Shani Jayanti – celebrated as the birth anniversary of Shani Dev. As per Hindu calendar, it is observed in the month of Jyeshtha, on the Amavasya tithi. Also known as Shri Shanaischar Janma Diwas, Shani Jayanti is the day when Shani, the son of Surya Dev, took birth. Shani Dev who rules planet Saturn, is glorified as the God of justice.
Shani Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Shani Dev. It falls in Amavasya tithi in the month of Jyeshtha. As per Astrology, Shani Dev is connected with Saturn planet, and has an impact on everyone’s life. Hindus from all community’s worship Shani Bhagawan to avoid the malign effects of Shani graha in the horoscope. Those who have an unfruitful Saturn life cycle, pray to Shani Dev, especially on this day. The main aim of keeping vrat on Shani Jayanti and visiting Shani temple is to please Shani Dev so that a person can be blessed with good fortune. It is said that the location of shani graha, along with other Navagraha, in our birth chart, affects the degree of benefits we receive from our hard work. Shani Dev is known as the God of justice, and bestows the consequences of good and bad deeds of an individual.
ORIGIN AND SIGNIFICANCE:
As mentioned in Puranas, Shani Dev was the son of Surya Dev and Devi Chaya. Devi Chaya was actually a shadow of Devi Sarnayu. It was said that Devi Saranyu could not bear the heat of Surya Dev, so she created her own shadow, Chaya, and left Surya Dev keeping Chaya with him. She retreated into a forest for penance, and asked Chaya Devi to take her place. However, Surya Dev was unaware of the entire plot. Shani Dev was born to Chaya Devi and Surya Dev. As Shani Dev was born from a shadow, his complexion was dark from birth. Surya Dev doubted Shani Dev for being his son, and insulted Chaya Devi. Bhagawan Shiva then brought the truth to light, and informed Surya Dev about Chaya being a shadow of Saranyu. Annoyed with Surya Dev’s ill comments towards his mother and him, Shani Dev set a brutal gaze at Surya Dev, due to which his complexion also turned black. Bhagawan Shiva healed Surya Dev and blessed Shani Dev with special powers and authority, to cool him down. Ever since, the birthday of Shani Dev is celebrated as Shani Jayanti, and he is prominently known as God of justice.
Shani Dev is connected with Saturn planet and Saturday is the day of Saturn. Saturn is considered to be the slowest moving planet in the galaxy, and has ill effects on individual life. Its impact is decided based on its position in an individual’s kundli. But the truth is that Saturn is prominently the planet of Karma and the person according to his deeds of past and present reaps the consequences. Individual’s hard work, struggle and sincere efforts are the only means to get Saturn positioned in an apt location, and to be blessed with its benefits.
Shani Dev pays virtues for fair karma of an individual. He is also popular with other names such as Sauri, Manda, Nee, Yama, Kapilaksha and Chata Sunu. It is said that every individual goes through a phase of ‘sade sati’ in life, and if one’s karma is good, Shani Dev helps in overcoming those hardships. Hence, Hindus worship Shani Bhagawan in a very serious manner, to make him happy and to eliminate the ill effects of ‘sade Sati’ dasha. Fasting and visiting temples on the day of Shani Jayanti, is considered to be very sacred and blesses one with good fortune in life.
DIETIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE FESTIVAL:
Shani Dev is worshiped along with Bhagawan Shiva, Bhagawan Ganesha and Hanuman, on the day of Shani Jayanti.
CUSTOMS, TRADITIONS AND RITUALS:
One can say that Shani Dev is a great balancer in one’s life. Rich or poor, educated or illiterate, everyone is the same in his eyes. If one commits sins, he has to pay for it. It is a wrong belief that Shani Dev brings malefic effects. In fact, he rewards and appreciates those who struggle, walk on the right path and work hard to attain success in life, and punishes one for his wrong deeds.
- Navagraha Puja is often performed to please Shani Dev.
- On almost every Saturday, people gather in large numbers to offer prayers to Shani Dev.
- A Shani yagya should be performed by experts to negate the negative effects of Shani Dev.
- To get rid of evil spirits or black magic, Shani puja is advised.
- Some people observe vrat on the day of Shani Jayanti, to lead an obstacle free life.
- Individuals perform Shani jap by chanting Shani mantra 23,000 times, for peace and prosperity.
- Shani shanti puja and tailaabhishekam are performed by admirers, to please Shani Dev.
- To negate the effects of black magic and to fight with bad spirits, a yagya is done on this day, and a horse shoe ring is hung outside the house.
- It is considered very auspicious to feed ants, black dogs, cows or other animals, with wheat and jaggery on this day.
- Peepal tree is considered to be the residence of Shani Dev, and is worshipped on Shani Jayanti.
