Shani: Wikis

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Shani

A 1782 engraving after Pierre Sonnerat's painting made during India voyage in 1770's
Saturn
Devanagari शनि / शनैश्वर
Affiliation Graha
Mantra Om Sham Shanaiscaryaye Namah
Mount Raven / Vulture

Shani (Sanskrit Śani शनि) is one of the Navagraha which are the nine primary celestial beings in Hindu astrology, or Jyotiṣa. Shani is embodied in the planet Saturn. Shani is the Lord of Saturday; the word Shani also denotes the seventh day or Saturday in most Indian languages.

The origin of word Shani(शनि) comes from the following: Shanaye Kramati Sa: (शनये क्रमति सः) i.e. the one who moves slowly, as Saturn takes about 30 years to revolve around the Sun. Shani is also known as Shanaiscarya (शनैश्वर) Shani Bhagavan, Shaneesvara, Saneesvara, Shaneesvaran, Shani Deva.

Shani is a Deva and son of Surya (the Hindu Sun God) and his wife Chhaya (Shadow goddess) and hence also known as Chayyaputra. He is the elder brother of Yama, the Hindu God of death, who in some scriptures corresponds to the deliverance of justice. Interestingly, Surya's two sons Shani and Yama judge. Shani gives us the results of one's deeds through one's life through appropriate punishments and rewards; Yama grants the results of one's deeds after death.[1]

It is said that when Shani opened his eyes as a baby for the very first time, the sun went into an eclipse, which clearly denotes the impact of Shani on astrological charts. He is known as the greatest teacher. Shani dev is said to be very harmful to those who follow the path of betrayal, backstabbing and unjust revenge. He is known in Hindu scriptures as the greatest trouble giver as well as the greatest well wisher. He is depicted dark in colour, clothed in black; holding a sword, arrows and two daggers and variously mounted on a black crow.[2]

Contents

In Hindu scriptures

The story of Shani Bhagavan's life is described in Shri Shani Mahatmyam ॥श्रीशनिमहात्म्यं॥ written several centuries ago. The story of Shani Mahatmyam describes how devotion is required to please him and receive his kripa (blessings). Shri Shani Mahatmyam begins with descriptions of the importance of the other planets and their strengths. These are told by the scholars serving king Vikramaditya's court from the city of Ujjain.

Shani Bhagavan is described as having a dark complexion, a beautiful face, his caste is teli (Oil vendors), and he prays Kal-bhairav. After listening to the birth story of Shani, Vikramaditya laughed and ridiculed him. Shani heard the remarks of Vikramaditya and placed a curse on him. The story goes on to describe Vikramaditya's difficulties as a result of offending Shani. He loses his kingdom, he is charged with stealing, his hands and legs are cut-off by a neighbouring king. Eventually, Vikramaditya prays to Shani, who is satisfied with Vikramaditya's devotion and brings him back to his former glory. The last part of the story describes various experiences faced by various gods, demons and sages, including Brihaspati (the Guru of gods) and Shiva et al. Shani Mahatmyam stresses values such as perseverance in difficult times, complete devotion (bhakti) and faith in the values one believes in, and never to lose confidence in life in spite of difficulties.

According to the Brahma Vaivarta Purana, when the navagraha came to look upon Ganesha shortly after his birth, he lost his human head under Shani's gaze.[3]

Shaniswara and Hanuman

The worship of Lord Hanuman is a panacea for the harsh effects of the 'unfavourable' presence of Lord Shani. In the Ramayana, Lord Hanuman is said to have rescued Shani from the clutches of Ravana and in gratitude, Shani promised Hanuman that anyone who prayed to Him (Hanuman), especially on Saturdays, would be rescued from the "malefic" effects of Saturn, or at the very least, the effects would be softened.

Another version of the encounter between Lord Hanuman and Shani Bhagavan is that once Shani climbed on to Hanuman's shoulder, implying that Shani's influence was beginning on Lord Hanuman. At this, Hanuman assumed a large size, and Shani was caught painfully between Hanuman's shoulders and the ceiling of the room they were in. As the pain was unbearable, Lord Shani requested Lord Hanuman to release him, promising in return, that if a person prayed to Lord Hanuman, he (Shani) would moderate or eliminate the malefic effects of his influence on that person; following this, Lord Hanuman released Shani.

