The tardiest of all the planets is
Saturn, who is also known as Shaneeshwara, Shanaischara, Manda, Konastha, Pingala and
Souri. Different stories are narrated to trace his origin. To begin with, he is said to be
the offspring of Surya and Sangya, the daughter of Vishwakarma. Yama, the God of death and
the river Yamuna are believed to be his sibilings. Shani, Tapathi and Saavarni are the
three children born to Surya and Sangya
Appearance: The blue
coloured Saturn is robed in blue clothes with a gold crown shining in all brilliance. His
vehicle is eagle. Saturn is married to Sati, chitraradhas daughter. Sati, a devoted
wife, once approaches Shani desiring a child. But Shani, meditating upon Vishnu pays no
heed to his wife. Disappointed by Shanis attitude, Sati revels a curse that those
who look at him be doomed. Shani appealed to absolve him of this curse go in vain.
Henceforth, it is prescribed that those who look at him with bent heads would not carry
Another prevalent story about Sani is to be found in the
Raamaayana. According to astrology, if Sani destroys the vehicle of Rohini, the pieces
that fall on earth cause stark famine. Knowing this, king Dasharatha approached Sani, with
a request not to be on the destructive spree. Sani is pleased with the kings
pleading and assures that he would not cause destruction. King Dasharatha is immensely
pleased and goes rhapsodic about Sanis greatness. These attributes of Sani composed
by Dasharatha are quite famous.
The presiding deity of Sani is Lord Brahma. The Pratyadhi
deity is Yama. The iron chariot driven by eagle is Saturns vehicle.
According to solar school of thought, Sani was believed
to have been born out of Vayu (one of the five elements). The orbit of Saturn is 8.871
lakh miles away from the sun.
Saturn in Astrology: Saturn was born in Saurashtra
into Kashyapa gotra in the year Vibhava on Navami of Shukala Paksha in Pushya maasa. His
star was Bharani and he was born on a Saturday. Facing west-ward, he adorns Dhanus,
Trishul, Arrow and Varada mudra in his four hands. He presides over Makara and Kumbha
rashis. In the planetary system, he is positioned behind the Sun in a bow like formation
towards west. Tula lagna is the best place for Shani. In a native horoscope, if Saturn is
positioned in 3, 6 and 11 zodiac signs, he gives good results. His tenure is 19 years and
in each sign, he resides for 30 months.
Popular stories about Shani: Once upon a time
there lived a brahmin by name Gunaratnakara in Satyavratha region. Once the brahmins
deceased grand father appears in the dream and prophesies the region of Saturn for seven
and half years. The brahmin wakes up from the dream and chants the Shani stotra penned by
king Dasharatha. Saturn is appeared but he says he would at-least afflict him for three
and a half hours. The brahmin makes it to a forest with food tied in a piece of cloth and
sits for penance. Just then thieves break into the palace of king Vasupala of Lakshmipura
kingdom and decamp with jewellery tied into a casket. They run into the forest and
disappear. Meanwhile the security guards of the palace chase the thieves and come across
the meditating brahmin. By his side they see the casket of jewellery. The brahmin is taken
to the king and when he unties the casket, he only finds food in it. The brahmin
understands it as the effect of Shani and explains the same to the king.
Another story runs on the lines of how the cosmic Lord
Shiva falls a prey to Shanis affliction. Saturn is challenged by Shiva and in order
to escape the clutches of Shani, Lord Shiva seeks refuge in the form of a seed in a fruit.
Saturn tells the Lord that it is his affliction which made Lord Shiva leave his abode in
kailasa and take shelter in an ordinary fruit.
Saturns impact fails to work when he plans to trap
Lord Venkateshwara. Thus it is believed that those who worship the Lord of seven hills
especially on Saturdays will be absolved from the evil effects of Shani.
Temples of Shani
An ancient temple in Mandapalli near Rajahmundry in
Andhra Pradesh is a famous temple of Shani. Another one is at Shinganapur near Shirdi. The
third famous temple is at Tirunallar in Tamil Nadu. Worshipping Lord Venkateshwara at
Tirupathi or at any of these temples will appease Shani.
The diameter of Saturn is 7,25,000 miles and the
temperature is 179 deg C. There is a circle of light encircling Saturn and it is the
second biggest planet after Jupiter in the solar system. Saturn is positioned 2,01, 83,904
yojanas away from the earth. (one yojana is equal to eight miles).
There are several books being used to worship Saturn. It
is said that Shani japam should be done 19,000 times to win his favour. There are several
beeja mantras to appease Shani.
HREEM SREEM GRAHA CHAKRA VARTHINE SHANAISCHARAAYA
KLEEM IM SAHA SWAAHAA
OM SHAM SHANAISCHARAAYA NAMAHA
OM PRAAM PREEM PROUM SAHA SHANAISCHARAAYA NAMAHA
In other books
OM KHRAAM KHREEM KHROUM SAHA SHANAYE NAMAHA
Tailabhishekam to Sani preferably on Saturndays or more
so on Shani Trayodashi is very efficacious.
Piece of black cloth, Black gingelly seeds, Blue or black
flowers, Garland, Til oil, Lamp, A mixture of gingelly and jaggery, Grains of rice,
Turmeric, Kumkum, Coconut, Bananas, Incense sticks, Camphor, Betel leaves, Nuts, Idol of
Shani and a piece of towel are required to perform Shani pooja and abhishekam.
Impact of Shani on human lives
The Saturn influences and shapes human attitudes.
Longevity, frugality, patience, endurance, philosophical disposition, temperment,
education, love for blue robes, foreign residence are all the gifts of Saturn. On the
negative side, he rouses love for gambling, ill reputation, lack of systematic approach,
procrastination and foolish behaviour. Cowardice and premature aging and a host of
negative attitudes spring from Saturn.
To appease Shani, one has to give away blue coloured
flowers, black gingelly seeds. Black slippers and umbrella. A blue coloured precious stone
(Neela Mani) should be worn to pacify Saturn. Pushyami, Anuraadha and Uttaraabhaadra are
the stars which are considered to be Shani nakshatras.
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