Oil for Shani Dev… Do you know why? Lord Shani owns the planet Saturn and is also one among the Navagrahas (9 heavenly objects). The male deity is always portrayed sitting on a vulture, buffalo or a crow, and is considered as the son of Surya dev (Lord Sun).
Every Saturday, a wide number of devotees flock to Shani temples to seek blessings of Shani dev. On this day, the temples are flooded with sacraments, flowers and much more. But apart from all these, Lord Shani is offered with Mustard oil. Ever wondered why? The reason is a small and interesting story from 'Ramayana – The Hindu mythological epic'.
Lord Shani is the son of Lord Sun and the shadow of his wife Sandhya. When sandhya created her shadow to protect her husband and three children, the shadow gave birth to three children: Shani, Manu and Tapti.
Now read to know the story behind the custom of offering oil to Lord Shani.
When Lord Rama's army was building a bridge from Rameshwaram to lanka, to face off with Ravana's army, Lord Hanumana was told to take care of the bridge and to prevent it from enemies.
One day, Lord Hanumana sat under a tree offering his prayers to Lord Rama. Suddenly, lord Shani appeared and invited him for a fight saying, "I have heard that you are also powerful and mighty. So let's decide with a fight to know who's the better between us."
Lord Hanumana replied to the proposal from Lord shani in a polite way that right now he is busy in his prayers and can't fight at themoment. And he asked Lord Shani to take a leave and not to distract him.
Lord Shani didn't listen to him and again distracted lord hanumana by inviting him for a fight. Lord Hanumana got angry upon him and stretched his tail to tie-up Shani dev with it. However, shani dev made all his efforts to get free, but eventually failed to do so.
Tightening the grip of his tail, Hanuman punished Lord Shani for his deeds and started hitting him on the bridge. This hammering on bridge injured him and lord Shani started bleeding.
After facing Lord Hanumana's anger, Lord shani realized his maistake and apologized to Lord Hnaumana for his deeds. Shani also urged to set him free.
Lord Hanumana accepted Shani's apologies and decided to releasee with a single clause that Lord Shani will never interfere in the prayers of Lord Rama's devotees. Lord Shani accepted it and promised that he will never do the same with any of the Rama or Hanumana devotee.
After getting free, Lord shani asked for some oil to heal his wounds, as the pain was getting unbearable. Lord hanumana offered him the mustard oil, applying which relived his pain.
After the incident, it has become a ritual to offer Lord Shani with mustard oil. It is also considered that this offering to lord Shani is a soothing to all your pains and worries in life.
Malefic effects of Lord Shani considered as most threatening. Thus, to seek Lord Shani's blessings and to get prevented from his malefic effects, offering mustard oil is suggested as the best remedy.
Lord Shani is considered as the god of poor and helpless people. To impress him, one should donate oil and clothes to needy section of society, especially on Saturday.
If you want to stay secured from Lord Shani's blight, you should quit consuming alcohol, smoking and tobacco, as these things are not liked by Lord Shani.
Shani Dev showers his blessings on the people who following the path of honesty and truth. This also brings triumphs to your life and blesses you with good health and wealth.
Worshipping Lord Hanumana is considered as an alternative for making Lord Shani happy. As Hanumana saved Lord Shani from the king of evil Ravana, in Ramayana, Lord Shani promised to protect the worshipper of Lord Hanumana from his malefic effects.
I hope this piece of information helped you to know the reasons behind the ritual of offering mustard oil to Shani Deva. Do post your comments in the section below.