Shani dev (Sanskrit: शनि, Śani) is one of the Navagraha (the nine primary celestial beings in Hindu astrology) of Jyotiṣa. Shani dev is embodied in the planet Saturn and is the Lord of Saturday. Shani dev is also known as Śanaiścara (शनैश्चर).
The word shani also denotes the seventh day or Saturday in most Indian languages. The word shani (शनि) comes from Śanayē Kramati Saḥ (शनये क्रमति सः), the one who moves slowly, because Saturn takes about 30 years to revolve around the Sun.
Shani is a Deva and son of Surya and his wife Chhaya, hence also known as Chayyaputra. He is the elder brother of Yama, the Hindu god of death, who in some scriptures corresponds to the deliverance of justice. Surya's two sons Shani dev and Yama judge. Shani dev gives the results of one's deeds through one's life through appropriate punishments and rewards; Yama grants the results of one's deeds after death.
It is said that when Shani dev opened his eyes as a baby for the very first time, the sun went into an eclipse, which clearly denotes the impact of Shani dev on astrological charts. He is known as the greatest teacher and well wisher for the righteous as well the greatest punisher for those who follow the path of evil, betrayal, backstabbing and unjust revenge. Shani is also known as the lord of masses & God of Punishment and his blessings are thus considered very important in an individual's horoscope for bestowing him with mass following and popularity. He is depicted dark in colour, clothed in black; holding a sword, arrows and two daggers and mounted on a crow, which is Shani's vāhana. As protector of property, Shani dev is able to repress the thieving tendencies of birds.
Symbolism and Traditions
Shani dev, along with the goddess Jyestha, the god Yama, and the goddess Nirrti, are associated with the crow in Hindu mythology. Throughout Hindu mythology crows represent harmful and inauspicious characteristics, both of which Shani possesses.
Worship of Shani is done on Saturdays by offering to the god all his favourite items like oil, black cloth, black seeds, mustard oil.
Hindu traditions often include the worship of Shani dev in order to dispel dangerous ghosts and other supernatural beings. Worshipers also perform healing rituals and exorcisms that derive from local and regional folk traditions.
Temples and shrines
"Sri Mandeswara Swamy Temple in mandapalli in kothapet mandal of East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh-533223.
Thirunallar Shree Shaneeshwara Koil
There are clusters of nine temples / shrines dedicated to the Navagrahas. One such cluster is located near the town Kumbakonam or Mayiladuthurai in the state of 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. Tirunallar is close to Pondicherry. Devotees visit this place, take bath in the Nala Theertha and with their clothes wet goes and has darshan of Sri Shaneeshwara.
The legendary King Nala is said to have been relieved of his afflictions, which were due to the malefic influence of Saturn, after worship in this temple. Of the numerous tanks theertams, the Nala theertam is the most important one. By bathing here, it is believed that one is washed off all kinds of misfortune and afflictions.
Shani Devaalayam in Deonar
This temple called Shree Saneshwara Temple is situated east of the Shivaji statue at the junction of Chembur, Deonar, Govandi on Mumbai-Pune-Bangalore, Eastern Express Highway. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Shaneeswara: a beautiful, mighty, and imposing seven-foot-tall black statue.
Every Saturday evening, as soon as the priest gives Aarti, Lord Shaneeswara is said to descend upon the main priest. All of a sudden, the whole atmosphere in the temple changes. One can see and feel the charged atmosphere in the temple. There after the priest sits on a chair which has a seat made of very sharp, long iron nails pointing upwards. The foot rest and hand rest are also fully fitted with upward facing, sharp long iron nails. He sits on the chair without any discomfort. Thereafter the devotees 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. He listens patiently to their problems, agony or distress. Then he explains the cause of their agony and distress. It could be Prarabdham, consequences of their past deeds which are carried over to present janma, which means "life" in Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. Or as Swami explains, their problems could be the result of actions / deeds of his or her present birth itself. In some cases it could be handy work of Vamachara Tantra by their enemies and ill-wishers. There are other types of cases where it is believed that Aatmas of the deceased have occupied the sufferer's body causing misery and trouble. Swami listens to them all with apt attention with closed eyes and intent silence and offers them Prakshalana, or "cleansing" Praayaschitam or "repentance" through procedures such as yagna, pooja, dana, abstinence, etc. Thousands have claimed that their prayers have been answered by "Shaneeswara" through Swami.
In the premises of this Shani temple, navagraha mandapam is also there apart from Hanuman, Jagadeeswara, Saibaba and Mata deities. The Sanctum 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 Swami.