Shaniswara and King Dasaratha

Dasaratha Maharaja was the only person who called Lord Shaniswara for duel as he was to cross his country bringing drought and poverty.Lord Shaniswarar extolled Dasaratha's virtues and replied to him that "i cant skip my duties but im pleased on your courage.Great sage Rishyasingar can help you.Wherever rishyasingar is, wherever he lives that country will have no drought and dryness".King Dasaratha after receiving the blessings from Lord Shaniswarar, wisely resolved the difficult situation by making Rishyasingar as his son-in-law.'Santha' is known to be daughter of Dasaratha was married to Rishyasingar so that he is present in Ayodhya.

Ways to please Shani Bhagavan

According to legend, Shani is a devotee of Lord Shiva. As mentioned in the "Navagraha Pidahara Sthothram" of "Brahmanda Purana", anybody who chants the following sthothra is relieved from all the ill effects of Shani.

Suryaputhro Deerghadeho Vishaalaakshah Shivapriyah |
Mandachaarah Prasannathmaa peedam harathu me Shanih ||
सूर्य पुत्रो दीर्घ देहो विशालाक्षः शिवप्रियः।
मन्दचारः प्रसन्नात्मा पीडां हरतु मे शनिः ॥

The Shaneeswara Mantra In Tamil:

Sangadangal Theerpai Shani Bagavane
Mangalam Ponga Manam Vaitharul Vai
Sacharavindri Saaga neriyil
Icchagam Vaazha Innarul Thaa Thaa

According to the Vedic astrology, in order to get protection against the bad effects of Saturn's transit, the following are the possible remedies during the important transits of Saturn - Kanta Sani (When Saturn transits through the eighth house from the natal moon sign), Sade-sati (when Saturn transits through the twelfth, first and second houses from the natal moon sign) -

  • Worship Mother Goddess Kali during Dark Moon
  • Worship Vishnu in the form of Lord Krishna and keep chanting 'Om Namo Narayanaya', 'Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare..'
  • Pray to Sree Hanumanji in His Supreme Cosmic Form, which is the Form in which He shook Shani Bhagavan off of His back and the Form in which He received divine blessings and instructions from Surya, the sun God.

A common mantra for drawing the support of Shani Bhagavan is: Om Sham Shanaiscaryaye Namah. The following is another mantra for propitiating Shani: Aum praang preeng proung sah Shanaye namah Neelaanjan samaabhaasam raviputram yamaagrajam, Chaayaa-maartandam-sambhootam, Tam namaami Shanaishcharam.

Some devotees chant 'Om Sham Shanaiscaryaye Namah' 108 times daily. Also, if reading vedic textures are practised, then it is suggested to recite Saturn's sloka from Navagraha Suka starting 'Shanno...'

  1. Perform thilabhishekam on sanitrayodasi, sanijayanthi (pushya masam bahula astami) and saniamavasya days.
  2. Donate black till to Brahmin (1kg900grams)
  3. Feeding to black cow(kapila govu) till, jaggry mix.
  4. Fasting on Saturdays (only liquids) 6 a.m to 6 p.m (sravana masam must)
  5. Feeding to crows(mornings)
  6. Feeding to physically disabled people.
  7. Navagraha pradakshinas(19 rounds)/walking, jogging.
  8. Visit famous sanitemples (once in 2/1/2years) Mandapalli, Sanisingnapur, Tirunallar, Narsingole, Venkathala and Veerannapalem (parchur mandalam, prakasam district).
  9. Light two lamps in front of your main door after sunset every day with til oil.
  10. Recite dasaradha maharaja krutha sani sthothram.
  11. Jyestadevi, saneeshwara swamyvarla kalyanam (sravana purnimaday).
  12. Sanijapam 19000, with moolamantram, punarcharana, havanan, danam.
  13. Sanaichara vratham, homam on Saturdays in sravana masam.
  14. Sanaichara dheeksha: sravana sudda vidiya to sravana bahula sashti.
  15. Chanting 'rama nama', Hanuman chalisa, Durga sthuthi.
  16. Prayers and devotion to Hanuman, Sri Durga Devi, Vinayaka.
  17. Offer Curd rice, ('Thothiyanam in Tamil) curd rice mixed with cumin seeds to god and feeding them to crows.
  18. Feeding to orphan child
  19. Feeding to long hair cat (fish)

In astrology

According to Vedic astrology, Shani Bhagavan is one of the nine Navagraha or planets. Shani is considered to be the strongest malefic and a stern teacher who represents patience, effort, endeavour, and endurance; and who brings restrictions and misfortunes. However, a favourably-placed Shani on the horoscope of a person stands for a strong career, healthy life and everything positive for that person. In fact, a well-placed Shani in one's horoscope is something every astrology-believing Hindu hopes for, as no other 'graha' can bestow what a favourable Shani can. Shani placed "unfavourably", on the other hand, denotes troubles in all of the above. Shani is much feared by those Hindus who believe in astrology, as the "malefic" effects of his being unfavourably placed can be quite severe. However, it is to be remembered that any pleasure or pain that befalls a person during Shani's influence is not arbitrary; rather, it is the result of the person's own karma, now being manifested in the "presence" of Shani. Thus an "unfavourably-placed" Shani brings about the harsh results of one's bad karma, and vice-versa.The diseases which Lord Shani gives are decay,constriction,poor blood supply,atrophy,etc. and at mental level narrow mind,low thinking.These diseases need to be cured by Lord Shani rules and regulations only.

