Interesting Birth Story of Shani Dev

The Birth Story of Shani Dev

A number of tales are associated with the birth of Shani Bhagwan. A widely accepted story about the birth of Shani is mentioned in the ‘Skanda Purana’ of Kasi Khanda ,  according to which Soorya Bhagawan was married to a Daksha Kanya named Sandhya. Sandhya could not tolerate the radiance of the Sun God and thus decided to perform penance to either increase her own brilliance or to diminish the glare of God Surya. Not knowing of her evil intentions, Surya Bhagvan considered her a devoted wife. The couple also had three children, the Vaivastahva Manu being the eldest. The second one was Yama Raj, while the third was Yamuna. Sandhya completely loved her children, yet couldn’t tolerate the divine radiance of her husband. Thus one day she decided to part ways from Surya Bhagvan and go to her parents’ place for good, to perform penance there. She even made up her mind to go somewhere far away, if she happened to encounter any kind of opposition from her parents in this issue.

Sandhya, from the strength of her penance, created a ‘Chaya’ (reflection) of herself and named her Suvarna. She handed over her children to the Chaya and requested her to take good care of her children while she was away. She also informed Suvarna to call her in case of any need, so that she could come back. However, she cautioned Chaya that she shouldn’t reveal her identity to anyone.

Sandhya then left to her parent’s place without informing Lord Surya. When her father came to know of her intentions, her father vehemently opposed her. He feared of getting cursed as a result of it and thus advised her to return back to her husband. Sandhya was hesitant to go back to her husband’s place since Chaya was already there in her disguise. She also feared her secret being exposed, which would create further serious issues. Thus went to the dense jungles in Uttar Kurukshetra to live there.


Sandhya was scared to live alone in the jungle fearing jeopardy to her life and chastity. Hence she transformed herself into a mare so that none could recognise her and started penancing there. Meanwhile Chaya in the form of Sandhya had three other children with Surya. God Surya lived happily with Chaya and never doubted anything fishy. Manu, God Shani and Putri Bhadra (Tapti) were their children.

Another Interesting Version

One another version reveals that God Shani was created as a result of Maharishi Kashyap’s great ‘yagna’. When God Shani was in Chaya’s womb, she is believe to have been completely immersed in offering penance to Lord Shiva that she did not care even for her food. Her devotion to the Lord was so true and intense that it greatly influenced her child within the womb. The hard penance that she undertook in the blazing rays of the sun resulted in the dark complexion of Shani. Upon  Shani birth, Surya was shocked to see his dark complexion and began doubting his paternity. He even humiliated Chaya by saying that she had cheated on him and that Shani wasn’t his child.

Even as a child, Shani had inherited some extraordinary powers by way of his mother’s penance. Very often he saw his father insulting his mother which developed a sense of hatred in him towards his father. Once Shani glared at his father with his powerful gaze which resulted in the charring of Surya’s body into black. The mighty horses’ chariot of Surya suddenly stopped and wouldn’t move. The worried Surya appealed to Lord Shiva who explained him the actual reason behind Shani’s dark complexion. Realising his mistake, Surya Bhagwan felt very bad for tarnishing the image of both Chaya as well as Shani. He whole heartedly rendered his apologises for his bad actions which brought him back to his previous glorious self. From then on, Shani Bhagwan too became a loving son to his father, forgetting all the past grudges. Shani also grew up to be an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, just like his mother.

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