Last Saturday, I got stuck in traffic jam at a place where the road is quite wide and therefore, usually one has a smooth go. I then recalled that there was a Shani temple around. People were lined up in a long ques waiting for their turn to offer mustard oil to the deity and reverentially burn earthen lamps, in the hope that Shani deva will spare them of His fury. Out of curiosity I stopped by and asked a few devotees: “What makes you come to offer prayers at the Shani temple on a Saturday?” Pat came their reply: “We are either going through Saturn’s sadhesati or dhaiya.”
“Why fear Sadhesati or dhaiya?” I asked them. “We are afraid, during such phase, often one has to face great hardship.” They replied in chorus. “So, out of fear, you are trying to appease Shani deva.” I countered them. “Yes, of course.” They responded. “But I have seen many people making it big in their sadhesati, in as much as that many Indian Prime Ministers occupied the high office during their sadhesati. What then justifies your fear?” I countered. “We don’t know how this period will individually end up for us. But the mythological story line in circulation about Shanideva suggests that through such offerings, if at all we are to face a difficult situation, we will be saved.” They answered. I could feel their sense of discomfort in responding to my vexing questions, so I left at that.
It’s, however, difficult to ignore many important questions pertaining to the above belief: “Is there any scope of a form God by the name of Shanideva in the heaven who would be adjudicating our Karma and accordingly granting reward or punishment? Upanishads, which forms the base frame of Indian Philosophy doesn’t suggest so. Even believing that there is some power by this name (with or without form), it would be available in equal proportion to all of us. Would it then be possible for us to selectively appease that power and earn its favour in individual terms? Had it been so easy to negate the consequences of our doings and undoing in the past through such transactional pujas, at least the resourceful ones would have never suffered in life.
Since impressionable minds of a good majority of religiously oriented Indian people fall prey to the fear psychology created by such mythological stories, further scrutiny of its relevance is called for. First let us understand what Saturn’s sadhesati and dhaiya mean. Planets in the cosmos are ever on their run at their own respective speeds. Saturn’s sadhesati means 7 years and a half that it takes to pass through three successive signs – the Moon sign, one preceding, and the one following it. The 2 years and a half taken by Saturn to cover kendra houses with reference to the Moon sign (4th, 7th, and 10th therefrom) is termed as dhaiya. So, the two – sadhesati and dhaiya relate to particular placement of Saturn with respect to Moon sign.
Now, since Saturn is marked with such characteristic features as would marginalise those of Moon, more often the ones who become subject to such placements, have been found faced with challenging situations in life. But how? Does Saturn wilfully play a devil all by itself? Or, is this placement just an indicator of probable outcome of something that would be even otherwise brewing in our mind as a fall out of our own doings and undoing in the past? And how does Shanideva come into the picture?
Remember, the planets in the cosmos are not to be seen just as physical bodies moving in the cosmos in their own right. They are all an inseparable part of an integrated astronomical framework. Each of them is marked with an energy stream passing through a specific region identified with that planet in the centre, respectively reflecting different characteristic features, having corresponding receptors in our brain. And every particular point of the brain administers set function of the body, mind, and psyche. This is how energies marked with different planets influence our thought process, and thereby our actions.
Here again, it needs to be remembered that the whole universe is framed into an inseparable unified organism, which includes the cosmos as well as the life cycle on the planet earth. The system as a whole, driven by a self-evolved design-parameters, operates in a self-automated mode. In this scheme of things, no individual player has a reality independent of the entirety, which includes the planets.
The issue continues ….