Hindu Deity Shani Dev Folklore and History

Shani Dev or Shani Bhagwan or Sani or Shani Maharaj or Chayyaputra are some of the common names given to the Hindu deity in the ancient religious books of Hinduism.

Shani Bhagwan is considered to be the herald of vengeance and misfortune. As per the Hindi religious practice, people pray to God to protect them against the evil and remove all the life hurdles for peaceful living.

9 Facts about Shani Dev [Hidden and Mysterious]

Below is a list of some unknown and interesting facts about Lord Shani that you must know.

  1. Shani is the Hindu God of Justice and is the most popular deity in Hinduism.
  2. His other names are Sani, Shani Dev, Sani Maharaj, Saura, Kruradris, Kruralochana, Mandu, Pangu, Septarchi, Asita, and Chayyaputra
  3. His father is Surya “The Sun God” and surrogate mother Chaya “The Shadow”.
  4. He is the ward of the evil and herald of misfortune, bad luck and revenge.
  5. Lord Shani is lame in one leg due to a curse.
  6. Sun misunderstood Lord Shani due to his black colour on his birth.
  7. Shani Dev a zealous devotee of God Shiva.
  8. Shani Dev favors Hanuman’s Devotees the most.
  9. He is the most powerful and unbiased God as per the Hindu Mythology.

Origin and History

The word Shani is derived from the root Sanskrit word “Shanaischara” that means slow mover. The term Shanaischara can be divided into 2 words i.e. Shani and Chara.

Origin and History
Origin and History

Shani –> The planet Saturn

Chara –> The movement

Shanivara –> Saturday, as per the Hindu naming convention.

Thus, Shani Dev is also considered to be the God or Bhagwan of Saturn and Shanivara is the day that is dedicated to the Hindu deity.

Major appellations for Shani include;

  1. The cruel eyed or the Kruradris or Kruralochana.
  2. The son of the sun god or Saura.
  3. The dull and slow god or the Mandu.
  4. The dark god or the Asita.
  5. The seven eyed Septarchi.
  6. The disabled or the Pangu.

As per the Hindu books & ancient texts, Shani is the son of Surya also called the Hindu sun god. His mother is Chaya which means shade, who acted as a surrogate mother for Swarna, Suraya’s true wife.

Chaya in an attempt to please lord Shiva sat under the hot sun for a long time which mediated and raised Shani.

Although this activity made Surya furious, as Shani turned out to be black.

History says that Surya temporarily turned black in the wrath of his own as the Sun went into complete eclipse and all this happened when Shani Dev opening his eyes as a bay for the 1st time ever.

Surya has 2 sons namely Yama or Yamraj and Shani Dev or Shani Bhagwan.

YamaDeliver’s justice after a person dies.
ShaniDelivers justice while a person is alive.
Children of Sun or Surya Dev

Some other relatives and close once to Shani Bhagwan are;

  1. Putri Bhadra, the goddess of the hunt.
  2. Goddess Kali, the destroyer of the evil forces on earth.

Later Lord Shiva married to Kali and therefore became both his Guru and brother-in-law.

The portrayal of Shani Dev

In Hindi drawings and illustrations Shani Dev is depicted as a dark figure riding slowly through the heaven on a chariot.

The portrayal of Shani Dev
The portrayal of Shani Dev

Some of his weapons that he uses to fight against his enemies are;

  1. 1 trident
  2. An Ax
  3. A bow and 2 arrows
  4. A sharp sword

He is portrayed as the God that wears dark blue or black clothing who prefers to mount on a crow or a vulture to travel between places, carrying a sapphire and a blue flower.

In his childhood, he had a massive fight with his brother Yama and that injury had a massive impact, therefore many sculptures show him with a limp.

Below are some of the common details about Shani Deva that would be beneficial for you know;

  1. Nature (as per Vedic Astrology) –> Vata or Airy
  2. Gem –> Black Stone or a Blue Sapphire
  3. Metal –> Lead
  4. Day –> Saturday or Shanivara (In Hindi)
  5. Direction –> West

Believers say that he is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu or earth and his motive is to give the people fruits of their Karma.

God of Misfortune and Bad Luck [Truth or Myth]

Shani Bhagwan is a strict but very humanitarian God who gives the fruit of the Karmas to people and therefore can be both cruel and furious at times.

God of Misfortune and Bad Luck
God of Misfortune and Bad Luck

He is considered to be one of the greatest troublemakers while can also be your greatest well-wisher.

Shani Dev is the god of justice who directs the vaults of the human heart and the risks that loiter there.

He can be very harmful to you if you possess any of the following qualities;

  1. Betrayal
  2. Backstabber.
  3. Seeking revenge from others.
  4. Futile and arrogant.

He has to make people suffer for their wrongdoings so that they can neutralize their bad sins and again become pure souls by eradicating the influence of evil on them.

