Shani Dev is one of the Navgraha devtas for Hindu people. The Shani temples are considered as a home without doors that has no restrictions for his followers and visitors to his temple. The devotees are considered to acknowledge fear but not of enemies. The fear of the wrath of Shani Dev is what keeps the devotees away from sins and evils. While Shani Dev is worshipped on Saturdays with mustard oil, there is a distinct legend that suggests that only men are allowed to put oil on Shani Dev in the temples.
The Shani idols are swayambhu idols, meaning that they regenerate on their own from the Earth. There is no particular origin site for the idols of Shani deva. Shani Deva keeps the evil away from a person’s life as long as he continues to keep Shani Dev happy with offerings. Mustard oil is the most loved offering that Shani Dev accepts. The oil can be put only by men as the effect of Shani Dev’s wrath is considered to be less on women. The wrath of Shani Devta destroys the life, health, wealth and reputation of a man. Women are largely unaffected from the effects of Shani Dev.
There is no particular biasing against women that prevents them from offering oil to Shani Deva. As per legends, Shani Dev’s horizon is wide and can inflict severe damage to the person’s life in numerous ways. When a person enters the zone of Shani Deva to pour oil, he is likely to get inflicted with good as well as bad effects. It is like a neutralizing effect. Shani Deva is the God of ‘imbalance’. His work is to keep the person’s life in a constant dynamic mode. In a bid to relate to women, it is believed that since women are not affected by Shani Dev’s effect, they need not get close to the Shani idols to pour oil. It may expose them to the bad effects of Shani Devtas. Mere vision of Shani devtas is enough to turn the course of life.
Shani Dev is the son of Lord Surya, the eternal source of Energy. Shani Dev is born from Chaya, the Shadow. He has extreme features, almost opposite to that of the Sun God. Women worship Sun God for potency, fertility and longevity of life for the husband. Shani Dev neutralizes the blessing from the Sun God. By going close to Shani Dev’s idols, women may inflect themselves with irreversible effects.
As per scriptures, the chastity of women is very delicate. It can be maligned even by the moonlight. Women prefer to stay away from Shani Dev’s idol as a mark of respect, just like the Indian women have for their elders. It is said that touching Shani Dev’s idol during pregnancy is bad for the foetus. Nobody visits the Shani temple during the prosperous times. He is appeased only when the Navgraha moves treacherously into the horoscope and transforms prosperity into destruction of wealth and health leading to poverty and loss of reputation. If women are not affected, their husbands and sons are likely to be affected. Shani Dev is seen as one of the most chivalrous Gods who worships every woman as his Mother. Hence, it is preached that only males should pour oil in Shani temples.