Fasting and its Significance
The term ‘Fasting’ refers to abstaining from food or certain kind of foods as an honor, prayer or tribute to the divine. Observing a fast can give you both spiritual and physical benefits and gives you an excellent opportunity to connect with your favorite deity. It helps purify both your both external and internal impurities. Also called as Upavas or Vrat, fasting can also help cleanse your system and improve your body metabolism.
Importance of the 7 Week Days
Each of the 7 week days represents a planet and is named only after them, as per the Hindu system. Thus, Monday represents the Moon; Tuesday, Mars; Wednesday, Mercury; Thursday, Jupiter; Friday, Venus; Saturday, Saturn; and Sunday, the Sun. The days of the week are also dedicated to specific deities. Offering your sincere prayers to that particular deity and the planetary god on his or her special weekday is believed to please the deity and help receive their blessings in abundance.
Tuesday and Planet Mars
Tuesday is known as Mangalvar and is held sacred, as it remains auspiciousness personified. The term ‘Mangal’ itself means auspiciousness and the day is also governed by the powerful planet Mars, which represents qualities like vitality, power, endurance and courage. Tuesday is also the day dedicated in general to Lord Hanuman, while people in south India offer worship to Lord Muruga on this day.
Mythology Behind Tuesday Fasting
There is a story that highlights the efficacy of Tuesday Vrat or fasting on Tuesdays. Long ago, there lived a pious couple, who had a contended life, but were sad as they were childless. The physicians whom they consulted told them that the husband had some serious problems in his reproductive system and hence, they have little chance of having a child. The man was heartbroken on hearing this. But the woman who had great faith in divine powers, prayed earnestly to Lord Hanuman and observed fasts on Tuesdays for appeasing him. In course of time, she became weak and started fainting, but still continued with her Tuesday Vrats with faith. The compassionate Lord Hanuman took pity on her and by his grace; she conceived miraculously and delivered a healthy boy in due course. The husband too was happy, but soon began suspecting the fidelity of his wife. He even tried to kill the baby. But the wife continued with her Tuesday austerities. Lord Hanuman came to her rescue once again, as he appeared in the man’s dream, chided him for casting aspersions on his chaste wife and confirmed that the boy was his progeny. The husband realized his mistake, sought apology from his wife and they lived happily thereafter, with the wife continuing her Hanuman worship with greater faith.
Tuesday Fasting Procedure
Mangalvar Vrat or Tuesday fasting begins right from early in the morning on that day, and continues through the day till the evening. Some may take food made of wheat and jaggery (cane sugar) for once during the day. Devotees spend the day in constant prayers to Lord Hanuman, chanting hymns like Hanuman Chalisa in his praise, singing bhajans (songs), reading the Sundarakandam chapter of Ramayana, that describes Hanuman’s exploits and also hearing stories about him and also about Mangalvar Vrat. People also make offerings of ghee (clarified butter), vada (dhal savory), sindhoor (red vermillion), betel leaf garland, red flowers, tulsi leaves (Basil) etc. to him. Many people continue this fasting worship continuously for as many as 21 successive Tuesdays.
In south India, many people observe similar austerities for Lord Muruga, as Lord Muruga is the overlord of planet Mars, which is Tuesday’s ruling planet. People chant hymns like Kandha Shasti Kavasam (sacred Muruga hymn) in his praise, lighting lamps, offering items like red flowers, visiting Muruga temples, Panchamirtham (mixture of 5 items), bananas, sweets etc. and perform special Poojas for the warrior god. Such Tuesday worship for Muruga is done for 9 to 10 Tuesdays without a break.
Benefits of Fasting on Tuesdays
Tuesday’s governing planet Mars is indeed powerful. But when it is ill placed in a person’s birth chart, it can cause serious problems like bad temperament, anger, relationship issues, accidents, delayed marriages, legal issues, obstacles in purchase of house or property etc. in life.
Observing Tuesday fasting with faith shall bestow you with:
- Blessings of Lord Hanuman and Muruga
- Help remove the afflictions caused by Mars (Manglik Dosha) in birth chart
- Impart strength and courage
- Solve difficulties in life
- Progeny blessing
- Reduce the effects of a badly placed Mars, Mars Dasa Bhukti or a debilitated Mars in birth chart
Connect With The Divine
The sacred scriptures prescribe fire ceremony, Abishekam (hydration ceremony), Pooja/Archana (Light and Sound ceremony), Yantra and Mantra (special sounds) as the ways to offer your prayer to the divine. Out of these, fire ceremony is the most evolved spiritual technology on earth to connect with the divine beings. Participate in the remedial services to clear your karma and receive the blessings.