Caption = Shani / Shanaiscarya
Name = Shani
Devanagari = शनि / शनैश्वर
Sanskrit_Transliteration = Śani
God_of = Saturn
Mantra = Om Sham Shanaiscaryaye Namah
Mount = Raven / Vulture
Planet = Saturn
SanskritŚani शनि) is one of the Navagrahawhich are the nine primary celestial beings in Hinduastrology, 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 rotate 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 cousin of Yama, the Hindu God of death. It is said that when he 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 vulture or a raven. [Mythology of the Hindus By Charles Coleman p.134]
In Hindu mythology
The story of Shani's life is described in "Shri Shani Mahatyam" "॥श्रीशनिमहात्म्य॥" written several centuries ago. The story of "Shani Mahatyam" describes how devotion is required to please him and receive his "krupa" (blessings). "Shri Shani Mahatyam" 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 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 Mahatyam" 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 Ganeshashortly after his birth, he lost his human head under Shani's gaze. [Krishan, Yuvraj, "Gaṇeśa: Unravelling an Enigma" (1999) p. 137. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.]
hani and Hanuman
The worship of Lord
Hanumanis a panacea for the harsh effects of the 'unfavourable' presence of Lord Shani. In the Ramayana, Lord Hanumanis said to have rescued Shani from the clutches of Ravanaand in gratitude, Shani promised Hanumanthat 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
Hanumanand Shani is that once Shani climbed on to Hanuman's shoulder, implying that Shani's influence was beginning on Lord Hanuman. At this, Hanumanassumed 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, Shani requested Lord Hanumanto 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 Hanumanreleased Shani.
Ways to please Shani
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 ॥
One who prays to Lord
Vishnuis protected from Shani as he is said to be a great devotee of Vishnu. (It is interesting to note that HanumanHimself was devoted to Lord Rama, an avatarof Vishnu).
It is also a wide spread belief that one who is an ardent devotee of Lord SriLakshmiNarasimha Swamy or Lord Venkateswara (Balaji) is also always protected by Sri Shani Maharaj.
A common mantra for drawing the support of Shani 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.
According to Vedic astrology, Shani is one of the nine
Navagrahaor 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 Hinduhopes 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 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 spends on an average about two and half years in each
rashior moonsign. This movement of Shani through the moonsigns carries great importance in hinduastrologyand horoscope predictions. The effect of Shani starts when it enters the previous rashi/moonsign to one's own birth rashiand stops when it leaves the rashi/moonsign after one's birth rashi. The total period of 7.5 years (2.5 x 3) is called "Saadesaati" or "Shani Maha Dasa", and is typically a period of great difficulty.
Shani rules the signs Makara (Capricorn) and Kumbha (Aquarius), is exalted in Tula (Libra) and in his fall in Mesha (Aries). Mercury and Venus are considered friendly towards Shani or Saturn, while the Sun, Moon and Mars are enemies. Shani is the lord of three
nakshatras or lunar mansions: Pushyami, Anuradhaand Uttara Bhadrapada.
Shani has the following associations: his color is black or dark blue, metal is iron and gemstone is Blue Sapphire. His element or
tattvais 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, his flower is the violet and he is linked to all black animals and all trees that are considered useless and ugly.
hrines for Lord Shani
Shani Devaalayam in Deonar:There is a Shani Temple in
Deonar, in Mumbai. The temple is situated east of shivaji Statute at the junction of Chembur, Deonar, Govandi on ( Mumbai- Pune- Bangalore) Eastern Express Highway. The Presiding Deity of this Templeis Lord Shaneeswara. A mighty, 7 feet tall imposing beautiful black statue.
Many devotees who have "shani Dosham" or people who are passing through
Shani Mahar Dasathrong the temple, for doing 'Tailabhishekam' (Tailam = oil in Sanskrit, Teluguand Malayalam). Nuvvula Nune(Nuvvulu=Sesame; Nune=oil in Telugu)Ellenne (Ellu=sesame; enne=oil in Kannada) is poured with utmost devotion on the head in a manner that the oil covers entire iodol while flowing down. This pooja done with this oil, is believed to please Shaneeswara.
Every Saturday approximately 6.30 P.M, as soon as the priest gives Harathi, Lord Shaneeswara descends on the main priest (who is fondly called 'Swami'by people) all of a sudden, Whole atmosphere in the
Templechanges. 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 also are fully fitted with upward looking, sharp long iron nails. When Lord Shaneeswara, descends on Swami, he sits on this chair throughout the day. On some Saturdays for a continuous stretch of 12 to 13 hours, without ever indicating any pain or discomfort!!!!.