The planet Shani or Saturn revolves around the Sun in about 30 years, which means it passes through all the 12 rashis or moonsigns in 30 years. Thus Shani Bhagavan spends on an average about two and half years in each rashi or moonsign. This movement of Shani through the moonsigns carries great importance in Hindu astrology and horoscope predictions. The effect of Shani starts when it enters the previous rashi/moonsign to one's own birth rashi and stops when it leaves the rashi/moonsign after one's birth rashi. The total period of 7.5 years (2.5 years × 3) is called Saadesaati or "Elanata Shani", and is typically a period of great difficulty. When it occurs for a person foregoing Shani Maha Dasha the malefic effects of the planet are highly pronounced. It is said that Shani can reduce even a king to a pauper during such period.

Shani rules the signs Makara (Capricorn) and Kumbha (Aquarius), is exalted in Tula (Libra) and is debilitated in Mesha (Aries). Mercury, Venus, Rahu, Ketu are considered friendly towards Shani or Saturn, while the Sun, Moon and Mars are enemies. Guru or Jupiter maintains neutral relations with Shani. Shani is the lord of three nakshatras or lunar mansions: Pushya, Anuradha and Uttara Bhadrapada.

Shani Bhagavan has the following associations: his color is black or dark blue, metal is iron and gemstone is Blue Sapphire. His element or tattva is air, direction is west (where the sun sets and darkness begins) and he rules all seasons. The traditional foods for Shani are sesame seeds or black gram, black lentils or udad, his flower is the violet and he is linked to all black animals and all trees that are considered useless and ugly.

Shani rules over masses. Without the planet's blessings in one's horoscope, a mass following is difficult to come by. It is said that an exalted Saturn in the ascendant (or Lagna) of one's horoscope awards one with such leadership position entailing fame from and recognition among masses. More over, such people are said to have high commitment and perseverance for the task at hand. On the other hand, a debilitated Saturn in one's horoscope makes one's 'Karma' weak and such individual with debilitated Saturn is said to have poor commitment and perseverance towards duties and hence suffers in the process of completing one's karmic obligations. Hence 'Moksha' is difficult to come by without Shaniswara's blessings in one's horoscope.

Lord Shaniswara is also known as Needhiman(Judge). He only troubles the person during his dasa for the wrong doings. Even in Shani Dosha, if a person is Righteous & Devoted he is sure to come out of this period without any ill effects.

Lord Shaniswara is more known for his Blessings than his ill effects. No other graha is comparable with Lord Shani in terms of blessings. He showers with his blessings at the end of his dasha.His Adi-Devata is Prajapati and Pratyadi-Devata is Yama. Lord Shani tests the person patience, He tries to correct our immoral acts by creating frustations, and delays. In the end He makes one conscious enough to understand the mistakes. He removes ignorance from mind by punishment, the benefits that He matures the soul of being and person turns copper to gold from within i.e. he begins to understand the Truths of life, the futility of his actions done out of ignorance. One comes to understand after Lord Shani periods that not much is in control of human beings. It is all Divine acting on human beings through the agents of Gods. Lord Shani is the greatest purifier,everything false will perish and only Truth will shine, that is His message. People born on number 8 are ruled by Lord Shani in numerology. It is a proven fact that number 8, 26 born on any month will have hardships in their life. The hardship have a purpose and it is important to identify the purpose in this lifetime.

Shrines for Lord Shani

"Thirunallar Shree Saneeshwarar Koil" There are clusters of nine temples/shrines dedicated to the Navagrahas. One such cluster is located near the town Kumbakonam in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Lord Shani's shrine in this cluster is located at Tirunallar. It is a Temple dedicated to Lord Darbaranyesvara, a Form of Lord Shiva, in which Lord Shani is located in a niche in a wall. At this Temple, Lord Shani is considered to be of benevolent nature. Tirunallar is close to Pondicherry, and is of paramount importance to Shaneeswaran. Millions of devotees visit this place to protect themselves from the effects of the transit of Saturn.

