Someone told us a story about Shani Mahatmya, which really happened. Everybody is afflicted by Saturn, at some time of their lives. There is no giver like Shani and there is no snatcher like Shani. Shani pooja and good karma reduce the ill effects of Shani to some extent.
The story goes thus:
This happened about 150 years ago. A rich man did not believe in God or Astrology. He insisted that it was his hard work that had got him so much wealth. He kept neglecting everything and became a slave to money. He did not take care of his family members and they died of different ailments. Even then, nothing could change him and he kept earning money.
Another man asked the first man, “Who are you earning for? You should get married again and have children.”
The first man told the second one to look for a bride for him. But, his sins overtook him. Suddenly, he incurred losses and became bankrupt. He was used to luxury and could not manage life on the streets. He got paralysis and was lying on the side of the road. Some pious person took him to an Ayurvedic physician. The physician treated him for a week, gave him some medicines and left him again on the road.
It turned out that the place, he was left behind, was near a water pump. The road was a highway between 2 cities. Travelers would leave food for him. He would drink some water and pour the rest on his side. There was a small sapling of pipal at that place. The sapling used to be fed by the water he would reject. The plant began to grow and he also would receive food, money and clothes.
Pious people often donate things to differently-abled people for resolving Shani Doshas. That way, this man would receive a lot of things, as the tree grew. Some people donated ascetic’s clothes to him because he was sitting near the pipal tree. He would also get a lot of black sesame seeds inside black cloths. He would throw the sesame seeds on the pipal tree and tie the cloth on the tree.
As the water was thrown by him, besides the pipal tree several sesame plants grew there. That gave an auspicious look. Nearby, a building was being constructed and old bricks were being dropped near the water pump. This man realized that he was getting food because of the pipal tree and constructed a small border around the tree and the plants. The construction workers had also left a small hook-like iron rod near him. He unknowingly stuck it near the pipal tree inside the border.
Ladies began worshipping the pipal tree and they brought fruits and sweets for this man. One day an ascetic came that way asking for food. This man had a lot of food with him and served it to the ascetic, again unknowingly. After having the food served to him, the ascetic asked the man about himself. The man told him his story.
The ascetic told him that he must have lost everything because of Shani Dasha and he had unknowingly served the pipal tree, resolving his Shani Doshas. He also told the man that all his difficulties would go since he had served a hungry ascetic with food. Predictably, a lady, who had worshipped the pipal tree, had given birth to a child. So, the family came back and constructed an ashram for him, at that place.
The man began to tend a large iron lamp in front of the pipal tree and drop all the oil and sesame seeds that were brought for him. He also continued to grow sesame plants over there. The plants and the tree continued to grow. With that, this man became very rich. But, he did not stop serving the pipal tree. One day, he found an orphan boy and he began to bring him up as his own child. He even educated him. When the man died, he got all the respects he is supposed to get by his foster son and he reached heaven. The boy continued to run the ashram in his adopted father’s name.
When someone performs good deeds unintentionally, they reap good fruits. If we perform good deeds intentionally and worship Shani, He will definitely solve our problems. Shani is a good planet. We do not need to be afraid of it. All we have to do is perform the relevant poojas.