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|Mantra||Om Sham Shanaishcharaye Namah|
|Mount||Raven / Vulture / Crow|
Śani (Sanskrit: शनि, Kannada: ಶನಿ Śani, Tamil: சனி, Caṉi, Telugu: శని) is one of the Navagraha or Jyotiṣa (the nine primary celestial beings in Hindu astrology). Shani is embodied in the planet Saturn and is the Lord of Saturday. Shani is also known as Śanaiścara (शनैश्चर).
The word shani also denotes the seventh day or Saturday in most Indian languages. The word shani (शनि) comes from Śanayē Kramati Saḥ (शनये क्रमति सः), the one who moves slowly, because Saturn takes about 30 years to revolve around the Sun.
Shani is a deva and son of Surya and his wife Chhaya, hence also known as Chayyaputra. He is the elder brother of Yama, the Hindu god of death, who in some scriptures corresponds to the deliverance of justice. Surya's two sons Shani and Yama judge. Shani gives us the results of one's deeds through one's life through appropriate punishments and rewards; Yama grants the results of one's deeds after death.
It is said that when Shani opened his eyes as a baby for the very first time, the sun went into an eclipse, which clearly denotes the impact of Shani on astrological charts. He is known as the greatest teacher and well wisher for the righteous as well the greatest punisher for those who follow the path of evil, betrayal, backstabbing and unjust revenge. Shani is also known as the lord of masses and his blessings are thus considered very important in an individual's horoscope for bestowing him with mass following and popularity. He is depicted dark in colour, clothed in black; holding a sword, arrows and two daggers and mounted on a crow, which is Shani's vāhana. As protector of property, Shani is able to repress the thieving tendencies of birds.
Temples and shrines
It is very auspicious and good thing to take darshan of 08 Shani temples on a single Saturday by offering to the god all his favourite items like Oil, black cloth, black seeds, udid, etc.
Thirunallar Shree Shanaishchara Koil
There are clusters of nine temples/shrines dedicated to the Navagrahas. One such cluster is located near the town Kumbakonam or Mayiladuthurai in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. Lord Shani's shrine in this cluster is located at Tirunallar. It is a temple dedicated to Lord Darbaranyesvara, a form of Lord Shiva, in which Lord Shani is located in a niche in a wall. At this temple, Lord Shani is considered to be of benevolent nature. Tirunallar is close to Pondicherry, and is of paramount importance to. Millions of devotees visit this place to protect themselves from the effects of the transit of Saturn.
Believers consider Shani so powerful here that when a person who is suffering from Shani dasha comes here takes bath in the Nala Theertha and with their clothes wet goes and has darshan of Sri Shanaishchara, the ill effects which he is suffering through Shani dasha is sure to vanish or at least abate to some extent.
The legendary King Nala is said to have been relieved of his afflictions, which were due to the malefic influence of Saturn, after worship in this temple. Of the numerous tanks theertams, the Nala theertam is the most important one. By bathing here, it is believed that one is washed off all kinds of misfortune and afflictions.
Shani Devaalayam in Deonar
This temple called Shree Saneshwara Temple is situated east of the Shivaji statue at the junction of Chembur, Deonar, Govandi on (Mumbai-Pune-Bangalore) Eastern Express Highway. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Shaneeswara: a beautiful, mighty, and imposing seven-foot-tall black statue. Many devotees who have Shani Dosham, or people who are passing through Shani maha dasha, throng the temple, for doing Tailabhishekam (Tailam means oil in Sanskrit, Telugu and Malayalam). Nuvvula Nune (in Telugu, Nuvvulu means Sesame; Nune means oil) and Ellenne (in Kannada, Ellu means sesame; enne means oil) is poured with utmost devotion on the head in a manner such that the oil covers the entire idol while flowing down.
Every Saturday evening, as soon as the priest gives Aarti, Lord Shaneeswara is said to descend upon the main priest. All of a sudden, the whole atmosphere in the temple changes. One can see and feel the charged atmosphere in the temple. There after the priest sits on a chair which has a seat made of very sharp, long iron nails pointing upwards. The foot rest and hand rest are also fully fitted with upward facing, sharp long iron nails. He sits on the chair without any discomfort. Thereafter the devotees sit in silence in front of 'swami.' They are asked to bring and keep a pair of yellow lemons in their hands, waiting for their turn. Swami signals one by one by turn, to come near to him. People place the pair of yellow lemon in front of him. He listens patiently to their problems, agony, or distress or whatever they say. Then he explains the reason/cause of their agony/problem/distress. It could be 'Prarabdham', consequences of their past karmas (deeds) which are carried over to present janma, which means "life" in Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. Or as Swami explains, their problems could be the result of actions/deeds of his or her present birth itself. In some cases it could be handy work of Vamachara Tantra (black magic) by their enemies and ill-wishers. There are other types of cases where it is believed that Aatmas (spirits) of the deceased have occupied the sufferer's body causing misery and trouble. 'Swami' listens to them all with apt attention with closed eyes and intent silence and offers them Prakshalana, or "cleansing" Praayaschitam (Sanskrit and Telugu), or "repentance" through procedures such as yagna, pooja, dana, abstinence, etc. Thousands have claimed that their prayers have been answered by "Shaneeswara" through 'Swami'.
