Shani Dev, an Introduction
Shani Dev is perhaps the most-feared divine entity in the Hindu pantheon. He is one of the Navagrahas, the nine planets, who wield a strong influence in the lives of the individuals. It is planet Saturn, who is known as Shani Dev. He is the slowest of planets, who takes the longest time of about 30 years to go round the Sun. Hence, he is also called Shanischara, ‘the slow mover’. Legends regard him as the son of Surya, the Sun God, and the brother of Yama, the God of death. Many regard him as the Avatar of Lord Shiva himself. Though Shani is considered an ashubha Graha, an inauspicious planet, he can also be a great benefactor, when placed favorably in the birth chart of an individual. Shani Jayanti is the day of birth or advent of Shani Dev and is generally celebrated on the Amavasya thithi in the month of Vaishaka, that is, April–May. There are, however, some regional variations, as it is also observed in some places on Vaishak Vadya Chaturdasi Amavasya.
Shani Jayanti for Remedies
There cannot be a more appropriate occasion other than Shani Jayanti for performing rituals for propitiating the planetary Lord and getting his blessings. Worships and ceremonies like Homas, Poojas, Oil Abishekam, etc., can all be done on this day to please the powerful Lord and remove or lessen his adverse effects.
The following are regarded as some of such effective remedies: Offering Oil: As per the legend, once, Lord Hanuman is said to have subdued Shani. In the process, Shani suffered painful bruises all over the body. Then, the merciful Hanuman gave him some oil, which he applied on the wounds and were cured of the condition. It is said that the grateful Shani promised Hanuman that he would never trouble any devotee of Hanuman from then on. He is also said to have declared that anyone offering him oil with faith will get relieved of the adverse effects of Shani Dasa. Hence, devotees can worship Lord Hanuman on the Shani Jayanti day and offer oil to Shani Dev for getting the planetary Lord’s grace. It is also considered auspicious to offer him mustard oil. Donating Black-colored Objects: Shani is black in color and is said to be fond of things that are black. Hence, consumables like black grains, black Urad dal, black oils, etc. can be donated to the poor and the needy on Shani Jayanti. Black clothes and black cows can also be donated to the deserving people. These compassionate acts can earn the grace of Shani and help to mitigate the ill-effects of Shani Dasha. Hard work can result in due recognition and rewards, and improved financial condition. Feeding Black Dogs: The animal dog, too, is said to represent Shani Bhagavan, and hence, feeding black dogs can please the powerful planet on his Jayanthi day. Rotis can be made of atta, mustard oil can be applied generously on it and they can be offered to black dogs, which can earn Shani’s blessings for the devotees. Worshipping Shani Dev in Temple: People can visit temples and offer prayers to Lord Shani on Shani Jayanti day. They can also offer oil, Panchamrut, Ganga water, if possible, or else, even plain water for the Abishekam of the deity. This can please the Lord and relieve devotees from Shani afflictions. Offering Navaratna Necklace: People undergoing acute sufferings from the strong negative effects of Shani can offer a Navaratna Haar, the necklace made out of the nine precious gems, to him on Shani Jayanti day and perform special poojas seeking Shani Bhagavan’s protection and blessings.