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Salutation to Shani

Shani, the Saturn, is one of the most important planets in the astrological zodiac. Astrologers believe that all the other planets fail to give any good results if Shani happens to cause obstruction. This is more evident during the period of seven and half years when Saturn transits in the close proximity of the Moon in one's birth chart. The position of the Moon in the zodiac sign at birth is called the Rashi, - the Moon sign. Each zodiac sign constitutes 30 degrees arc, and hence the 12 zodiac signs completes the zodiac belt of 360 degrees in 12 months. When Shani enters the sign prior to where the Moon is at birth, it begins its reign of seven and half year over the subject of that nativity. Shani takes about two and half years to cover 30-degree belt, and when it leaves the sign that follows the Moon sign of the subject, it would have spent seven and half years in close proximity to Rashi or the Moon-sign. This period is called Sade-Sati, or panauti.

Shani is also known as Krura-lochana, - 'the evil-eyed one'. It is believed that Shani's gaze can spell disaster even to the most influential and powerful. Ancient Indian myth and folklore is replete with stories depicting the negative influences of this planet on the subject of his attention. Of various stories that are mentioned in the Hindu mythology how Lord Ganesh got elephant's head, one is attributed to Shani. He being the devotee of Lord Shiva was meditating in the Himalayas to be close to his Lord. When Parvati, Shiva's consort, gave birth to Ganesh, she distributed sweets to Shiva's ganas, - the hosts. The goddess Parvati asked Shani to see and bless the child. Shani kept his head down and sought forgiveness from seeing the child, pleading that his gaze is inauspicious. Parvati, being the great Lord's consort took no notice of this and asked him to bless the newborn. As soon as Shani lifted his head and looked at the child, the newborn's head got blown.

Another celebrated myth about Shani is mentioned in the Ramayana. When King Ravana succeeded in getting the control over all the nine planets, he installed them face downward on the nine steps that led to his throne. Each morning, he would step on their back to ascend his throne, causing insult and anguish to them. One day the sage Narada came to Ravana, and upon seeing the state of the nine planets asked Shani, how as the mightiest and the most terrible of the planets, he can bear this insult? Shani replied that because he is laying face downward he is helpless, if only he can cast his gaze on Ravana, matters would change. After Narada was shown around the magnificent palace of Ravana the proud king wanted his opinion. The wise sage replied that everything was excellent at the palace of Ravana, except for one. That was, how can Ravana get the pleasure of subduing the nine planets when they are lying face downward? It is better if they were to lay face upward so that when Ravana stepped over their chests, he could get the pleasure of seeing their discomfort on their faces. This suggestion appealed to the mighty king and he quickly ordered his staff to turn the nine planets around on their backs. As soon as that was done, Shani's gaze fell on Ravana and his reason abandoned him. Within a few months he kidnapped Sita, the wife of Lord Rama that led to Lord Rama's invasion of his kingdom. Ravana and his entire family was killed, all this during the seven and half year cycle of Shani.

There have been several instances in modern times, where rich and successful entrepreneurs have been reduced to penury and at times, the most humble and lowly have acquired riches and fame during Saturn's period.

Saturn as the Lord of obstruction had wronged the young child of Parvati, who was restored to life by planting the head of an elephant, Lord Ganesh was hence granted the boon as the Remover of Obstacles by the Gods.


Kamini Uppal