Shani(शनि) deva, also known as शनैश्चर is one of the Navagraha (the nine primary celestial beings in Hindu astrology) of Jyotiṣa.

If we visit the temples, there is good chance that Shani(शनि) deva is depicted dark in colour, clothed in black and mounted on a crow.

Here is one such Image: enter image description here

Source: Link

Now, Throughout Hindu mythology crows represent harmful and inauspicious characteristics.

Source: Link

Is there a reason mentioned in Hindu scriptures which mentions the story/reason why Lord Shani deva did choose Crow (which represent harmful and inauspicious characteristics) as its Vahana or vehicle?

  • 1
    The "inauspicious characteristics" part may be the reason that Shani rides it; he may use it to deliver bad fortune on certain people. Jan 9, 2016 at 20:31
  • Crow is vehicle of Lord Shanideva. Black stone is also established in Shani Temples. We offer oil to Lord Shani as well as Lord Hanuman.
    – prem30488
    Feb 18, 2016 at 10:51
  • @ParthTrivedi Yes, but what you wanted to say specific the question which I asked? Feb 19, 2016 at 5:05

1 Answer 1


Shani Deva's vahana is Grudha to be precise i.e a vulture and not a crow.

Here is Sanaischara Kavacham :

Asya Sri Sanaischara kavacham Maha manthrasya Kasyap Rishi , anushtup Chanda , Sanaischaro devathaa¬

For the great armour of Sani , the sage is Kashyapa , the meter is anushtup and the god addressed is Sanaischara.¬

Sam Bheejam, Nam Shakthi , mam keelakam, Sanaischara krutha peeda parihararthe jape viniyoga.¬

Sam is the root , Nam is the power , Mam is the nail and this being chanted to get rid of the problems created by Lord Sanaischara.¬

Now, refer to Dhyana Sloka (the meditative verse) given further below on the linked page:


Krishnambaradaram devam dvibujam gruda samsthitham,¬ Sarva peedaa haram dhyayeth graham ganothamam.¬

I meditate of the best among planets who wears black silk,¬ Who has two hands , who sits on a vulture and who removes all sufferings

Another Dhyana Sloka for Shani Deva is this:

Saurashtram Kashyapam Sudram SuryAsyam Chaturangulam|
Krishnam Krishnambaram Grudhagatam Sourim Chaturbhujam||
UdyadvAnadharam Sulam Dhanur hastam SamAhvyeth |
YamAdhidaivatam DhyAyeth PrajApatyadhidaivatam||

Grudhagatam means one who moves on a Grudha or vulture.

The source of this above sloka is a bengali prayoga book that i have called "Brihat Vishuddha Nitya Karma Paddhati".

The book is of the same genre as Gita Press's prayoga book " Nitya Karma Puja Prakash".

In the Matsya Purana ,the description of Shani Deva is given as follows,which also says that vulture is his mount or vahana:

Indra neela dutih Shuli varado Grudha vaahanah Baana baanaasanadharah kartavy -orka suthastathaa/

Shanaischara's body colour is of Indraneelamani/ blue diamond; he rides a Grudha/ Vulture and carries bow and arrows, Trishula and Varada Mudra.

  • But what's the popular reason to show crow as his vehicle? Why sich discrepancies between popular culture and the puranic verses?
    – Vivikta
    Mar 18, 2021 at 5:09
  • 1
    I'm not sure how Gridha became crow. I'm also not aware whether there other scriptures that mention the vehicle as a crow. I'm not aware of all scriptures @Vivikta
    – Rickross
    Mar 18, 2021 at 6:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .