Shani Jayanti – A Day To Keep Away All Troubles
Shani Jayanthi is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Shani, one of the Navagrahas. This year, it falls on May 15, Tuesday. He is the ruler of Planet Saturn and has the ability to create malefic influence on the horoscope. Worshipping him on Shani Jayanthi helps to get relief from Shani Dosha and also helps to mitigate all problems in life.
Manu and Yama, Son of Surya
According to one version, Lord Shani is the son of Surya Dev and Chaya and also he is the brother of Lord Yama (God of Death). Lord Surya Dev was married to the daughter of King Daksha namely Sandhya, who was a very faithful and devoted wife. After some time, they had three children’s namely Vaivasvata Manu, Yama and Yami. She loved her children very much. But Sandhya could not tackle the power of Lord Surya. She found it difficult to tolerate the divine radiance of Surya. So she decided to go far from Surya Dev and go to her parent’s place to do a severe penance. After that she created a women Chaya (Shadow) from the power of her penance who completely resembled her in every aspect and named her Suvarna. Sandhya handed over her three children to Chaya and requested her to take care of her children in her absence. She warned Chaya that she shouldn’t reveal her identity to anyone. Sandhya went to her parent’s place without knowledge of Surya Deva. But Sandhya’s father Daksha didn’t accept her decision. He advised her to go to her husband’s house immediately. She feared to go her husband’s place because Chaya was already there in her disguise. She feared even more when she realised that her secret may be exposed which would create more serious problems. So, she went to a dense forest in Uttar Kurukshetra. She was scared to live alone in the forest because of her youthfulness and beauty. Hence she changed her form into a mare so that none could recognize her and started her penance.
When Lord Surya Doubted His Son Shani
Meanwhile Chaya in the form of Sandhya begot three other children with Surya namely Manu, Lord Shani and Putri Bhadra (Tapti). Lord Surya and Chaya lived happily with each other and never doubted anything fishy.
Another version is Lord Shani was created as a result of Maharishi Kashyap’s great ‘yagna’. When Lord Shani was in the womb of Chaya, she is believed to have been completely engrossed in offering penance to Lord Shiva that she didn’t care even for her food. She prayed so intensely during her penance that it greatly influenced her child in the womb. The penance that she undertook without food and in the blazing sun, made Lord Shani black in complexion. When Lord Shani was born, Surya Deva was shocked to see his dark complexion and began to doubt Chaya. He insulted Chaya by saying that she had cheated on him that Shani wasn’t his son.
Even as a child, Shani had inherited the great powers of his mother’s penance. Very often he saw that his father insulting his mother. Lord Shani glared at his father with a cruel gaze. The mighty horses of Lord Surya’s chariot stopped and wouldn’t move. Worried, Lord Surya appealed to Lord Shiva who explained to him the actual reason behind Shani’s dark complexion. Surya Dev accepted his mistake and apologized. Since then, Lord Shani became a loving son to his father and also Lord Shani grew up to be an ardent disciple of Lord Shiva like his mother Chaya.
How To Observe Shani Jayanthi
On the day of Shani Jayanthi, devotees wake up early in the morning during the Brahma Muhurta and take a bath. The statue of Lord Saturn is cleaned with Ganga Jal and grandly decorated by using black clothes. Lighting the sesame lamp, offering black clothes and black gram to Lord Shani on this day will reduce the malefic effects of Saturn. Chanting “Om Shaneshwaraya Namah” and read Lord Shani Chalisa is also very beneficial on this day. Offering special rituals on Shani Jayanthi helps to get relief from Shani Dosha and also helps to mitigate all problems in life.