Shani is one of the Navagraha which are the nine primary celestial beings in Hindu astrology. Shani is embodied in the planet Saturn. Shree Shani Dev is the Lord of Saturday; the word Shani also denotes the seventh day or Saturday in most Indian languages.
The origin of word Shani comes from the following: Shanaye Kramati Sa i.e. the one who moves slowly, as Saturn takes about 30 years to revolve around the Sun. Shani is also known as Shanaiscarya Shani Bhagavan, Shaneesvara, Saneesvara, Shaneesvaran, and Shani Deva.
Shani is a Deva and son of Surya (the Hindu Sun God) and his wife Chhaya (Shadow goddess) and hence also known as Chayyaputra. He is the cousin of Yama, the Hindu God of death. It is said that when he opened his eyes as a baby for the very first time, the sun went into an eclipse, which clearly denotes the impact of Shani on astrological charts. He is known as the greatest teacher. Shani dev is said to be very harmful to those who follow the path of betrayal, backstabbing and unjust revenge. He is known in Hindu scriptures as the greatest trouble giver as well as the greatest well wisher. He is depicted dark in colour, clothed in black; holding a sword, arrows and two daggers and variously mounted on a black crow.
Shani Dev and Lord Hanuman
The worship of Lord Hanuman is a panacea for the harsh effects of the 'unfavourable' presence of Lord Shani. In the Ramayana, Lord Hanuman is said to have rescued Shani from the clutches of Ravana and in gratitude, Shani promised Hanuman that anyone who prayed to Him (Hanuman), especially on Saturdays, would be rescued from the "malefic" effects of Saturn, or at the very least, the effects would be softened.
Another version of the encounter between Lord Hanuman and Shani is that once Shani climbed on to Hanuman's shoulder, implying that Shani's influence was beginning on Lord Hanuman. At this, Hanuman assumed a large size, and Shani was caught painfully between Hanuman's shoulders and the ceiling of the room they were in. As the pain was unbearable, Shani requested Lord Hanuman to release him, promising in return, that if a person prayed to Lord Hanuman, he (Shani) would moderate or eliminate the malefic effects of his influence on that person; following this, Lord Hanuman released Shani.
Ways to please Shani Maharaj
According to the Vedic astrology, in order to get
protection against the evil effects of Saturn's transit, the following are the
possible remedies during the important transits of Saturn
1. Worship Lord Hanuman.
2. Recite Hanuman chalisa or any other Hanuman stotra.
3. Japa of Shani mantra: Om pram preem proum sah shanaischaraya namah, 19000 times in 40 days.
4. Recite the Shani stotra:
Nelanjan samabhasam ravi putram yamagrajamChaaya martand sambhutam tam namami shanaischaram
5. Donate black til (sesame seeds) on Saturday.
6. Fasting on Saturdays.
7. Pooja: Hanuman pooja