Tuesday is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. In South India , the day is dedicated to Skanda, aka Muruga or Kartikeya. Devotees also listen to Hanuman Chalisa, songs dedicated to the simian deity, on this day. The Mangalvar Vrat is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The Mangalvar Vrat is very beneficial to negate all the malefic effects of Mangal (Mars). The Mangalvar Vrat is to be kept for 21 consecutive weeks. On this day Lord Hanuman is worshipped using red flowers, along with wearing of red colored clothes. Along with the Vrat Katha, Hanuman Chalisa is also recited. On this day devotees eat food made from wheat and Jaggery only. Mangalvar Vrat leads to success, happiness, protection and stability in both professional and personal life. It also helps in overcoming the enemies.
Mangalvar Vrat is observed by those couples who Mangalvar Vrat is observed by those couples who wish to have a son. Other benefits include happiness in the family. People who believe in astrology observe fast to alleviate the harmful effects associated with the planet mangal or mars.
It is a whole day fast. Devotees who undertake Mangalvar fast only take a single meal usually consisting of any food made of wheat and jaggery. Most Hindus keep the fast for 21 Tuesdays without a break. Mangalvar Upvaas is to satisfy Hanuman and Mangal (Mars) that rules the day, and from which it takes its name. Mangal is considered a trouble maker and the fast is observed to ward off evils and problems that strewn our path and make way for happiness. The underlying belief is that Lord Hanuman will help his devotees to overcome difficulties in life especially those created by the intervention of ‘Mangal graha’ or Mars. Also, couples desirous of having a son, too, observe this fast stringently.
Lord Mangal (Mars)
Lord Mangal (Mars) is one of the nine planets or navagrahas. He is also known by the names Angaraka and Kuja. He is considered the son of Prithvi or Bhumi, the Earth Goddess.He is associated with strength, valor, and courage. Lord Mangal is the protector of dharma (righteousness), and the purpose of life.
Ganeshpuranam: Once the elder brother of Hiranyaksh had kidnapped Prithvi Devi (Earth). To get Prithvi Devi released from him, God appeared in the form of ‘Varah’. The God killed Hiranyaksh and Prithvi Devi was rescued. At that time Prithvi Devi was very pleased with the God and she wished to marry him. At the time of Varahavtar, the glowing of God was like having thousands of suns in the sky. It was unbearable. Then the God appeared in the beautiful and original form to fulfill the wishes of Prithvi Devi. They married and lived alone for one year. Mangal was born to them.Shiva Purana- Chap 2.71 : Once when Lord Shiva was engrossed in ‘deep meditation’ upon his abode Mount Kailash, three drops of perspiration originated from his forehead and fell down on the earth. From those drops manifested a very beautiful infant, who was of reddish complexion and who had four arms.
The child was handed over to the earth goddess, Bhumi for upbringing by Lord Shiva. The child was named Bhaum as he was nurtured and brought up by ‘Bhumi’ (earth).
When Bhaum grew up, he went to Kashi and did a tremendous penance to please lord Shiva. Lord Shiva blessed him by granting him ‘Mangala loka (the Abode of Mangala), which was superior even to the ‘Shukra loka’ (the Abode of the god of Venus – Shukra). The same ‘Bhauma’ is established in the solar system by the name of Mangala (the planet Mars).
Lord Mangal has four hands, and carries a trident and mace as weapons. He wears red ornaments. Worshiping Lord Mangal frees one from skin illnesses, debts, and poverty. The gemstone of Lord Mangal is the red coral, and his day is Tuesday. He is the guardian of the south direction.
Vrat Katha – I
Once there was a Brahmans son. He was married at an early age. He went to his father-in-laws village to get back his wife. His in-laws welcomed him heartily and gave him best dishes to eat.
The boy said to his father-in-law, Please send your daughter with me. My mother is unwell. There is nobody to look after her.
That is correct, said the father-in-law, but we have not made full preparations to offer her clothes and cash. The boy said, Our family is not so down-and-out as to accept such offers all the time. You send your daughter with me. The boys mother-in-law raised another objection and said, My daughter is a newly-wed and she is very beautiful. She will wear gold ornaments. Who will guarantee her safety during the journey?
