In Hinduism, each day of a week is dedicated to a particular god in the Hindu pantheon. Apart from the special Vrata and Upvas, many Hindus also fast on a particular day in a week. Each day in a week has a specialty and there are numerous folklores associated with the fasting observed on the days of a week.

According to Hindu Mythology each day of a week is dedicated to a particular God as well as a planet. Miracles do happen by observing a particular Vrat or fast. All rituals and observations are easy ways to please the planets and their respective Gods. Vedic Astrology helps us to understand the nature and characters of planets and also help us to know that why we are suffering so many problems due to the incorrect placement or inauspicious planets. So it’s high time you should consult an expert astrologer who can suggest you the particular vrat, mantra and means to ward off these problems. It can automatically improve all sufferings. Vrata is a Sanskrit word that means “vow, resolve, devotion” and refers to pious observances such as fasting and temple visit.

It is considered that we get success, failure, wealth, poverty, fame, insult, life and death according to our karma. We get good and bad results according to the correct and incorrect placement of planets. In order to drive away the negative effects of related planets we should recite mantra and observe fast related to the respective planets. But you are advised that you should consider an expert astrologer so that he can suggest the correct day and fast according to the weak and inauspicious planet in our horoscope.

Hindu devotees keep occasional ‘Upvas’ or fast corresponding to the fulfilment of a vow or a belief and ‘vratas’ (fasting and observance of religious rituals) that is analogous with material or other gains. Apart from these special occasions, many devotees also fast on a particular day of the week dedicated to a particular god in the Hindu pantheon to appease him/her. Ancient sages used observances like ritual fasts to spread the awareness of different gods. Fasting and other rituals pave the path of the divine for the devotees to realize god, which is considered the sole purpose of human existence.

A typical Vrata involves a fast for a fixed period of time, usually a full day, where either no food is eaten or only one meal is eaten in the entire day, or only a certain food such as milk is consumed during the period of the Vrata. Other observances include sleeping on the ground or a short sleep, or alternatively yoga with meditation, reading scripture and charitable giving.

The puranas denote various types of vratas. ‘Kayika-vrata’ pertains to the body. The stress is on physical austerity like fasting. ‘Vachika-vrata’ or vrata pertaining to speech. Here much importance is given to speaking the truth and reciting the scriptures. ‘Manasa-vrata’ or vrata pertaining to the mind. The emphasis here is on controlling the mind, by controlling the passions and prejudices that arise in it.

Rules to be followed by those undertaking vrata

It is difficult for the common man to perform rituals according to Vedas. To overcome this difficulty, Puranas mention vrata, which are easy to follow.

  1. Strict compliance – Any vrata should be followed meticulously. Once undertaken, we should not think of the hardships while observing it.
  2. Completion is necessary – If one begins a vrat, it should be completed; as giving up half way through could be disastrous. Scriptures also recommend ‘penance’ if there is a break in a vrat, deliberate or by accident.
  3. Rules
    1. Wake up during Brahma muhurta (one and half-hour before sunrise).
    2. Bathing – One should bathe every day.
    3. Clothing and ornaments – When observing a vrat we should use ‘gandh’ (sandalwood paste), flowers, a chain of beads and clothing and ornaments to suit the vrat.
    4. Eating meals and urination and defecation should be done at the appropriate time.
    5. Puja of the Deity – Puja of the Deity for whose sake the vrat has been undertaken should be performed. We should chant the Deity’s Name, meditate, listen to His / Her stories, worship, perform kirtans (narration of the glory of God through stories punctuated with devotional songs) and read religious texts.
    6. Meals – Should be limited. Salty foods, honey and meat are prohibited.
  4. Restrictions: One should refrain from doing the following things
    1. Application of oil to the body and head, sabhyang snan.
    2. Eating betel leaves
    3. Application of fragrant substances to the body,
    4. Actions that will decrease physical and mental strength such as anger, greed, attachment, laziness, etc. to be avoided.
    5. Smoking
    6. Sleeping during the day
    7. Stealing.
    8. Sexual Intercourse
  5. Careful cultivation of virtues – Carefully cultivate qualities like forgiveness, truthfulness, compassion, generosity etc.
  6. Puja of the Guru and Deities should be performed and they should be honoured.
  7. Offering meals – Guru, married women, kanya (young virgin girls) and guests should be offered meals. If possible, offer food to orphans, old age homes, destitute and poor.
  8.  Donation – Cattle, wealth, ornaments etc. should be donated. (according to your capacity)
  9. Even if a woman gets her menses during a vrata, it does not pose any obstruction to her in completing the vrata.
  10. The sankalp – It is necessary to make a sankalp when commencing and concluding a vrat. If this is not done, then the observance is not fruitful. Standing facing the north and holding a copper vessel filled with water in the hand, one should make the sankalp for the vrat. The northern direction is favourable for spiritual progress.

Sunday

God:  Sunday is dedicated to Lord Surya – the Sun God.

The lord Surya is the lord of all the planets on the heavenly body and the most powerful one and is considered as the soul of the universe according to Hindu Mythology. Lord Surya gives knowledge, divinity and performance, power, position, authority, glory, name, reputation, force and makes one a ruler or a kingly person.

In today’s world, we all are so rushed for time and have no time to think for ourselves. In such a scenario, we can take so many lessons from the Sun God. He is multifaceted, immensely co-ordinated and does his duties with full commitment. The Sun Lord is always awake and encompasses everything that is under him and provides bright sunlight to each and every person on this planet. The rays of sunlight heal many diseases, especially those with eyes and skin, it also increases immunity. The sun provides energy to everything that we do, whether it is solar energy or heat energy, it makes the world a cleaner and better place to live in. The Sun is also directly responsible for giving us life, had there been no Sun, there would have been no food in the world. It is said that offering a glass of water to the Sun God every morning while chanting “Om Suryaya Namah” can help us get rid of all our problems.

