One of the most revered and yet most feared planets in the entire Vedic Astrology, Shani represents the planet Saturn. It is considered the slowest moving planet and takes nearly 2 years to cross a zodiac. It is widely believed that a negatively placed Shani may cause a lot of trouble for the native, however a deep study of the Vedas reveals that Shani is not just a bad planet.
He is in fact like an extremely strict teacher. If the students make a mistake, Shani punishes them severely to teach a lesson. However, if the students learn the lesson well, Shani is equally benevolent and rewards them for their good deeds. He is the ‘karmakaraka’, i.e. the one who ensures Karma – results based on previous actions.
The planet Saturn is one of the farthest from Earth and takes nearly 29 years of the Earth to make one revolution around the sun. It is only smaller than Jupiter and is one of the largest planets in the Solar system. The unique characteristic of Saturn are the three distinct rings around the planet. As per size, it is nearly 700-800 times the size of the Earth, but since the major constituent elements are the gases like Hydrogen and Helium, its mass is only about a 100 times that of the Earth.
Beej mantras are considered by the Vedas to breathe life into the mantras. Hence, each planet has its own beej mantra. The one for Shani or Saturn is as follows
Om pram preem proum sah, Shanishcharay namah
Like all other aspects of Indian astrology, there are a number of mythological legends associated with Shani as well. Some of the most popular stories, defining his appearance, characteristics and behaviour are mentioned below.
Shani is the son of Sun God (Surya) and his wife Chhaya Devi, as per Vedic belief. He has strained relations with his father and hence is farthest from him. He is also the elder brother of Yama (God of Death), hence, sometimes Shani does the job of Yam by taking away the life. He is black in colour, short in height and is lame due to an injury in his legs. Shani also embodies detachment and hence can help the native gain knowledge without attachment. It is said that all saints definitely have Shani prominently in their charts.
A legend associates the power of Shani with the strong penance done by his mother Chhaya devi when he was about to be born. As she prayed to Lord Shiva and did not bother about her own food or other discomforts, praying in the blazing sun. This caused the child to be born with a dark complexion. The exceptional power of the penance were also received by the unborn child – Shani – as well. Once, after he was born, he opened his eyes and his father Surya Dev was charred black. That is the kind of power that Shani Dev has and this also is one of the reasons for his strained relation with his father.
He was also blessed by the Goddess Parvati with the power that every important aspect in anyone’s life has to have an impact of Shani, depending on whether he is in the ascendant of descendant.
Following is a list of characteristics of Shani Dev as described in the various religious texts like the Vedas and the Upanishads
Karak of: Karma, Grief and Aayush (age)
Panchbhoot element: Air
Zodiac signs ruled by Saturn: Aquarius and Capricorn
Zodiac Sign of Exaltation of Saturn: Libra
Zodiac Sign of Debilitation of Saturn: Aries
Friends: Mercury, Venus and Rahu
Enemies: Sun, Moon and Mars
Day of the week: Shanivaar (Saturday)
Season: Shishir (Winter)
The natives born under the influence of Shani have the following distinguishing features – dark complexion, prominent veins and a thin body, coarse and thick hair, long hands and legs. The native doesn’t look any younger or older and it is able to identify their correct age looking at them.
A lot is said and believed about the effects of Shani in a person’s astrological charts. This is the reason that he is one of the most revered as well as one of the most feared planets. The Sadhe saati and dhaiya of Shani are the most well-known and talked about effects. However, Shani is not just an evil planet. Instead, it is also one of the most benevolent and beneficial planets to have in one’s charts.
Having Shani in a positive position in one’s charts brings patience, discipline, age old knowledge and wisdom, intelligence and hence authority and a lot of success. It also ensures longevity and hence a beneficial position of Shani in the charts represents a long life for the native. It brings a balance in the native’s life and gives the gifts of economy, perseverance, stability, self-control with discipline, sincerity, heightens the sense of duty and increases the spirituality of an individual.
When Shani is in a weak position or is afflicted, the native will have a hard life. The success may not be denied for someone having Saturn in a weak position, but it will be delayed. For those having a pre-dominantly negative Saturn in their charts, the ill effects are prominent. A life of hardship, disappointments, conflict, distrust and dejection is in the offering. This is why, this particular planet is so feared. However, the native undergoing these hardships will not become negative, instead these will have a cleansing effect on their life, awakening their spirituality and a detoxification of the sins of their life resulting in karma burning.
It is believed that the ill effects of Shani remain in the life of the native when Shani is ascending, is in the particular zodiac and the time it takes to move to the next zodiac. This is nearly 3 times 2.5 years, which is the average time Shani takes to move from one zodiac to the other. Hence, a total period of 7.5 years – Sadhe Saati.
Placement of Shani in the charts:
Shani is considered very beneficial and auspicious if transitioning through the 3rd house in a native’s astrological charts. When placed in the 6th house, it brings happiness and contentment by winning over the enemies.
However, in the 11th house, its effect is a little different and it brings money, fame and success in business ventures.
Saturn is considered to be old and hence its transit through the 1st house may make the native feel tired and old. The placement of Shani in the 2nd house is associated with troubles of money and conflict with the native’s children. When placed in the 5th house, it represents loss of property. In the 10th house, Shani represents defamation and loss of face.
Shani impact on Profession:
Since Shani or Saturn is associated with hard work and discipline, the natives work in industries involving heavy physical work like farming, labour, road construction, civil engineering and ship building. Also, the natives under the influence of Shani have a heightened sense of justice as well as an analytical mind, making them perfect to work as lawyers, judges, Human resource professionals, IT professionals, analysts and researchers. Also, due to their inclination towards spirituality, the natives can become healers, spiritual gurus, astrologers and psychics.
Shani impact on Health:
Shani is also known as Aayushkarak, i.e. giving longevity due to the discipline it makes the natives follow. However, those with a negative effect of Shani, suffer a lot due to the same. They are typically afflicted by diseases of the bones like arthritis, joint pains, paralysis and fractures. A heightened negative effect may also lead to shortening of life for the native.
Since it is one of the most feared planets in Vedic astrology, there are many remedies prescribed to counter the ill effects of Shani, especially during the Saadhe Saati and Dhaiya periods. Some of the common remedies are
- Offering sesame oil on Saturdays or Shanivaar
- Recite any of the Shani Mantras 23000 times. The same can be recited 108 times every Saturday, starting from Shukla Paksha Saturday
- Light one lamp with mustard oil near a Pipal tree, every Saturday. Take care not to buy these items on a Saturday.
- Recite the Hanuman Chalisa
- Perform a Havan and conclude with the Mahadasha Havan
- Perform Rudrabhishek to counter the effect of Mahadasha
Relationship with other planets:
Shani or Saturn is a friend with Venus or Shukra and hence both together bring the native fame, success, happiness, monetary benefits, material comforts and contentment in life.
It is also friendly with Budh. Shani is not in a friendly position with his father Surya and hence, the placement of both these has a strong influence on the effects of the other. They may negate the positive effect each individually brings to the native in both professional as well as personal relationships, making it a difficult time for them.
Shani is the lord of the Western direction and hence brings success to the native in this direction.