Shani Dev Kee Mahimaa
Shani Dev - Introduction
Shani Dev is the fiercest Devtaa among Hindoo gods. He is equal to Yam Raaj. Do you know him well? How well? This write up is about Shani Dev.
This work is a mixed result of a book entitled "Greatness of Saturn" written by Dr Robert E Svoboda and some other readings found here and there plus the information from Jyotish (Indian Vaidik Astrology). I hope this work will enlighten your knowledge about Shani Dev. There is another book written by Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda, "Light on Life: an introduction to Indian astrology", Penguin Books, 1996 which is also good, of course it is not as extensive about Shani Dev as this.
A living story is born when it is old and retold to other people, and live till it is told, but it dies on the day when its last hearer dies without telling it to others, like any other species dies when its last member dies without reproducing itself. If living wisdom is a good food for brain, dead knowledge is merely a dead weight. It must be thrown out or it will kill the person who is carrying it. Many myths could be kept alive by accepting all alien traditions uncritically - all traditions are not equally worthy of being kept living though, such as Satee Prathaa, but we must open ourselves to healthy life-enhancing traditions.
A folktale may be cited in reference to this. There was an old woman who was getting fatter and fatter no matter how little she ate. When she could no more bear her weight, she told her saga to the walls of an empty house - those walls also could not tolerate her grief and so collapsed. And miraculously she became thin again. This is a folk tale, do not take it seriously, but it is true that real stories have a lot of power to teach, to heal, and to touch the heart. It can grip your heart hard and never lets go. Shani Dev's stories are like that. They are alive, they are very very old, they have been told for hundreds of generations. Shani is the most important Devtaa, planet, Graha in Hindoo mythology and Jyotish.
Ved have been written by great seers not by ordinary human beings. They teach that there was nothing before this Creation, there will not be any after the Destruction, but the Purush who created this world and who will destroy it too. Ved have given the world Jyotish too. Everybody knows that nine planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto revolve around our Sun.  Although it has been proved that Earth revolves around the Sun but it is also true that from Earth's point of view, as we see daily, Sun revolves around the Earth.
For our purpose, we are concerned only with those planets only which affect our lives. According to our Indian Jyotish there are 5 planets Mangal, Budh, Brihaspati, Shukra, and Shani (Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn), 2 luminaries - Soorya and Chandramaa (the Sun and the Moon) and 2 shadow planets - Raahu and Ketu (North and South Nodes) who affect our lives. When we see somebody's birth chart we check for these 7 planets' affects on his life. Whether or not a 7-day week was used in Vaidik times in India, but it has certainly been in use in Vaidik Jyotish.  These 7 physical planets served the astrologers' purpose for many centuries then the last 2 new heavenly bodies or Lunar nodes were planetized by the astrologers - Raahu and Ketu. So they became 9 in number. The seven colors of the rainbow are sandwiched between the invisible-to-the-human-eye infrared and ultraviolet rays. The number 9 is the last single-digit number in our decimal numbering scheme. Thus these 9 planets represent, in numerological terms, the totality of possibilities in our universe.
Over the centuries Indian astrologers have found that mythologically the greatest, the most powerful and the most dangerous of all the nine planets is Saturn, so they spent lots of their time to study him and find ways to control and pacify him.
About This Work
This work is divided in five sections - (1) Introduction, (2) Kathaa (story), (3) Remedies, (4) Reference Stories and (5) Extra material. Once Ramanujan wrote in his book "Folktales from India" (1991, pp xxx-xxxi) - "Stories and words not only have weight; they also have wills and and rages, and they can take different shapes and exact revenge against a person who does not tell them and release them into the world. They are there before any particular teller tells them; they hate it when they are not passed on to others, for they can come into being again and again only in that act of translation. A book such as this is motivated by such a need. If you know a tale, you owe it, not to others but to the tale itself to tell it; otherwise it suffocates. Traditions have to be kept in good repair, transmitted, or else, beware, such tales seem to say, things will happen to you. You can't hoard them."
Regarding this he wrote about a Gond tribal who possessed four stories which he was too lazy to tell anybody. One night, when that Gond was fast asleep, those stories came out of his belly sitting on his snoring air and conspired to kill him because he did not tell them to any one. Luckily he survived because his servant, who wanted those stories for himself, overheard the plot and was able to fail each assassination attempt as it occurred.
[THAT IS WHY I AM WRITING THESE STORIES HERE]
Shani (Saturn) is a god of mercy who dispenses aid and comfort to all who come to him impartially. I believe that Saturn will be happy with me that I spread his stories to the world by this medium. The more deeply you will read these stories, the richer your life will be.
Preamble - King Vikramaaditya's Court
All of you must have heard the name of King Vikramaaditya, read his "Vikram and Vaitaal Stories", his "Sinhaasan Battesee Stories". The same Vikramaaditya was the King of Ujjayinee. He was a staunch follower of righteousness (that is what Vikram and Vaitaal and Sinhaasan Batteesee stories also depict him) and he was always ready to relieve anybody from his miseries. He was like a father to his subjects, and his people also regarded with great respect and love. He had invited all the greatest minds of that time to his court and he used to increase his knowledge by initiating discussions on critical issues of religion, morality, statecraft etc topics. At that time he quietly sat on his throne and used to listen their arguments slowly and attentively.
One day a very controversial topic rose among them - which planet among the nine planets was the most important. Now each planet had his representative in Vikram's court. They knew their Lord's glory as well, as the great astrologer Varaahmihir knew his subject. As the question was raised, everybody got quiet, to which planet one could say that he was inferior? If anyone said so, that planet will be angry with him. Nobody wanted to make any planet angry. So the representative of the Sun rose, as he is the brightest of the planets, he is the life-giver to world and he began to say --
Created by Sushma Gupta
Updated on 05/25/09