Shani Dev is one of the most popular deities that the Hindus pray to ward off evil and remove obstacles.Shani literally means the “slow-moving-one”. According to myths, Shani oversees the “dungeons of the human heart and the dangers that lurks there.”Shani Dev was born to Surya Dev (or The Sun God) and Goddess Chhaya (or Goddess Shade), Shani Deva is known as the elder brother to the God of the Underworld- Lord Yama. Also Yamuna Devi and Putri Bhadra(Tapti) are his Sisters and Lord Shiva is his Guru. His two other brothers are Manu and Vaivastahva Manu and Daksha Kanya Sadnya(Sandya) is his step mother.
Shani Dev is also the brother-in-law to Lord Shiva through the latter’s marriage to Goddess Kali ( sister to Lord Yama and Shani Dev) is also the embodiment of Lord Shiva’s Vairagya principle. Shani Dev is then the first guardian of the human soul in so far as he makes it a point to make people suffer for their sins in their lives, so as to purify and cleanse them of the negative influence of evil they have acquired in the pursuit of materiality.When God Shani was in the womb of Chaya, Shiv Bhaktini Chaya was so engrossed in penance of God Shiva that she did not care for her food even. She prayed so intensely during her penance that the prayers had a profound influence on the child in her womb. As a result of such a great penance of Chaya, without food and shade in the blazing sun, the complexion of God Shani became black.
From birth itself, God Shani had inherited the great powers of his mother’s penance. He saw that his father was insulting his mother. He saw his father with a cruel gaze. As a result his father’s body was charred black. God Shiva advised God Surya and explained to him about what had happened. That is, because of him the respect of mother and child had been tarnished and insulted. God Surya accepted his fault and apologized.Shani occupies the seventh place among the nine planets which govern the world. This is viewed as unlucky in conventional astrology. As per ‘Kaagol Shastra’, the distance of Shani from the earth is 9 crore miles. Its radius is about one billion and 82 crore and 60 lakh kilometers. And its gravitational force is 95 times higher than that of the earth. Planet Shani takes 19 years to complete one revolution around the Sun.
Shani-dev is depicted wearing blue or black robes, having dark complexion and riding a vulture or on an iron chariot drawn by eight horses. He holds in his hands a bow, an arrow, an axe and a trident. Shanidev is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu who is designated the task of granting the fruits of one’s action and is the most feared amongst Hindu gods.Shani Dev is said to trouble and harass those individuals under the influence of Sade Sati but it is entirely false . Shani and Yama are the Lords of Justice . The former delivers justice during lifetime and latter dispenses justice after death. Thus in Sade sati Shani Dev only delivers us the fruits of our Karma. If you have done good deeds you will receive rewards beyond measure and on the contrary if have done bad then misfortune will befall on you.Shani Dev unlike Human beings has a very different concept of right and wrong. To him what is wrong is wrong and what is right is right there are no gray areas or bad deeds done for the sake of good as per human conception So he is the true and ultimate judge of Deeds with no partiality or special favor to anyone
Shani’s gravitational power is more than that of the Earth’s. Therefore, when we think good or bad thoughts and make plans, they reach Shani by the strength of his power. In astrological terms, the bad influence is considered as unlucky. But the result of good deeds will be good. Therefore, we must understand God Shani as a friend and not as foe. And for bad deeds, he is Sade Saathi, disaster and an enemy.
Shanidev only punishes those who are involved in ill deeds. Like a judge he also rewards those who perform good deeds and gives them progress in their lives. He forces people to be disciplined, to understand that one needs to be humble, focused, patient, and hardworking to achieve success.