The Lord here is so powerful that when a person who is suffering from shani dasa comes here takes bath in the NALA THEERTHA and with their clothes wet goes and has darshan of Sri Shaneeshwara, the ill effects which he is suffering through shani dasa is sure to vanish or at least abate to some extent.

The legendary King Nala is said to have been relieved of his afflictions, which were due to the malefic influence of Saturn, after worship in this temple. Of the numerous tanks theertams, the Nala theertam is the most important one. By bathing here, it is believed that one is washed off all kinds of misfortune and afflictions.

Shani Devaalayam in Deonar: There is a Shani Temple in Deonar, in Mumbai. The temple is situated east of the Shivaji statue at the junction of Chembur, Deonar, Govandi on (Mumbai-Pune-Bangalore) Eastern Express Highway. The Presiding Deity of this Temple is Lord Shaneeswara: a beautiful, mighty, and imposing seven-foot-tall black statue.

sri saneeswralayam, veeranna palem, prakasam (dist), Andhra Pradesh.

Many devotees who have Shani Dosham, or people who are passing through Shani Mahar Dasa throng the temple, for doing Tailabhishekam (Tailam means oil in Sanskrit, Telugu and Malayalam). Nuvvula Nune (Nuvvulu means Sesame; Nune means oil in Telugu) and Ellenne (Ellu means sesame; enne means oil in Kannada) is poured with utmost devotion on the head in a manner such that the oil covers the entire idol while flowing down. The pooja done with this oil is believed to please Shaneeswara. Shaneeswara descends:

Every Saturday approximately at 10:30 in the morning, as soon as the priest gives Arati, Lord Shaneeswara is said to descend upon the main priest (who is fondly referred to as 'Swami'). All of a sudden, the whole atmosphere in the Temple changes. One can see and feel the charged atmosphere in the temple. There after 'Swami' sits on a chair which has a seat made of very sharp, long iron nails pointing upwards. The foot rest and hand rest are also fully fitted with upward facing, sharp long iron nails. When Lord Shaneeswara descends on Swami, he sits on this chair throughout the day, most of the time with his eyes closed. On some Saturdays he may sit upon the chair for a continuous stretch of between 12 and 13 hours without ever indicating any pain or discomfort.

Thereafter the devotees sit in silence in front of 'swami.' They are asked to bring and keep a pair of yellow lemons in their hands, waiting for their turn. Swami signals one by one by turn, to come near to him. People place the pair of yellow lemon in front of him. He listens patiently to their problems, agony, or distress or whatever they say. Then he explains the reason/cause of their agony/problem/distress. It could be 'Prarabdham', consequences of their past karmas (deeds) which are carried over to present janma, which means "life" in Sanskrit, Telugu, kannada and Malayalam. Or as Swami explains, their problems could be the result of actions/deeds of his or her present birth itself. In some cases it could be handy work of Vamachara Tantra (black magic) by their enemies and ill-wishers. There are other types of cases where it is believed that Aatmas (spirits) of the deceased have occupied the sufferer's body causing misery and trouble. 'Swami' listens to them all with apt attention with closed eyes and intent silence and offers them Prakshalana, or "cleansing" Praayaschitam Sanskrit and Telugu, or "repentance" through procedures such as yagna, pooja, dana, abstinence, etc. Thousands have claimed that their prayers have been answered by "Shaneeswara" through 'Swami'.

In the premises of this Shani temple, navagraha mandapam is also there apart from Hanuman, Jagadeeswara, Saibaba and Mata deities. The Sanctum Sanctorum has a very tall imposing murthy of Lord Shaneeswara along with Jestha Devi. To his left is Hanuman and to his right is Jagadeeswara Swami.

Shani Shingnapur – Another important Shrine for Lord Shani is in Shingnapur, in Maharashtra, India. Shingnapur is located half-way between Shirdi and Aurangabad. The deity here is "Swayambhu" that is self emerged from earth in form of Black but imposing stone. Though no one knows exact period, it is believed that Swayumbhu shaneeswara was found from time immemorial by shepherds of then local hamlet. It is believed be in existence at least since Kaliyugam.

The story of swayambhu (=Sanskrit self-evolved deity) handed down from generations through word of mouth, goes something like this : When the Shepherd touched stone with a pointed rod the stone began bleeding. The shepherds were astounded soon whole village hamlet gathered around to watch the miracle. On that night Lord Shaneeswara appeared in the dream of most devoted and pious of the shepherds.

