How are crows represented in Vedic literature?
Crows are scavenger birds, and according to Hindu superstitions are a bad omen due to their association with the Hindu God, Shani Bhagwan. Shani means the planet Saturn. He is an avatar of Lord Vishnu and is called the ‘Lord of Bad Luck.’ The crow is the Vahan (vehicle) used by Lord Shani.
Shani is the son of Lord Surya (Sun) and his slave Chaya (Shade) As Chaya meditated and prayed to Lord Shiva when she conceived Shani, Lord Shiva nurtured the child, and he was born of dark appearance. His elder brother is the Lord Yama, who is the ‘Lord of Death.’ While Yama is known to judge the deeds of humans post-death, Shani is responsible for rewarding humans or punishing them based on their karma while they are alive. Thus, Shani has dual powers; he may be a beneficent Lord, rewarding hard work and struggle or a maleficent God bringing bad luck, misfortune and punishment to those who accumulate bad karma. It is also interesting to note, according to Vedic astrology, those who are born under the influence of Planet Saturn are deemed to be destined to a life of hardship and misfortune.
Remedies to nullify the negative effects of being attacked by a crow:
Hence, due to the frightening avatar of Shani Bhagwan, crows are assumed to be the heralds of misfortune. If a crow does hit a person, some devotees are known to visit a
ThirunallarTemple and make offerings to Shani Bhagwan to appease him so that bad luck does not follow them.
Reasons for crows attacking humans:
Another reason for crows being aggressive to humans is because of their lifestyle and food habits. Crows consume dead rodents and other small animals; their claws and feathers may carry diseases, and hence one is afraid if a crow attacks them.
Also, crows are territorial birds. Their breeding season is the summer months. If a crow is threatened by the presence of humans or animals near her young ones or eggs, she will defend her nest by attacking the intruder.
Hence, one need not be anxious if one is attacked by a crow. They are probably more scared of humans than we are of them.