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  • Title WIKI.Shani 
    Short Title WIKI.Shani 
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    Publisher Wikipedia 
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  • Shani
    Depiction of Shani from the 1842 book The Complete Hindoo Pantheon by E. A. Rodrigues
    Other names Shanishvara, Chhayasutha, Pingala, Kokan, Kakadhvaja, Konastha, Babhru, Raudra, Raudrantaka, Shanescharam, Sauri, Manda, Krishna, Pipplayshraya, Raviputram, Antak
    Devanagari शनि
    Affiliation Navagraha
    Abode Shaniloka
    Planet Saturn
    Mantra "Om Kakadhvajaya
    Khadga Hastaya
    Tanno Mandah Prachodayat"
    [1] and
    "Om Shan Shanishvaraya Namaha"[2]
    Weapon Sceptre, Trident, Axe
    Tree Jammi/Peepal/Shami/ Khejri or Ghaf tree.
    Day Saturday
    Color Black[3]
    Number 8,17 and 26
    Mount Buffalo , Elephant , Lion , Deer , Donkey , Horse , Dog (in animals) Crow and Vulture (in birds)
    Texts Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Harivamsa
    Gender Male
    Siblings Tapati, Savarni Manu, Yama, Yami, Ashvins, Shraddhadeva Manu, Revanta, Sugriva and Karna
    Consort Manda and Neela
    Offspring Mandi and Kuligna
    Greek equivalent Cronus
    Roman equivalent Saturn
    Norse equivalent Njörðr
    Etruscan equivalent Satre

    Shani (Sanskrit: शनि, IAST: Śani), or Shanaishchara (Sanskrit: शनैश्चर, IAST: Śanaiścara), is the divine personification of the planet Saturn in Hinduism,[4] and is one of the nine heavenly objects (Navagraha) in Hindu astrology.[5] Shani is also a male Hindu deity in the Puranas, whose iconography consists of a figure with a dark complexion carrying a sword or danda (sceptre) and sitting on a buffalo or some times on a crow.[5][6] He is the god of karma, justice, and retribution, and delivers results depending upon one's thoughts, speech, and deeds.[7] Shani is the controller of longevity, misery, sorrow, old age, discipline, restriction, responsibility, delays, ambition, leadership, authority, humility, integrity, and wisdom born of experience. He also signifies spiritual asceticism, penance, discipline, and conscientious work. He is associated with two consorts: Neela, the personification of the gemstone sapphire, and Manda, a gandharva princess.[8][9]


    Shani as a planet appears in various Hindu astronomical texts in Sanskrit, such as the 5th-century Aryabhatiya by Aryabhatta, the 6th-century Romaka by Latadeva and Pancha Siddhantika by Varahamihira, the 7th-century Khandakhadyaka by Brahmagupta and the 8th-century Sisyadhivrddida by Lalla.[10][11][12] These texts present Shani as one of the planets and estimate the characteristics of the respective planetary motion.[10] Other texts such as Surya Siddhanta (dated to sometime between the 5th and 10th century) present their chapters on various planets as divine knowledge linked to deities.[10]

    The manuscripts of these texts exist in slightly different versions, suggesting that the texts were open and revised over time. The versions disagree in their measurements of Shani's revolutions, apogee, epicycles, nodal longitudes, orbital inclination, and other parameters.[13] For example, both Khandakhadyaka and Surya Siddhanta of Varaha state that Shani completes 146,564 revolutions on its own axis every 4,320,000 earth years, an Epicycle of Apsis as 60 degrees, and had an apogee (aphelia) of 240 degrees in 499 CE; while another manuscript of Soorya Siddhantha revises the revolutions to 146,568, the apogee to 236 degrees and 37 seconds and the Epicycle to about 49 degrees.[14]

    The 1st-millennium-CE Hindu scholars had estimated the time it took for sidereal revolutions of each planet including Shani, from their astronomical studies, with slightly different results:[15]

