Shani, the judge
As per Hindu lore Shani is a son of Surya, the Sun God. He is immortalised as planet Shani, the Saturn. How close to modern science. He was a unruly urchin and was not amenable to discipline. So his father turned him over to Lord Shiva, with a request to educate him in Dharma. Shani, in his arrogance, challenged even Shivs. Of course he was worsted, and rendered lame as well. At that Shani implored the protection of Shiva. Shiva thought for a moment and ordained: I appoint you judge on all the living and conscious beings. Be just and reward or punish them as per their deeds.
Shani accepted the orders, and was able to see the good and evil deeds of all, and dispensed justice. Once, Lord Shivs and Goddess Parvati held the birthday celebration of their young son Ganesha. Of course all the gods and and high sages were invited. Shani too was invited. But he stood with his back turned to Shiva and Parvati and Ganesha. Ma Parvati wondered, "Why is Shani standing with his back on us?? Why does he refrain from blessing Ganesha?". She then requested Lord Shivs about it. The Lord who could summon anyone to His presence, went in all humility to Shani and asked why he was behaving like that??
Shani replied: Sire, I am afraid of casting a critical look of Ganesha.
Lord asked: Surely, Ganesha being my son, is not subject to your justice!!
Shani replied: You did not exempt anyone, even Ganesha is not exempt.
Lord: What about me?? I appointed you the Judge. Surely I do not fall under your jurisdiction.
Shani: Sire, even you are not exempt.
That is how a judge should conduct himself.
The Lord said, " OK, we will discuss it tomorrow morning. Please come here". But come next day, Shiva was wracked by doubts. Shani will come without fail. He might cast a critical look upon me. I done nothing wrong, but then Shani is Shani". So in the Morning the Lord went off from Mt. Kailash to forested regions. What can I do? Shall I cloak myself in maya and be invisible to all. No, no, what will my devotees do?? OK for a day I will cloak myself and become an elephant.
Shani kept waiting till evening till the Lord returned. Shani asked : Sire you summoned me, but went off yourself. May I ask why?
Shiva said: O Shani, I wanted to escape your critical eyes.
Shani: Lord, but you did not succeed. My justice turned you into an elephant!!
Lord: How do you know, how did you penetrate the maya??
"Sire, you gave me such powers"
"What did I do?"
" Sire in the earlier times you disrupted a ritual being conducted by your Father-in-law Daksha. That was your personal vendetta, whatever the provocation. For that you, sire, had to become an animal for a day."
A judge is no judge if he does not treat all equally.
PS: Shani has a day named after him Shanivar, Saturday. On Saturday many people give away mustard and black grains.