In this post , I will discuss why Saturn is considered most powerful planet among 9 planets of Indian astrology . Last time I had discussed about Moon’s importance in Jyotish which you may read here Why is Moon so important in Astrology.
First let me quote from my Quora answer on same topic
Try to understand Saturn from its astronomical features !
It is farthest from Sun , the original source of energy and authority . It does not get light and heat from Sun which is 1400 million kms distant . That makes Saturn , an entity like a citizen in Lakshadweep island in Arabian sea under India , about whom rulers in capital Delhi rarely think .
That way , you have to fend for yourself and find your own ways and means to survive and succeed . You will be lone traveller on a dark , supportless path. However , if you still earn there , you are supposed to pay all taxes , which a Delhi resident pays , without getting same facilities.
That is what Saturn hates about ruling brigade of Sun, Moon,Mars and they are mutually inimical to Saturn .
There being no light from Sun , it is dark , signifying black color . It is cold , there being no heat from Sun reaching there ( authority or rulers not helping ) .It is gaseous , representing air.
Saturn is planet for scarcity or zero state . That is why , it can make you start from scratch . And it is the only way to force living beings to act and that is why it is planet for Karma .
And when you act ( Capricorn), you will get results ( Aquarius). That makes Saturn ruler of 10th house of action , name and fame, followed by 11th house of gains. Astronomically , it travels maximum peripheral distance among all planets , forming a boundary of sort for all other planets .And that takes a lot of time to travel ( 30 years ) compared to ruling class planets which do it in 28 days to a couple of years.
In absence of Action , scarcity , sorrow, conflict, and miseries are default and can even eliminate the inactive ( death ) or make you a lifeless redundant entity ( wood , leather , scrap ) .
Saturn represents masses because it is powerless . It denotes population as it has maximum number of 53 Moons ( children of Saturn ) .
Therefore , despite being least powerful in authority , Saturn is most important planet in Indian astrology . Because finally everything depends on public , which only produces all goods / services consumed by rich and poor by toiling all the time. Saturn works like hidden foundation of society ( Steel) without which the shining domes ( rulers) of building cannot stand even for a moment .
Saturn retaliates sometimes against ruling arrogant class and when it does so ( it did in 2011–14 when exalted in Libra ) , the rulers face wrath of common man world over and revolutions happen !
You can see that Saturn has maximum weight in any horoscope . One may or may not get Saturn Mahadasha of 19 years in Vinshottari Mahadasha but one would surely get its Antardasha representing 15% of total period . Apart from that , Saturn will visit every sign and natal planets there in its 30 years cycle , creating Shani Sadesati , Ashtam Shani and Kantak Shani for 7.5, 2.5 , 2.5 years respectively , making it 12.5 years in every 30 years, making it about 40% effect in transit where it will force the transformation from good to bad or bad to good .
So, there can be no escape from Saturn in any horoscope . I call Saturn as cosmic auditor which will come at its scheduled time and audit your life , give you a check list for compliance and make your operations better . If you fail to comply , you are dismissed from your current status .
You may read it in Hindi in my Quora answer about how Saturn works : अधिकांश ज्योतिषी शनि के नाम पर क्यों डराते हैं?