    Sanskrit texts: How many days does it take for Shani (Saturn) to complete its orbit?
    Source Estimated time per sidereal revolution[15][16]
    Surya Siddhanta 10,765 days, 18 hours, 33 minutes, 13.6 seconds
    Siddhanta Shiromani 10,765 days, 19 hours, 33 minutes, 56.5 seconds
    Ptolemy 10,758 days, 17 hours, 48 minutes, 14.9 seconds
    20th-century calculations 10,759 days, 5 hours, 16 minutes, 32.2 seconds


    Shani by Raja Ravi Varma
    Shani wayside shrine between Dharamsala and Chandigarh, 2010

    Shani is depicted wearing blue or black robes, having a 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. He is canonically represented riding on a large crow or vulture which follows him wherever he goes.[17] Some Hindu texts also depict him riding other animals such as a horse, a snake or a buffalo, while Buddhist texts from Northeastern India and Nepal uniformly represent him mounted on a tortoise.[18]

    Shani is believed to be an incarnation of Krishna, on the authority of Brahma Vaivarta Purana where Krishna says that he is "Shani among planets". He is also called Saneeswar, meaning "Lord of Saturn", and is designated the task of granting the fruits of one's actions, thus becoming the most feared amongst Hindu astrological gods. He is often the most misunderstood deity in the Hindu Pantheon as he is said to cause persistent chaos in one's life, and is known to be milder if worshipped.[19][20]

    Shani is the root for name for the day Saturday in many other Indian languages. In modern Hindi, Odia, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, Urdu, Kannada and Gujarati, Saturday is called Shanivaar; Tamil: Sani kizhamai; Malayalam: Shaniyazhcha; Thai: Wạn s̄eār̒ (วันเสาร์).


    Shani is the basis for Shanivara – one of the seven days that make a week in the Hindu calendar.[6] This day corresponds to Saturday – after Saturn – in the Greco-Roman convention for naming the days of the week.[21][22]Shani is considered to be the most malefic planet that brings restrictions and misfortunes.[23]

    Shani is part of the Navagraha in the Hindu zodiac system. It is considered malefic, associated with spiritual asceticism, penance, discipline and conscientious work. The role and importance of the Navagraha developed over time with various influences. Deifying planetary bodies and their astrological significance occurred as early as the Vedic period and was recorded in the Vedas. The earliest work of astrology recorded in India is the Vedanga Jyotisha which began to be compiled in the 14th century BCE. It was possibly based on works from the Indus Valley Civilization as well as various foreign influences.

    The Navagraha developed from early works of astrology over time. Saturn and various classical planets were referenced in the Atharvaveda around 1000 BCE. The Navagraha was furthered by additional contributions from Western Asia, including Zoroastrian and Hellenistic influences. The Yavanajataka, or 'Science of the Yavanas', was written by the Indo-Greek named "Yavanesvara" ("Lord of the Greeks") under the rule of the Western Kshatrapa king Rudrakarman I. The Yavanajataka written in 120 CE is often attributed to standardizing Indian astrology. The Navagraha would further develop and culminate in the Shaka era with the Saka or Scythian people. Additionally the contributions by the Saka people would be the basis of the Indian national calendar, which is also called the Saka calendar.

    The Hindu calendar is a Lunisolar calendar which records both lunar and solar cycles. Like the Navagraha, it was developed with the successive contributions of various works.

    Planet Shani rules over both zodiac signs, Capricorn and Aquarius, two of the twelve constellations in the zodiac system of Hindu astrology.[24] If Shani rules over one's zodiac sign, it is said that one must wear a ring with a stone made of Blue Sapphire.[25]


    Shani is a deity in medieval-era texts, who is considered inauspicious and is feared for delivering misfortune and loss to those who deserve it.[26] He is also capable of conferring boons and blessings to the worthy, depending upon their karma. In medieval Hindu literature, he is mainly referred to as the son of Surya and Chhaya, or in a few accounts as the son of Balarama and Revati.[5][27] His alternate names include Ara, Kona and Kroda.[5] According to some Hindu texts, the "pipal" or fig tree is the abode of Shani (while other texts associate the same tree with Vasudeva).[28] He is also believed to be the greatest teacher who rewards righteous acts and punishes those who follow the path of evil, Adharma and betrayal.[29] Shanidev is a great devotee of Lord Shiva.[30]

