Shani Upaya - Remedial Measures for Saturn by KOMILLA SUTTON
Saturn is known as Shani in Sanskrit. Upaya means to make a strategy to defeat the enemy. In Jyotish we take the Upaya very seriously as it is the way to defeat the enemy of past life actions, of negative thoughts and blocks to your mind in order to open up a newer fresher world. This world where happiness is prominent, the mind is relaxed and we follow a path of truth.
As Saturn represent the karma we need to deal with and its effect by its natal position, Dashas and bhukti and transits is very strong. As we are born on earth, we have past life issues to reconcile and doing the remedies for Saturn helps us face the future lighter and with less inner turmoil. Each chart is individual and in some cases Saturn may be also the best planet for you so it may not be essential to do any remedies to the natal chart - but Saturn will still effect you by transits like Sade Sati, Ashtama Shani or others and you will need to do remedies for the challenging transits.
Saturn is the great teacher of cosmic truths. It does that through restrictions, obstructions, frustrations, unhappiness, disillusionment's, setbacks and fear. There is a definite purpose of the saturnine restrictions. Through his relentless force, he forces the soul to recognise its inner truth that has become obscured by veils of matter. On the positive side, Saturn stands for achievement, the fruits of hard work, responsibility, democracy and we would not get very far without it.
In the Vedas, Saturn is the son of the Sun born of a liaison between the Sun and his shadow wife, Chayya. The relationship between the Sun and Saturn is a very difficult one.
Saturn casts a shadow over the solar radiance. Saturn is the planet of karmic retribution. It keeps an account of all the past acts and releases this Karma unexpectedly. Faced with such powerful karmic forces an individual has to dig deep into their inner resources. It causes immense misery and frustration. But once the individual starts of understand the forces of Saturn and moves towards learning from the lessons it is teaching. The person slowly starts towards the path towards self-realisation. Saturn strips the attachments to material life. It makes us look towards the true reason of our birth. These stripping of illusions or the sheaths that encase the soul bring about immense psychological transformation. Saturn has the slowest motion of all planets, so it has plenty of time to teach the lessons and change the course of your life. Its unrelenting progress through your chart by transit or during its dashas and bhuktis, brings up Karmic issues you have to deal with, things you cannot avoid, the unpleasant tasks you have to face.
Saturn is very democratic in nature. It teaches lessons to everyone whether it is a friend or an enemy in a particular chart. Shani is the one planet that benefits most from remedial measures. Therefore all of us would benefit from doing upaye for Saturn
The Upayas for Saturn
The main tools of are:
- Honouring Shiva and Saturn
- Yagya - Worship and fire ceremony
- Mantra and japa - Reciting sacred sounds
- Daan - Donation; giving your time, support and money
- Path of yoga - Mental, physical and spiritual clearing
- Honouring the gurus and brahmins
- Feeding the poor
- Seva and karma yoga - Looking after people and voluntary service
- Wearing Saturn's gem? Blue Sapphire
- Following a dharmic path
Honouring Shiva and Saturn
Lord Shiva is the primary deity for Saturn, and all upaya for Saturn are dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shani performed a long Tapas for Lord Shiva where he lived only on air. Pleased by this tapas, Lord Shiva made him the planet of Justice among the planets. His influence is said to be 7 times that of his father Surya.
Whenever Trayodashi tithi and Saturday come together, it is the best time to do most of the Upaya for Saturn incl pujas, yagya or feeding for Shani. Shani was a devotee of Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva knows how to control the effects of Shani. Also fasts for Saturn are begun in the special month of Shravana and dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Yagya - Offering
Yagya means offering, and life should be one long sacrifice to the higher energy. It is not sacrifice in the way the West may think, but more devoting your life towards a higher path and doing everything for the cause of it. This life does not expect rewards for actions done, but if rewards do come they are taken as a gift from God. This is the message of Bhagawad Geeta. It is a very high concept and those who can do their work without expectations find they get very high rewards , both material and spiritual.
