Shani or Saturn is one of the most feared planets in the Horoscope. Typically most people in power are feared, but the ones who do not succumb to sycophancy are feared even more. Shani is one such entity. He creates extreme circumstances in people lives where they are tried incessantly and they either collapse or transform . His brother Yama, also the son of Surya is responsible for judgment in the afterlife and Shani for judgment in this life.

If one were to draw parallels between the judiciary and the role and traits of Shani, it may help in the understanding and overcoming issues related to Shani in one’s own chart and life.

The judiciary always moves at a pace that is trying for everyone. They hold the power to curb freedom, give punishment and also reverse fortunes. They also have the authority to pardon past mistakes in light of good behavior. They have to always be approached with humility.

Shani too has to be approached without pride. Shani is said to be really harsh on those who are arrogant.  It is said that Lord Hanuman has been given a boon by Shani that he will not trouble the devotees of Lord Hanuman. You may recall the piece I had written about Lord Hanuman in which I had pointed out how humility and devotion to consciousness were the most remarkable traits of this powerful entity. Those who are true devotees of Lord Hanuman and wish to please Him will emulate his qualities, becoming unassuming modest people committed to the well being of life and its purpose, therefore manifesting qualities which will protect them from Shani’s wrath.

Most people have heard the story of King Vikramaditya and the trials and tribulations he endured during his period of saade satti. There is a very beautiful book by Dr.Robert Svoboda , ‘The Greatness on Saturn’. It is a translation/interpretation of Shani Mahatmaya, the reading of which is supposed to be one of the measures to protect one from the wrath of Shani! Those who are interested could read this book.

Besides the stories, this book also has remedies for various planetary issues and problems. I interpret the remedies prescribed normally by astrologers in a very different manner. I have often had long discussions with my astrologer friends on this subject.

To me Shani is a very fair entity attempting to enable our manifesting our innate potential through putting us through challenging experiences in life. Though not swayed by flattery, he can be won over by sincerity. His agenda is to transform, not to punish. Even the remedies prescribed for his appeasement are really about becoming grounded. The recommended donation of iron, which most people symbolically carry out by offering nails, is in fact intended to make people support the marginalized by buying them implements that can help them carve a livelihood. If you believe you need to or have been advised to placate Lord Shani, try to donate tools to that farmer who is struggling, or a mason or a carpenter, such that they can eke out a better livelihood for themselves.

Black gram is the richest vegetarian source of protein and sesame seeds the richest source of calcium, both essential nutrients for the malnourished population and recommended donations for appeasing Shani. These are also expensive products, which poor people cannot afford though they may require given how hard they toil building homes and ploughing fields.

Have you noticed how all recommended offerings are to be made to an iron statue of Lord Shani? Not gold, not silver, Iron. No gifts  of precious stones or metals or fragrant oils, no dressing up the idol in fine silks and lace, only a humble earthen lamp to be lit at his abode!  Even lighting one under a peepal tree, which is usually the tree at the crossroads, suffices.

The other recommended forms of donation are foot wear and umbrellas, protecting the under privileged from scorching heat from below and above.

By donating these items and seeing the less fortunate who are deprived of such amenities, a sense of gratitude for what one has develops. The suffering of the masses and our sincere efforts to alleviate that suffering transforms something within us. With a heart full of compassion, a mind with greater clarity & vision, Lord Shani no longer seems someone to fear, but becomes someone to revere.  One realises that it is not he who moves slowly, but we who do not learn easily!

In surrender

Signature of Artist Annu Kalra