You might have seen a large queue outside a Shanidev temple on Saturdays where people come and offer mustard oil and kala til to the God. Interestingly, there is a story behind this ritual. Here is a story of Shani Dev that highlights the real reason why people offer kala til and mustard oil to Shani Dev.
Here is a story of Shani Dev that highlights the real reason why people offer kala til and mustard oil to Shani Dev.
The Challenge of Shani Dev
While guarding the bridge that was constructed from Rameswaram to Lanka, Hanuman was offering prayers to Lord Ram. This is the time when Shani appeared before him and was keen to test Hanuman’s power so that he could compare their strength. He instigated Hanuman to open his eyes and fight with him.
However, Hanuman was busy meditating. So, he requests Shani not to disturb him. But, Shani Dev is adamant. He is keen on picking up a fight with Hanuman. Hanuman realizes Shani wouldn’t stop bothering. So, in order to stop him, he starts stretching out his tail and start griping Shani’s body with it. He tries to free himself but in vain. Further, Hanuman moves his tail up and down. This action hits Shanidev against the Rameswaram bridge so hard that he starts bleeding.
When the pain becomes unbearable, he requests Hanuman to release him from the grip and vows that he won’t ever repeat the mistake again. Hanuman agrees but has one condition. He asks him to promise that never again he shall trouble Ram’s devotees in the future. In great pain, Shani assures Hanuman that he will do as required and will never ever interfere in the destiny of those who are devoted to Lord Ram or Lord Hanuman.
Hanuman lets Shanidev go, but he is in great pain and so Shani asks Hanuman for some oil so that he can apply and get some relief from pain. Hanuman gives Shani Dev the oil. He applies it and is relieved from the pain.
Ever since then, it has become a custom to offer oil to Shanidev. It is symbolic of calming all agony and pains. It is also believed that post this encounter with Hanuman and overcoming all his pain, Shanidev who was much feared became benevolent, compassionate and kind towards his devotees.
This is the reason why devotees offer mustard oil and kala til to the God as donating mustard oil is regarded as one of the best cures to impress Shanidev. The best day to do is on a Saturday. On Saturdays, people approach pour mustard oil along with kala til (black cumin seeds) and a garland of peepal tree leaves to impress Lord Shani.