As per the Hindi Vedic Astrology, the position of the planets at the time of birth determines their fate and if a child is born under Saturn i.e. Shani’s planet.

Then it is believed that his life will be filled with;

  1. Difficulties
  2. Challenges
  3. Risks
  4. Failures
  5. Health Problems
  6. Money Problems

Shani Bhagwan teaches all the humans to live in present and that they can achieve success in the future only by following the path of hard work, disciple and tussle.

Also, if you practice all the above qualities then one can easily eradicate the challenges and struggles of life.

Relationship of Shani with Saturn

The Hindu Vedic astrology believes that there are 9 planetary immortals called the Navagraha. These 9 deities highlight a different face of destiny which is assigned to each one of since the birth.

Relationship of Shani with Saturn
Relationship of Shani with Saturn

The 9 planetary deities are based on the 9 planetary bodies i.e. the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and the Saturn.

The destiny of Shani Dev is karmic who punishes or benefits people during their lifetime based on their Karmas.

Out of all the planets, Saturn is considered to be the slowest as per Vedic astrology that remains for 2 and half years in its zodiac sign.

Saturn is believed to be extremely beneficial for Libra and Taurus ascendants as its most powerful place in the Zodiac is in the 7th house.

Shani’s Saade Sati

The Saade Sati or Sadesati means a tenure of seven and a half years that happens when one takes birth in the astrological house of Saturn, that can happen only in approximately 30 years. 

Shani’s Saade Sati
Shani’s Saade Sati

As per the Hindu Vedic Astrology, the conciliation of Shani is vital of every single person, not just those born under Saturn.

During the Shani Dev’s Saade Sati, the person is in danger of misfortune as the Saturn is sitting in their house.

So, the person can expect a period of bad luck lasting for 3 times in 2.5 years each or over an entire period of 7.5 years.

Shani Hymn or Mantra

To escape the adverse effects of Saade Sati during the 7.5 years, many believers practice the Shani mantra regularly.

Shani Hymn or Mantra
Shani Hymn or Mantra

Although there are many versions of the mantra the tradition one involves chanting 5 epithets of Shani Dev and then kneeling to him.

Shani Mantra WordingsMeaning in English
Nilanjana SamabhasamThe one who is resplendent or glowing like a blue mountain.
Ravi PutramThe son of the sun god Surya called here Ravi.
YamagrajamThe elder brother of Yama, the god of death.
Chaya Martanda SambhutamHe who is born to Chaya and the sun god Surya here called Martanda.
Tam Namami ShanescharamI bow down to the slow-moving one.”
Shani Mantra Wordings and Meaning

The chanting of the Shani hymn or the mantra should be performed in a calm and quiet place with the images of Shani Dev.

It is believed that the devotee must practice this at least 23000 times over 7.5 years of Saade Sati.

The Hindu Vedas say that if you chant the hymn for 108 times a day, it will create a very positive impact on your life, however, a minimum chanting of 8 or more times a day is a must.

Exclusive List of 10 Shani Temples in India

If one wants to please Shani Dev, then they can wear dark black or blue clothes on Saturdays and refrain themselves from meat or alcohol.

Shani Temples
Shani Temples

You can also visit the nearest Shani temple and light lamps with mustard oil or sesame.

Sr.  No.Name of the Shani templePlace in India
1Shani Shingnapur TempleMaharashtra
2Shani Dham TempleNew Delhi
3Yerdanur Shani TempleTelangana
4Tirunallar Saniswaran TemplePondicherry
5Mandapalli Mandeswara Swamy TempleAndhra Pradesh
6Sri Shani TempleTitwala, Maharashtra
7Bannanje Shri Shani KshetraKarnataka
8Shani MandirIndore
9Saneeswara Bhagavan TempleTamil Nadu
10Shani DevaalayamDeonar near Mumbai
Shani Temples in India


It is extremely difficult to impress Shani Dev but if you worship Him with a clean heart then your every wish will be fulfilled.

Therefore, you must pray to Shani Baghwan and do Good Karma to compliment your thoughts.

The Hindu Deity is the most unbiased God as per the Ancient Hindu Mythology who is out there to punish the evil and reward the worthy.

Therefore, think and act properly as Shani Dev is watching you!

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Who are the parents of Shani Dev?

As per the Hindu books and ancient texts, Shani is the son of Surya also called the Hindu sun god. His mother is Chaya meaning shade, who acted as a surrogate mother for Swarna, Suraya’s true wife.

Who is the brother of Shani?

Yama or Yamraj is the elder brother of Shani that delivers justice to a person after his/her death while Shani Dev delivers justice to a person when he/she is alive.