Shanaischara or Shani is one of the Navagraha. Navagraha are the nine primary celestial beings in Hindu astrology, or Jyotisa. Sanaischara is the planet Saturn. Sanaischara is the Lord of Saturday and is worshipped every week by the Hindus.
The word 'Shani' is derived from Shanaye Kramati Sa, the one who moves slowly to rotate around the Sun. Shanaischara or Shani Bhagavan is also known as Shani Deva.
Shanaischara is a Deva and the son of Surya or the Hindu Sun God and his wife Chhaya or the Shadow goddess and hence also known as Chayyaputra. Shanaischara is the brother of Yama, the Hindu God of death. In the legends it is said that after Shani's birth when he opened his eyes for the first time then the sun went into an eclipse. This incident clearly denotes the impact of Shanaischara or Shani on Hindu astrology. Shanaischara is said to be the greatest trouble giver and the greatest well wisher. He is portrayed dark in colour, clad in black dress. He holds a sword, arrows and two daggers and is mounted on a black vulture or a raven.
There are legends in regard to Shani's drishti or harsh effects of shani. It is said that when the Navagraha or the nine primary celestial beings came to see the new born Ganesha, shani stared at him; This resulted into the loss of Ganesha's human head
Indian mythology says that the worship of Lord Sanaischara and Hanuman are interrelated. The adoration of Lord Hanuman is a solution for the harsh effects of the adverse effect of Lord Shani. In the epic Ramayana, it is described that Lord Hanuman saved Shanaischara from the command of Ravana. In appreciation, Shanaischara promised Hanuman that anyone who prayed to Hanuman, especially on Saturdays, would be rescued from the awful effects of Saturn or Shanaischara.
There are various ways to please Lord Shanaischara. If anybody enchants chants on Saturdays and fasts then he is relieved from all the ill-effects of Shani. If a person prays to Lord Vishnu then he is protected from Shani as he is said to be a great devotee of Vishnu.
There is a common mantra which can be enchanted to please Sanaischara drawing the support of Lord Shanaischara. The mantra is 'Om Sham Shanaiscaryaye Namah'. Shanaischara is considered to be the strongest god and a stern teacher who represents patience, effort, endeavour, and endurance; and who brings restrictions and misfortunes
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