So who actually is Shani Dev? Shani Dev is the 7th of the Navgrah (9 planets), he is the son od Surya and Sanghya. He is Saturn. His influence is feared by many people but why? He interacts with planets for periods of 2 ½ and 7 ½ years, his movement is slow. Lets find out more The Jai Jais Way.
People fear Shani Dev because they are unaware of his nature and role in their life. He evaluates a person’s karma and dharma and accordingly functions in their life. When people suffer, they think they are being punished by shani dev through suffering. Actually there is no such thing. He just facilitates us to catch up with our karma - be it good or bad.
Unable to bear the intensive heat generated by Surya, his wife Sanghya created a clone of herself called Swarna, and asked her to take on her duties as a wife and mother. Swarna carried about all the duties well and even Surya did not realise the difference. Swarna had 5 sons and 2 daughters, she paid more attention to them than the children of Sanghya.
Shani Dev was hungry and asked Swarna for food, she told him once she has made offerings to god, fed the younger children, then he could eat. Shani Dev became very angry and was about to kick Swarna, she saw this an cursed him that his leg would fracture. Shani Dev was frightened and told his father. Shani Dev knew something was not right as a mother would never curse here child for just asking for food. Surya approached Swarna and she told him the truth. Herr curse could not be lifted so Shani Dev had a limp.
It is customary to bathe Shani Dev in oil. This came about in the Ramayana when the Rama Setu was being built the bride between India and Lanka. During the evening when Hanuman was praying Shani Derv presented himself in his dark ugly form, and proclaimed he was the most powerful of the gods, he asked Hanuman to go into battle with his to see who was the strongest. Hanuman politely told Shani Dev to respect him whilst he is in prayer and leave him alone. Shani Dev would not back down and insisted to pick a fight with hanuman. Hanuman lengthened his tail and like a snake coiled it around Shani Dev tightly. Shani Dev could not free himself. Hanuman tightened his tail and Shani Dev was in a lot of discomfort. To rid Shani Dev of his pride Hanuman started hitting Shani Dev against the stones, and he was in a lot of pain, and begged for forgiveness. Hanuman told Shani Dev that he would let him go if he leaves Rama’s devotee alone. Shani Dev promised he would never interfere in the destiny of devotees of hanuman and Rama. Hanuman released Shani Dev from the iron grip of his tail, he humbly asked Hanuman for some oil to ease his pain. Devotees offer Shani Dev oil, as a symbol is easing his pain.