He told the shepherd that he is "Shaneeswara". He also told that the Unique looking Black Stone is His swayambhu form. The shepherd prayed and asked Lord whether he should construct a temple for him. To this, Lord Shani Mahatma said there is no need for a roof as the whole sky is his roof and he preferred to be under open sky. He asked the shephered to do daily pooja and 'tailabhishekam' every Saturday without fail. He also promised the whole hamlet will have no fear of dacoits or burglars or thieves.

So, Lord Shaneeswara can be seen even today, in the open yard without any roof above. To this day, there are no doors for any house, shop, temple. It is to be seen to believe that even post office has no door, not to speak of locks. Due to fear of Lord Shani, none of the structures, be it dwelling houses, huts, shops etc situated within one kilometer radius of this Lord Shani temple, have neither doors and locks. No thievery or burglary ever occurred here in this hamlet called Shani Shingnapur. Some who have tried to steal have died omitting blood within minutes of their act and before they could cross the boundary. Many others are said have received varied punishments such as long sickness, mental imbalance etc.

This Shani Shingnapur is visited daily by thousands of devotees praying for Lord Shaneswara's favour. The place is busiest on Saturdays. Shani Trayodasi is considered to be a favorite day for the lord. Similarly Saturday falling on 'Amavasya'(new moon day in Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam) is considered to be a favorites day for the Lord Shaneeswara. Thousands of devotees seeking his blessings throng this temple in thousands.

One of the mantras for Shani raya is NILANJANA SAMABHASAM RAVI PUTRAM YAMAGRAJAM | CHAYA MARTHANDA SAMBHUTAM TAM NAMAMI SHANAISCHARAM ||

The Tallest Statue of Lord Shani in the World at Shanidham, twenty-one feet high, made of Ashtadhatu
Shree Shaneeshwarara Temple, Nerul, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra

Shree Shaneeshwarar Temples in Mumbai:: There are several Shree Shaneeswara Swami Temples in Mumbai.

  1. There is a very nice Shani temple in Dombivli in the area Shankeshwar Nagar on Manpada Road. Every Saturday devotees gather together to chant Lord Shani's aarti & stotra at 8 p.m.
  2. One mandir is situated next to Nageshwar pasharvanathji jain temple, at Ghatkopar (west) close to Sheryas cinema.
  3. There is a Shree Shani Mandir at Katemanevli, Kalyan (East), near Vitthalwadi ( Central Rly ) Railway Station.
  4. There is a Shree Shani Mandir on the Service Road at Khar East on Western Express Highway just about 500 mts before the Vakola Signal when travelling from Mumbai city to Suburbs.
  5. There is a Shree Shani Mandir 15 minutes walkable from National Park at Savarpada, Borivali (East).
  6. One Shani temple is in Jogeshwari (East) in Meghwadi here devoties can avail the facility of listening to The story of Shani Mahatmya during 12 Noon to 6 pm on Saturday Evenings.
  7. There a temple at Sector-11, Nerul(East), Navi Mumbai.
  8. Shree Shani Mandair at Battipada, Bandup West, Mumbai

In several parts of India, there are clusters of nine temples/shrines dedicated to the Navagrahas. One such cluster is located near the town Kumbakonam in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Lord Shani's shrine in this cluster is located at Tirunallar. It is a Temple dedicated to Lord Darbaranyesvara, a Form of Lord Shiva, in which Lord Shani is located in a niche in a wall. At this Temple, Lord Shani is considered to be of benevolent nature. Tirunallar is close to Pondicherry, and is of paramount importance to Shaneeswaran. Millions of devotees visit this place to protect themselves from the effects of the transit of Saturn.

Temples at other places: A Shani temple ShaniDham, is at Fatehpur Beri, about 6 km from Chhattarpur temple and 16 km from the Qutub Minar, at Mehrauli, South Delhi, India. It has the tallest (21 feet high) statue of Lord Shani in the world made of Astdhatu and a natural rock of Shani. Many devotees visit every Saturday to please Lord Shani. The main Poojan for Kaalsarp and Sadhesatti and Dhaiya are done here on Shani Amavasaya, the most auspicious day for pleasing Lord Shani.

Vada Thirunallar Sri Saneeshwaran Koil - This temple is located in Venkatachalam Street, West Mambalam, Chennai, India. In this temple Sri Shani Bhagawan can be seen along with his wife Sri Neelambikai. The temple also has Sri Vinayagar, Sri Durga and Sri Panchamukha Hanuman.

Another temple is at Kuchanoor, 20 km from Theni, near Madurai. The Lord is seen in swayambhu (self-appeared) form, the name of the town being derived from Kubjan, one of Shani's names (Kubjanoor).

