Sheetey-kaul Lagana (The dropping of God’s flower)

The populace of Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, are many times, affected by drought. Because of scanty rainfall, repeatedly drought strikes. The main occupation of people here is agriculture. Because of drought, drinking water for people and cattle comes into acute shortage. They wander from place to place. Then, the villagers of Shanishingnapur pray to their dear God Shani. They do ‘kaul’. Then by the grace of God Shani, the rains come. This is believed far and wide. People wait for the rains till the coming of the ‘Punarvsu’ star. If it still does not rain, people come together and ask for the decision of God Shani. They ask of him whether it will rain or no. This is called ‘Sheetey-kaul Lagana’. People say that the meteorological department’s forecast may go wrong, but the ‘kaul’ (decision’) of God Shani will always be right.

For this, the pooja of Shanichar is performed. The entire premises is kept clean. The ‘abhishek’ of God Shani is performed with’ Ganga Jal’ and ‘panchamrut’. The ‘maternal uncle and nephew ‘, who are the residents of Shingnapur, will be fasting. The person awaiting the ‘decision’ of God Shani will also be fasting. People come from far and wide to see this and wait in the courtyard. In this assemblage, nobody wears a black cap, belt or carries a black umbrella. If they have brought it along, it is kept away. Afterwards, ‘gomutra'(cow’s urine) is sprinkled on everybody.

The ceremony of seeking ‘kaul’ starts in the afternoon at 3 O’clock. The ‘maternal uncle and nephew duo’ climb the foundation of the deity. Only 3 people will be on the foundation. The third person will be the one who brings the ‘Ganga Jal’ is not touched by anybody. The maternal uncle and nephew, in wet clothes are made to stand facing each other in an East westerly direction. At this time, there will be chanting of God Shani’s name. Rods of three feet length will have been kept immersed in water all night. This water will be used for God Shani only. The maternal uncle and nephew hold the rods to their waists from either sides with both hands. First, they pray to God. Then, for some time smoke of ‘dhoopa ‘is given there. The person who is going to ask the question asks the maternal uncle and nephew their stars’ names. Upon taking the names of the stars accordingly, if it is going to rain, the rods come close together on their own. If it is going to rain heavily, the rods will stick together closely. Then, the devotees, chant aloud the names of God Shani loudly.

In this ceremony, only three stars’ names are taken. They are Punarvasu, Uttara and Hasta. Depending on whichever star’s decision is obtained, the rods come together. It is in period that the rains come. If it is not going to rain, then the rods move away and outwards from each other and bend downwards. There is historical evidence that in the years 1952, 1962, 1972,1978 and 1984 this ‘kaul’ was asked of God Shani and it came true. In 1952, despite the rods being brought together many times, the rods would go way from each other. And it did not rain anywhere, while it rained well in other years.

It is a reality that on the day of 8th September 1984, ‘kaul’ was asked of God Shani. At that time, in the stars of Punarvasu, Uttara and Hasta, there was a lot of rain. On the same day, throughout the Nevasa taluka, it rained. It is strange that in other places of Maharashtra also, it rained well. Today also, we get to see and hear such miracles. Isn’t this one of the strange and uncommon things of the world?