Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Role of Shanidev

According to Vedic astrology, the planetary position at the time of birth determines the future of a person. Hindus worship Shanidev (Planet Saturn) as a god and one of the navagraha’s. Buddists and Jains too consider him as one of the navagraha’s. Buddists believe that Lord Shani rides on a tortoise. Shanidev is black in appearance and ferocious in nature. Saturday is considered to be the day of Shanidev and is considered inauspicious for starting new ventures. Shani or Shanichar is believed to be the son of Suryadev and Chhaya, the servant whom his wife Swarna surrogated. He is also the brother of Yama, the lord of death. Lord Shani is the 7th of the Navagraha’s which govern our lives. It is said that when Lord Shani when he first opened his eyes, his father Surya went into an eclipse. Since then Lord Shani is believed to be the god causing miseries in the life of a human beings.

Shani literally means the “slow-moving-one”. Shanidev is lame and has a limp because his knee was injured when he fought as a child with Yama. Shanidev has several names. They are Saura, Krura-dris, Krura-lochana, Mandu, Pangu, Saptarchi and Asita. Shani-dev is depicted wearing blue or black robes, having dark complexion and riding a vulture or on an iron chariot drawn by eight horses. He holds in his hands a bow, an arrow, an axe and a trident. Shanidev is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu who is designated the task of granting the fruits of one's action and is the most feared amongst Hindu gods. Shanidev is considered to be the reason of accident, fear, loss, adversities etc., in our lives. It is beleaved that Shanidev has to be pleased for warding off evil and for getting rid of obstacles in life.

It is said that a favorable Shani bestows wealth and fame but at the same time, an unfavorable Shani gives endless miseries. Shanidev only punishes those who are involved in ill deeds. Like a judge he also rewards those who perform good deeds and gives them progress in their lives. He forces people to be disciplined, to understand that one needs to be humble, focused, patient, and hardworking to achieve success. Shanidev gives slow and long afflictions to individuals and teaches one by experience.Shanidev thus has the role of judge in our lives and is capable of making a king into a pauper and viceversa.

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