As per ancient times, about the birth of Shani, there are different stories. Foremost and accepted is the one in the ancient ‘Scanda Poorana’ of Kasi Khanda which is as follows.
God Soorya was married to Daksha Kanya Sadnya. Sadnya could not tolerate the radiance of God Surya. She used to feel that by doing penance she could increase her brilliance. Or, by the power of her penance, she could diminish the glare of God Surya. But for God Surya, she was a spouse worshipping wife. From God Surya, she had three children. One was Vaivastahva Manu. The second was Yama Raj. And the third was Yamuna. Sadnya loved her children very much. But, she was very upset with the radiance of God Surya. One day, she thought that she would separate from God Surya, go to her parents’ home and undertake great penance. And if there was opposition, she would go far away to a lonely and undertake great penance.
By strength of her penance, Sadnya created a ‘Chaya’ (shadow) of herself and named her Suvarna. And, and then the shadow of herself became Suvarna. After handing over the children to Chaya, Sadnya told her that Chaya would thereafter play the role of womanhood and nurse her three children. She told her if any problem arose, she should call her and she would come rushing to her. But she cautioned her that she must remember that she was Chaya, not Sadnya, and nobody should know this difference.
Sadnya hander over her responsibilities to Chaya and went away to her parents’ place. She went home and told her father that she could not stand the radiance of God Surya. And therefore, without telling her husband she had come away. Listening to this, her father scolded her very much and told her that without being called, if the daughter returns home, both her and her father would be cursed. He told her to go back to her home immediately. Then, Saudnya began to worry that if she went back, what would happen to the responsibilities which she had given to Chaya. Where would Chaya go? And their secret would be exposed. So, Sadnya went to the dense jungles in Uttar Kurukshetra and took repose there.
She was fearful of her safety in the jungle because of her youthfulness and beauty. And she changed her form into that of a mare so that none could recognize her and started her penance. Elsewhere, the union of God Surya and Chaya begot three children. God Surya and Chaya were happy with each other. Surya never doubted anything. The children of Chaya were Manu, God Shani and Putri Bhadra (Tapti).
As per the second story, the creation of God Shani was the result of Maharishi Kashyap’s great ‘yagna’. When God Shani was in the womb of Chaya, Shiv Bhaktini Chaya was so engrossed in penance of God Shiva that she did not care for her food even. She prayed so intensely during her penance that the prayers had a profound influence on the child in her womb. As a result of such a great penance of Chaya, without food and shade in the blazing sun, the complexion of God Shani became black. When God Shani was born, Surya was surprised to see his dark complexion. He began to doubt Chaya. He insulted Chaya by saying that this was not his son.
From birth itself, God Shani had inherited the great powers of his mother’s penance. He saw that his father was insulting his mother. He saw his father with a cruel gaze. As a result his father’s body was charred black. The horses of God Surya’s chariot stopped. The chariot would not move. Worried, God Surya called out to God Shiva. God Shiva advised God Surya and explained to him about what had happened. That is, because of him the respect of mother and child had been tarnished and insulted. God Surya accepted his fault and apologized. And regained his earlier glorious looks and the power of his chariot’s horses. Since then, God Shani became a good son to his father and mother and an ardent disciple of God Shiva.
Ezharashani (Influence of Seven & Half Years)
The science of astrology is closely linked with nature. Vedic astrology, one of the important branches of astrology, has its core principles centered on the planets, their placements and their continuously changing relationships to each other as well as the zodiac signs. In Vedic astrology, various planetary combinations (yogas) are said to have a prominent impact on all aspects of a person’s life. These planetary combinations can affect people in different ways, causing happiness and prosperity for some and sadness and misery for some. By carefully studying an accurate horoscope, an astrologer can predict, whether a person can or cannot attain the highest level of consciousness and the ultimate goal of liberation or moksha.