There is a Viswaroopa Sarvamangala Shaneeswara Bhagawan sannidhi inside Devi Nagamuthu Mariamma temple in EB Colony, Adambakkam.

Saneeswarar Sannadhi inside Paya Lebar Eeswaran Temple, Singapore: There is a majestic Saneeswara bhagavan in full standing form enshrined in a separate sannadhi in the Sivan Temple in Paya Lebar. (Alight at Aljunied MRT and walk a few mins). Sani bhagavan is accompanied on both sides by deepa maadams - walls with small pedestals for hundreds of oil lamps - a blissful sight when you go there on Saturdays when most devotees offer lamps lit in Sesame oil. Om Saneeswaraye Namah:


Shri Shanaishchara Temple, Near International Airport, Bajpe, Mangalore, Karnataka, India(0824- 2252573) Many devotees who have Shani Dosham or people who are passing through Shani Mahar Dasa rush to the temple, for doing Ellu enne Seva (Ellu means sesame; enne means oil in Kannada) ever Saturday with utmost devotion. The Elluenne Seva is believed to please Shanaishchara.

The murthy of, Lord Ganesha, Maa Durga and Lord Shanaishchara is installed in the Gharbha Gudi of this Shri Shanaishchara Temple.

Saturn is a karaka, or indicator, of longevity, misery, sorrow, old age and death, discipline, restriction, responsibility, delays, ambition, leadership and authority, humility, integrity, wisdom born of experience. Saturn also indicates asceticism, denial, non-attachment, spirituality, hard work, organization, reality and time itself.

Unique Attributes: Immense power, appeased to ward off evil eye, Saturday is denoted for Lord Shani
Parents: Surya dev (sun) and Chhaya or Vikshubha
Vahan (vehicle): Crow
Other Names: Shanaiscarya, Asita, Saptarchi, Kruradris, Kruralochana, Pangu, Mandu

Mantras of Lord Shanaishchara
|| Nilanjana samabhasam raviputram yamagrajam chaya martanda sambhutam tam namami shaishcharam||
|| Om Neelambharaya vidhmahe Soorya Putraya dhimahi tanno sauri prachodayath ||
|| Om praam preem praum sham shanayishraya namah ||
Shani Gayatri Mantra: || Om Sanaischaraya vidhmahe Sooryaputraya dheemahi tanno manda prachodayat ||
"Navagraha Pidahara Sthothram" of "Brahmanda Purana”:|| Suryaputhro Deerghadeho Vishaalaakshah Shivapriyah Mandachaarah Prasannathmaa peedam harathu me Shanih ||
Mula Mantra: ||Om Sham Shanaiscaryaye Namah||


The seven gods of the week, Sun (Surya dev), Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus and Saturn (Shani dev).

Once upon a time, the seven gods of the week were in a meeting. Rahu and Ketu were also present. Rahu & Ketu put one question in front of them. The question was “who is the most powerful god among them?” They could not decide on this. They went to Devraj Indra for his adjudication. Devraj Indra thought if his decision goes in favour of any one of the gods then the other will be unsatisfied with him. He said "respected gods, I am also like you, how can I decide that who is great & I can’t give an impartial judgment. The better option for all of you is to go to the planet earth, there is a King called Vikramaditya, he is very good at justice".

The gods decided to visit King Vikramaditya, the king gave respect to them and begged for any kind of service. They told him about their problem. It was a very difficult task for Vikramaditya. But he was a dutiful king, hence he accepted this challenge gracefully. After looking at the issue, he arranged seven thrones. These thrones were made up of Gold, Bronze, Brass, Tin, Zinc, Mica, & iron respectively. The thrones were put on by numbers. The Gold throne was put at number one & the iron throne was at the last. Then King Vikramaditya requested the seven gods to grace the throne of their own selection. God Surya (Sun) was in the gold chair while God Shani selected the iron chair.

When the seven gods sat on the chair which they have selected, Vikramaditya said, “Now according to the order of your throne you may decide your own rank & none can thrust my judgment upon you.” Hearing to this, God Shani (Saturn) stood up & said to King Vikramaditya, “You ranked me the lowest among these gods. You don’t know my power. Sun can stay on a Zodiac (Rashi) for One to Two months, Mars for half and one month, Jupiter for maximum thirteen months, Mercury and Venus for one month only. Rahu & Ketu for eighteen months. But only me who can reign a Zodiac from two and half years to seven and half years. This period is called as “sade sathi”. Due to this sade saathi period powerful god also trembles. When I was angry on Rama, he got banishment instead of throne. Now be prepared because it’s your turn.” After this God shani went back.

