Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 3:45 AM
Shanideva is one of the most popular deities that the Hindus pray to ward off evil and remove obstacles. He is one of the Navagraha which are the nine primary celestial beings in Hindu astrology. He is embodiment of the planet Saturn and the Lord of Saturday; the seventh day of the week. It is the day denoted to Lord Shani and it is believed that those who have Shani as their swami should to wear the stone of Lord Shani - Sapphire. He is considered to be the strongest malefic and a good teacher who represents patience, effort, endeavor and endurance and who brings restrictions and misfortunes. He is depicted as having a dark complexion, dressed in black colored clothes; holding a sword, arrows and two daggers and variously mounted on a black vulture or a raven. He is believed by many to be an incarnation of lord Shiva.
According to the Hindu mythology, Shanideva is the son of Surya (the Hindu Sun God) and his wife Chhaya (the Shadow goddess) and hence he is also known as Chayyaputra. He is the elder brother of Yamraja (the Hindu God of death). God Surya has two sons Shani and Yamraja. Shani gives us the results of one's deeds through one's life through appropriate punishments and rewards, whereas Yamraja grants the results of one's deeds after death. Shanideva is very harmful for 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. In the mythology, he is represented as riding a chariot, pulled by a vulture or crow holding a bow and arrow.
Shanideva is known by many names such as Shanaishwar, Shani Bhagavan, Shaneesvara, Shanaiscarya, Asita, Saptarchi, Kruradris, Kruralochana etc. He is worshipped with utmost reverence and devotion millions of people from all over the world. In Vedic astrology, the planetary position at the time of birth determines the future of a person. So, Hindus accord immense importance to the planets and Saturn (Shani) is one such planet which they fear the most for ill-luck. The birth under the influence of this planet is considered very bad. This powerful god is believed to have the control of making a king into a pauper as well as changing the fortunes of a sufferer. He occupies the major position among the pantheon of Hindu deities in warding off evil and to get rid off obstacles. Shanideva is a devotee of Lord Shiva and hence those who want to appease him pray to Lord Shiva along with Shanideva.All paintings are courtesy of Art of Legend India.