Another important Shrine for Lord Shani is in Shani Shingnapur, Maharashtra, India. is located half-way between Shirdi and Aurangabad. The deity here is "Swayambhu" (Sanskrit: self-evolved deity) that is self emerged from earth in form of black but imposing stone. Though no one knows the exact period, it is believed that the Swayambhu Shanaishwara statue was found from times immemorial by shepherds of the then local hamlet. It is believed to be in existence at least since Kali yuga.
The story of the swayambhu statue handed down from generations through word of mouth, goes something like this: When the Shepherd touched the stone with a pointed rod, the stone started bleeding. The shepherds were astounded. Soon the whole village gathered around to watch the miracle. On that night Lord Shanaishwara appeared in the dream of the most devoted and pious of the shepherds.
He told the shepherd that he is "Shanaishwara". He also told that the unique looking black stone is his swayambhu form. The shepherd prayed and asked the 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 shephered to do daily pooja every Saturday without fail. He also promised the whole hamlet will have no fear of dacoits or burglars or thieves.
So, Lord Shanaishwara can be seen even today, in the open yard without any roof above. To this day, there are no doors for any houses, shops, temples. It is to be seen to believe that even post office has no door, not to speak of locks. Due to the fear of Lord Shani, none of the structures, be it dwelling houses, huts, shops, etc. situated within one kilometer radius of this Lord Shani temple have neither doors nor locks. No thievery or burglary ever occurred here in this hamlet called Shani Shingnapur. Some who have tried to steal have died vomiting 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 Shingnapur is visited daily by thousands of devotees praying for Lord Shaneswara's favour. The place is the busiest on Saturdays. Shani Trayodasi is considered to be a favorite day for the lord. Similarly Saturday falling on Amavasya is considered to be a favorites day for the Lord Shanaishwara. Thousands of devotees seeking visit the temple daily.
This temple was built in early 1900 when Mahalaxmi devi appeared in form and gave darshan to Param Pujya Guruvarya Dadasaheb Hatey. The temple is located near Virar outskirsts Mumbai on National Highway 8. Every Friday all traditional rituals are carried out followed by Bhandara. Lakhs of devOtes throng to take darshan every Friday. Navgrah sthan was found during new construction of temple. All nine planets including lord kubera was found during excavation. Shani dev faces west direction sitting on Vulture in deep mediation and smiling face which seen very rarely.Any devotee who prays at this sthan get his wishes fulfilled in 5 Fridays.
Sri Shani Temple Titwala
Sri Shani Temple at Titwala is situated near Titwala Ganesh Temple and Shri Swamy Samarth Matha. Prana Pratisthta of this temple was carried out on May 29, 1986. It is constructed by Sri Prahlad Trayambak Kanhore on his own compound. Once he thought of constructing a temple of Lord Shani Temple, but he had no place to build the temple. In a dream Lord Shaneshwara told him to build a temple in his own compound for the well wishers of Lord Shani's devotees.
In 2013, a 20-foot-tall statue of Lord Shani was established at Yerdanur in the mandal of Sangareddy, Medak district, nearly 40 kilometers from Hyderabad city and around 8–10 km from Patancheru, easy to reach by road. It is considered by far the largest statue of the Lord of Saturday. It was carved from a monolith and weighs about nine tonnes. Thakur Suryapratap Singh, who established the statue, said he wanted to combat the notion that Saturn was ill-omened, describing him instead as "the Lord of Justice". A temple to Durga is located at nearby Vill.
Sri Shani Temple Kuchanoor
The only temple in India, which is solely meant for Shaneeswara Bhagavan, is located at Kuchanoor - 20 km. south of Theni near Madurai.
Shani Temples @ Aurangabad - Maharashtra:
Bhadra Maruti Shani temple at Khultabad In Railway Station premise of Aurangabad [be cautious about the parking as Cops are on patrolling to pick vehicles from no parking area] Off Railway Station - Baba petrol pump road [this temple has Hanuman temple as well] Temple off Karnapura devi road, near Baba petrol pump [this temple as well as Panchamukhi hanuman temple in its premise] Shani temple behind Chhavani Police Station [this also has other deities like Devi, Hanuman, Mahadev temples] Shani temple inside University campus [it is a beautiful place with Mahadev temple in its premise] Shani temple in Kotla colony near Kranti chowk [famous temple known by many people, it has Lord Dattatreya idol in its premise] Shani temple in Khokadpura [opposite to Shivaji High school, and this temple has Hanuman temple in its premise] Shani temple in Rokda Hanuman Colony near Amar preet hotel [this temple has Hanuman, Vitthal Rukmini and Balaji temples on its premises] Shani Temple in N2 [Other temples would be given soon along with photos]