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Shani Dev-Remedies

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What is an Upaaya (Remedy)?

An astrological remedy opens a window into your being. These remedies are means through which an individual aligns himself with the pure essence of the universal principles that are the Nine Planets. A horoscope is the map of an individual's Karm, drawn to the specifications of the Nine Planets. Astrologers read this map to discover in which directions you can achieve the success in your life most effortlessly, and in which areas are the pitfalls.

In many areas a man's Destiny can be changed, and one of the most significant things that we can know from astrology that which aspects of our fate are remediable and which are not, and for which it will be beneficial to attempt a remedy. Many are the obstacles that the influence of the Grahas can create, and many are the ways to eliminate these impediments. "These 18 chapters are the remedy for those whose Shani is afflicting their horoscope, or who are running their Saadhe Saatee."

The patterns created in a horoscope by the Nine Planets indicate the form and intensity of the images that will be created for the native - Upaaya's task is to manipulate these images, either by overwhelming them with healthier images, or by strengthening our own images, or by creating a healthy relationship between the native's self-image and the image of the Graha.

A partial list of the Upaaya, which are as innumerable as actions, includes the recitation of Mantra, Prayers, wearing of specific gems or other objects (like bangles made of specific materials etc), consumption of particular foods, observance of fasts, other vows, specific acts of charity, and the worship of the Fire, the Planets, or other Deities. Listening to and reading planetary myths is also a method of placating the Graha, which is why reading these 18 chapters is an Upaaya for Shani Dev.

There is a considerable disagreement as to the mechanism by which an Upaaya works. Some feel that Upaaya derive effects developed mainly through faith; while others say that since every action has its effect (reaction), which may or may not be readily traceable to its cause, must have its effect. It is the effect produced by the act of performing the act of Upaaya that causes its results.

One example of how a distant and seemingly minor celestial cause can produce a major terrestrial effect is lightening, which appears to be triggered by cosmic rays. Lightening bolts are cascades of electrons; they zig and zag because the electron cascade is destroyed or peters out every 200 or 300 meters, and must be restarted by another cosmic ray. The implication is that "each lightening bolt you see is a part of a release of energy generated somewhere across the galaxy, thousands of light years away. [Discover magazine, April 1993, p 10]

The hidden causation theory of Upaaya similarly holds that the act of performing a remedy (the cosmic ray) generates, by an unseen mechanism, an effect (the lightening bolt) which overwhelms or negates the Graha image that is in the Upaaya's performer. This is a sort of "biofeedback for the macrocosm" - a type of prayer which can and does change things.

India's Meemaansaa philosophers go so far as to deny any need for faith in action [I think this is called science, because science does not need any faith]. Meemaansaa doctrine teaches that every properly performed Vaidik ritual is bound to produce its desired effect, regardless of the performer's state of mind at performance time. But it seems a defective idea that these rituals can be judged only by precision in physical action, because physical actions are still commonly controlled by mental actions. An Upaaya is well performed when its actions induce body, mind and spirit to turn in unison toward the desired goal.

One less mechanical way in which this contagious magic operates is through the mechanism of blessings and curses. A purposeful "charitable donation" to a dog, or even to an ant, puts you into a chain of receipt which will eventually pay you dividends, both from the plant or animal that you benefit and from nature herself. Conversely torturing, injuring or killing living beings will generally induce them to curse you which will put you into much less desirable cascade of Karmas whose dividends will be less enjoyable. On a subtler, and potentially more far-reaching scale, appropriate offerings can enable you to please Deities, be they major (like the Planets themselves), or minor (tree, river, mountain and other nature Deities).

While each Upaaya probably contains elements of these mechanisms in varying degrees, faith is perhaps the most important ingredient of every Upaaya - external ritual is only the tip of the iceberg, and mere performance of an Upaaya does not guarantee relief from all troubles. When the Pandit came to Vikramaaditya and suggested Upaaya, he doubted that it would work, that was the first symptom of being possessed by Shani's image. Those who possess as much faith as a tiny mustard seed can move a mountain and have no need for more specific remedies. Faith in certain ritual actions will give better results than blind faith in any random action, particularly when we desire specific results; just as mono-diet of fruit is more likely to produce weight loss instead of mono-diet of cheese, though both are restrictive diets.

This approach to astrological remedy, which are a blend of faith and specific action, is a Taantrik approach and all remedies listed here are Taantrik Upaaya. Tantra is spiritual science which is shaped by integrated concern for doctrine and practice. Tantra, a religion of ritual developed from our Vaidik roots teaches that desire exists everywhere - even at the center of the Universe. It was the Desire of the One to experience Itself to be many, and this desire led to the creation of this cosmos.

The key to any successful Taantrik practice, including Upaaya, is to combine repetition with intensity. For any remedy to work for you, you must crave your desired outcome as strongly as a drowning person gaps for air and keep craving it thus until it comes to pass.

Identifying the Graha for Upaaya

Although all Grahas affect us all the time but some of us are more affected by certain Grahas more of the time. Since performance of any Upaaya requires money, time and efforts, and since using the wrong remedy will waste the that expenditure and may even prove detrimental, one must find out the Planet for which an Upaaya is needed. The best way to find out that Graha is to consult a good astrologer, although interpretive Jyotish is not easy to master.

You may employ dice, cards, pendulums, numbers, or Tarot Cards etc methods if you are good at any of them, otherwise check the list below. This list gives the name of the Planet and typical difficulties indicated by them. Read them carefully and decide for yourself which Planet is causing you trouble. For example Mangal (Mars) indicates legal problems, conflicts, adversarial situations, difficulties with siblings, lack of courage and so on. So anybody who is facing these problems should try to propitiate Mars.