    Statue of Shani in Bannanje, Udupi, Karnataka

    In 2013, a 20-foot-tall statue of Lord Shani was established at Yerdanur in the mandal of Sangareddy, Medak district, Telangana, nearly 40 kilometers from Hyderabad city. It was carved from a monolith and weighs about nine tonnes.[citation needed]

    Mantra translation

    Shani's mantra is depicted here in Sanskrit and English:[31]

    Sanskrit: ॐ काकध्वजाय विद्महे खड्ग हस्ताय धीमहि तन्नो मंदः प्रचोदयात् ।

    Transliteration: "Om kākadhvajāya vidmahe khaḍgahastāya dhīmahi tanno mandaḥ pracodayāt.''

    Translation: Om, Let me meditate on him who has crow in his flag, Oh, He who has a sword in his hand, give me higher intellect, And let Saneeswara illuminate my mind.

    Sanskrit: ॐ नीलांजन समाभासं रविपुत्रं यमाग्रजम् छाया मार्तांड संभूतं त्वां नमामि शनीश्वरम् ।

    Transliteration: "Om nīlāñjana samābhāsaṁ raviputraṁ yamāgrajam chāyā mārtāṇḍa saṁbhūtaṁ tvāṁ namāmi śanīśvaram"

    Translation: O Lord, You are like the Blue Sapphire and You admire the Blue Sapphire, You are the son of Lord Surya, and Brother of Lord Yama. You are the son of Lord Surya and Goddess Chhaya, I bow to you Lord of Planet Saturn.

    Dedicated Day

    On Saturdays, it is believed that one should worship Lord Shani to keep oneself away from evil and to reduce the hardships of life as he blesses those who willingly and voluntarily donate to the poor without seeking anything in return.[32][33]

    Shani statue at Naksaal Bhagwati Temple

    Shani puja is usually done to keep one safe from Lord Shani's malefic effects.[34][35]

    Shani temples across India

    Vigraha of Shani Dev at Shingnapur Shani Temple
    Entrance of a Shani temple in Jammu

    Shani temples are found in more populated areas of India, such as Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Puducherry/Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. Shani Shingnapur Dham in particular is a famous holy place associated with Shani. Shani Shinganapur or Shingnapur is a village in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Situated in Nevasa taluka in Ahmednagar district, the village is known for its popular temple of Shani. Shingnapur is 35 km from Ahmednagar city.

    More common than Shani temples are artwork related to the deity, which are found in all types of temples of various traditions within Hinduism, mostly connected to Shaivism. The popularity of praying to Shani, especially on Saturdays, has increased gradually over the years.[36]

