What is Saturn’s Panoti?

PIN What is Saturn’s Panoti
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In Indian Astrology, one of the scariest things is the Panoti of Shani, or Saturn’s Panoti. People believe that when this happens, it brings tough and unlucky times. If someone has Shani Panoti in their horoscope (kundli), they might feel like no effort brings good results. But thinking that Shani’s Panoti is only bad luck isn’t true. To understand it better, we need to know what Saturn’s Panoti really means.

First, let’s look at the word “Panoti.” In Sanskrit, words are made with a lot of thought. “Panoti” comes from “Pan,” which shows a state or condition. For instance, “Bachpan” means childhood. In the same way, “Panoti” refers to a time in life that makes us think deeply. It’s a period that pushes us to reflect on ourselves, avoid doing wrong things, and follow the right path. It helps us develop good and constructive qualities.

So, Panoti isn’t just about bad times. It’s about a period that helps us grow and improve ourselves, fulfilling our life’s purpose.

Now, to fully understand Panoti, we should also learn about the planet Saturn. The story of Saturn’s creation is described in the Skanda Purana. This story helps explain why Saturn’s position leads to the Panoti period. Saturn, or Shani, is seen as a strict teacher who makes us disciplined and responsible.

In the story, Surya Narayan, the Sun God, married Sanjana, the daughter of Vishwakarma. Because Surya Narayan was so bright, Sanjana couldn’t even look at him and always had to cover her eyes in his presence.

After some time, they had three children: Manu, Yama, and Yamuna. As time went on, Sanjana found it hard to live with Surya Narayan because of his intense brightness. She decided to do penance to increase her own inner strength and heat, hoping it would help her cope.

She wanted to receive blessings from Lord Brahma but couldn’t leave her family to do so. So, she came up with a plan. Sanjana created a woman named Chhaya, who looked just like her, to take her place while she was away.

Here’s a verse from the Skanda Purana that talks about this:

“मायामयीं ततश्छायां सवर्णां निर्ममे स्वतः।
प्रान्जलिः प्रणता भूत्वा संज्ञां छाया तदाब्रवीत्।।”
– स्कन्द पुराण

“Then she created a shadow woman, looking just like herself. With folded hands, Sanjana asked this shadow to take her place.”
– Skanda Purana

No one knew that Sanjana had left to do penance and had put her shadow, Chhaya, in her place. Chhaya, being Sanjana’s shadow, had no trouble facing Surya Narayan’s brightness.

After some time, Surya Narayan and Chhaya had three children, one of whom was named Shani. When Shani was born, Chhaya was doing penance, so Shani was born with a blue-black color because Chhaya was a shadow.

Surya Narayan saw Shani and became suspicious, thinking that Shani couldn’t be his son and that perhaps someone else was the father. In his anger, he used harsh words towards Shani and Chhaya. Hearing this, Shani became angry and glared at his father.

Since Shani’s purpose was to enforce karma, and Surya Narayan’s karma was poor, when Shani looked at him, the Sun’s chariot slowed down. This caused chaos in all three worlds. Yamaraja then stepped in to resolve the misunderstanding between Surya Narayan and Shani, bringing them back together.

After this incident, Lord Vishnu named the planet Shani in the presence of all the deities. Surya Narayan had doubted his wife and son because he didn’t know about Chhaya. Despite not knowing, the harsh words he used were inappropriate, and this was considered a sin.

As a result, Shani punished him by slowing down the speed of his chariot. Hence, Lord Vishnu explained that the planet Shani, which slows its own movement and people’s lives as punishment for their sins, got its name.

Veda Vyas has given an insightful definition of Shani:
शनैः शनैः चरति इति शनैश्चरः।
Ved Vyas

“The planet that slows down its movement and the lives of people by giving them the results of their actions is called Shani.”

This entire story of Shani can be found in the form of a Shani pujan mantra in the Matsya Purana. Here is the verse from the Matsya Purana:

“नीलांजन-सामाभासं रविपुत्रं यमाग्रजम्।
छाया-मार्तण्ड-सम्भूतं तं नमामि शनैश्चरम्।।”
– Matsya Purana

So, basically, Shani’s influence slows down our lives and gives us the results of our actions. We often dislike slow progress or delays in life, and therefore, we view Shani’s influence as inauspicious or bad. But, in reality, Shani’s impact is just the outcome of our own deeds.

Types of Saturn’s Panoti:

There are two types of Shani’s Panoti: the Long Panoti, also known as Sade Sati, and the Short Panoti, also known as Dhaiya.

In Brihat Devagya Ratna, a clear verse explains the meaning of Sade Sati Panoti:

द्वादशे जन्मगे राशौ द्वितीये च शनैश्चरः।
सर्द्धानि सप्तवर्षाणि तदा दुखेर्युतो भवेत्।
– Brihat Daivagya Ratna

Let’s break this down. Shani (Saturn) occupies one zodiac sign for 2.5 years. Sade Sati Panoti starts when Shani enters the sign before your zodiac moon sign and ends when it leaves the sign after your zodiac moon sign.