After a short period of time, the “Sade Sathi” period was occupied by Shanidev on Zodiac of Vikramaditya. From here, King’s sade sathi period began which was for seven & half years. Shani dev went to Vikramaditya’s kingdom as a horse-seller with some attractive horses. People were praising his horses. When King Vikramaditya heard about this, he sent Ashawapal to buy the best horse for him. Ashawapal came with an attractive horse, the king was so pleased to see the horse that he could not stop himself riding it. But, when he was riding the horse, the horse disappeared in the air with a great speed. After a few second king was in a deep and thick forest.

At the palace of Ujjaini, Queen Madenlekha was worried about King Vikramaditya. Queen Madenlekha was a devotee of Shani Dev. She requested Shani dev to save her husband. Due to the Prayer of Queen Madenlekha, Shanidev promised that I will save your husband but he has to endure for his work (Karma).

King Vikramaditya was out of his kingdom hence no body was recognising him. He was very tired, he faced many problems,these problems were created by God Shani dev. At last Vikramaditya reached a nearby city, in the city he met a respectable businessman even this businessman didnt recognise him. The King was looking like a beggar. With the sympathy, the businessmen took him to his house and arranged food for him. On that day businessman made some profit due to the grace of Shani dev, the businessman thought that this man (King) is lucky for him. Thinking this he asked him to stay and work for him.

The king was enduring his Sade Sathi period. He was staying with the business man by taking a different name. after some time the businessman's daughter's marriage was fixed. Vikramaditya was looking after the arrangements. He went to the market with businessmen’s another daughter for shopping. In the market, Vikramaditya met shanidev who was in disguise. Shanidev gave him a picture of duck.

The marriage arrangement was going on smoothly. Suddenly, the bride was unable to find the necklace. The necklace was swallowed by the duck which was in the picture. Businessmen’s wife enquired Vikramaditya about the necklace but he could not explain anything to her. She thought that he is the thief and she complained and had him arrested by the soldiers of King Chandrasen.

King Chandrasen was in enemity with King Vikramaditya. He recognised King Vikramaditya, King Chandrasen was very happy. He ordered his soldiers to cut off Vikramaditya’s hands and limbs with one stroke of sword. After hearing this Vikramaditya cried out. But, the Soldiers had to carry out their King's order.

Now, The King was without hand and feet. He was dallying like a Beggar. An “Oil seed Crusher (Teli)” was looking at him and he felt pity on him. He took him to his house and arranged for food. He also dressed the king’s wounds and after some days the Teli made him capable of driving the bullocks around the grinding machine. Now, Vikramaditya can do this work properly. The time passed on. The Sade Sathi period was about to get over.

One night, the king was alone at his work. He was singing a song. The voice was very attractive and delightful. The Princess in the neighbouring kingdom heard the song & she got fascinated towards the singer (Vikramaditya). Princess called her personal attendant and enquired about the singer. She asked her attendant to find the singer. After some time, the attendant came and he told the princess that the singer is a servant of “Teli” and he is handicapped. After this, the Princess decided that she will marry the singer otherwise she would remain unmarried throughout her life. When princess parents heard about this they resented on princess. But, ultimately they agreed.

The King (father of princess) went to the Teli with the proposal of Marriage. The king said “Arrange for the marriage of this handicapped man, my daughter wants to marry him.” Teli did not believe this but finally he agrees to this.

Marriage of Princess and handicapped Vikramaditya was over. But princess parents were not happy. In the mid-night of honeymoon King Vikramaditya had a small nap. God Shani dev visited the King in his dream and said, “King Vikramaditya, you ranked me the lowest among the gods. All this happened with you, this is the effect of my sight. You have undergone enough sufferings for your misjudgment. But now your Sade Sathi period is over.” Hearing this news king became happy and he requested Shani dev and said “Please do not inflict such sufferings to anyone in future like you did to me". The God accepted the king’s request and disappeared.

Shani Dev disappeared and King Vikramaditya opened his eyes, he was surprised to see that his hands and limbs are in proper shape. The princess & her family were also happy to see this. But when they realised the real identity of the handicapped person, the king (princess father) was overwhelmed with joy and praised his stars.

This news reached immediately in all the neighbouring kingdoms. The businessman also got this news and he felt guilty for his behavior. He went to Vikramaditya & requested him, “Excuse me for my wrong doing and behavior.” He invited him for dinner. King Vikramaditya accepted his request & the next day he went to businessman’s house for dinner. King Vikramaditya said, “I shall dine in the same room where the necklace was lost.” Without asking any question, the businessman arranged the dinner in the same room. When Vikramaditya was dining, he saw to his great surprise that the invaluable necklace was emerging from the same duck which was in the picture. This amazing view was seen by all the people who were present at the dinner. The businessman was so much overwhelmed with joy and he too decided to marry off his daughter to Vikramaditya.