PUJA VIDHI AND KATHA:
- Mix sesame seeds and sesame oil in water, and take an early bath.
- Keep an iron statue of Shani Dev along with murti of Ganesha, Shiva & Hanuman, in the temple at home.
- Wear black clothes, if possible, on Shani Jayanti and observe a fast on this day.
- Offer blue flowers, kumkum, kajal and bhog to Bhagawan.
- Also offer black urad khichdi, black til seeds, black muslin cloth, castor oil, chana dal & iron nails.
- All the things offered should be distributed among the needy.
- Chant Shani Strota &Shani Mantra equivalent to 11 malas: “Om Sham Shanaishcharaye Namah”
- Chant Shani Dev shloka 11,000 times
“Om Pram Prim Proum Sah Shanaye Namah”
“Om Sanascharaiye Vidmahe Suryaputraye Dheemahi Tanno Manda Prachodayat”.
Once there lived a Brahmin who saw a person dressed in blue and riding a blue horse, in his dream. He had the same dream for many nights, and due to this, he was frightened and was not able to eat properly. He became weaker day by day. His wife asked him about the reason for his fear. He told her about the dream, and his wife immediately guessed that it was none other than Shani Dev. She suggested to him that whenever he sees the dream again, he should ask the blue man to follow him for sava pahar and not sade sati. Brahmin did exactly the same. When he woke up the next day, he told his wife that he was affected by the sava pahar effect of Shani Dev, and that he should move to the jungle for some time. He told his wife to be at peace and lead a simple life, while he is gone. He went to the jungle and started reciting Hanuman chalisa under a Peepal tree. One pahar passed by. Now he decided to move ahead in the jungle. He suddenly came across a man carrying a bunch of watermelons. He purchased a watermelon and moved further into the jungle. He then came across a man who was actually Shani Dev. Shani Dev asked the brahmin about what was inside his bag. Brahmin said watermelon, but to his surprise, when he opened the bag, he saw the head of the son of the king. The Brahmin was taken to the king’s palace and was ordered to be hanged till death. When the king asked him for his last wish, the brahmin said that he wanted to hear Balaji Katha. A brahmin was called to orate the katha to him, and by the time the katha was finished, he completed sava pahar dasha. Suddenly the king’s son returned from the jungle, and the king ordered the brahmin to set the brahmin free. Brahmin told the king about the Shani dasha, and solutions to get rid of these dashas. Brahmin went to his home and finally cut the watermelon and to his surprise, he found that the seeds of watermelon turned into precious gems, with the declining effect of Shani Dasha.
CELEBRATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY:
Shani Jayanti is a well-known Hindu festival celebrated every year, to honour Shani Bhagawan. Shani Amavasya is the day when Amavasya occurs on a Saturday. Shani Jayanti is observed on Amavasya of Jyeshtha month every year. Shani Dev is worshipped in a very ritualistic manner, considering his aggressive nature. People of Madhya Pradesh believe that worshipping Shani Dev on this day is essential to get rid of any Shani Dosh, before starting a new venture. Shani Shingnapur Shaneeshwara temple in Maharashtra, is a well-known temple of Shani Dev, and Shani Jayanti is celebrated following many customs and traditions, in the temple. Every day, lakhs of devotees come for darshan of Shani Dev. On the day of Shani Jayanti, Bhagawan is decorated with blue coloured clothes. Bhajan, keertan and Laghu Rudrabhishek with mahapuja, are performed by prime pandits, along with 11 Brahmin pandits. On Asadhi Ekadashi every year, Shaneshwar palki is taken on foot from Shani Shingnapur to Pandharpur by trustees and devotees. On Ekanaathi Shashti, palki from Shani Shingnapur to Paithan is carried out every year, with great fanfare.
Thirunallar Shani temple and Kokilavan dham Shani Dev temple are other two famous Shani temples in the country.
BENEFITS OF SHANI JAYANTI:
- Performing Shani Puja and observing vrat on this day, helps in pacifying the malefic effects of Saturn planet or sade sati dasha.
- It helps in achieving success, fame and admiration. Sometimes, though a person is intelligent, he does not make many achievements. Shani puja is performed to help him reap the benefits of his intelligence.
- Shani Rahu Shrapit dosha, Shani Chandra Visha dosh, Pitru dosha, Antar dosh etc. are solved by Shani Dev puja on Shani Jayanti.
- To get rid of negative energies or bad eyes, Shani puja is highly beneficial.
- Planet Saturn is a beneficial planet in one’s kundli but if the position of Shani is in 6th, 8th or 12th house, it brings ill fortune, which can be resolved by ritualistic worship of Shani Dev on Shani Jayanti.