The Legend of Daksha Prajapati's Daughters and the Somnath Jyotirlinga
The Somnath Jyotirlinga in Gujarat is one of the most revered shrines of Lord Shiva. Its origins trace back to a famous legend from Hindu mythology about Daksha Prajapati and his 27 daughters. This legend explains how the powerful Moon God, Soma (also known as Chandra), came to be cursed by his father-in-law Daksha, resulting in the waxing and waning of the moon that we witness every month. It also narrates how Lord Shiva rescued Soma from this curse and manifested as the Somnath Jyotirlinga.
Daksha Prajapati - The Mind Born Son of Brahma
Daksha Prajapati was one of the mind-born sons of Lord Brahma. He was appointed by Brahma to help with the process of creation. Daksha married Prasuti, the daughter of Manu and they had 24 daughters. Later, Daksha undertook intense penance and pleased the deity Bhagavati. She blessed him with 27 more daughters who were reincarnations of the 24 original daughters. Daksha loved his daughters immensely. The 27 sisters shared a close bond and were inseparable from one another.
Proposal for the Moon God Soma
When the sisters came of age, Daksha became worried about finding suitable husbands for them. He wanted someone who was divinely handsome, eternally youthful, compassionate and who would treat his daughters with care and respect. He remembered the Moon God Soma, who was known for his extraordinary good looks and kind nature. Soma was born from the churning of the cosmic ocean. His glowing complexion, charming smile and peaceful aura made him the most attractive deity in the heavens.
Daksha went and proposed to Soma – he requested the Moon God to accept the hands of all his 27 daughters in marriage. Soma gladly agreed, as he was moved by Daksha’s plight as a father. Arrangements were made for the grand marriage ceremony to be held at Daksha’s homeland on the banks of the Saraswati river.