Shani

Hari Om!

(Written many months back with the intention to blog it on a Saturday... may have ended somewhat abruptly, but I think thats all I wanted to say. If I did want to say more, I'll try and say it some other time, but I'd like to blog it now since I recalled it on a ShanivAra. :) )
nilAnjana samAbhAsam raviputram yamAgrajam chAyAmArtanDa sambhUtam tamnamAmi shanaiscaram

Shani (Saturn) is a well known planet and among those who follow Hindu astrology, for them he's actually a star! Well, not the star in astronomical terms but in terms of the role that Shani plays in horoscopes. In mythology, Shani is the son of Surya (Sun) and brother of Yama (Lord of Death). Apart from the usual dashA and bhukti that each planet effects, Shani also has an additional seven and a half years of effect which repeats approx. every 30 years. During this period, it takes away most of the happiness that a person may be having and instead replaces that with tensions, delays in all sorts of works. Shani, in many cases, doesn't directly take life away but at most is responsible to indirectly cause death. That too in cases where no parihAra is made. Shani likes to be praised, like any other planet or diety for that matter. While some dieties cause trouble when the pujA is offered regularly and then stopped in between (that is, irregular pujA after a regular offering) or when pujA is offered improperly, Shani requires praise to be offered, else he will cause trouble. And mind you, its not just humans that Shani affects, he affects all living beings, inclusive of Brahma. There's a story about how Brahma was undergoing a phase of Shani influence and during the time, fell in love with a girl he had brought up, causing Shiva's anger and a battle. In this battle, Brahma bites Shiva's hand and in a fit of anger, Shiva tears away that head of Brahma! Thats why although Brahma originally had four heads, he's depicted with only three. Thats how disastrous Shani's influence could be. Shani has many stories associated with his glories too. For example, Shani was influential in Ravana's fall.

That was about Shani's negative effects. However, Shani has extremely positive results to give as well. Most so to friendly signs, of course, but to others as well who pray to him, submitting unto his terror and even offering devotion. Shani is not very difficult to please either. A simple stotra, part of navagrahastotram, as in the beginning of this blog suits him. An extremely benefiecial effect that Shani offers is for people who are inclined to spirituality. Having faced trouble during the sADesAti, if people who are even forced away from worldly things, take the opportunity to find interest in spiritual life, Shani does provide a way out. Most of us miss this golden moment and instead struggle to get the world back thats taken away by Shani. He's like the parent that takes away the toys and games of the child so that he takes to studying instead. A child that wastes time trying to get the toy back neither gets the toys, nor does he get a better studious life. Moreover, that child also displeases the parent by adamant behaviour, thereby causing more tension.

Om tat sat
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