Ravana, the King of Lanka was an erudite scholar, an accomplished musician, and a great astrologer. He had waged a war on the devatas and brought all the nine planets with him to Lanka. To show his might and power, he made the nine planets lie down face downwards, and used them as steps to ascend to his throne daily. When his son, Meghanatha was about to be born, he decided to put all the nine planets in their favourable houses and positions so that his son would become powerful and invincible. The devatas got worried and sought the help of Sage Narada. On their request, Narada came to Ravana’s assembly. He saw the planets lying face-down. Narada immediately glorified Ravana and told him that he should not be walking on their backs but should step on and walk on their chest — that would prove to the Gods, to the Navagrahas and to everyone around how mighty and powerful he, the King of Lanka was! Ravana got carried away by Narada’s words and turned all the planets around, face upwards, so that he could walk on their chest. As he very happily walked over them, Lord Shani’s (Saturn) gaze fell on him. It is said that if the gaze of Shani falls on anyone, the result would be endless trouble and misfortunes. Shani’s gaze had fallen on Ravana! His troubles were to start!!
Narada walked away happily. Ravana however saw through the plan of the devatas. He was furious. He tied up and confined Shani in a remote dark room where nobody could find him.
Shani who gives trouble (sankat) to everyone with a mere glance was confined and kept in the dark. He himself was now in “sankat”. Years passed by. When Hanuman came in search of Seeta and was moving around in Ravana’s palace, he heard a noise from one of the rooms. He opened the room and went in. He found Shani tied up there. Hanuman untied him and set him free. Shani’s gaze had fallen on Hanuman! Shani was happy, but he said that, since his gaze had fallen on Hanuman, he now would give trouble to Hanuman – that was his inherent nature. Hanuman asked him to wait till he searched for, met Seeta and went back and gave the news to Lord Rama. Shani waited….
Hanuman discovered Seeta, went back and gave the news to Rama. Rama, Lakshmana, Sugreeva and the whole army of vanaras reached the tip of Bharat. They started building a bridge with rocks and trees to cross the ocean. At that time, Shani came and decided to trouble Hanuman. Hanuman said he was very busy and if Shani wanted to trouble him, he could sit on his head. Shani comfortably sat on Hanuman’s head. Hanuman on the other hand was busy helping the Vanaras build the bridge. He lifted huge rocks and boulders and carried them on his head. Shani who was sitting on Hanuman’s head directly started feeling the weight and burden of the rocks. When the pain caused by the heavy rocks on his head became unbearable, Shani came down. He now realized that no one could trouble Hanuman who is always chanting the Lord’s name and is ever engaged in service of the Lord.
Lord Shani stopped troubling Hanuman and told him that he was very pleased with Hanuman’s devotion and service, and in future he will not trouble anyone who devotedly worships Hanuman on Saturday – the day attributed to Shanidev.
And Lord Shani further said that in future Hanuman will be worshipped as “Sankat Mochan Hanuman” – the Lord who removes (Mochan) our troubles (Sankat). Hanuman is the One who removed the “sankat” of Shani who causes “sankat” for everyone else!!
[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]
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