Shanidev was an exclusive devotee of Lord Krishna. Two mythological stories related to the devotion of Lord Shani to Krishna also reveal that Shani did severe penance for Krishna Darshan.
According to the first story, Shanidev was married to the daughter of Chitrarath. One day Shani-wife reached Shani Dev with the desire to get a son, but Shani Dev was engrossed in the devotion of Shri Krishna. Chitrarath-girl got tired of waiting for Shani.
In the end, getting angry, he corrupted the sight of Shani Dev by cursing him to Shani Dev. According to the second story, Shani Dev is the ultimate devotee of Shri Krishna. Then Shri Krishna appeared in Kokilavan and blessed that every person who worships Shani will be free from poverty, pain and trouble.
When Shri Krishna was born, all the deities came to Nandgaon to see him. Krishna devotee Shani Dev also reached Nandgaon to see Shri Krishna with the deities. But mother Yashoda forbade him to see Nandlal because mother Yashoda was afraid that Shani Dev’s curved vision might fall on Kanha.
But Shani Dev did not like this and being disappointed, he came to the forest near Nandgaon and started doing penance. Shani Dev believed that only Supreme God Shri Krishna has entrusted the task of punishing sinners by making him a judge. And Shani Dev always blesses the gentlemen, saints and devotees of God.
Shri Krishna’s Leela in the form of a cuckoo: The Supreme Lord Shri Krishna was moved by Shani’s penance and appeared in front of Shani Dev in the form of a cuckoo and said – O Shani Dev, you are undoubtedly devoted to your duty and sinners because of you, The oppressors and the wicked are repressed.
Like a father, your heart is moved for all the conscientious creatures and to protect them, like a vigilant and strong father, you always punish the wicked in their evil form. Shri Krishna told Shani Dev that this Brij-kshetra is very dear to him and therefore O Shani Dev, you should always reside at this place. Because I have met you in the form of a cuckoo, that is why from today the name of this holy place will be known as “Kokilavan”.
Significance of Krishna-Shani Dham located in Kokilavan:
Shani Dev is humble to every creature who comes to the Kokilavan of Brijmandal. Along with Shani Dev, the grace of Shri Krishna also remains on every devotee who comes to Kokilavan. And Shani Dhaiya, Sadesati, Mahadasha, Antardasha have an auspicious effect on the devotees.
The Shani temple located at Kokilavan Dham is the center of attraction here. Devotees circumambulate the path of Kokilavan. According to the belief, when Shri Krishna had appeared to Shani Dev, he also blessed him that this Kokilavan belonged to him. One who worships Shani by circumambulating Kokilavan will also get the blessings of Shani along with Krishna.