Thereafter the devoties 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 problem, agony or distress or what ever they say. Then he explains the reason/cause behind their agony/problem/distress. It could be
'Prarabdham',consequences of their past karmas (deeds) which are carried over to present janma(=Life in Sanskrit, Telugu and Malayalam). Or as Swami explains, their problems could be result of actions/deeds of present birth itself. In some cases it could be handy work of Vamachara Tantra (black magic)by their enmies and ill-wishers. There are other types of cases Aatmas (spirits)of decesed have occupied the sufferer's body causing misery and trouble. 'swami' listens to them all with apt attention with closed eyes and in intent silence.(in fact he is found to be closing his eyes during most of the day, when he is seated on the nail chair) and offers them "Prakshalana"(=cleansing in Sanskrit and Telugu)or Praayaschitam(Sanskrit, Telugu, Malayalam) repentence through yagna/pooja/dana/abstinence etc) procedure. Thousands have vouched that their prayers have been answered by "Shaneeswara" through 'Swami'.
In the premises of this Shani temple,
navagrahamandapam is also there apart from Hanuman, Jagadeeswara, Saibabaand Matadeities. Santum 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 Swamy.
"Shani Singapur:" 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 earthin 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 shepards 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 shepared that he is "Shaneeswara". He also told that the Unique looking Black Stone is His swayambhu form. The sheppered 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 shepered to do daily pooja and 'tailabhishekam' every Saturday without fail. He also promised the whole hamlet will have no fear of dacoits or bulglers 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 Shani, none of the structures, be it dwelling houses, huts, shops etc situated within one kilometre radius of this Lord Shani temple, have neither doors and locks. No thievery or burglary ever occurred here in this hamlet called Shani Singhapur. 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 Shingapur is visited daily by thosands of devotees praying for Lord Shaneswara's favour. The place is busiest on Saturdays. Shani
trayodasiis considered to be a fourite day for the lord. Similarly Saturday falling on ' Amavasya'(new moon day in Sanskrit, telugu, Kannada, malayalam) is considered to be a fovurite day for the Lord Shaneeswara. Thousands of devotees seeking his blessings throng this temple in thousands.
One of the
mantras for Shani raya is ""'NILAMJANA SAMABASAM RAVI PUTRAM YAMAGRAJAM
CHAYA MARTHANDA SAMBHUTAMTAM NAMAMI SHANAISWARAM
Shree Shaneeshwarar Temples in Mumbai::There are several Shree Shaneeswara Swamy Temples in Mumbai. i)One mandir is situated next to Nageshwar pasharvanathji jain temple, at Ghatkopar (west) close to Sheryas cinema. ii)There is a Shree Shani Mandir at Katemanevli, Kalyan (East), near Vitthalwadi ( Central Rly ) Railway Station. iii)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. iv)There is a Shree Shani Mandir 15 minutes walkable from National Park at Savarpada,Borivali (East).v)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. vi)There a temple at Nerul, Navi 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 Kumbakonamin the stateof 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.
Temples iother places: A Shani temple
ShaniDham, is at Fatehpur Beri, about 6 km from Chhattarpur temple & 16 km from the Qutub Minar, at Mehrauli, South Delhi, India. It has got 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.
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 temple in south of India, near
Pondicherrycalled Thirunellaru which is of paramount importance to Shaneeswaran. Millions of devotees visit this place to protect themselves from the effects of the transit of Saturn.
There is a Viswaroopa Sarvamangala Shaneeswara Bhagawan sannidhi inside Devi Nagamuthu Mariamma temple in EB Colony,
hani in Jainism
One who prays to Lord Munisuvarat is protected from Shani as he is a devotee of Lord Munisuvarat Swami (20th jain tirthankar).
*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, Tamil Nadu.
*Shree Shani Mandir Tirth, Ujjain.
*Shree Shingnapur, Maharastra.
*Shree Shani Tirth Kshetra, Asola, Fatehpur Beri, Mehrauli, Delhi.
*Shree Sidh Shakti Peeth ShaniDham,
* Shree Shani Temple, Just adjacent to HEBBAL Flyover / Circle ,BANGALORE.
*Shree Shani Temple, Madivala, Bangalore
Shanaischara Temple Hassan
*Sree Shanimahatma Temple,Pavagada, Tumkur dist, Karnataka
* [http://www.shanishinganapur.com/ Shani Shinganapur]
* [http://www.chennaionline.com/toursntravel/placesofworship/lordsani.asp http://www.chennaionline.com/toursntravel/placesofworship/lordsani.asp]
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