The occasion of Shani Jayanti is a highly auspicious Hindu festival which falls on Vaishak Vaidya Chaturdashi Amavasya. The day commemorates the birth anniversary of Lord Shani Dev, the Sun God. The occasion is celebrated all over the country, though the rituals and ceremonies may differ slightly from region to region. It is highly recommended that people observe the rituals on this day by adhering to the strict guidelines as prescribed in the holy texts to appease Lord Shani Dev. Though the Sun God is often regarded as irascible by many, one should not overlook the fact that this is only to guide humanity away from detrimental forces. By pacifing Shani Dev, one can lead a more wholesome and contented life and offering worship to the Sun God on Shani Jayanti works wonders in alleviating the malefic effects of Shani Dev in one’s horoscope.
Shani Dev and life
Lord Shani Dev is considered the ultimate leveler and people in all strata of life are considered the same by the Sun God, whether rich or poor, skilled or unskilled. Lord Shani also ensures that those who have committed any wrong doings in life are made to pay for their errors. Astrologers also attribute a person’s standing in life due to the stance of Shani in the horoscope. While this holds true in some cases, it does offer everyone an opportunity to correct the unfavorable effects, affecting their lives. Lord Shani does not discriminate between anyone and those who are patient and persevere in their endeavors are sure to prevail ultimately. It is also imperative to note that one’s destiny is largely dictated by the placement of Shani Graha in the Natal Birth Chart.
Pujas for Shani Dev
Performing the Navagraha on a regular basis is said to please Lord Shani immensely and devotees take the opportunity to visit Shani sanctuaries to conduct the rituals. Shani Jayanti is the ideal occasion to perform this Puja, and those who do so with sincerity are blessed with favorable outcomes and good fortune. However, one should also keep in mind that a Shani Yagna should be performed only after due consultation with a specialist to avoid any negative repercussions.
Observing Shani Vrat (fast)
Observing a ‘Vrat’ (fast) on Shani Jayanti is immensely beneficial for the devotees and those who adhere strictly to the ritual are favored by Lord Shani Devi. This holds true even for the families of the persons who observe the fast. Additionally, it is recommended to chant the Shani Jaap 23,000 times to enjoy peace and flourish in life.
Customs observed on Shani Jayanti
Start the day by waking up early and having a holy bath in the closest water body. While doing so, offer Surya Namaskar to the rising Sun. After this, devotees should wear clean garments in preparation for the rituals to follow.
Perform ablutions to the image of Lord Shani Dev with Gangajal, Panch-amrut (mix of five ingredients), oil and water. After completion of this ritual, the idol of the deity should be decked up with a Navratna necklace (nine stones); this is considered akin to connecting with the Navgrahas.
A Shani Shanti Puja and ‘Telabhishekam’ (ablution with oil) is performed to propitiate the deity. A ‘Homa’ or ‘Yagna’ is performed to protect one from evil forces and the effects of witchcraft. It is also strongly recommended to wear a horseshoe ring, preferably on the middle finger of the right hand. Hanging a horseshoe ring on the threshold of one’s house is also believed to ward off evil spirits and usher in prosperity into the household.
By chanting the Shani Stotra ‘Om sham Shaneshcharaya Namaha’ 11 malas, one can benefit from the benign effects of Lord Shani Dev.
It is also recommended to leave some wheat and jaggery for ants to feast on.
The occasion of Shani Jayanti is celebrated with great pomp and gaiety in the Shani Shingnapur Shaneshwara Mandir in Maharashtra. People from all over the country make their way to this temple to worship Lord Shani on this auspicious day.
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