Shani Jayanti is believed to be the day when Lord Shani, one of the Planets, made its appearance on Earth. In 2021, the date of Shani Jayanti is June 10. Shani is feared by many people as Shanaishchara has the capacity to create malefic influence on the horoscope and thus in their lives. This is simply Shani following his task and handing out karma as selected by the individual for the current lifetime. Shani follows dharma. Nothing more, nothing less.
Goddess Lakshmi and Shani
Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Shani (Saturn) met each other at an event. While they were talking to each other:~
Lord Shani said – “I am greater than you, as I am uphold dharma in the world. I stand for righteousness”.
Goddess Lakshmi replied – “I am greater than you as I bring fortune, wealth and prosperity to the world”.
Lord Shani – “That is the problem, people get into maya (illusion) because of wealth and prosperity. They are pushed to further darkness because of you.”
Goddess Lakshmi – “You create fear in people and make them feel hopeless about life in general”.
Lord Shani – “You do not stay with one person for a long time, you do not have the power of discrimination as sometimes you can also stay with an evil minded person.”
Goddess Lakshmi – “Whatever it is people invite me and offer prayers to get my blessings, but everyone is afraid of you and they pray for you to leave them.”
Lord Shani – “When you go into the wrong hands, it becomes my responsibility to correct them. You create maya in people’s live while my duty is to expel the maya and make them face the truth/reality.”
Goddess Lakshmi – “Let’s ask Lord Brahma”.
Lord Shani agreed and they went to Lord Brahma and asked him to decide who is greater among them. Lord Brahma thought about the consequences of picking an answer and diplomatically pointed them towards Lord Vishnu. When they went to Lord Vishnu with the same question he pointed them towards the wise Sage Narada. Finally they asked Sage Narada to decide.
After dodging them for a while, Sage Narada answered thus:
“Both of you are great! Equally great! Goddess Lakshmi, you are great when you walk towards someone, and you are not so great when you walk away from someone. Lord Shani, you are great when you walk away from someone and not so great when you walk towards someone. So in my honest opinion both of you are great. You both are there to help every man and woman reach their final goal of salvation. Either with the contentment of having enough of the material gains a person turns towards self exploration or after realising the emptiness in the material wealth a person starts to question the true purpose of life and in some cases out of utter helplessness people turn towards God and Spirituality.”
Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Shani were happy with the answer and walked away happily!
And that brought a sigh of relief to Sage Narada.
This story has a lot of significance to Uttara Bhadrapada nakshatra. Goddess Lakshmi is associated with this nakshatra and Lord Shani rules this nakshatra. So with time people born with prominent planets in Uttara Bhadrapada turn towards the final goal of enlightenment and emancipation.
Thirunallar Shani Temple
One of the most popular Shani Temples in India is located at Thirunallar near Karaikal a part of Union Territory Pondicherry. There is a misconception that this Shani Shrine, or Saturn temple, is located in Tamil Nadu. The greatness of the Thirunallur temple is attributed to the unique idol of Lord Shani as he stands blessing the devotee – abhayahastha (removal of fears). This is a very rare phenomenon and therefore thousands of devotees who believe they are badly affected by Shani visit the shrine to get his blessings.
The exact name of the Shani Temple at Thirunallar is Sri Dharbaraneswara Swamy Devasthanam and it is also referred as Saneeswara Bhagavan Temple. The main temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. But the Shani Shrine has become more popular than the main temple primarily due to belief of devotees that by praying at the shrine will make Shani happy and thereby all the miseries and hardship are removed.
Most Hindu devotees fast on the Shani Jayanti day. The fasting is from sunrise to sunset. Only a single meal is consumed on the day that is after pujas and prayers in the evening.
Devotees who are observing Shani Jayanti Vrat usually visit Shani or Navagraha shrines. Numerous other temples also have Lord Shani installed as a minor deity.
Black colored items like sesame (til), sesame oil, black clothes, and black gram whole are offered to Lord Shani. It must be noted here that the color of the idol of Shani is always black in color. So black is the favorite color of Lord Shani.
Chant the Shani Gayatri Mantra – The mantra is
Om Sanaischaraya Vidmahe,
Surya putraya Dheemahi,
Tanno Manda Prachodayat.