Soma, the Moon-God, married 27 daughters of Sage Daksha and began to live happily with all his wives. But his peace was short lived as his wives began to feel jealous of whosoever got more attention from Soma.
Soma, however, had his preference and he showered most of his attention on his fourth wife, Rohini. This led to jealousy against her and all the other wives began to reprimand her, “Why do you get all the attention? Why don’t you let Soma be free to spend time with us?”
Rohini could not understand the reason for their anger at her. She was not doing anything special to entice her husband but he seemed to like her more than the others. One day Rohini decided to persuade Soma, “Why don’t you go to my other sisters also? They are feeling lonely and neglected.”
Soma continued to pay attention to Rohini without bothering about the others. After some time, in frustration, all the wives except Rohini left Soma and returned to their parental home.
Sage Daksha became deeply disturbed to see his daughters return and asked them the reason for it. He said to them, “It has hardly been long enough and you have returned to my house. What has happened?”
All the 26 girls began to voice their complaints against their husband, Soma. One said, “How can I stay with him when he does not even glance at me?”
Another added, “He has eyes only for Rohini. He is not concerned about any of us.”
A third intervened, “What is the point of living with a husband who does not care about you? It is better to return home and live away than to see him daily giving all his attention to Rohini alone.”
Sage Daksha did not like this development but somehow persuaded his daughters to go back to the Moon-God’s palace and try to live with him. He even spoke to the Moon-God, “You had married all my 27 daughters, so it is your duty to take care of all of them without discriminating between them. How can you be so choosy? You had no right to marry all my daughters if you wanted Rohini only.”
Soma promised to behave properly with all the 26 wives also. Satisfied at the reply, the sage returned home and sent his daughters to live with the Moon-God.
The daughters found that Soma continued doing as he did earlier without showing any change in his behaviour towards them. They became livid and left their husband’s home again in a huff to inform their father about him. This time the sage flew into a rage and went to Soma’s palace and cursed him “Since you ignored 26 daughters of mine despite marrying them, I curse you that you become one-twenty-sixth the size of what you are now.”
The Moon-God fell ill and no amount of treatment could cure him. He became thin and emaciated. Rohini could not see the plight of her husband, so she rushed to her father to plead with him to take his curse back. The sage replied that he could not do so but what he could do was to modify the curse to soften the effect. He went and met his son-in-law and said to him, “Henceforth you will remain healthy and weak by turns. You cannot be normal again for what you have done to my other daughters, except for Rohini.”
Rohini learnt to live with her husband and took care of him throughout her life. This is why we find that the moon reduces in size when it is ill and recovers to its normal size when in good health.