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Much Ado About Shani

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I was browsing through my twitter timeline and popular news blogs when I came across this article: Right to Worship. I have seen various other debates on news channels and am well aware that the issue is related to Women’s Entry and whether it is valid or invalid in present times.

My point though is why is there a fixation to worship a black idol that is supposedly of planet Saturn. Saturn is a planet which is located some 746 Million Miles away from Earth. For the record I have been to the Shani Shingnapur Temple and have offered prayers to that black stone out of fear and superstition. But as time passed I became more mature and more importantly started asking tough questions about my beliefs and my faith. At present I run a small website related to Astrology for close to 3 years now. When I started the website I thought it would be easy money and only wanted some extra bucks. But as time passed I realized the rot in Astrology was deep and I would be doing a great disservice to great sages like Maharishi Bhrigu, Maharishi Parashar, Maharishi Varamihir and other notable personalities like B. V Raman if I kept following the traditional school of thought in Astrology which was and is based on superstition and fear mongering. For an Astrologer there are a few golden words namely: Shani/Saturn, Mangal/Mars, Vivah/Marriage, Naukri/Jobs and Kaal Sarpa Dosha which can be used to milk money from gullible clients.

Shani is the one planet which scares the living daylights out of believers of Astrology. So it is given that Astrologers and Priests use it to milk money. I tried a few articles like: Shani and Superstition as well as Shani: Teacher or Tormentor to undo the fear. But I guess people are more interested in easy shortcut of offering Oil to the Black Idol instead of working their way out of troubles. While I cannot change the opinion of majority I just hope a few rational souls do the important soul searching part after reading this article.

Popular belief is Shani or Saturn is Judge appointed by Lord Shiva to look over the karma of individuals. It is the duty of the judge to punish the wrong doers. Most normal people wouldn’t dare think of bribing their way out of troubles. But these same set of people have no hesitation in offering Oil to the Black Idol as a sort of bribe so that Grandpa Shani would go easy on them. Well most of them fail and I guess they are as much at fault as the Astrologers and Priest who suggest such remedies to them.

The actual importance of Oil for Shani is Scientific and not related to Superstition. Shani according to Astrology increases diseases related to Vayu Tatva. In simpler terms diseases like Indigestion, Flatulence, Severe Headache and Pains in Knee Caps could be a result due to bad Shani in a horoscope. Oil  or more importantly Castor Oil is a home remedy to cure diseases of the stomach. Also applying castor oil on head and knee caps keeps headache and knee pain in check. This oil is meant to be consumed by person with weak Shani in horoscope and not to be poured on black idols and wasted unnecessarily. Similarly Oil is not meant to be poured on Lord Hanuman either. Lord Hanuman never poured Oil on himself. It was Ravana who poured Oil on Lord Hanuman’s tail according to Sunderkand. What happened to Lanka afterwards can be read in next Chapter of Sunderkand.

This whole debate around Shani Singnapur is along wrong subject to begin with. Instead of asking why Women are not allowed to visit Shani Temple it should be more along the lines of: Why is anyone allowed to visit Shani Singnapur Temple when all it does is promote superstitious beliefs.

I understand a lot of people could be offended by this article. I apologize to them and ascertain them that I have no intention of mocking their beliefs. All I wish is for Hindus to stop fearing a noble planet like Shani. The only point of this article is to raise awareness about the right issue on hand. Instead of pouring oil on the black idol it would be better if that oil is given to the poor and needy. This is perhaps the debate about reform which should be happening instead of the fake outrage that is currently presiding over Shani Temple.

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