Story of Shani Dev and King Dashratha
Shani Dev Puja on Saturday – As per the various ancient stories, the story of King Dashratha and Shanidev is very famous. In the Kingdom of King Dashratha, Shanidev was to transit over the ‘Rohini’ the constellation of the moon. Under such a planetary position, the living beings have to undergo death like pains and troubles due to the fatal effects of Shanidev, since it leads to no rain for twelve long years and resulting into an acute scarcity of food grains. When he got such an information from the learned astrologers, King Dashratha, (affectionate to his subject) riding over his chariot reached the planetary world. He tried to bring round Shanidev not to transit over ‘Rohini’, so that his subject may not suffer. When Shanidev turned a deaf ear to his advice, he invaded over him, like that of a warrior.
Shani Gayatri Mantra – ॐ काकध्वजाय विद्महे खड्गहस्ताय धीमहि ! तन्नो मन्दः प्रचोदयात ! Shanidev was much pleased with King Dashratha because of his dutifulness, his warrior like behaviour and the subject-loving nature. He asked him to beg of a boon. King Dashratha requested Shanidev, not to transit over Rohini constellation. In the presence of his father (Lord Sun), Shanidev granted him this boon and been choked with emotions king Dashratha started praying to Shanidev. Shanidev, once again asked King to beg of a boon. This time he said, “You kindly never trouble the living beings unduly.”
Now, Shanidev promised to King Dashratha, “Oh, Lord! Transiting over the first house (Lagna), fourth or the eight house of a native, I shall make the native to undergo death like troubles and pains. Despite this fact, if a native worships my idol by this prayer submitted to me by you (Dashratha Strotra), he would be spared off from my fatal effects. I shall protect him at all times.”
Since that day, the prayers made by King Dashratha works like a protective device from the fatal effects of the Shanidev. It is called ‘Dashratha Krit Strotra’.