrahmaShira Astra, while Padma also tells that Chandra used Soma-Astra.

    रुद्रः क्रोधाद्ब्रह्मशिरो मुमोच सोमोऽपि सोमास्त्रममोघवीर्यम् ।
    तयोर्निपातेन समुद्रभूम्योरथांतरिक्षस्य च भीतिरासीत् । 1.12.38 Padma Puraan

    Rudra with anger released BrahmaShira Astra and Chandra also released the undefiable Soma Astra. By their collision all Oceans, Earth and Space got struck with terror.

  6. BrahmaVaivarta Puraana also tells how Taaraa had stopped Chandra but he did not relent.

    तारकावचनं श्रुत्वा न भीतः स चुकोप ह।
    करे धृत्वा रथे तूर्णं स्थापयामास सुन्दरीम् । 2.58.35 Brahma Vaivarta Puraana

    Hearing words of Taaraa, Chandra did not get frightened rather getting angry he held her by hand and took her in his Chariot.

Brahmaanda and Harivansha contain the story in full details (as both contain the story exactly same verse by verse).

Shiva Puraana contain this story in concise form.

This is a very famous story how the Famous Lunar Dynasty in Hindu Mythology started. I have described the story as I found in 8 Puraanas.

  • Total answer should not be in bold. It is only for emphasis. You should only use block quotes when there is something to quote. Not for everything. Don't get into edit wars. – Sarvabhouma Mar 28 '18 at 17:32
  • @Sarvabhouma I agree with bold. Okay. But I can use quotes for the story I explained in short. The whole 4 Chapters story cannot be copy pasted here, so I wrote it in short and thus quoted it. – user12826 Mar 28 '18 at 17:39
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    Bold is only for emphasis. It doesn't look good for the answer. You summarized the story. That is not the same as quoting. So, quotes and bold are not needed. '>' should be used when you are only copy pasting and not for other stuffs. – Sarvabhouma Mar 28 '18 at 17:41
  • @Sarvabhouma then please correct the quotes part of all the answers and questions before my this answer. Then I will accede to it – user12826 Mar 28 '18 at 17:43
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    @AnuragSingh You should only use block quotes when you're quoting verbatim from another source, whether that source is a Sanskrit text, a translation, etc. And you shouldn't have unnecessary. So I reverted your edit. Please don't revert it again. – Keshav Srinivasan Mar 29 '18 at 13:27

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