Generally each individual’s life is directly or indirectly or indirectly influenced by the activity of Shani. But it predominates in certain birth charts. In other words it can be called the chief planet of the birth chart. Such a person is then called “Shani Pradhan Jataka” or Saturn-dominated individual.
Noted Astrologer Sri H. N. Katve according to him when Saturn is favourably placed in the birth chart of the individual; his personal, familial and social attributes are enhanced. Such individuals plan and actively participate in programmes of social and economic change, which would contribute to public welfare. They have self-confidence without being over arrogant. They are interested in deep study of difficult subjects. Book publishing, spread of knowledge, helping others, detachment, love of justice, self respect, hard work, discipline, founding of institutions, following own decisions.
Stubborn persistence and bearing a grudge are the characteristics which become manifest. Such native excel in knowledge of subjects, which are supernatural or metaphysical. They wish well for their country and the entire world. They diligently fulfil their work and ceaselessly follow their goal against all odds, without caring for public opinion, if they are convinced of the rightness of their beliefs. That is why people take their advice and suggestions very seriously and confer rights on them. Because of their secretive nature the love or intention of such natives is not known easily. They have few friends. They are interested in legal intricacies and political activeness predominates. Such a placement of Saturn also causes Dattak Yoga or chances of adoption.
When Saturn is unfavourably placed in the birth chart then the native manifests unexpected and unpalatable tendencies. Jealousy, over spending, harsh speech, addiction to vices, lustfulness, unrestrained behaviour, licentious conduct, laziness, lack of activeness, untrustworthiness, arrogance, dishonesty, disloyalty, misappropriation of others’ wealth are the symptoms which predominate. Profession in medicine suits them. if they gain power and position they prove extremely cruel, wicked and unbridled rulers. Obviously the adverse influence of Saturn overcomes and frustrates the entire personality.
Shani in Puranic contexts: —
Numerous references are available in ancient Indian texts explicating the unique and multifarious characteristics of Saturn or Shanideva. These references enunciate directly and symbolically the might of this planet. To fully reveal the character of Saturn a perusal of these ancient texts is absolutely necessary. They delineate how, right from Incarnations of God to might emperors were affected by Saturn’s potent energy.
(1) The Birth Lore: —
When Parabrahama created ‘Aadidevtrayi’ (the primal Divine Trinity of Brahama, Vishnu and Shiva), it was Lord Shiva who took the heavier responsibility of annihilation of the of the creation according to its conduct was a difficult task. To help him in this stupendous work he brought into being associate Ganas. About this time itself Chhaya gave birth to the nine sons of Bhaskara, the Sun God. Among these nine sons, Shani and Yama displayed amazingly fearsome potentiality, therefore, Shiva the Destroyer accepted them in his ministration. He bestowed on Shani the suthority to punish according to Karma or conduct. Yama was appointed for Death. This ancient account furnishes several deep hints concerning Shani’s activities as well as underlines the importance of worshipping Shiva in placing Shani.
2)Shani and Sun: —
Saturn tops the list of Surya’s nine sons in fierceness. The dark complexioned Yamuna is Saturn’s sister and Yama, the controller of death is his younger brother. Saturn’s harshness is also caused by his strange family. According to ancient myths Surya, the Sun God, allocated a separate ‘loka’ to each of his progeny on attaining maturity. But Saturn, who was by nature evil and greedy, was not satisfied with reigning over only one Loka. He made a plan to invade all the other Lokas. Surya was extremely pained by this maldesign of Saturn. But his sane counsel had no effect on Saturn’s evil intention. Eventually Surya appealed to Lord Shiva. Ever ready to deliver his devotee from fear Lord Shiva appeared and warned the impudent Saturn. When Saturn ignored him a battle ensued between the two. Saturn vanquished all the Ganas of Lord Shiva along with Nandy and Veerbhadra with his amazing valour. On seeing the destruction of his army Shiva was outraged and he opened his third eye. Saturn also targeted him with his eye’s deadly vision. The whole of Saturn ‘Loka’ was engulfed in an unparalleled light born of the two might sights. An enraged Shiva then struck Saturn with his trident. Saturn could not withstand its blow and fell unconscious. Seeing his son in this state, Surya was overcome with grief. He prayed Shiva to spare Shani’s life. Easy to please Shiva eliminated all the troubles of Saturn. After this Saturn accepted Shiva’s omnipotence and sought forgiveness from him. Impressed by the fighting skill of valiant Saturn Lord Shiva admitted him in his service and appointed him the executor of punishment.
(3) Shani and Harishchandra: — A scion of Raghukul, King Harishchandra is ever remembered for his truthfulness and generosity. He always enjoyed the blessings of devine powers. Despite this he could not escape Saturs’s devastating influence.
To test Harishchandra’s truthfulness, Indra, the king of Deities, called on Sage Vishwamitra, who sought Saturn’s co-operation to harass Harishchandra with endless troubles. Harishchandra was known the worldover for his popularity. Yet his life was assailed with terrible tragedies because of Shani’s adverseness. His kingdom was lost. He had to sell his son, his wife and even himself to pay the amount of Dakshina. He suffered under the influence of Shani bit Rohit, the son of king Harishchandra who was working as a chandal’s servant at the cremation ground ask her pay the tax for cremation. When shaivya tried to tear a portion of her sari to pay the tax Vishwamitra and Shani appeared. It was the climax of Harishchandra’s trial. Vishwamitra restored his kingdom. When the king came to know of Saturn’s predominant role in his tragic predicament, he cursed Shani that those individuals who abided by religious laws and had a pious conduct, shall not be affected by Saturn’s evil influence. This episode highlights the trouble-causing role of Saturn.
