Since Shingnapur has a lot of fields, it is natural that it has a high incidence of snakes. But if anyone was bitten by snake, he would be brought to God Shani. But the condition would be that, in the temple he should be wearing black clothes. It is believed here that upon bringing anyone bitten by a snake, the venom would go way and he will become normal. He will be given only Shani ‘teerth’ here. No other thing will be given. Only, the nearest relative of the person bitten by a snake should bathe, dress in wet clothes and offer water to God Shani.
When I heard about this, I met some of the people of Shingnapur, asked the people who had been through this and what they said is briefly as follows:
On 12th May 2001, Shri Chandraban Damodar Shete who stayed there, was bitten by a snake when he went to water his fields. He was lifted immediately and brought to the deity’s premises. All the norms of the place were completed. His wife vowed to God and until he would not move, she kept doing ‘pradakshanas’ (walking around the idol). It was only when his condition improved that she stopped the ‘pradakshanas’. In the end, he became O.K. and they went home.
The mother of Shri Dagadu Sable was bitten by a snake in the Rajani Garden. While telling people how the snake bite occurred, she fell down. She was lifted and brought to God Shani and was given the ‘teerth’. The name of God Shani was pronounced. What a miracle! In a few hours, she came to her senses!
About Seetabai Kushinath Darandale, it was said that she was bitten by a snake and all night she was kept on ‘neem’ leaves. Next morning, she was alright and she went away. It is believed here that let alone people who are working, even cattle like cows and oxen which are bitten by snakes are lifted and brought here and the same method is practiced. And then, these animals move around , get well and go away.
Shri Anil Darandale said that Shri Parmod Darandale came to meet me near the temple. When he was locking the motorcycle, he saw a snake. On seeing it he realized that by mistake he had put a lock to his motorcycle. When he removed the lock, the snake disappeared. This is the play of the snake.!
A similar situation pertains to the neighbouring village Sonai. The daughter-in-law of a farmer of that village called Shri Namdev Darandale was bitten by a snake on the road. Upon coming home and narrating the episode, she fell unconscious. She was lifted and brought to God Shani , given the ‘teerth’ and all night the chanting of God Shani was done. The miracle was that by early morning she regained consciousness and began talking to all.
Around the ‘devasthan’, all the arrangements and facilities are very good. Here, the arrangements for water and pooja are good. Also, the conduct of the priests and ‘pandits’ is very humane. The most important thing is that the behaviour of all the trustees and all ‘sevaks’ towards all devotees is very good. They maintain very cordial relations with all the devotees. By a glimpse (‘darshan’) of Shaneshchar here, one gains divine favours of a life time.
Shri Kshetra Shani Shingnapur’s temple gives a new experience to people. There is this place on earth which is inspiring and also which also gives wisdom. Upon coming here one feels that man should not see another man’s wealth in a bad light. In this respect, this is an unique place. A place where there is God but no temple. This place is open to people of all religions and all castes. And, the authorities here are very straight and service-minded.
On the 18th February 2004, I met the trustee of the ‘devasthan’. From him, I got all the inf0rmation about the ‘devasthan’. In my very first meeting itself, I was delighted. I felt so happy with him because he was working with the late Shri Banakar Bhau who was the founder and he also worked in the Gram Panchayat.
He had once told me that in Rajasthan’s Bilwada, there is a village called Makarana. There, he had to go with Bhau Banakar to bring statues for the temple in Dec 1990. Then, there was 4 lakh rupees cash. We stopped before Chambal Ghat, at a ‘dhaba’ for food. And by midnight, when we told the servants of the ‘dhaba’ that we had 4 lakh rupees for purchase of statues and that we had to reach there in the morning, they dissuaded us from proceeding in the mid of night. Because, even by day there would be no vehicles plying there, and we wanted to go by night. Shri Bhau Banakar thought that if we waited there any longer, then too they would be looted. And if they traveled in the ghats, there too they would be looted. So he decided that the money was God’s and either God would protect them or allow them to be looted as he wished.
They left by jeep and there was no other vehicle with them. There was fear in their minds. But the strange thing was, from the time their jeep left the ghat, till the morning there was a horse rider on a black horse accompanying them They felt that he was like them, but as soon as morning came and the ghat ended, the horse and its rider vanished. Then they felt that it could have been God Shani himself.
When I met 80 year old Shri Appa Saheb Yashwant Darandale about the wonderful miracles of God Shani, then he open-heartedly explained that there are some people who stay in the village, some stay in the ‘basti’ and some in the gardens. In the house of Shri Kisan Shete, there occurred a theft. Thieves entered the house, committed theft but when they were going out of the door with the booty, they went blind. They could not see anything. In the morning, they were caught. This way, God Shani himself protects us all.
On the afternoon of 15th February 2004, when I met a devotee in Shingnapur, he told me about an incident. In May 1972, Shri Sable’s house was entered by thieves. There were some pots in the house, in which some money and jewelry were kept. The thieves pulled down the pots and tried to search them all, but they found nothing, though the money and jewelry were there itself. They searched till morning, found nothing and were caught. This was an incident to which he was eyewitness.