Time ripens and dissolves all beings in the great self,
but he who knows into what time itself dissolves is the knower
of the veda. -
Maitrayana Brahmana Upanishad
According to the influential Tantrarajatantra, the planets (Graha) are all forms of consciousness,
partake of the nature of the elements and through their revolutions give rise to changes. The Hindus
recognised nine. The Sun is considered in Hindu astrology to be a graha, but the chief of all of the planets.
The whole circle surrounds Lalita on her paradise island, and is
Surya, the sun, is pictured as golden in colour, holding a lotus. He is seated on a ram. The moon,
Chandra, is snow white in colour and is male. Mars (Angaraka), is like a prince. Mercury (Budha), is
yellowish in colour. Jupiter (Guru or Brihaspati), has a great body. Venus (Shukra), is pleasing in
complexion. Saturn (Shani), is dark in colour, with a limp. Rahu is the north node of the moon and
has a headless body while the other node, Ketu, is a body without a head.
Each may be worshipped as a deity and the following text is translated from the Brahmanda
Purana. It gives the puja details of Shani (Saturn) along with 108 names, nyasas and mantras.
Although the tantriks were of old followers of Shiva, Shakti, Ganesha, Vishnu and Surya, the
divisions worshipping the last gradually came to worship Surya's son, Saturn; identified often with
Mahakala. (See also the remarkable hymn to Mahakala Shani Mrityunjaya)
Om. Urumitra is the Seer of this great mantra of Saturn, Gayatri is the Metre, Saturn is the devata,
Sham is the Bija, Nam the Shakti, and Mam the Kilaka, The application is towards Saturn's favour
Hail to the Slow Mover on the thumbs
Hail to the Plodder on the index fingers
Hail to the Low One on the middle fingers
Hail to the Son of the Sun on the ring fingers
Hail to the Dispeller of Anxiety on the little fingers
Hail to the One with Stuck-Up Hair on front/back of hands
To the Slow Mover in the heart Namah
To the Plodder on the head Svaha
To the Low One on the crest Vashat
To the Son of the Sun on the armour Hum
To the Dispeller of Anxiety in the three eyes Vaushat
To the One with Stuck-Up Hair in the missile Phat
The binding of the Directions is Bhur-Bhuvah-Svar
Dark coloured clothes, dark coloured and beautiful, crowned, seated on a crow, creating terror,
armed with a bow, Son of the Sun, with four arms, always be calm! O Magnificent Boon-Giver, be
propitious! (Then do mental worship with 'Lam' etc.)
O God Saturn! Give us Pure Water! Give Drinkable Water! Be appeased! Make water flow!
Armour of Saturn
Om.Kashyapa is the Seer of this great mantra armour of Lord Saturn, Anushtubh is the Metre, Saturn
is the Devata, Sham is the Bija, Nam is the Shakti, Mam the Kilaka. The application is my success by
recitation and Saturn's Grace.
Sham hail to the thumbs
Shim hail to the index fingers
Shum hail to the middle fingers
Shaim hail to the ring fingers
Shaum hail to the little fingers
Shah hail to the front and back of the hands
Sham to the heart Namah
Shim to the head Svaha Shum to the crest Vashat
Shaim to the armour Hum
Shaum to the three eyes Vaushat
Shah to the missile Phat
The binding of the Directions is Bhur Bhuvah Svar
Four arms, the Slow God, holding bow and quiver, giving boons and showing compassion, terrific
fangs, like a blue lotus, smeared with dark blue unguent, ornamented with blue jewels, having a
crown with flaming rays, seated on a black crow, circumambulating Mount Meru, frightening all the
worlds, the Deva wearing black clothes, seated on a crow. In this way one should meditate on the
highest planet of all, the Destroyer of the Afflictions of Men. (One should then do mental worship
using 'Lam' etc.)
Slowly Moving One, protect my head!
Destroyer of the Pains of the Devoted, shield my face!
Black Clothed One, protect my ears! Maker of all Fear, protect my eyes!
Black Limbed One, shield my nose! Blue Necked One, guard my throat!
Strong Armed One, shield my arms!
One like a Lustrous Blue Lotus, protect my hands!
Black One, protect my heart! O Drier Up, shield my belly! Hideous One, protect my hips! Terrible
One, protect my thighs!
Lanky One, guard my knees! Giver of Luck, guard my legs!
Creator of Qualities, shield my ankles!
Lame-Footed One, protect my feet!
O Son of the Sun, protect me in all my limbs!
Hymn of Saturn
Om.Kashyapa is the Seer of this great mantra-hymn of Lord Saturn, Anushtubh is the Metre, Slow
Moving Saturn is the devata, Sham is the Bija, Nam is the Shakti, Mam is the Kilaka. The application
is Saturn's fayour in giving the desired result through recitation-
(Hand Nyasa hail to Slow Mover in the thumbs etc. etc.)
(Limb Nyasa hail to Slow Mover in the heart etc.- etc.)
The binding of the Directions is Bhur-Bhuvah-Svar.
Seated on a bow, with a crow pulling His chariot, very dark blue, born of the family of Kashyapa,
bearing a bow and arrows, carrying a club, Lord of Saurashtra, with black clothes and a black body,
crowned, with a crow as His vehicle, a bowman, with 4 arms, Son of the Sun, always be favourable!
Hail to You O Saturn, Peaceful One, Giver of the Fruit of All Desires!
Hail to You, Self of All!
Hail to You, Blue Clothed One!
O Lord, destroy all obstacles from transits of 2nd, 12th and 8th houses!
Hail to the Son of the Sun, Saturn, black in colour, sombre, like a blue lotus!
