Shani Shingnapur Controversy – Discrimination or Discretion?

In this week’s Spot, Sadhguru gives his view on the current controversy about the Shani Shingnapur temple. We also have a video in which Sadhguru speaks about Rama and Jesus, and the quality that makes them inspiring and relevant to this day.

Questioner: Sadhguru, why are women not being allowed into certain temples? For example, now with the Shani temple. Why this discrimination?

Sadhguru: At Linga Bhairavi, men are not allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum, but they never protest. They are married and domesticated – they have been trained not to protest against anything (laughter).

It needs to be understood that these temples are not places of prayer – they are different types of energies. Since we are aware that the planets in the solar system have an impact upon our physiology, our psychological structure, and the context of our lives, we have created temples for the different planets.

If you have access to inner technology, it will level out these planetary impacts.

Based on the time and date of your birth, and the latitude and longitude of your place of birth, Indian astrologers make complex calculations to see which planets have the greatest influence on your life. These things are relevant to you to some extent. However, if you have access to inner technology, it will level out these planetary impacts.

Shani or Saturn, which is a faraway planet, takes 30 years to complete one revolution around the sun. Considering the revolutions of Saturn and those of the Earth, and your birth details, they can calculate what impact Saturn has on you at different times of your life.

Shani is one of the sons of Surya, the sun – the other one being Yama. Shani is the lord of dominance, distress, depression, disease, and disaster. Yama is the lord of death – the “D” company. These two are brothers-in-arms, always working in tandem. Their mother, Surya’s wife, is Chaya. Chaya means “shadow.” This is science expressed in a dialectical way. The sun is the source of light for us. His wife is Chaya – shadow. Only because there is sunlight, there is shadow.

The seventh day, Saturday, is the day of Saturn. Seven being Saat, it is Saaturday or Saturday. Saturn is the seventh planet or graha in the Indian astrological system. The word “graha” means “to grasp” or “to impact.” Saturn as per modern astronomy is the sixth planet. But the Indian astrology looked at celestial objects which have a strong impact on life upon this planet. In that context, Sun and Moon are also counted as grahas, not to be understood as planets, making Saturn the seventh graha.

In the order of grahas that have a strong influence upon this planet – Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – though Shani is the seventh, he is a very dominant force, as health and happiness give you freedom of life, but disease and depression will seriously dominate your life. The question is are you allowing external forces, such as the celestial objects, to influence or impact you, or is your inner nature the only influence upon you. Hence, in this tradition, profound astrologers refused to make predictions for those who are on the spiritual path or under the influence of a spiritual Guru.

Because occult processes are conducted there, the energies are not conducive for women.

Because his is a 30-year cycle, once in 30 years, you become more susceptible to the influence of Saturn. This phase, known as Saade Saati, or in Tamil, Yelarai Shani, lasts for seven and a half years. You may become more susceptible to disease, depression, disasters, and death, and more vulnerable to external influences. In order to bridge the pits that may occur during a Saade Saati, various processes and rituals are associated with Shani temples.

There are temples for Shani Deva, where Saturn is personified as a god. Currently, there is this controversy about allowing women to enter a certain temple in Maharashtra, the Shani Shingnapur temple. Very powerful processes are conducted at this temple. Shani temples are mainly used for occult purposes and exorcism. People come there mainly to ward off occult influences or because they feel they are possessed. Because occult processes are conducted there, the energies are not conducive for women. As a woman is entrusted with the significant responsibility of manufacturing the next generation, her body is far more receptive and vulnerable to certain types of energies – especially during pregnancy and menstrual cycles.

Should women not enter the sanctum at all? They could if they were appropriately trained for it, but it would be much more difficult to train women than men for this purpose, simply because of a few biological advantages men have in this area of life. In the very nature of female biology, occult forces can have a deeper impact upon her system.

To remove occult influences and perform exorcisms, certain energies are used that are not nice for a woman at all. Shani is not nice. But he is a part of our lives – we have to deal with him too. Because of these occult forces, women are asked not to enter the area where such things are done. It would not be good for their physical wellbeing.

When certain things go wrong with life, you have to deal with them in a certain way, which may not be pleasant. These temples were created for this purpose. Today, some people perceive it as discrimination that women should not enter this space. It is not discrimination but discretion.

We need to educate people about the science behind these temples – what they are about and why they were built.

Maybe the way it is enforced is crude and seems discriminatory, and that is why these women are protesting. If one day, men protest in front of Linga Bhairavi and want to enter the sanctum, I will lock it. I will not let them into sanctum because it is not designed for men unless they are appropriately trained for it. This is not discrimination – it is necessary discretion. The space of Dhyanalinga, for one half of the lunar cycle, is managed by men; for the other half, it is managed by women – as that is the nature of an inclusive consecration, which Dhyanalinga is.

At certain temples, like the Velliangiri hill temple, women are prevented from going up the mountain, as the path goes through dense forest that was rich in wildlife in the past, and it was considered unsafe for women to take this journey. But today, these rules can be relaxed.

In view of the demand to allow women entry to the Shani temple, we need to educate people about the science behind these temples – what they are about and why they were built. In today’s democratic fervor, we want to establish equality, but in certain contexts, this would work to the disadvantage of women. Otherwise, we are one species and two genders. Except for a few areas such as this one, the only places where gender should matter are bathrooms and bedrooms.

Love & Grace

Why Rama and Jesus Are an Inspiration


This video was recorded at the recent “In the Lap of the Master” Satsang with Sadhguru on the weekend of 16 and 17 January 2016 at the iii, Tennessee, USA.

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4 years 6 months ago

Wow."Necessary discretion not discrimination."