In the premises of this Shani temple, navagraha mandapam is also there apart from Hanuman, Jagadeeswara, Saibaba and Mata deities. The Sanctum Sanctorum has a very tall imposing murthy of Lord Shaneeswara along with Jestha Devi. To his left is Hanuman and to his right is Jagadeeswara Swami.
Another important Shrine for Lord Shani is in Shani Shingnapur, Maharashtra, India. is located half-way between Shirdi and Aurangabad. The deity here is "Swayambhu" (Sanskrit: self-evolved deity) that is self emerged from earth in form of black but imposing stone. Though no one knows the exact period, it is believed that the Swayambhu Shanaishwara statue was found from times immemorial by shepherds of the then local hamlet. It is believed to be in existence at least since Kali yuga.
The story of the swayambhu statue handed down from generations through word of mouth, goes something like this: When the Shepherd touched the stone with a pointed rod, the stone started bleeding. The shepherds were astounded. Soon the whole village gathered around to watch the miracle. On that night Lord Shanaishwara appeared in the dream of the most devoted and pious of the shepherds.
He told the shepherd that he is "Shanaishwara". He also told that the unique looking black stone is his swayambhu form. The shepherd prayed and asked the lord whether he should construct a temple for him. To this, Lord Shani Mahatma said there is no need for a roof as the whole sky is his roof and he preferred to be under open sky. He asked the shephered to do daily pooja and 'Tailabhisheka' every Saturday without fail. He also promised the whole hamlet will have no fear of dacoits or burglars or thieves.
So, Lord Shanaishwara can be seen even today, in the open yard without any roof above. To this day, there are no doors for any houses, shops, temples. It is to be seen to believe that even post office has no door, not to speak of locks. Due to the fear of Lord Shani, none of the structures, be it dwelling houses, huts, shops, etc. situated within one kilometer radius of this Lord Shani temple have neither doors nor locks. No thievery or burglary ever occurred here in this hamlet called Shani Shingnapur. Some who have tried to steal have died vomiting blood within minutes of their act and before they could cross the boundary. Many others are said have received varied punishments such as long sickness, mental imbalance etc.
This Shani Shingnapur is visited daily by thousands of devotees praying for Lord Shaneswara's favour. The place is busiest on Saturdays. Shani Trayodasi is considered to be a favorite day for the lord. Similarly Saturday falling on 'Amavasya'(new moon day in Sanskrit and many other Indian languages) is considered to be a favorites day for the Lord Shanaishwara. Thousands of devotees seeking visit the temple daily.
Sri Shani Temple Titwala
Sri Shani Temple at Titwala is situated near Titwala Ganesh Temple and Shri Swamy Samarth Matha. Prana Pratisthta of this temple was carried out on May 29, 2011. It is constructed by Sri Prahlad Trayambak Kanhore on his own compound. Once he thought of constructing a temple of Lord Shani Temple, but he had no place to build the temple. In a dream Lord Shaneshwara told him to build a temple in his own compound for the well wishers of Lord Shani's devotees.
In 2013, a 20-foot tall statue of Lord Shani was established at Yerdanur in the mandal of Sangareddy, Medak district (Andhra Pradesh), nearly 40 kilometers from Hyderabad city and around 8–10 km from Patancheru, easy to reach by road. It is considered by far the largest statue of the Lord of Saturday. It was carved from a monolith and weighs about nine tonnes. Thakur Suryapratap Singh, who established the statue, said he wanted to combat the notion that Saturn was ill-omened, describing him instead as "the Lord of Justice". A temple to Durga is located at nearby Vill.
Sri Shani Temple Kuchanoor
The only temple in India, which is solely meant for Shaneeswara Bhagavan, is located at Kuchanoor - 20 km. south of Theni near Madurai.
Shani Temples @ Aurangabad - Maharashtra:
Bhadra Maruti Shani temple at Khultabad In Railway Station premise of Aurangabad [be cautious about the parking as Cops are on patrolling to pick vehicles from no parking area] Off Railway Station - Baba petrol pump road [this temple has Hanuman temple as well] Temple off Karnapura devi road, near Baba petrol pump [this temple as well as Panchamukhi hanuman temple in its premise] Shani temple behind Chhavani Police Station [this also has other deities like Devi, Hanuman, Mahadev temples] Shani temple inside University campus [its a beautiful place with Mahadev temple in its premise] Shani temple in Kotla colony near Kranti chowk [famous temple known by many people, it has Lord Dattatreya idol in its premise] Shani temple in Khokadpura [opposite to Shivaji High school, and this temple has Hanuman temple in its premise] Shani temple in Rokda Hanuman Colony near Amar preet hotel [this temple has Hanuman, Vitthal Rukmini and Balaji temples in its premise] Shani Temple in N2 [Other temples would be given soon along with photos]
- Effectuation of Shani Adoration pg. 10 at http://books.google.com/books?id=RnzLgxvmOFkC&pg=PA9&dq=shani+karma&cd=2#v=onepage&q=shani%20karma&f=false
- Avadhani, R. (February 17, 2013). "Largest Shani statue unveiled". The Hindu. Retrieved May 30, 2014.