New Delhi: Shani Dev or Saturn Lord is worshipped by Hindus across the globe. The Lord is mentioned in the ancient Puranas and scripts as well. The planet associated with the Lord is Saturn; it is also one of the main Navagraha as per Hindu mythology.
On the new moon as per Hindu calendar, certain specific rituals are performed for different gods and goddesses. If a new moon or Amavasya falls on a Monday, it is called Somvati Amavasya and if it is on a Saturday then it becomes Shani Amavasya.
This year, the first Shani Amavasya took place on March 17 and the second one happens to be on August 11, 2018.
August 11 is a Saturday and therefore it's called 'Shani Amavasya', making it even more auspicious. Many believe that if the Amavasya falls on a Saturday and you take bath at a holy place, then all your bad deeds get washed away and you are freed from your sins.
This day becomes more significant as Shani Amavasya is coinciding with the partial solar eclipse on August 11. Although the impact of Aanshik Surya Grahan will not be seen in India, people believe in following certain dos and don'ts during the eclipse time.
Once the eclipse ends at 5 pm in the evening, the ritual for Shani Amavasya will begin. Interestingly, it is falling during the month of Shravan or Sawan, so some even call it 'Shravan Amavasya'.
Meanwhile, Hariyali Amavasya which falls three days ahead of Hariyali Teej festival was celebrated this year on August 10, 2018. Mathura's famous Dwarkadhish temple and Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan witnessed a massive crowd of devotees lining up to offer prayers to Krishna-Radha.
In North India, many Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati temples conduct special pujas on Haryali Amavasya.
This is how you can make the most of this day:
You can pray to the Lord by getting up early and taking a bath at some holy river or pilgrimage.
Also, the devotees can offer food, clothes and other valuable stuff in the name of their ancestors who are no longer alive.
Helping the poor and needy on this day can please the Lord and in turn, he will bless you.
You can visit any Shani Temple and offer jaggery and chana (black chickpeas or Gram) to the Lord. Also, black lentils (urad black dal) can be offered to the Lord as well. It is believed that the Saturn God also likes black colour and the mettle Iron (Loha) is associated with him. The devotees can give eatables along with the mettle utensils to the needy also.
The most important thing above all is that you must pray to Lord Shani Dev with a pure mind, body, and soul not thinking about your worries and he shall grant your wishes.
Jai Shani Dev!