The boy said, I am brave enough to guard her. See my muscular body. The mother-in-law said, It is not the muscular body but the mind which guards us. The boy said, Do not consider me without mind. The father-in-law and the mother-in-law argued for some time with the son-in-law and finally agreed to send their daughter with him.
The young husband and wife both started their journey for the village. It was Tuesday. Tuesday is devoted he god Mars. He is the commander of this day. The Mars saw the Brahmans beautiful wife. He was dazzled to see such a beauty. He knew witchcraft. He disguised himself as a Brahmans son and said to the boy, She is my wife. Who are you to accompany her? Give her to me, otherwise I will kill you.
The Brahmans son felt bewildered at the sight of an identical man like him. He said, You are a ghost. You are a cheat. She is my wife. How can I give her to you? The woman would not differentiate between the two. She stood there puzzled. Some cow herds noticed their quarrel. They went to them and asked about the cause of their quarrel.The Brahmans son said She is my wife. This man is a cheat. He wants to take away my wife under a false disguise. He is not the man who has married this woman. I am her real husband. The Mars who was in the guise of Brahmans son said, She is my wife and I am her real husband. The cow-herds felt confused at their claims. One of the cow-herd asked the woman, Who is your real husband?
The lady said, I was married when I was very young. I have cast my look at my husband for the first time, after long years. I cannot differentiate between the two. The matter became still complicated. One of the cow-herds sensed the gravity of the situation. He could see that one of them was a spirit. He knew how to deal with such spirits. He said, Bring an earthen pot with a spout. I will hand over this lady to the real husband. They arranged a Kuchcha Karva or a pot with a spout. The cowherd said, This lady belongs to that person who can enter this pot through its spout.
The Brahmans son said, This is injustice. I cannot enter this pot. The cowherd said, Then you are a cheat. You would have to abide by my order. The Brahmans son kept mum. He was helpless. The Mars said, She is my wife. I can enter this pot through its spout. The clever cowherd said, if you enter this pot, she will be your wife.
The Mars was in the form of a spirit. He knew the craft of changing his body into any shape. He entered the pot through the spout. The cow-herd dosed the spout with a tight cork. The Mars was imprisoned in the pot. He could not come out from it. To make his escape impossible, the cowherd dug a deep hole in the ground and put that earthen pot deep into it and filled the hole up. The Brahmans son was happy. He thanked the cowherd for his intelligence and wisdom.
Since that day, it has been a belief that nobody should dig earth on Tuesday so that the devil spirit of the Mars remains inside the earth for ever.
Vrat katha – II
Tuesday is devoted to Lora Hanuman. The devotees listen to this story before breaking their fast in the afternoon. The wrestlers do not massage their bodies on this day to avoid hairfalllng. Some wrestlers observe Tuesday as a rest day.
Once there was an old lady. She used to observe Tuesday fast. She enjoyed all sorts of prosperity. Her daughter-in-law used to give her four loaves on every Tuesday. She used to go to the Hanuman Temple and offered two loaves there. The remaining two she ate herself and felt satisfied.
Once the daughter-in-law asked her children to follow their grandmother and to keep a watch over her activities. Her grandsons noticed that their grandmother offered two loaves to Lord Hanuman and broke her fast with the remaining two. They reported the matter to their mother. Their mother thought that the old lady was wasting two loaves and decided to cook two loaves only.
On the next Tuesday, the daughter-in-law gave her only two loaves. The old lady went to the Hanuman temple arid offered one loaf to Hanuman and broke her fast with the remaining one. Her grandsons noticed her and reported the matter to their mother. Their mother thought that the old lady was wasting one loaf and decided to give her one loaf only.
The old lady accepted one loaf on the coming Tuesday and went to the Hanuman temple. She offered half a loaf to lord Hanuman and broke her fast with the other half. Her grandson noticed it and reported again to their mother. Their mother thought that the old lady was wasting her food at familys expense. She decided not to give her any loaf on Tuesdays.
The old lady went to the Hanuman temple empty-handed. She had nothing to offer. Lord Hanuman appeared before her as a young boy and said, O, old ma, what ails you? The old lady related the whole story to the young boy. The young boy said, Why dont you erect a cottage of yours behind this temple? Take me as your son. I shall arrange food for you. What is the use of living with a family which does not care for its elders!
