Shani has always been one of the most popular and the most dreaded Gods in Hindu mythology. He is also referred to as Saura, Pangu, Mandu, Kruradris, Asita and Saptarchi.
Everybody fears him, but what is the reason for this fear? There have been several mythologies associated with Shani Dev. Let’s have a look at some of them:
Birth of Shani
It is said that Surya Dev was initially married to Saranyu, but because of his unbearable heat and brightness, she left him and went away for penance leaving her shadow Chhaya behind.
Shani Dev is the son of Surya Dev and Chhaya, while his mother was going through severe penance. Lord Shiva has therefore, blessed Shani Dev with darkness symbolizing the power of extreme penance that he possesses.
Surya Dev or Sun God had two sons, Yama and Shani. His mother was Chhaya and hence is also known as Chhayaputra. Shani Dev represents the planet Saturn and is the lord of Saturdays. His elder brother Yama is also known as God of death. While Yama, gives the results of one’s deeds after death, Shani is known to give one the fruits of his deeds in his present life itself. He also had two sisters Yamuna Devi and Putri Bhadra. His other two brothers are Vaivastahva Manu and Manu.
When Shani was born, the sun went into an eclipse. This denotes the impact of Shani on the Hindu astrology. Lord Shani was born on Vaishak Vadya Chaturdasi Amavasya; which is observed as Shani Amavasya or Shani Jayanti
Family of Shani Dev
Shani Dev considered Lord Shiva as his guru. He was also his brother-in-law as Shiva was married to Goddess Kali. He also represents Lord Shiva’s Vairagya principle.
When his mother Chhaya was carrying Shani in her womb, she was highly devoted to the penance of Lord Shiva. She was so engrossed that she didn’t even care to have any food. This had such a profound influence on the baby in her womb, that he was born with dark skin.
The reputation of Lord Shani
According to Hindu iconology, Lord Shani is lame and limp, as he was injured while fighting with his brother Yama in his childhood. He is represented riding a chariot, pulled by a crow or a vulture or an iron chariot with eight horses and carrying a bow and arrow. He is usually depicted with dark skin, wearing black clothes.
He is also sometimes known to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who has the responsibility of giving the fruits of one’s deeds in their present life.
Shani Dev According to Vedic astrology, Shani sade-sati is considered a troublesome time for one’s life. This person may face a lot of challenges, may face failure, accidents, health and money related problems. They also regard this period as a life changing one.
Shani Dev and Hanuman
According to Surya Sanhita, Hanuman was born on a Saturday and is the Rudra avatar of Lord Shiva. In numerous occurrences in ancient Hindu Shastras, the skin colour of Hanuman is regarded like that of Lord Shani Dev.
Lord Hanuman is said to have rescued Shani Dev from the clutches Raavan, and in return, Shani promised him that who worships Hanuman on Saturdays will be free from the bad effects of Shani.