The whole is familiar with the ideal life history of Maryada Purushottam Shri Rama. Saturn caused terrible upheavals in his blameless life. His stay in the forests and all the other subsequent happenings were doings of Saturn, it is believed.
(4) Shani and Pipplad Muni: —
This ancient lore explains the reason of saturn’s slow movement. Pippalad Muni lost his father when he was only a child. Saturn had tormented his father terribly when he was passing his life as a sage on the banks of the river Yamuna. He died of ceaseless attacks of poverty and disease. Pippalad’s mother regarded Saturn as the sole cause of her husband’s death.
When Pippalad came of age he came to know of these facts from his mother. He was terribly angry with Saturn, the killer of his father, and started looking for him. All of a sudden he saw Saturn on a Peepal tree. He aimed his Brahma-danda, which he had acquired through the power of his penance, at Shani. The Brahmadanda followed and tortured Saturn throughout the three Lokas. Finally it broke both his legs. Anguished Saturn prayed to Lord Shiva fervently. Shiva appeared and enlightened the sage that Saturn was only following the laws of creation. It is not possible to overcome the movement of time, so Saturn was not to be blamed for Pippalad’s father’s death.
Pippalad forgave Saturn. He said that reciting of this story and worshipping Pippaleshwar Lord Shiva would help avoid troubles caused by Saturn. Because of his legs being broken by Brahmadanda Shani’s natural speed was hindered and he came to be known as the slow mover.
(5) Shani and Shri Hanuman:
The happenings delineated in this ancient lore speak of not only Saturn and Shri Hanuman but also of the tragic fate of Ravana, the king of Rakshasa.
The entire cosmos trembled in the face of Ravana's invincible might. He was well versed in all the Veda-Vedanga, was an unparalleled warrior, owner of unlimited wealth and conqueror of the three Lokas. He was also and expert of all the overt and occult disciplines of knowledge, of astrology, limitless power of spirituality and fine application of Tantra. Ravana could suspend the motion of constellations and planets. But even he had to suffer punishment for having slighted Saturn.
Considering Saturn and Mahakal, the greatest impediments in his quest for immortality, Ravana invaded Shani-loka. Both Saturn and Mahakal put up a tremendous defensive fight but Ravana had the boon from Brahma that, excepting man, monkey, and bear, he would not be vanquished by anybody else. He badly wounded Saturn with the trident given to him by Lord Shiva, and tying with Brahmapasha, hanged him upside down in Lanka’s prison house. Mahakal was also imprisoned and kept immobile near Saturn. Both of them, who were co-operators in the operations of creation invoked their master Lord Shiva, who appeared before them and told them that even they were not free from the laws of Brahma. He assured them that after some time they would be freed on the arrival of Shri Hanuman.
When Hanuman set Lanka to fire, he was surprised to see that despite burning, the city was not turning black. Then he noticed the hanging Saturn who was lamenting his bad luck. He introduced himself to hanuman and told him how Ravana had nailed his might with his power of Yoga. If he were freed, he would turn the golden Lanka to ashes. When Hanuman freed Saturn he cast his evil eye on Lanka which instantly became black as ash. Then he requested Hanuman how he could repay him. Hanuman told him that he should not torment his devotees in future. Likewise Hanuman also freed Mahakal.
Later on Ravana had to suffer the retaliatory anger of Shani. He was destroyed with all his family.
(6) Saturn's downcast glance:
The secret of Saturn’s downcast glance and its cruelty is hidden in the curse given by his wife. Saturn was deeply devoted to Lord Krishna right form his childhood. Day and night he worshipped Krishna. When Saturn reached maturity his father Surya married him to the strong charactered, and accomplished daughter of Chitraratha. Once having had her ritual bath after the menstruation period she went to Saturn, desiring a son. But Saturn was engrossed in meditation. He did not even look up to her. Her desire was unfulfilled. She was hurt and cursed him that in future his eyes would always remain downcast and whomsoever he wood look at, would be destroyed. Although she was repentant later on when her anger subsided, yet the curse had taken effect. Since then Saturn’s glance became downcast forever.
(7) Saturn and Dasharatha
Astrologers opine that if Saturn crosses the constellation Rohini, it cause “ Rohini Shakat Bhedan Yoga”, which results in a terrible famine for twelve years, that ends in Pralaya or total destruction. When King Dasharatha of the Ikshavaku dynasty was ruling, this Yoga was going to take place. At the advice of sages of prevent Saturn from causing this catastrophe, he reached the nakshatra-loka, mounted in his chariot. When Saturn did not relent even after verbal persuasion Dasharatha attacked him. Saturn was impressed by his valour and devotion to duty. He offered to grant him a boon. Dasharatha asked him never to do “Shakat Bhedan” when the Sun and other planets were present. Saturn consented.
Afterwards a grateful Dasharatha praised Saturn with beautiful verses. Pleased, Saturn offered to grant him one more boon. Dasharatha asked that he should not torment anyone without reason. Granting the boon Saturn said that if he was placed in the first, fourth or eighth house in a birth chart, he could afflict the Jataka with deadly troubles. But if the individual native worshipped Saturn's idol and recited the verses composed by Dasharatha in praise of Saturn, then he would not torment him. On the contrary he would protect such native. Significance of Ancient Myths: It is a special feature of Indian culture that it is steeped in a unique system of symbols. Puranic tales establish symbolic truth. Tales referring to Saturn throw an interesting light on his shape and dispiration. The impact of Saturn’s cruel glance is well known. The native afflicted with it gets involved in a series of mishaps. In terms of a modern interpretation, it can be said that Saturn is the responsible guard of the eternal law of almighty who is omnipresent, invisible yet present in each particle of the creation.