For example, if your moon sign is Gemini:
– Sade Sati starts when Saturn enters Taurus.
– It continues while Saturn is in Gemini.
– It ends when Saturn leaves Cancer.

So, 2.5 years in Taurus, 2.5 years in Gemini, and 2.5 years in Cancer make up the Sade Sati period for someone with Gemini as their moon sign.

Now, for Dhaiya or the Short Panoti, a verse in Jatak Parijat explains:

कल्याणि प्रददाति वै रविसुतो राशेश्चतुर्थाष्टमे।
– Jatak Parijat

By breaking down this verse, we understand that Dhaiya begins when Shani transits into the fourth or eighth house from the moon sign in your horoscope.
For example, if your moon sign is Gemini, you will experience Dhaiya when Saturn enters Virgo (fourth house) or Capricorn (eighth house).

What Happens During the Period of Shani Panoti?
In the Padma Purana, there’s a story that explains what happens during Shani Panoti, a challenging astrological period. In this story, King Dasharatha, Lord Rama’s father, speaks to Shani and says:

“ज्ञानचक्षुर्नमस्तेऽस्तु कश्यपात्मज सूनवे।”
– Padma Purana

By interpreting this verse, we learn that during Shani Panoti, our intelligence and vision are often clouded. We start seeing faults in everything and everyone. Our minds become so negative that we struggle to see the positive sides of situations, leading us to make poor decisions.
However, by remaining vigilant and thinking carefully before taking any action, we can still find happiness during Shani Panoti. Patience and thoughtful actions are key. Shani (Saturn) rewards those who work slowly and with thorough contemplation. If you do things thoughtfully, Shani’s negative effects will be minimal.
For some, if they act carefully and wisely, this period can even feel like a blessing, similar to Raj Yoga.
The Padma Purana clearly warns that even a wealthy person can become a beggar by engaging in illogical or illegal actions during Shani Panoti. The verse states:

“तुष्टो ददासि वै राज्यं रुष्टौ वै हरसि क्षणात्।।”
– Padma Purana

This means Shani can grant prosperity if pleased but can also take it away in an instant if angered. So, to navigate Shani Panoti successfully, it’s essential to be prudent and patient in all endeavours.

In Vedang Astrology, it’s clearly mentioned that the period of Panoti is meant for self-reflection, inner growth, following rules, and slow but steady progress. It is also a time for practicing penance. Even Lord Shani has said in the Navagraha Purana that just as he managed to please all three gods—Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh—through penance, we can achieve the impossible with penance during Panoti.

Interestingly, before Shani Dev, no one had ever pleased all three gods together with the same penance. The scriptures mention that people had managed to please either Brahma, Vishnu, or Mahesh at different times, but never all three simultaneously. For example, there was a king named Dharmaraja who managed to please both Brahma and Vishnu at one time, but not all three.
When Shani Dev set out to please Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh with the same penance, many deities told him it was impossible. However, Shani Dev was determined and ultimately succeeded, proving that even the impossible can be achieved through penance.
Now, what does penance really mean? Is it starving yourself, hurting your body, or sitting in sadness? If not, what can we call penance?
In the Mahabharata, Veda Vyas Ji explains penance with the following verse:

अहिंसा सत्यवचन मानृशंस्यं दमो घृणा।
एतत् तपो विदुः न शरीरस्य शोषणम्।

“The exploitation of the body or not eating food is not penance. Practicing non-violence, which means not harming anyone with your mind, speech, or actions, is a form of penance. Following truth and self-control are also part of penance.”
So, real penance isn’t about physical suffering but about leading a life of non-violence, truth, and self-discipline.
From the Bhagavad Gita and other sacred texts, we learn that to get the best results during Shani Panoti, we should do our duties well, follow all rules, work steadily, and develop good qualities. Brihaspati Samhita clearly says there’s no good or bad time—each time has its own energy. If we work in harmony with that energy, the time will be beneficial for us. Otherwise, it could bring bad results.

“स्वभावादेव कालोऽयं शुभाशुभसमन्वितः।
अनादिनिधनः सर्वो न निर्दोषो न निर्गुणः।”
– बृहस्पति संहिता

“By nature, time includes both good and bad aspects. It has no start or end, no faults or specific qualities.”
– Brihaspati Samhita

There’s a well-known saying: “In tough times, we see two types of people—those who break down and those who shine through adversity.” So, Shani Panoti can either break us or help us grow. It’s up to us how we use that time’s energy.

It’s advisable to:
– Keep patience
– Follow the rules
– Work steadily
– Cultivate good qualities

By doing these things thoughtfully, you can achieve goodness even during Panoti. Remember, it’s up to you to either shine or falter in difficult times.

Shubham Bhavatu.

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