Shani Jayanti or the birth of Lord Shani is celebrated on the New Moon (Amavasya) day in Krishna Paksha in the month of Vaisakha. On this day, devotees worship Shani Dev, the son of Lord Sun (Surya) and ruler of the planet Saturn to welcome prosperity in their life. Every year, Shani Jayanti is held in honor of the mighty Lord Shani. He is one of the main Navagraha worshipped by Hindu, and also one of the main deities as per Hindu sacred scriptures.
According to beliefs, Lord Shani is considered one of the most aggressive gods in Hinduism. People observe a fast and offer prayers and celebrates His birthday with great pomp and grandeur to receive His blessings and good luck. However, devotees follow very strict rules and regulations to worship Shani Dev and to keep Him happy, as He is known for his furious nature. As per astrological guidelines, a complete fast and sincere worship is important for the people who are affected by 'Shani Saade Saati' (the most complex and difficult period of life).
Significance of Shani Jayanti: Shani Dev is the lord of the planet Saturn and Saturdays. Saturn is the slowest moving planet in space. Astrologically, it is quite important where this planet is positioned in an individual’s birth chart due to its malefic effects on the lives of the natives. Hence, Hindus worship and offer prayers to please the Lord of planet Saturn to alleviate its malefic effects.
Lord Shani is considered as the Lord of justice, offers success only to people who have undergone penance, hardships in their life through discipline, and sincere effort. Observing a fast and offering sincere prayers to Shani dev on this day helps to develop qualities to live a successful life.
Hindus believe that every human being goes through a phase of Shani Sade Sati atleast once in their lifetime and that is the time when they experience the most difficulties in their life. However, if your deeds are good and you are worshipping Lord Shani then He will bestow his blessings during this period.
Rituals to be followed: By offering prayers and worship to Lord Shani, one can get rid of problems and struggles. With the blessings of Shani, one can also achieve success and growth in life. Followings are some important steps to celebrate Shani Jayanti -
• A devotee needs to wake up before sunrise and take a bath.
• On this day, devotees must bath an idol of Lord Shani with Gangajal, panchamrit, oil, and water.
• After bathing the idol, offer flowers, Diya, and incense sticks to the idol.
• Some devotees also offer Navratna garland (a necklace of nine gemstones).
• On this day, many devotees perform special Shani Shanti puja, yajna, homes either in a Shani temple or in a Navagraha temple.
• Sit in front of the idol, offer aarti and recite Shani Stotra, mantras, and prayers to please Shani Dev.
• Devotees should not consume any meal throughout the day while observing a fast.
• After completing the puja, the worshipper should donate black things like - black clothes, black til or mustard oil, black shoes, a black umbrella to the needy.
Mantras to chant: On this auspicious day, offering prayer to Shani dev by chanting following Shani mantra helps to reduce the negative effects of Shani in a person’s horoscope. As mentioned in the Puranas, Shani Dev is a Vedic deity of justice who gives punishments or blessings to a person for his own karma. These mantras are highly efficacious and can alleviate all the sufferings of a devotee with the grace of Lord Shani. A devotee must chant these mantras with sincerity and devotion.
Shani Mantra for Success
“Om Shri Shani Devaayah Namo Namha
Om Shri Shani Devaayah Shanti Bhavaha
Om Shri Shani Devaayah Shubham Falha
Om Shri Shani Devaayah Falh Prapti Falha”
Shani Maha Mantra
“Nilanjana samabhasam raviputram yamagrajam.
Chaya martanda sambhutam tam namami shaishcharam.”
Shani Beej Mantra
“Om praam preem praum sah shanayishraya namah.”
Shani Gayatri Mantra
“Om kaakadhwajaaya vidmahae
khadga hastaaya dheemahi
tanno mandah prachodayaat”
Shani Moola Mantra
“Om Sham Shanaiscaryaye Namaha”
Legend behind Shani Jayanti: As per mythology, Shani Dev is the son of Lord Surya and Goddess Chaaya (Chaaya means shadow). Goddess Chaya is the shadow of Devi Saranyu, the daughter of King Daksha. The legend explains that Devi Saranyu could not bear the scorching heat and brightness of Lord Surya and left him. She went away for Sadhana and left her shadow Chaaya (who completely resembled her) to take her place. Goddess Chaaya did not have any problem with the heat of God Sun due to her shadow form. Lord Shani was born when Devi Chaaya was meditating upon Lord Shiva. Born out of Chaaya’s (shadow form), Shani dev complexion was totally black at birth.
When Shani dev was born and His father Lord Surya doubted His birth, Lord Shiva appeared to support His devotee Chaaya and clarified to Lord Surya why Shani was black and blessed Shani Dev. Since then, devotees started celebrating the birthday of Lord Shani as Shani Jayanti.
Summary: Lord Shani, the son of Lord Sun (Surya) is an important deity of Hinduism. The birth anniversary of Shani Dev is celebrated as Shani Jayanti by Hindus. As per Vedic astrology, Shani Dev is represented by the planet Saturn which has a very strong influence over the lives of the people. It is believed that Shani Dev is the lord of justice and makes sure that each individual gets justice depending upon his/her deeds—good or bad. On this auspicious day of Shani Jayanti, people observe fast, perform special Shani Shanti puja, yajna to worship and please Shani Dev, as well as to remove all obstacles and hurdles from their life.