    See also


    1. Translation: Om, Let me meditate on him who has crow in his flag, Oh, He who has a sword in his hand, give me higher intellect, And let Shanishvara illuminate my mind.: "Gāyatri Mantras of Several Gods - Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia". Retrieved 11 August 2022.
    2. "Shani Mantra". 27 June 2021.
    3. "Significance of Colors in Astrological Remedies". Archived from the original on 21 October 2019. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
    4. "Planet Saturn (Shani) in Astrology". Retrieved 14 January 2021.
    5. 1 2 3 4 Dalal, Roshen (2010). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books India. p. 373. ISBN 978-0-14-341421-6.
    6. 1 2 Lochtefeld, James G. (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: N-Z. The Rosen Publishing Group. pp. 608–609. ISBN 978-0-8239-3180-4.
    7. Felony Disenfranchisement: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO), 9 September 2018, archived from the original on 19 December 2021, retrieved 27 October 2018
    8. Saxena, Archit (13 April 2020). Durga : A Governing Mother: Mother-Son Duo logy Book - 2. Archit Saxena.
    9. "Why Was Shani Dev Cursed By His Wife?". Retrieved 14 January 2021.
    10. 1 2 3 Burgess, Ebenezer (1989). Ganguly, P; Sengupta, P (eds.). Sûrya-Siddhânta: A Text-book of Hindu Astronomy. Motilal Banarsidass (Reprint), Original: Yale University Press, American Oriental Society. pp. vii–xi. ISBN 978-81-208-0612-2.
    11. Aryabhatta (1973). H. Kern (ed.). The Aryabhatiya (in Sanskrit and English). Brill Archive. pp. 6, 21.
    12. Chatterjee, Bina (1970). The Khandakhadyaka (an astronomical treatise) of Brahmagupta: with the commentary of Bhattotpala (in Sanskrit). Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 75–77, 40, 69. OCLC 463213346.
    13. Burgess, Ebenezer (1989). Ganguly, P; Sengupta, P (eds.). Sûrya-Siddhânta: A Text-book of Hindu Astronomy. Motilal Banarsidass (Reprint), Original: Yale University Press, American Oriental Society. pp. ix–xi. ISBN 978-81-208-0612-2.
    14. Burgess, Ebenezer (1989). Ganguly, P; Sengupta, P (eds.). Soorya-Siddhânta: A Text-book of Hindu Astronomy. Motilal Banarsidass (Edited and Reprinted), Original: Yale University Press, American Oriental Society. pp. ix–x. ISBN 978-81-208-0612-2.
    15. 1 2 Burgess, Ebenezer (1989). Ganguly, P; Sengupta, P (eds.). Soorya-Siddhânta: A Text-book of Hindu Astronomy. Motilal Banarsidass (Reprint), Original: Yale University Press, American Oriental Society. pp. 26–27. ISBN 978-81-208-0612-2.
    16. Williams, Matt (17 April 2017). "The Orbit of Saturn. How Long is a Year on Saturn?". Universe Today. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
    17. "Learn About the Hindu Deity Shani Dev and How Praying Wards Off Evil". Learn Religions. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
    18. Gail, Adalbert (1980). "Planets and Pseudoplanets in Indian Literature and Art with Special Reference to Nepal". East and West. 30 (1/4): 145. ISSN 0012-8376. JSTOR 29756562.
    19. Mohan, Lavanya (30 January 2016). "Shani's law". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
    20. "Shani Dev – Know Everything About him". Archived from the original on 14 April 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
    21. Skeat, Walter W. (1993). The Concise Dictionary of English Etymology. Wordsworth. p. 415. ISBN 978-1-85326-311-8.
    22. T. F. Hoad (2008). "Saturday". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. Oxford University Press. p. 1329. ISBN 978-1-4395-0571-7.
    23. "Benefic And Malefic Planets For Each Ascendant". Retrieved 14 January 2021.
    24. Backlund, Roya (4 November 2020). "Every Zodiac Sign Has A Ruling Planet & This Is Yours". Elite Daily. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
    25. "Lucky Stone by Date of Birth - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
    26. Jordan, Michael (2014). Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses. Infobase Publishing. p. 283. ISBN 978-1-4381-0985-5.
    27. Dowson, John (2013). A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion, Geography, History and Literature. Routledge. p. 278. ISBN 978-1-136-39029-6.
    28. Haberman, David L. (2013). People Trees: Worship of Trees in Northern India. Oxford University Press. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-19-992916-0.
    29. Gupta, Sonam (5 April 2017). "Saturn and its Effects on Humans". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
    31. "Gāyatri Mantras of Several Gods - Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia". Retrieved 15 February 2021.
    32. "Shani Puja | Blessings of Shani Dev | Shani Dev Pooja Vidhi". 10 February 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
    33. "Here's how you can worship Lord Shani to keep your karma in check". 9 May 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
    34. "Method of worship of Lord Shani -". Retrieved 10 February 2021.
    35. "How To Do Shani Puja At Home - Times of India". The Times of India. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
    36. "10 Most Important Shrines and Temples Of God Shanidev". 3 February 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2021.

    Further reading

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