Story of Shanidev and God Krishna
“Kokilavan Dham” is the famous temple of Shanidev. This temple is situated at Kosi Kalan, near Mathura in Uttar Pradesh (India). It is believed that Kokilavan Dham is the place where Lord Shri Krishna gave Darshan to Shani Dev. This temple is visited by many devotees on Saturday. There is an interesting story about Shani Dev and God Krishna.
When God Krishna was born all god visited to Nandgaon. God Shani was also one of them. Everyone was allowed to take Darshan of God Krishna but not Shanidev. When Shani dev was going to take Darshan of Krishna then Yashoda stopped him at the door and said,” You can’t see my baby because your name is fearful. If my baby sees you, he will be frightened.”
Hearing this Word of Yashoda, Shani Dev felt disappointed and went to nearby forest and started penance. After a short time God Krishna appeared before him in the forest and asked him, “What is the problem. Why you are in forest?” Shani dev replied, “O God! Please tell me one thing, when I am doing my duty to punish people according to their work (Karma). Then why people think about me that I am malignant and cruel. Why people think that Shani dev creates trouble only. Why do they avoid even my shadow? Today also when all god could enjoy the bliss of your Darshan, I am denied that right and benediction."
God Krishna advised Shanidev to stay put near Nandanvan. He also granted him the boon that whoever came to his temple to pray would immediately be freed from all worries and afflictions. At last, God Krishna visited the temple and began playing the divine flute. Hearing the sound of flute, the Gopis arrived but Krishna turned himself in the form of a Cuckoo (Koyal in Hindi). That place of the forest where Krishna appeared before Shanidev has since been called “Kokilavan”. Now it is famous for “Kokilavan Shanidham”.
Story of Shanidev and Lord Shiva
One morning, Shanidev went to his Guru and bowed him. Lord Shiva asked to Shanidev, “What’s a problem and what can I do for you.” Shanidev said to Lord Shiva that he thinks to passing over their moon. Lord Shiva was shocked to hearing this and said to Shanidev, “O my dear Shani, Pity on me and please don’t pass over my moon.” Shani dev said, “O my lord, I am sorry, but I can’t skip this constellation, that is my duty. If I will give you compassion, then everybody will ask me for this compassion and maybe insult me. So it is not possible, I am going to gaze you within a very short time. That is the way the things have to go on. Although I am your disciple, but for now you have asked my grace.”
Listening to this word of Shanidev, Lord Shiva understood that Shani will do those things which he said, so he asked to Shani that how long Shani will be gracing him. Shani said, “My period for saade saathi is 7.5 years, so I will grace on you till 7.5 years.” But Shiva was not agreeing for this. Again Shani said, Ok, let me reside with you only for 5 years or at least for 2.5 years. But Shiva was not ready for 2.5 years, nor 7.5 months or even 7 days. Then Shanidev thought it was too much for him as his disciple to be so cruel with him, because a Guru is like a mother - always compassionate always worthy for worship, so Shani bowed down to his feet and spoke in an humble voice, "I am very pleased with you, O my Lord, so ask for any boon you wish for." Lord Shiva said to Shanidev, "O Shani, if you are pleased with me, please bestows me this boon that you will not be entering my body at all." Shanidev said to his Guru, “If I will spare you, no one in the world will respect me and maybe insult me, still I will give you this boon. I will stay in your moon sign for only 7.5 prahar means 22.5 hours.” Lord Shiva said, “No, I think you should stay in my moon sign for 1 and ¼ prahar means 3 hours and 45 minutes.” Lord Shiva thoughts that Shanidev would not be do anything within this short period. So, Shanidev decided that I will show to my guru that what I can do within these 3 hours and 45 minutes. Lord Shiva might be unaware of shanidev ability and capabilities.
So when the time came of Shanidev’s gaze, Lord Shiva went to Gangaa River to take bath by thinking that the time will be passed in his bath and also grace period will be over. Shanidev takes the form of melon merchant and met to his guru on his way and as his shadow fell on him, his body and mind changed. Shanidev showed him two watermelons. The watermelon was one small and one big, and also showed him that how good they were by cutting a little part of them. Lord Shiva got very happy to see those juicy melons and bought them from Shanidev who was in the form of melon seller. He put them in a bag and proceeded towards the river. After taking bath, Lord Shiva filled his water pot with Gangaa’s water, picked the watermelon bag and proceeded towards town.
Previous day of this day, that city's both King's and the Prime Minister's son went for hunting. By the grace of Shanidev, they loose their way in the forest. The king was worried about his son and he send to their soldiers in the forest for searching of the princes. One of the search party went to Guru Shiva and asked him what was in his bag? Lord Shiva answered them that there are watermelons in this bag. Again soldiers asked, “Why this blood is dripping from your bag? Are you a murderer?” To hearing this word of the soldiers, Lord Shiva was shocked and looked at the bag, he also found that really blood was dripping from his bag. In the meantime those soldiers took off the bag from Shiva’s shoulder and opened it. They found that two severed heads in it. Those heads were of those of Princes and the prime ministers son’s. By the gaze of Shanidev, the watermelon had changed into the heads of those two boys.
The soldiers bound him with ropes and took him in the front of King. The king felt very sad to see the heads of those boys as well as got very angry. The king said, “He is not a Brahman, he is a murderer. So take him and put him on a stake.” All the peoples of the palace came there to see the killer of the prince and started throwing stones on Sadhu. Lord Shiva was extremely depressed at all this. So, when soldiers wanted to put him on the stake, Lord Shiva said to soldiers, “Please wait for a few minutes only, and if I am saved, I will give you 10000 silver coins.” Lord Shiva knew that Shani’s gaze will be end soon. The soldiers were agreed for this. After a very short time, Shanidev gaze was expired. After expiring of gaze Prince and the prime minister’s son entered the palace. Seeing them alive everybody got very happy. Immediately the king sent a messenger to the soldiers that not to put the Sadhu on stake as their children were came back safe and alive. After listening to this massage, Lord Shiva was taken to the palace by soldiers. The king felt very sad and also asked to Shiva for his forgiveness. Lord Shiva said, “O king, don’t worry, you are innocent. Whatever is happened with me and you, it’s all Shani’s illusion. After the discussion of king and Shiva, the king wanted to see the bag of lord Shiva and he found two watermelons in the bag. He arranged for the fragrant bath for Sadhu and seated on an Aasan and worshipped him and fed him delicious food. The king gave him new clothes and filled his bag with silver coins.
Lord Shiva left the palace. On the way God Shiva met the executioner, Shiva gave him all the coins. After that Shanidev met to Lord Shiva. Shanidev asked, “What is the experience of my gaze?” Lord Shiva said, “O Shani, you are great, only 3 hours and 45 minutes gaze shattered my bones, what would be happened if you had stayed with me for 7 and ½ years? Today I am agreeing that you are most terrible planet. I can bear all this things but today you promised me that you will not trouble anyone else like this in future.” Shanidev said, “O my lord, I am sorry for that, but I just wanted to show you my power. Now please pardon this child of yours, and I promised that I shall never offend you in this way again." After saying this word and bowing down to lord Shiva, Shanidev went back to his Shanilok.