“Shani”, the ruling lord of planet ‘Saturn’ and the weekday ‘Saturday’ is often associated with misfortune, sorrow, unhappiness and darkness. Hence many shudder or dread to even utter his name. Being born under the influence of Shani and that too on a Saturday, I was always fascinated and felt connected towards him and kept on researching about the subject for better understanding. My efforts in unraveling the mysteries surrounding “Shani” over the years has lead to various fascinating facts which I am going to share with you all, here in this page content.
The name “Shani” is believed to have originated from “Shanaye Kramati Sa:” which literally means the one involved in a slow motion. It is needless to say that modern science findings too reveal the fact that Planet Saturn takes nearly 30 years time to complete one rotation around the sun. The astronauts find Saturn’s colours strong, eye-captivating and at the same time powerful. The planet’s gravitational power is so intense that our thoughts good or bad reach him quickly and in turn experience the effects, accordingly. Being the cousin of Lord Yama (the Hindu deity of death), he is a god of just and only punishes those who are involved in bad deeds, betrayal, unjust behaviour and backstabbing.
The translation of an old proverb sheds light on this very fact. As per the ancient proverb, “No one other than Shani can give as much as blessings and wealth and no one can be as destructive as he can”. As a matter of fact, God Shani is the best teacher and well wisher to mankind and bestows his grace on those whose intentions and Karma (actions) are pure and good. Many instances from time and again in the past have stood testimony to this fact.
According to Hindu mythology when Shani in the baby form opened his eyes, the act resulted in a solar eclipse. No wonder Shani’s influence is felt on the planetary position changes and astrological charts. Shani Bhagwan also known as Shaneesvara or lord Shani is an offspring of the Sun God (Surya) and Chhaya (goddess of shadow) hence also called as ‘Chayyaputra’. References related to Lord Shani are not only seen in India but all over the world, especially in European legends. The ancient Greeks and Romans identify and worship him as ‘Cronus’ while the Italians know him as ‘Saturn’.
He is portrayed having a dark complexion wearing a black cloth seated on a black crow or eagle holding arrows, daggers and a trident or sword. Some even say that he is portrayed riding a chariot made of iron that is driven by eight horses. Hence is linked with his favourite numeral #8. Certain books and scriptures mention this planet as “Eunuch” because of possessing dual qualities of both the male and female genders (strength and softness). Considered as the ruler of hills, forests and even burial grounds, his beloved grain is Sesame, flower is said to be water lily and gemstones Blue Zircon and Blue Sapphire. The zodiac signs that are ruled by him are Aquarius (Khumbha Rashi) and Capricon (Makara Rashi). When Shani is in a favourable position in a person’s horoscope, the individual is said to possess remarkable will power, will complete jobs to the utter satisfaction and will lead a longer span of life. If involved in iron and steel business, he/she will be highly successful. On the contrary, if lord Shani is found to be debilitated or weak in a horoscope, the concerned individual will be rude in speech and behaviour and will not be able to appreciate traditions and scriptures.
Since time unknown, Sade Sati or 7 ½ years is believed to be a problematic and painful period. Many fear of the physical, financial and mental agony they need to go through.
Let us first understand the 3 phases that can be otherwise called as the “rising”, “peak” and “leveling phases”.
It is very similar to washing soiled clothes. During the first stage the clothes are taken away from the wearer for washing (soul cleansing act) and in the second phase, just like the clothes are treated with various chemicals and handled in a harsh manner your patience and perseverance is tested (testing period). The third stage is similar to drying and ironing of clean clothes. Here the soul too becomes pure and considerate. It should be noted that depending on the nature and karma of a person, the intensities might vary and the phases can sometimes overlap each other.
Personally, I feel that life is full of surprises, challenges and mixed emotions and nothing more than that. Life goes on as it is destined to be. Surprisingly, I felt that the Sade Sati period was full of insightful experiences which I am going to elaborate here.
As I told you earlier, I was born under the influence of Saturn and was known as a person with a well built physical frame, clever mind and compassion. I entered into my first Sade Sati phase (first 2 ½ year term) when I was 11 years old. My teachers and fellow students found me very trustful, hard working and committed with quick learning skills. I was a topper not only in my studies and sports but also in fine arts such as drawing and music. Though I had to face minor illnesses, hardships and emotional turmoil in my house front I emerged successful at the end of whichever endeavor I was involved with. It was during that time my mother told me about Shani Bhagwan’s influence in one’s life and ways to overcome the hurdles by being truthful, committed, pious and undeterred.
It was during my second phase of Sade Sati which occurred when I was 41 years old (after 30 years) did I get interested in pondering into the facts related to Lord Shani. Many suggested that I wear a blue sapphire in silver or iron, go to Shani temples, light Sesame oil lamps and fast on Saturdays to ward off the negative effects of Shani. Fortunately, instead of following such ideologies blindly, I analyzed the propagandas and realized that the key to the solution is being dedicated, truthful and meticulous. Thus, half of the battle is won and the rest can be dealt through belief in the ultimate power (God) and destiny.
My good karma led to “jeevanacharya” through whom I experienced divinity and got the blessings of Lord Shani. Our guru was instrumental in bringing prosperity, good health and above all peace of mind. It was him who made me realize that, “you become what you wish to become and Lord Shani being a powerful force only augments your wish. The benefits multiply when the deeds are done with good intention”.