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I just came back from a trip to India, and one of the places I visited was my dad's native village of Kuchanoor. It's the site of the famous Kuchanoor Shanishwaran temple, one of the few temples in the world for Shani, god of the planet Saturn. For those who don't know, Shani is the son of Surya, the Sun god and his second wife Chaya, whom I discuss in this answer. Shani is in charge of dispensing good and bad fortune, and so people often come to Kuchanoor if they've been adversely affected by the gaze of Shani.

But my question is about the Shani idol in the Kuchanoor temple. It's a Swayambhu or divinely created statue, but it's not an anthropomorphic statue, rather it's a vague slab akin to a Shivalinga, on which various ornaments have been attached. Here is a picture of it:

enter image description here

My question is, why is Shani depicted as having six eyes?

Dasharatha's hymn to Shani in this excerpt from the Padma Purana doesn't mention the number of eyes, it just calls him Vishalanetra or having big eyes. But are there other scriptures which say that he has six eyes? Dhyana Shlokas, which I discuss here, would be a good place to look for the details of Shani's appearance?

Also, if he does have six eyes, what is the reason for that? Shani is infamous for the ruinous power of his glance, as I discuss here, so does he have so many eyes to in order to gaze at people?

  • Who is the female deity alongside shani deva idol? also notice the name adhodrishti which means he looks down everytime. In general shani deva idols are not made specifically looking at worshipper and if so then worshippers are told not to directly look into his eyes. Since shani deva's eye sight kills due to a curse from his own wife. – Yogi Jan 9 '16 at 20:38
  • @Yogi I haven't heard the story of his wife cursing him, but I assume the female deity is his wife. This answer mentions him having two wives: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/586/36 – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 9 '16 at 20:50
  • @Keshav The story of his wife cursing him is from the Brahmavaivarta Purana, where she curses him for giving more importance to the worship of Krsna than paying her attention (!!). – Surya Jan 11 '16 at 17:49
  • @Surya That's interesting, what chapter is that from? Shanishwaran in Kuchanoor certainly has a Namam, but it may just be run by Vaishnavas. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 11 '16 at 21:01
  • It's from just before Ganesha's beheading: Shani narrates the story to Parvati – Surya Jan 12 '16 at 3:28

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