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by Prasad Krishna
Son of Surya (Sun-god) and Chaya. He is the planet-god of Saturn.

There is a story explaining the malefic nature of this planet. Once, when Sani was in meditation, his wife approached him. But as Sani was deeply immersed in meditation, he did not notice her. She felt insulted and uttered a curse that whoever is aspected by Sani will meet with misfortune and destruction. Due to the effect of this curse, when Sani inapected Ganesha on one occasion, Ganesha died instantly. Ganesha's mother, Parvati became furious at her son's death and cursed that Sani would become lame. This accounts for the extremely slow movement of this planet.

In Hindu astrology, Sani has the following features:

  • malefic planet, causes misery, ordeals and hindrances;
  • in the Zodiac, he rules over the constellations of Capricorn and Aquarius;
  • among metals, he rules over iron. In colours, he rules black and among tastes, represents the sour or astringent;
  • represents old-age and Tamo-Guna i.e. darkness and ignorance.

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