There are numerous Hindu gods and goddesses, each of them believed to possess unique powers. Lord Shani one of the popular Hindu gods believed to ward off the evil eye and remove obstacles. He is also well-known As Sani, Shani Dev, Ravinandana, Saneeswara, Saura, Pangu, Mandu, Kruradris, Asita and Saptarshi, Sani Bhagwan, Kruralochana, Asita, and Chayyaputra. These names are associated either together with his personality or legends related to him.
Shani Dev signifies spiritual asceticism, penance, discipline, and conscientious work. Shani is the basis for Shanivara (Saturday)– one among the seven days in the Hindu calendar.
Lord Shani is portrayed as dark-complexioned wearing dark blue or black clothing. He is mostly depicted riding a crow or vulture and a chariot dragged by eight horses. He carries a lot of weapons and amongst these, he has a bow and two arrows, a sword, a trident, and also carries an ax like Lord Parshuram.
Qualities of Shani Dev
Shani has the ability to overall gross and inert forms. He has authority over all the gross components of the body, including the roles of the nerves, muscles, cells, nails, hair, skin, teeth, and bones. Shani also has complete authority over death. He can craft situations where we lack motivation, lack inspiration, and lack vision. Shani has no cleverness or deceit. He exhibits complete seriousness and gravity in every circumstance, with no humor.
Birth of Shani Dev
It is said that the goddess Lord Surya (Surya Dev) was first married to Saranyu (Sanjana, Sanjna). She is the consort of the Sun, with three children (Shraddhadeva Manu, Yama, and Yamuna). Because of the painful heat and brightness of the Sun, Sanjna left him and went away for penance leaving her Shadow/Chhaya behind. Her father instructed her to go back to her husband but she denied it. While Sanjna was going through severe penance, Chhaya gave birth to Shani. He is also called Chhayaputra. Chhaya (Suvarna) bore three kids to the sun namely Savarni Manu, Shani, and Tapti. When Shani was in her womb, she was lost in serving her husband. Due to The sun’s heat, the baby in the worm turned black. Therefore Shani was black at birth.
He is the elder brother of Yama (the god of death and justice) therefore he plays the character of Yama and can take an end to life. Saturn also represents detachment. It has great spiritual value. No saint can take birth without a well-placed and powerful Saturn.
Abandonment of Lord Shani
After looking at his son, who is not even looking like his father, Lord Sun refused to accept him as his son. So he abandoned both Shani and Chaya. Both of them faced disregard, disgrace, and suffered through great pain of abandonment.
Tapasya of Lord Shiva
To seek power and sight adequate to his father, Lord Shani struggled and sacrificed his babyhood and youth too. He did strict austerity to gratify Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva gets impressed by his devotion and intention. Finally, Lord Shiva granted a boon to him that he can only have the right and authority to severe penalties and recompenses. Thus Shani is also known as the god of justice.
One day Shani was very hungry and went to his mother to ask for food. His mother Chhaya told him to wait as she wanted to make an offering to the Gods first. Shani insisted on being served even before the Gods and he kicked her in anger. Due to his immorality, Shani’s one leg became inactive and he turned lame.
Wife Curses Shani
Shani had two wives, Neelima and Damini. Neelima or Neela is the first consort of Shani. She balances and increases the power of Shani. She has the power of the fifth head of Brahma. Damini was Gandharva’s daughter as well as the princess. Her dance can attract anyone in the whole universe. Once when Shani was performing his Shiva Pooja and did not pay attention to Damini, she cursed him to always have his eyes turned downwards and for his sight to bring in trouble.
Shani in Vedic Astrology
Shani is also known as Saturn in Vedic astrology. Saturn is one of the nine planetary deities called the Navagraha. It is the seventh among them. Saturn is a very slow-moving planet. It takes about 30 years to travel through all 12 zodiac signs. It is said that planet Saturn is an arbiter of our past deeds. (Effects of Saturn in 12 Houses)
The planet Saturn is a Natural Benefactor of Jobs and Services, Metals, Industries, Age, Poverty, Hardships, Diseases, all kinds of obstacles, and selfishness. As the manifestation of inert matter, Saturn states our fortune, our health, and our popularity. In Vedic astrology, anyone born under Shani’s influence is feared to possess bad luck. To alleviate negative hurdles, Shani Dev is often worshiped to keep away misfortune, adversity, and evil. However, Shani is often misinterpreted.
ॐ ऐं ह्रीं श्रीं शनैश्चराय नमः ||
Om Aing Hring Shring Shanaishchray Namah ||
Shani Beej Mantra
ॐ प्रां प्रीं प्रौं सः शनैश्चराय नमः॥
Om Praam Preem Praum Sah: Shanishchray Namah॥
Shani Gayatri Mantra
ॐ भग-भवाय विदमहे मृत्यु-रूपाय धीमहि तन्नो शनिः प्रचोदयात् ॥
Om Bhagabhavaya Vidmahaim Mrityu-rupaya Dheemahi tanno Shanih Prachodyat॥
ॐ काकध्वजाय विद्महे खड्गहस्ताय धीमहि तन्नो मन्दः प्रचोदयात् ॥
Om Kaakadhwajaaya Vidmahae Khadga Hastaaya Dheemahi Tanno Mandah Prachodayat॥
ॐ सूर्यपुत्राय विद्महे मृत्युरूपाय धीमहि तन्न: सौरि: प्रचोदयात् ॥
Om Suryaputraay Vidhmhe Mrityurupaay Dheemahi Tann: Soureeh Prachodyat॥
ॐ शनैश्चराय विदमहे छायापुत्राय धीमहि | तन्नो मंद: प्रचोदयात् ||
Shani Gayatri Mantra Aum Shaneshchraaye Vidmahe Chhayaputraay Dheemahi Tanno Mandah Prachodyat॥
Shani Ekashari Mantra
ऊँ शं शनैश्चाराय नमः।
Om Sham Shaneicharaya Namah।