Saturn is one of the navagrahas which are the nine primary celestial beings in hindu astrology. Also called shani, is the lord of Saturday. The origin of word shani comes from shanaye karma i.e., the one who moves slowly. Saturn takes about 30 years to rotate around sun. Saturn is a malefic graham. He rules over the two sidereal signs of Capricorn and aquarius. He is exalted in libra and fallen in the aries. Saturn is a karaka, or indicator, of longevity, misery, sorrow, old age and death, discipline, restriction, responsibilities, delays, ambition, leadership, authority, humility, integrity, wisdom born of experience. It also indicates asceticism, denial, non-attachment, spirituality, hard work, organization, reality and time itself.
Shani is a dev and son of surya dev ( the hindu sun god) and his second wife chhaya ( shadow goddess) and hence also known as chhayaputra. He is the cousin of yama, the hindu god of death. When shani was in her mother’s ***** she was totally lost in serving her husband that due to sun god’s heat the baby in the ***** turned black. Therefore shani was completely black at birth. Shani is described as having a dark com plexion, a beautiful face, his caste is teli( oil vendors), he is clothed in black, holding a sword, two daggers, mounted on a black vulture or a raven and he prays to kaal-bhairav ( god of time).
Upon shani dev’s birth, sun god so eagerly looked at him only to be disappointed by shani’s charcoal black colour. He shunned shani, doubting whether was born to him. Shani’s first look at his father drove sun god to an eclipse period and he deemed this as his bad luck. In fact, being angry at his father’s indifference, shani cursed his father that he would also turn black in colour which came true. So, right from the birth, there was a severe misunderstanding between sun god and shani.
Facts about shani dev:
1. Saturn is considered to be the god of justice.
2. Shani dev’s vehicle is vulture, god, buffalo etc.
3. Saturn is happy with donating oil, black sesame, black clothes etc on Saturdays.
4. Saturn does not share a good relationship with his father sun.
5. According to a story, hanuman ji had freed Saturn from the captivity of ravana. From then, the devotees who worship lord hanuman, shani dev never hurts them.
6. Shani dev’s motion is slow, which is very slow.