Shanidev is considered one of the most powerful Gods in India and I feel he is also one of the most misunderstood deities.
Many people associate fear with Shani and believe he only gives pain and suffering and does not provide any benefits to his worshippers. This in my view is not correct. The reality is that he offers rewards linked to our Karma, so if we do bad we will be punished and if do good deeds he will reward us accordingly.
The Birth of Shanidev and Enmity with Sun
The story of birth of Shani begins when Sandhya who is the wife of Sun God finds the heat radiating from Sun too strong to bear. She decides to take a break and go away for some time. To avoid her disappearance being detected by Sun she brings her shadow to life and leaves this shadow called Chhaya in her place.
Chhaya stayed with Sun in place of Sandhya and gave birth to a son called Shani. It is said that due to the intense heat emanating from Sun this son was born completely black.
After a while Sun realized that Chhaya was a replica of Sandhya and he felt cheated. Since then he refused to accept Shani as his son. Being rejected by his father in this manner, Shani developed deep hatred for Sun.
What is Saadhe Saati?
Saadhe Saati literally means a period of seven and a half years. As per Vedic astrology Shani is one of the nav-graha (nine planets) that govern all aspects of our life. As these planets move along the different zodiac signs they bring out different kind of effects.
Shani which signifies Saturn in the planetary system takes two and a half years to cover each sun-sign from Aries to Pisces. It’s effect on a person is most profound when it passes right over the natal moon-sign. I will not get into the details as it will digress the focus of this particular post but in a summary Shani is most powerful in his actions when he is passing over the moon-sign and the signs adjacent to the moon-sign of a person. For example if your moon-sign is Virgo then your Saadhe saati period will start when Shani enters into Leo sign which comes before Virgo. It will continue for two and a half years in Leo before passing into Virgo. It will spend two and a half years in Virgo before moving to Libra. Finally it will spend two and a half years in Libra. The total of seven and a half years across Leo, Virgo and Libra will signify your Saadhe Saati period.
During this period of Saadhe saati Shani brings fruits which are linked to your actions. If you have been behaving in a morally and ethically correct manner then you will be rewarded during this period. Shani also appreciates people who put in hard work and sincere efforts for achieving their goals. Shani is against people using unfair means to reach their goals or cheating others for personal benefits. Shani gives unbearable suffering to such people during Saadhe saati so they learn their lesson and take measures to correct their behavior.
Shani Shingnapur Temple
There are many temples dedicated to Shani all over India and what makes worship of Shani unique is that devotees never look at his directly standing in front of him. People offer their obeisance while standing at an angle as it is believed that standing directly in front of Shani shows arrogance and might incur his wrath. Shani idols are bathed with offerings of mustard oil and devotees donate black cloth and black sesame seeds to the poor people to please Shani.
People visit Shani temple if they find their Saadhe saati period to be too unbearable. They pray to Shani to ease their sufferings.
The most popular temple of Shani in India is Shingnapur temple. There are no doors in the houses located in the village where the temple is located. It is due to the strong belief people have in the power of Shani that they are sure nobody can commit robbery in that area so there is no need to install doors in the houses.
The story of the origin of the temple is that many ages ago a large black stone emerged from the ground. Then Shani came in the dream of the shepherd that owned that land and told him that if the shepherd will put mustard oil on the statue everyday then Shani will protect the lands from thieves and burglars. It is said that since then there has not been any theft or robbery in that area.
There is a very interesting story called Shani Mahatmya which is based upon the life of king Vikramaditya. I will be covering that story in the second part of this article.
Om Namah Shivay!
About the Creator
I am a crypto enthusiast so my articles will be focused mainly on blockchain and crypto related topics.
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