After some time, King Vikramaditya returned to his Kingdom. Queen Madenlekha became so much happy to see Vikramaditya. On the next day in the court, King Vikramaditya said to his courtiers to make a proclamation by the beat of drums that God Shani is also powerful like other Gods and they should keep a fast on Saturday as a mark of honour to God Shani dev. Soon after there was an arrangement of worship of Shani dev on every Saturday. Now, Vikramaditya & his two queens lived happily thereafter.

Shani in Jainism

One who prays to Lord Munisuvarat is protected from Shani as he is a devotee of Lord Munisuvarat Swami, the 20th Jain Tirthankar).

Shani pilgrimages

  • Shree Shanaishchara Temple,Near Mangalore International Airport, Mangalore, Karnataka
  • Shree Shani Mahatma temple, Pavagada, Karnataka State
  • Lord Shani Temple, Gwalior Kokilavan, Vrindavan.
  • Shree Shani Temple Beedh, Maharastra.
  • Shree Shani Kshetra Nastanpur, Maharastra.
  • Shree Shani Kshetra Model Tirth Nandur bar, Maharastra.
  • Shree Shani Kshetra Rameshwar Tirth.
  • Shree Shani Tirth Tirunalaru, Puducherry.
  • Shree Shani Mandir Tirth, Ujjain.
  • Shree Shani Shingnapur, Maharastra.
  • Shree Shani Tirth Kshetra, Asola, Fatehpur Beri, Mehrauli, Delhi.
  • Shree Sidh Shakti Peeth ShaniDham,
  • Shree Shani Temple, Madivala, Bangalore
  • Shanaischara Temple Hassan
  • Sree Shanimahatma Temple, Pavagada, Tumkur dist, Karnataka
  • Sree Shanimahatma Temple, Sayyajirao road, Mysore.
  • Sree Shaneeswara Temple, NandiWaddemanu, Nagarkurnool, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Sree Shani Temple, Hathla, Jamnagar District, Gujarat
  • sri saneeswaralayam, veerannapalem, parchoor mandal, prakasam (dist) Andhra Pradesh.
  • Sri shaneeswaralayam, Mandapalli village, East-Godavari dist, Andhra Pradesh, India.
  • Sri Shaneeswara Temple, Gunjur Village, next to Varthur, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Sri Shaneeswara Temple, Kannanmangala Village, next to Belthur, Near Sri Sathya Sai Ashram, Whitfield, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Sri Shaneeswara Temple,on the way to Chikka thirupathi, Bangalore, Samethahalli,Karnataka, India
  • Sri Shaneeswara Temple, Tirupathi, near Tirupathi bus stand, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • Sri Shaneeswara Temple, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Sri Shaneeswara Temple, Hosur Main Road, Next to Hosa Road, Basapura Village, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Sri Shaneeswara temple, Whitefield, near Savana Hotel,Bangalore,India
  • Sri Abhaya Shaneeswara Temple(1956) Ramurthy Nagar,India
  • Sri Shanaischara Temple - Ramurthy Nagar,Bangalore,India
  • Sri Shanaishcara Temple - Hebbal, Under Hebba Flyover,Bangalore,India
  • Sri Shanaishcara Temple - Adambakkam,Chennai,India

See also

References

  1. ^ Effectuation of Shani Adoration pg. 10 at http://books.google.com/books?id=RnzLgxvmOFkC&pg=PA9&dq=shani+karma&cd=2#v=onepage&q=shani%20karma&f=false
  2. ^ Mythology of the Hindus By Charles Coleman p.134
  3. ^ Krishan, Yuvraj, Gaṇeśa: Unravelling an Enigma (1999) p. 137. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

The Greatness of Saturn or Shani Mahatmyam, from Robert Svoboda.

External links

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also shani

Contents

English

Etymology

From the Sanskrit शनि (Śani).

Proper noun

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Singular
Shani

Plural
-

Shani

  1. (Hinduism) The Hindu god associated with the planet Saturn

Anagrams

  • Anagrams of ahins
  • Shina

Simple English

Shani is one of the Navagraha which are the nine primary celestial beings in Hindu astrology, or Jyotiṣa. Shani is embodied in the planet Saturn. Shani is the Lord of Saturday; the word Shani also denotes the seventh day or Saturday in most Indian languages.


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