O Son of the Sun, having heard this hymn, be a desire and fruit giver to me!
(Using 'Lam' etc one should do mental worship)
Hail to the Black and Dark Blue One, the colour of a peacock's throat!
Hail to the Skinny, Long Eared and Dull One!
Hail to the Large Eyed Drier Up of Water, Lord of Anxiety!
Hail to the Masculine One with Rough Hair!
Hail and Hail to the Terrible, Terrifying,
Fear Inspiring and Formidable One!
Hail to the Tall Drier Up, with terrible teeth, hail to You!
I bow to Your Terrible Form! Hail to You with the Black Look!
I bow to You, Consumer of All! I bow to You, O Monkey Faced One!
I bow to You, Son of the Solar Orb, Dispeller of Anxiety!
Hail to You, O One with Cast Down Look, Who destroys All!
Hail to You, Slow Mover, Immeasurable One, Hail and Hail!
Hail to You, Son of the Burning One, Who holds Things Fast!
Hail to You of the Wise Gaze, Son of Kashyapa!
Satisfied, You give dominion and destroy cruelty immediately!
Gods, demons, men, and the faery folk when aspected by You know distress!
If You gaze at Brahma, Indra, Yama and the 7 Celestial Saints they fall from dominion!
You destroy everything with their offspring!
Give me favour, O Saturn! I bow to You!
Thus praised, the King of the Planets, Saturn, most powerful, the hair on his body bristling, the
Son of the Sun, said: "Pleased by your hymn, I give you gifts and boons, as I am pleased."
"I free the person with ailments who recites this Hymn in one or two days. Those pure folk who,
having bathed, and give offerings of fig leaves, and who should worship My iron image, are freed
from death and rebirth."
"One should give Me black bean and sesame and iron as offerings. O Twice-Born One, one
should give me black cow or buffalo and black clothes."
"Using this Hymn, one should worship with what is left over. Having worshipped Me thus, one
should recite the Hymn, and having done this one should make the Anjali mudra. If performed in this
way, I free from ailments forever."
"In transits, in birth charts, and in periods and subperiods I protect continuously from mishaps
and the ill effects of other planets. Also by practising this one may become liberated."
The 108 Names of Saturn
O Slow Mover, Angular One, Shadowy Heart, Blissful One, Offspring of the Sun, Solar One,
Moving Slowly on a Crow, a Brahmin, acting cruelly, wearing blue clothes and smeared with blue
paste, effulgent, black, peaceful younger brother of Lord Dharma, Drier-Up, Boon-Giver, whosoever
should recite the 100 Names of Ailments daily in a terrible place gets the great pleasure of the Lord.
On a Saturday, the pure Brahmin of controlled senses, having bathed and fasted, worshipping
with the correct colour of flowers, giving offerings of food, water and so forth, should recite this
Lacking a son, one gains a son. Lacking wealth, one becomes wealthy. Lacking in power, one
gains power. Defeated, one become victorious. Short-lived, one becomes long-lived. Poor, one
becomes rich. Whatever the dear child devoted to the Lord desires -- gets all. Having known Lord
Saturn one becomes a ruler in one's own sphere. Having become like this, one gains all.
String of the 108 Names of Saturn
Hail to the One Moving Slowly
The Giver of Peace
The Giver of Whatever is Desired
Who Grants Protection
Most Excellent One
Lord of All
Worshipped by Gods Destroyer of the Abode of the Gods
Seated in Comfortable Asana
One of the Form of Darkness
One with Dark Jewels
Dense and Hard Harmful One
One in Slow Motion
Being with Praiseworthy Qualities
The Ray Purifying Mortals
Great Lord Shadowy Sun
Slaying with Arrows
Carrying 100 Arrows
With Cardinal and Fixed Signs
Who Doesn't Move About
One of Blue Colour
Lord in the Form of All Duty
Creator of Conflict on Earth
Breaker of Things According to His Inclination
With a Diamond Body
Giver of Dispassion
Free from Fear and Desire
Lord of Supreme Calamity
Worshipped in the Universe
With a Crow as His Vehicle
With Limbs like a Tortoise
One of Ugly Form
Destroyer of the Root of Ignorance
One in the Form of Knowledge and Ignorance
Cause of Long Life
Cause of Disaster
Devotee of Vishnu
Knower of Various Types of Knowledge
Variously Praised One
One Worthy of Worship
With Crooked Eyes Reflected in Water
Carrying a Vajra as Goad
Left Handed One
Residing in the Eldest Wife
Creator of Misery
Giver of Prosperity
Reached by Hymn
Calmed by Devotion
Belonging to the Sun
Son of the Sun
In the Bow Mandala
Body effulgent with Light
Worshipped by a person in his last incarnation
Giver of Various Results
With Knowledge of Various Types of Subduing Magic
Lord of Beasts
One Who Flies
Lord of Those that Move in the Sky
One with Dark Blue Gems
Austere Minded One
One Worshipped by Noble People
With a Blue Parasol
With a Celestial Body
Destroyer of the Pain of the Wretched
Cause and Destroyer of Misery
Whose Motion is Cruel
Cause of Lust and Cruelty
Cause of Enmity between Mother and Son
Nourisher of the Devoted
Destroyer of Great Fear
Giver of Desired Fruit to the Mind absorbed in Devotion
Lam I give scent to the Self of Earth
Ham I give flowers to the Self of Aether
Yam I give incense to the Self of Air
Ram I give flame to the Self of Fire
Vam I give water to the Self of Water
Artwork is © Jan Bailey, 1995. Translations are © Mike Magee 1995.
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