In Vedic astrology, each planet is attributed with a special role. The planet Saturn, or Shani as it is called in astrology, is one of the planets that play a significant role in the lives of the people. It occupies the seventh place among the nine planets which govern the celestial world. Since time immemorial, Shani’s transit through the cosmic plane and its influence upon specific planetary configurations has been considered as the reason for misfortunes, hindrances and sorrow for many. Ezharashani is one such period which is dreaded by many.
What is Sade Saathi or Ezharashani? (7 1/2 Years)
The transition phase of Shani through the cosmic plane is known under various names such as Sade Saathi, Ezharashani, Shanichari, Musibathi, Aafath, etc. In Hindu mythology, it is said that Lord Shani, soon after his birth, showed a glimpse of his nature to his father Lord Surya, the sun god. Lord Shani, symbolizing righteousness and justice, was not happy with his father’s treatment of his mother Chaya, and therefore created Sade Saathi as punishment for the ill-treatment. This has been the main basis of Ezharashani wherein bad deeds are punished and whatever good there is will be strengthened and rewarded after some hardship.
Ezharashani or Sade Saathi is a period of seven and half years of Shani’s transit through three houses, 12th house, 1st house, and the 2nd house based on the position of birth moon sign (natal moon), present at the time of birth of an individual in his/her birth chart. Shani takes 30 years to traverse all the 12 signs, staying two and half years in each ‘rasi’ or sign. Ezharashani starts when Shani comes into the sign which is the individual’s birth moon sign. It ends when Shani moves into the moon sign which comes after the individual’s birth moon sign. Its transit through 3 houses takes seven and half years and this period is termed as Ezharashani or Sade Saathi. It is generally believed that this period brings forth suffering, sorrows and misfortune to the people affected by it.
In the planetary system, Lord Shani is called ‘Chaya Martand’. When ‘Chaya Grah’ or the star passes through a house, the star sign before the present star sign and the one after it is troubled. This phase is known as ‘Chaya Grah’. When the planet aspects the lord of the house, it is said to bring good results.
Ascendant Sade Saathi (7 1/2 Years)
Whichever Rasi has Sade Saathi, and the Shani falls on that day’s previous Rasi, then that period is called the Ascendant Sade Saathi. Ascendant Sade Saathi for some fall in the middle and for some towards the end.
The influence of Sade Saathi or Ezharashani (7 1/2 Years)
Every birth chart is affected by Ezharashani at least once in a lifetime. In the normal course, the effects of Ezharashani are common to all, regardless of their position in life. No person, whether he is a king or a commoner, is free from the effects of the Ezharashani. Its effect depends on the position of the natal moon on the Houses and planet placements on the birth chart, differing from person to person.
According to astrology, the influence of Sade Saathi is understood in three parts. The first part is from Lagna, the second from the Moon and the third from the Sun. The influence of the moon on Shani is given great importance during the Sade Saathi or Ezharashani.
During Ezharashani, hardships, misfortunes, misery, sorrow, distress, etc. will plague many people. During this phase normal, routine works comes to a standstill, students find it hard to concentrate on their studies and getting a job can prove to be very difficult. If in the birth chart, the placement of Shani is exalted, then Ezharashani will be that much more pronounced which can result in a huge loss of wealth.
Not all effects of Ezharashani are bad. Though it may have been the cause for distress for many, it also brings out the good to the forefront and in the end the troubles undergone may be a small price to pay for the benefit that one receives from it. As Lord Shani stands for justice and righteousness, persons leading a virtuous life can be the receiver of many blessings which can come in the form of good health, wealth, children, highly paid jobs, etc.
The negative effects of Ezharashani can be minimized or overcome with the help of Vedic Vidhi, prayers, mantras and undertaking penance, etc. and by consulting a learned astrologer. By repenting for past misdeeds and leading a life free from treachery, falsehoods and other ill-vices, you can counter the negative effects of Ezharashani as well as bring yourself closer to the divinity of God.