Soorya (Sun) - skin diseases, eye troubles, difficulties with father, altercations with authorities, excessive pride, egotism, self-centeredness, pomposity, ostentatiousness

Chandramaa (Moon) - swellings in the body, water retention, difficulties with mother, emotional upheavals, hyper-sensitivity and overreaction, difficulty getting in touch with feelings.

Mangal (Mars) - ulcers and other conditions of excessive heat in the body, tendency to accidents, legal problems,  conflicts, adversarial situations, difficulties with siblings, lack of courage, anger, irritability, haste, foolhardness, impatience, inconsistency, lack of drive, an "all-or-nothing" attitude, obsession

Budh (Mercury) - nervous and mental disorders, lack of ability to communicate or to study, aloofness, amorality, over-intellectualization, difficulty in thought and communication

Brihaspati (Jupiter) - obesity, liver diseases, difficulty with children or teachers, difficulties in having children, overconfidence, overindulgence, extravagance, immorality, greed

Shukra (Venus) - disease of the sexual organs, marital problems, laziness, vanity, sentimentality, vice and sensual corruption, lack of taste and refinement

Shani (Saturn) - pain (especially of bones, muscle, ligaments, joints), timidity, diffidence, anxiety, fear, bad dreams, poverty, instability, shame, delays, humiliation, inhibition, loneliness, isolation, depression, mental or physical rigidity, stinginess, disappointment, resignation, melancholy, lack of trust, suspicion, doubt

Raahu (North Node) - timidity, anxiety, hallucination, confusion, escapism, neurosis, psychosis, deception, addiction, vagueness, illusion, delusion

Ketu (South Node) - tendency to accidents, anger, irritability, impatience, inconsistency, eccentricity, fanaticism, explosiveness, violence, unconventionality, amorality, iconoclasm, impulsiveness, emotional tensions

Another Approach

For other people who have no current outstanding problems, would be to focus on the planet whose qualities they would like to enhance in their lives. For example people who like to improve their power of judgment should concentrate on Jupiter; or who want to augment their artistic creativity should emphasize Venus and who need more disciple and responsibility should approach Saturn.

Soorya (Sun) - nobility, individuality, generosity, grandeur, dignity, power, authority, leadership, creativity

Chandramaa (Moon) - receptivity, sensitivity, imagination, good memory, sound habits and conditioning

Mangal (Mars) - goal-directed energy, strength, courage, passion, action, competitive spirit, vim and vigor

Budh (Mercury) - rationality, intelligence, wit, cleverness, skill, dexterity, verbal and mental ability, skill at study, shrewdness

Brihaspati (Jupiter) - growth and expansion, humanitarian and spiritual outlook, wisdom, optimism, faith, geniality, generosity, joviality, humor, idealism, good powers of judgment

Shukra (Venus) - affection, friendliness, love, gentleness, sociability, harmony, balance, elegance, gracefulness, refined sensuality

Shani (Saturn) - authoritativeness, discipline, responsibility, conservatism, practicality, realism, durability, constancy, consistency

Raahu (North Node) - originality, individuality, independence, insight, ingenuity, inspiration, imagination

Ketu (South Node) - universality, impressionability, idealism, intuition, compassion, spirituality, self-sacrifice, subtleness

If after reading all this, you are still uncertain which Graha to appease, or you are in doubt which mythic path to pursue, select Saturn. In the words of my Jyotish Guru - "The ultimate Taantrik viewpoint is Indian astrology is to please Saturn, because of all Jyotish is Saturn." It is possible, through rigorous penance, to control the Darshan of all the 8 other Grahas, but the image of Saturn can only be propitiated, not controlled.

While everyone - Devtaa, Asur or human, whoever has tried to control Saturn has come to grief, but whoever has tried to propitiate him has passed safely through the Valley of the Shadow of the Death. Whichever Graha you worship, always remember that you are worshipping the One God through the medium of that Graha.

Choosing a Remedy

Almost any kind of intentional activity can be made into an Upaaya. Though the remedies suggested here, which are simple and relatively non-ethnocentric, are all rough methods; but they can, when performed with strong intention, definitely produce positive results. Rings, lockets or pendants, that require extensive knowledge of astrology, Mantras, pronunciation, ritual behavior and other forms of wisdom for their preparation. Nor are given here the gems, for it is quite insufficient to simply purchase a gem and begin to wear it if you hope it to act as an Upaaya for you. This Upaaya depends on your horoscope, and the appropriateness of the gem for you and how well it has been empowered and at what astrological moments was the gem obtained, set and first worn.

Without empowerment few gems will give the sort of dramatically beneficial effects that the scriptures promise. While they can dramatically improve your life, they can equally disrupt it too, if worn improperly. This is especially true for large sapphires (again the gem for Saturn only). A gem must weigh at least 3 carats which is an expensive Upaaya. Even the substitute gems, prescribed by Jyotish, must meet all the criteria set for the real one. So it is better to concentrate on labor-intensive remedy than to wear a gem which is more expensive.

Upaaya For Shani Dev,
--wear a ring or bangle made of iron or steel, especially made from a horseshoe or horseshoe nail that has been collected at an auspicious time for the purpose you want to achieve;
--feed or serve a wholly black animal, especially a cow,
--worship a Shamee tree
--give alms to the indigents (poor) on Saturdays
--keep fast on Saturdays with one meal only, if you eat, then eat black Urad Daal (split) - note that Saturday vows are useful for Raahu and Ketu also who do not have their days in the week; they are closely related to Saturn because they are shadow planets and Saturn's mother was Chhaayaa (shadow).




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Created by Sushma Gupta on 8/9/2008
Updated on 06/09/11