There are two types of yagya. One is the offering made at temples or at home to the gods through fire rituals, the other is an inner yagya performed by an individual through meditation, chanting, japa, good dharmic acts, inner cleansing and learning to work selflessly for the good of the world.
The yagya is usually done by the priest through Agni, the fire god who is invoked to take the message from humans to the devas (gods). Part of this yagya, an elaborate fire ceremony, is done where different types of offerings are given to Agni, with the chanting of the Vedas accompanying the ceremony. Donations are given to the priest and other priests are fed along with the guests. This yagya helps dissolve negative energies that are blocking the path of the individual in the subtle realms. But in my view, just doing the yagya is not enough, one must consider the purification practice through the inner yagya which can take a long time and helps a lot. Some of the inner yagya practices are given in the remedies below.
Mantra, and Japa - Reciting Sacred Sounds
This is one of the most important element of the inner yagya. Mantras are sacred sounds or prayers that are addressed to a deity or planet, and repeating them continuously is japa. The sounds form an energy that burns away negativity from the subtle body.
Man also means the mind or thoughts and tra means to protect, so the mantra literally protects the mind through chanting sacred hymns.
Mantras did not originally have any meaning. They were single words like Om or Ram, Lam, Vam etc. The mantra has to reach the place to which it is directed. If you are praying to the deity, you focus the mantra towards that; if you are unhappy, you ask to be made happy while chanting; if you are creating light and purifying your Panchanga, you must focus specifically on that.
Mantras are powerful but everything depends on how you chant them; they are recited in different ways. Sometimes the vowels are stretched so they can reach where they are meant to go. Sometimes mantras have just one word or a series of words. The importance and power of the mantra lies in its vibration. The vibrations of the mantras reach different parts of the physical and subtle body and beyond. As thousands of mantras have been chanted since time immemorial, we also connect to this when we begin chanting.
Mantras repeated constantly become japa . Japa is used to cleanse the mental and higher planes. You can also do japa by writing the mantras down in a note book 108 or 1008 times. This becomes a meditative exercise.
Mantras are either effective or ineffective. Their weakness or strength depends on how they are chanted, pronounced and with what degree of faith. If done properly it is called a strong mantra. If not, then it is weak and may not be potent.
Usually a mantra is chanted either once, thrice, 28 times or 108 times. Once should be enough but if you decide you need to do more, you try for 108 times which is the ideal number. Sometimes people decide they are going to perform 10,008 or 100,008 mantras over a particular period in order to show their devotion to the deity. In my opinion, if you do it right with the correct attitude, the mantra will be effective performed just once daily, but it should be done regularly.
Japa can be done in greater numbers - 108 or 1008 daily. This is extremely helpful with any of the difficult Panchangas.
For Japa - The Following Shani Mantras are Good
Shani Bija Mantra
Om Sham Shanishwaraya Namah
Shani Tantric mantra
Om pram Preem Proum Sah Shanishcharay Namah
Shani Main Mantra written by Ved Vyasa
Om Suryaputra Dirghadeho Vishalakh Shivpraye
Mandchar Prassanatma Pida Haratu Me Shani
Nilaanjana-Samabhasam Ravi Putram Yamagrajam
Chayya-Martanda- Sambhutam Tam Namami Shanaishvaram
Son of Surya Dirghadehyo ( long life giver) Vishalakh Favourite of Shiva
Slow moving, Happy Soul or can make souls happy, remover of pain is Shani.
Complexion that is blue, Son of Ravi ( Sun), Brother of Yama ( God of death)
Son of alliance between Martanda ( another name for Sun) and Chayya ( His shadow wife)
I say the name of Shanaishvaram ( Saturn)
This mantra can be shortened to
Om Nilaanjana-Samabhasam Ravi Putram Yamagrajam
Chayya-Martanda- Sambhutam Tam Namami Shanaishvaram
Moksha Mantra and Maha Mrityujaya Mantra
Om Tryambhakam yajamahe sugnadhim pushivardhan
Urvarukamiva bandhanan mrityor moksheya mamratat Om
We worship the three-eyed one (Shiva) who is fragrant and nourishes all beings. Just as a cucumber falls from its creeper and is detached from bondage, so Shiva will help us liberate the soul from death and find moksha (self-realisation) and amrita (the nectar of immortality).
