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Sani

In Hindu mythology, Sani was identified with the planet Saturn. Sani's parents were the Sun god Surya and Chhaya whose name means shade. Surya's wife could not tolerate the intense heat produced by her husband the Sun god. To protect herself, she sent a shade to a husband in the form of a mistress whose name was Chhaya. Sani was known as the evil-eyed one because his glance was extremely powerful and could burn anything instantly.

For the Hindus, each planet was identified with a god. They believed there were nine planets who formed a planetary council. The planets were the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, an ascending node and a descending node. The ascending and descending nodes, which are the invisible nodes of the Moon's orbit, were considered important enough to be included in the planetary council. Probably, Hindus did not know about Uranus and Neptune which cannot be detected without telescopes.

Hindus believed that the planets were able to affect the life of the individual and the course of history. For this reason, they are especially worshipped in times of danger. In South India Sani, Ketu and Rahu ( as well as birds and frogs) are believed to be responsible for children's diseases.

Last modified July 19, 2001 by Jennifer Bergman.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA