Why is "Chandra" added to the name of Lord Rama even though he is from the "Suryavanshi" (solar) clan? Also, this title was not added to any of his brothers or his father - only to Rama himself.

What is the reason we add "Chandra" to Lord Rama's name to get Lord Rama Chandra?

FYI - We had a discussion about this with one of my friends and he said Chandra (the moon) asked Rama to add it, but I really don't know the story behind this nor did he.

Let me know if anyone has any references or stories for this.

  • 2
    It is said that when lord Rama was kid, he used to ask his parents to get moon for him. for that, they used to show image of moon in a plate full of water. so that lord Rama could get satisfied. I think the name is related to this incident.
    – Mr_Green
    Jul 10, 2014 at 9:39
  • 1
    because Rama is cool :)
    – ram
    Oct 27, 2019 at 0:00

4 Answers 4


There is no such story. But there are two reasons:

  1. Lord Rama was the first child after a long wait, in King Dashratha's family, so he was very dear and close to King's heart so they called "Chand sa beta" in Hindi or "Chandra" in Sanskrit.
  2. Lord Rama was born on "Chaitra" Month of Indian calendar in suda 9(or Ramanavmi), which is the ninth day of the bright-half of the Indian month Chaitra. From birth, his face was as brilliant/glare as the chandra (moon) on Purnima (the full-moon day). While only a baby, he captured the moon (from its image in a dishpan), and was thus also named Rama+chandra=RamChandra.
  • 2
    you should cite sources. Apr 1, 2016 at 8:32

Yes. There are references of Ramachandra in Valmiki Ramayana. But Rama is not directly called Ramachandra. Sage Valmiki compares Rama with the moon i.e., chandra while describing his life at Ayodhya. The name "Chandra" is added to the name Rama by the citizens of Ayodhya city. They felt like flowers which wait for the rise of moon when Rama was away from them. They felt happy if they just look at Rama. There were only two types of people who were unhappy in Ayodhya.

  1. Who didn't see Rama.

  2. Who were not not seen by Rama.

    They were very affectionate towards Rama that they did not care for their food and activity if they have seen Rama's coronation. It is described in the Ayodhya Kanda sarga 17 of Valmiki Ramayana.

अलमद्य हि भुक्तेन परम अर्थैः अलम् च नः || २-१७-१०
यथा पश्याम निर्यान्तम् रामम् राज्ये प्रतिष्ठितम् |

"If we can see Rama going forth in the city after getting coronated today, it is enough of eating or other activities."

ततः हि न प्रियतरम् न अन्यत् किंचित् भविष्यति || २-१७-११
यथा अभिषेको रामस्य राज्येन अमित तेजसः |

"There is no other dearer thing to us than coronation of Rama of unbounded splendour".

न हि तस्मान् मनः कश्चिच् चक्षुषी वा नर उत्तमात् || २-१७-१३
नरः शक्नोति अपाक्रष्टुम् अतिक्रान्ते अपि राघवे |

Though Rama became distant, no one could turn back one's eyes and mind from him, the best of men.

यश्च रामं न पश्येत्तु यं च रामो न पश्यति || २-१७-१४
निन्दतः सर्वलोकेषु स्वात्माप्येनम् विगर्हते |

All the people blamed the one who did not see Rama and the one who was not seen by Rama. Such a person would blame himself of it.

They were disappointed very much when they didn't have a look at Rama and waited for him just like we wait for the beauty of the full moon when there is a new moon.

They waited for Rama's arrival when he went away form them and went to his father just like the ocean waits for the moon to rise.

तस्मिन् प्रविष्टे पितुर् अन्तिकम् तदा |
जनः स सर्वो मुदितः न्ऱ्प आत्मजे |
प्रतीक्षते तस्य पुनः स्म निर्गमम् |
यथा उदयम् चन्द्रमसः सरित् पतिः
|| २-१७-२२

When Rama went nearer to his father, all the people there were delighted waiting for his return as the ocean waits for raising of the moon**.

As Rama is compared with the moon in the above shlokas, the name Ramachandra became popular. This was widely used by his devotees, poets etc.,


In Aranya Kanda, while narrating the Viradha vadha, Valmiki compares the Rama-Lakshmana duo with Sun and Moon:

ततः तु तौ कांचन चित्र कार्मुकौ
निहत्य रक्षः परिगृह्य मैथिलीम् |
विजह्रतुः तौ मुदितौ महावने
दिवि स्थितौ चन्द्र दिवाकरौ इव || ३-४-३४

  1. tataH = then; kaanchana chitra kaarmukau = those having golden, dazzling, bows; tau = then, they two; nihatya rakshaH = on killing, the demon; parigR^ihya = took; maithiliim = Maithili; muditau = gladly; mahaa vane = in great, forests; divi sthitau = in skies, staying; tau = two; chandra divaakaraaH iva = Moon, Sun, like; vijahratuH = journeyed on.

Then they two who have dazzling golden bows have eliminated that demon and retrieved Seetha, and they gladly journeyed on in that great forest like the two entities abiding on the skies, namely the Sun and Moon. [3-4-34]

Commenting on this shlokha, the translators at valmikiramayan.net say:

The simile of sun and moon is of some importance. It will not be clear as to, who is compared with Sun and who with Moon, unless some ancient commentaries are touched. Rama is compared with Chandra, the Moon, because, Moon will not travel without his wives. All the celestial stars are the wives of the Moon, and they twinkle before the Moon's arrival, in order to welcome him into the night. Hence Rama is suffixed with Chandra, compounding to Sri Ramachandra. On the other hand, Sun does not travel along with his wife, namely Chaya, the Shadow, but she always will be at his hind. We the living beings are in between the Sun and his wife Chaya. If we face Sun in the morning times, she will be at our back, and in the evenings, when the Sun is at our back, Chaya, shadow will be in front of us, reminding us of our lengthening shadow of life. Thus we are in between the light and shadow. The Sun is also called karma saakshi, [Witness of Deeds.] Our own shadow, shortens with the ascending Sun and lengthens as the dusk of our day or life increases. Hence Sun's travel is wife-less one, and Lakshmana is thus compared with the Sun, for he does not have his wife travelling with him now. And Lakshmana is another karma saakshi [Witness of Events] in the Ramayana. In another way of commenting it is said that both of them are said to be moon-like in their appeasing personalities and sun-like in their radiant valour.


Moon could not celebrate home coming of Lord Ram because it was amavasya. He complained to lord and lord granted him that henceforth your name will be added to my name, and hence Chandra was added to Ram to be called as Ramchandra.

  • 1
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    Oct 29, 2019 at 12:31

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