The old lady agreed and started living in the cottage. Everyday the young boy would bring a mug full of milk and a lump of crushed bread mixed with sugar and butter (churma) for her. Her life was now very happy and peaceful. The old ladys daughter-in-law became poorer and poorer day-after-day. Unwanted quarrels broke out in the house due to poverty. They had little to eat. One day she said to her children, Go to your grandmother and observe what she does.
The children went to their grandmother. The old lady welcomed them. She shared milk and Churma with them and asked them to visit her everyday. The children went back to their house and related the whole thing to their mother. She was surprised to know that the old lady was hale and hearty instead of growing weak. She realised her mistake and asked her husband to bring her back.
Her husband said, Why should I go? You are responsible for our sufferings. You make quarrels in the family everyday. You forced her to leave this house. You were jealous of her even for meager meals. This house lost its prosperity the moment she left us. You have no regards for your elders and their noble deeds.
The lady said, Let all of us go to her. We shall convince her that she should come back. Her husband agreed and they went to the old lady. The young boy was sitting with her and serving her food. The old ladys daughter-in-law fell at the feet of her mother-in-law and begged pardon of her for her misdeeds. The old lady said to the young boy; Should I accompany them as they have realised their mistake? The young boy said, Yes, you may. If you face any difficulty, you may come back.
The old lady returned to her family. She observed Tuesday fasts and her daughter-in-law never objected to her giving half of her food to Lord Hanuman. Prosperity again visited their house and they lived a happy life.
Vrat Katha – III
Unwanted suspicion, doubt or misbelief creates unhappiness in the family. Unshakeable faith in one god brings happiness. A chaste life is above suspicion.
Once there lived a Brahman couple. They were issueless. So their life was very unhappy. The Brahman went to the jungles to appease Lord Hanuman. He would pray for a child in his prayers. His wife used to observe fasts on Tuesdays to placate the Lord. She used to take her food on Mondays only after offering Prasaad to Lord Hanuman.Once she observed some special fast for the whole day. So she could not offer Prasaad to Hanuman. She was very sorry for it and felt guilty. She decided to observe a fast till the coming Tuesday. She said to herself that she would take her meals only after offering Prasaad to Hanuman.She became weak and fragile and even fainted due to the long fast. Hanuman took pity on her and appeared before her in the guise of a child. Hanuman said, I bless you with a beautiful son. He will always serve you, day and night. He then disappeared after blessing the lady.
Fortunately, the lady got a beautiful son. She named him Mangal. The Brahman returned home after some months. He saw a handsome child playing in his courtyard. He became suspicious and said to his wife, Whose child Is this? Have you indulged in adultery? The woman said politely, My dear husband, I am a chaste lady. I used to observe Tuesday fast in your absence to please Lord Hanuman. He has blessed me with this child. Please believe me. The Brahman kept mum but deep in his heart, doubts began to curl up every moment. The lady was helpless. One day the Brahman was going to take his bath at some nearby well. The lady told him, Please take Mangal alongwith you. He is quite grown-up. He will fetch water for your bath. He will also rub your back.
The Brahman agreed and took the boy alongwith him. He thought it would be a good occasion to push him into the well and to get-rid of a sinful child for good. As the boy was to fetch water, the Brahman pushed the boy into the well and returned home. To her great surprise, the woman noticed that the Brahman did not have wet dhoti on his shoulders. She said, Have you taken your bath? The Brahman said, Yes.
The lady said, Please give me your wet dhoti to enable me to spread it on the string. The Brahman was nonplussed. He had guilty conscience. He murmured some words and tried to leave the house. The wife said, Where is my Mangal? Where is my Mangal? O! Mangal, appear before my eyes if I am a cheste lady and you are my true son.
To the great surprise of both the wife and the husband, Mangal appeared at the door. He embraced his mother and touched his fathers feet. That might Lord Hanuman appeared before the Brahman in his dreams and said, O! poor creature, I blessed you with a son, and you suspect your wife of adultery. You must feel sorry for it.
The Brahman realised his mistake. His wife regularly observed fasts on Tuesdays. Thereafter they led a happy life. It is said that whosoever reads or listens to this story and keeps regular fasts Lord Hanuman protects him from air evils and bestows all happiness.
Puja Service Includes: Ganpati invocation mantra, Invocation mantras of all major deities, Dhyaan, Katha of Mangalvar, Aarti, Pushpaanjali, Prasadam.