This is also known as the moksha mantra and chanted by those who are seeking self- realisation and moksha. It is one of the best mantras for Panchanga shuddhi as it bestows long life, peace, wealth, prosperity, satisfaction and immortality. It helps those who are ill, or who suffer from fears, depression and worry.
This is one of the mantras constantly given by Parashara for remedial measures. Specially good for all Shani upaya.
How to plan the Mantras and Japa practice
You should set aside time daily to do your mantra practice. If you are doing yoga or meditation, these can be added to them. You should sit in a lotus or half lotus pose facing east in the morning or north in the evening. The early morning or evening is the best time for this. Doing the moksha mantra regularly is the best remedy.
Weekly, you should do a planned japa, using any of the mantras and repeating them at least 108 times. Make a commitment and stick to it. If you can commit to a daily japa, then do so. Otherwise weekly is good.
The main thing to remember is to do them with devotion with your mind involved in the practice. Focus on the clearing of your inner energy and slowly you will find that the blocks clear and the light becomes stronger.
Do remember that it takes time. Do not expect instant results.
Daan - Donation - Giving your time, support and money
Donation to the right causes is considered one of the most important remedial measures. You can donate your time and give support and money to worthy causes. Making the world a better place for others is an excellent way to cleanse your past karma and good remedy for Saturn. If you cannot afford to give financially, give time. Supporting the poor and giving towards education and knowledge are two very worthy causes. You must give often. Giving on your birthday, the monthly tithi day and at important festivals is a good time. But donation must be done regularly and should become part of your life. Also you cannot lead a negative life now and hope to absolve everything through donation.
Path of Yoga - Mental, physical and spiritual clearing
Following the eightfold path of yoga teaches all the tools required to cleanse and enlighten the soul. Some of the most important aspects of this path are speaking the truth, performing the right actions, doing meditation, mantras and japa, following the discipline of yoga asana, a proper diet, and a non- violent life dedicated to higher knowledge. This is a difficult path for most to follow but even to follow a part of it helps with Saturn issues.
Honouring the Gurus and Brahmins
Gurus (teachers of higher knowledge) and brahmins (priests) should be honoured and supported regularly by giving them time and money to help with their educational work. You must honour the teacher, even if you think teachers are less than perfect, as they represent your pathway to higher knowledge. If you honour the teacher who is teaching you at present, you will attract better and better teachers. It is the gurus who show the way to the light.
Brahmins are priests. By supporting your spiritual organisation and its priest, you are helping bring light into your life. Usually brahmins are fed by gifts given to them at each yagya. You can plan to give an annual gift to them when you visit your spiritual organisation.
Feeding the poor
This is one of the best remedies to do for Saturn. You should feed the poor through donating food on your birthday, on wedding anniversaries or other special occasions. You can donate to a food bank or do anna danam at the local temple. Anna danam is donating of food but is usually connected to feeding the devotees at the temple. Most temples have a regular programme for this.
Seva and karma yoga - Looking after people and voluntary service
Giving service to others is a great way of doing inner cleansing. It can be done as voluntary work for a charitable organization or personally by looking after the elderly, the poor; giving time to make the world a better place for those who are needy. Seva means giving service to your parents, gurus or elderly people during their time of need. It should be done as a regular practice. Karma yoga is voluntary work that makes life easier for al
Following the dharmic path
Doing the right thing, following a path of dharma, is an excellent way of ensuring that you are bathed in light. Not only does it take care of the past by purifying the negativity, it also makes certain that your future is radiant.
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