4 years 6 months ago

Beautifully explained by Sadhguru :)

4 years 6 months ago

Good Qn Swadhin pattnaik, but you missed this on hairline gap:
Sri Sri : All spaces Men go Women can also go (Provided???.....not stressed out)
Sadhguru : All spaces Men go Women can also go if they are prepared (It is not that Women should not go, but they need to be prepared).

4 years 6 months ago

Very good explanation as always. It would be nice if Sadhguru gives an explanation on women of certain age not being allowed to enter Ayappa temple as well. Unfortunately the liberal secularists have done enough damage to the public view on this matter with out proper understanding of the issue. And are supreme court judges supposed to decide on these matter?

4 years 6 months ago

If u believe in Lord Ayyappan, u must also believe in His history.

Lord Ayyappan was adopted by the childless King and Queen of Pandala region in Kerala. He is considered 2 be the incarnation of offspring when Lord Shiv embraced Mohini (Lord Vishnu).

Thru Ayyappan's blessed presence in the palace, the Queen conceived and begot a son. But the King had already proclaimed Ayyappan as the the Crown Prince.

Now the Queen was not pleased as she wanted her biological son 2 be the crown prince. So she plotted 2 kill Ayyappan by asking Him 2 procure the milk of a tigress 2 "cure" her "stomachache".

Ayyappan knew what was going in, but still successfully entered the kingdom on the back of a tigress!

Having done His duty, Ayyappan renounced his right 2 be the heir 2 the throne, and left the kingdom 2 settle in Sabari mountain (Sabarimala).

Because the queen was treacherous towards Ayyappan just because she got her own biological child, all women of childbearing age r barred from the temple. Pre-menstrual and menopausal women r allowed to worship in Sabarimala.

Personally I do not feel its discrimination. Its deference 2 Ayyappan's situation because of the injustice He encountered.

4 years 6 months ago

Great justification for why women are barred from a temple. This is not discrimination, just "necessary discretion". Most ordinary people do not know about the highly detailed occult and astrological science that supports this. But Sadhguru has simplified their complex thinking and equations into a beautiful, accessible explanation. I would recommend his article/video on the advanced genetics programming that our ancestors used to undertake, the basis for gothras and castes. Superbly done and a work of genius. Goebels would have been proud. The word science has never been more innovatively and flexibly used.

This country will be forever benighted as long as charlatans lead our thinking.

4 years 4 months ago

Thank you Sadguru, great explanation!!, The people in the name of equality and secularism forgot to think and find out why this tradition exists hundreds of years, If they don't believe in the Temple, GOD or tradition, they should not go. why protest? They want money from westerners and want free publicity and to show the world how Indians are stupid.

4 years 6 months ago

Most of The temples in Kerala, tantric rituals are done and not agamic rituals (even though agamas contain a mild amount I tantricism ). Chotanikkarai, meenkulathu bagavathi Amman temple are pure tantric temples with 100% tantrika Pooja. Same could be the reason for sabarimala. The liberals should protest for hijab, face veil, oral divorces, polygamy, sex without concent, treated as slaves etc by RoP people instead of fighting for trivial matters like these.

4 years 4 months ago

These science is more interesting than real one.

4 years 6 months ago

Namaskaram Sadhguru, Thanks for the explanation.... People need to be educated about these temples, otherwise it looks to be discrimination....And what about the solution for women if they influenced by the Shani.. And Thanks for the grace as "in this tradition, profound astrologers refused to make predictions for those who are on the spiritual path or under the influence of a spiritual Guru"..

4 years 3 months ago

"Any god or goddess can be worshipped anywhere by anyone. The power is all around us, omniscient. But you have structured god into an idol. Women want to come to your temple and worship him there ... Why don’t you allow them?”. - Statement by one of the judges who ruled against a restriction on women in certain temples.

The statement is simplistic, with nothing more than a lay person's understanding of the word "god". Courts should clearly stay out of religion and spirituality. It is not their realm. There are places of heightened sanctity such as in temples, where idols are consecrated with processes that are little understood, as Sadhguru has said. These are beyond current scientific examination since they deal with aspects not easily tangible to the five senses. Lack of proof is not proof to the contrary, it is just lack of proof. We need to respect the unknown for what it is. Our limitations of perception preclude an understanding of a cause, a basis, a reason to some religious practices. Let us not be hasty in condemning them as useless. Courts should stay away from religions and spirituality, and focus on issues that matter such as female foeticide, increase in violence against women, discrimination in the workplace, etc.

4 years 6 months ago

Thank you Sadhguru ? ?

4 years 3 months ago

The problem with the West-sponsored liberal brigade of India is that it analyses Hindu faith using the Judeo-Christian-Western lens and, therefore, gets everything wrong. On the other hand, Hindus do not have any religious structures in place from where an authoritative opinion on faith matters can be issued that could help Hindus to take a view.

As a result, anyone and everyone throws opinions on anything and everything without sufficient knowledge and understanding. I'm glad Sadguru has shared his coherent view on this Shani temple issue, but then in the absence of Vatican-type authority, people would accept or question it depending upon the agenda they have.

4 years 6 months ago

How Sri Sri Ravishnkar's view and Sadhguru's views are contradicting in the place ..

3 years 1 month ago

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4 years 6 months ago

Maybe sri sri "Handled" the situation ? you should realize how much these great gurus know :)

4 years 6 months ago

I dont under estimate any one of them ..this country still breaths only for these Gurus not the people like leftist,rightsts,khanngress and blah blah ,these people only exploited the poor people and enjoyed upon their blood, (eg USSR,China,Nepal,West Bengal,Kerala)its is the saints,seers and gurus who uplifted humanity and environment ..

4 years 6 months ago

Jai GuruDevv!!