Ritual: Complete morning ablutions, bath and cleaning the house and surrounding, devotees should offer red colour flowers to Surya and apply red sandalwood paste as ’tilak’ on your forehead. Keep fast throughout the day and eat food only once before sunset and avoid salt, oil and fried food items. Ravivar Vrat or Sunday fasts help in fulfilling one’s wishes and curing all kinds of skin diseases.

Surya Mantra

“Namah Suryaya Shantaya Sarvaroga Nivaarine

Ayu rarogya maisvairyam dehi devah jagatpate”

“Aadhitya Hrudhaya Punyam Sarva Sathru Vinaasanam

Jayaavaham Jabe nithyam Akshayam Paramam Shivam ||”

Monday

God – Monday is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

It is said that Lord Siva is easily pleased. Those devotees observing fast on Mondays eat food once only. People visit Lord Siva shrines and conduct pujas, especially, Ardhanarishwara puja.

On Monday, it is advised to worship Lord Shiva or Sivalinga with cold Milk, Bilva leaves, Bhang, Dhatura and Panchamrit. The mantra ‘Om Namah Sivaya’ is chanted continuously. You may also recite this sloka.

Shivam shivakaram, shantham shivathmanam, Shivothamam,

Shivamarga pranetharam,  pranamami sada shivam.

Maha Mrityunjaya Homam can also be performed on Mondays. Siva devotees also read Siva Purana. Unmarried women observe the Vrat to get good husbands. Others observe it for a happy and prosperous family life. To get rid of all health issues one should chant Maha Mruthyunjay Mantra 108 times on this day.

“Oṃ tryaṃbakaṃ yajamahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭivardhanam

urvarukamiva bandhanan mṛtyor mukṣiya mamṛta”

Solah Somvar Vrat (16 consecutive Mondays) – Upvas, or fasting, on Mondays, begins at sunrise and ends at sunset. On the day, food is eaten once only, after evening prayer. Lord Siva and Goddess Parvati are worshipped on the day. Of course, no worship begins without remembering Lord Ganesha. The fasting on Mondays in the Shravan month is considered even more auspicious.

People observe Monday fast to fulfil their wishes. It could be anything from good health, happy life, prosperity, domestic happiness, marriage and many other things. If there is any dosha in your marriage astrology, your marriage may delay.  Mainly unmarried women observe this as it helps them to get a good husband like Siva. If they can continue this for 16 consecutive Mondays, they can please Lord Shiva and get a good husband. One should observe fasting with a pure heart and complete devotion. Get rid of all negativities away from you to get a good outcome out of this fasting.

Tuesday

God – Tuesday is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Durga, Goddess Kali and Lord Hanuman.

Most devotees visit Devi and Hanuman shrines. In South India, the day is dedicated to Skanda or Muruga or Subramanya. Lord Ganesha is one of the few Hindu Gods, who is said to solve all kinds of troubles and touch all aspects of human life with his holy presence. Hindus worship Lord Ganesha before starting any puja or important task. There are many ways you can offer Pooja to Lord  Ganesha and easiest way is offering him plate full of Modak  or offering Sindhoor, Erukku flowers, banana, white flowers, etc.

Hanuman is the symbol of courage, strength, wisdom and victory. He vanquishes all evils and brings success. The worshippers of Hanuman who recites Hanuman Chalisa will gain enormous physical and mental strength and courage to succeed in life. To be successful in life one must be strong physically, mentally, intellectually and socially. Hanuman is a symbol of all the four and you pray him to be like him or to get his blessings to be like him. Physically Hanuman is the strongest; he can carry mountains, jump across oceans and defeat any person on earth due to his prowess. His body is hard as diamond (Vajra). He can execute any task assigned at the speed of thought (manojavam) and has superior intelligence. Finally one must have uncompromising discipline in whatever one do and that is only possible if we overcome temptations (Jitendrium).

Lord Muruga is a master of many great qualities and divine attributes. His worship shall help the devotees overcome the three prime impediments of Karma (destiny), Maya (illusion) and Ahankar (ego). They would also be blessed with courage, confidence, determination, knowledge, skills, intelligence, and wisdom. Muruga is also the overlord of the warrior planet Mars and worshiping him shall help people to get relief from the malefic effects of the fiery planet. Planet Mars is also known for causing legal issues, and people in particular, who are entangled in litigations should worship Lord Muruga, for coming out of them successfully. Performing Poojas and Homas to Lord Muruga shall prove immensely beneficial for achieving their ends.

Upvas (fasting) on the day is dedicated to Hanuman and Mangal or Mars. Mangalwar, Tuesday, takes its name from the god Mangal or Mars who rules the day and is considered to be a troublemaker, and the fast is to ward off the harmful effects. Red is the preferred colour on the day. Those people who fast avoid taking food containing salt at night.

Mangalvar Vrat is observed by those couples who wish to have a son. People who have violent and fiery attitude should observe the Tuesday fast to cool down their anger. Boys can keep this fast for growing there intelligence and strength. This Vrat helps in making the business successful. Worshipping Lord Hanuman gives freedom from all kinds of sins like vocal or mental etc and the person achieve happiness, wealth and profit. On the day of Tuesday fast, you should have pure thoughts.

Depending upon the God you are praying the following slokas can be recited multiple times

Hanuman

Manojavam Maruta tulya vegam  Jitendriyem budhimatham Varishtam

Vatatmajam Vanarayutha mukhyam, Shri Rama Dhootham Shirasanamaami

Ganesha

Vakra-Tunda Maha-Kaya Surya-Koti Samaprabha

Nirvignam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Karyesu Sarvada

Subramanya

Shadananam kumkuma raktha varnam, Mahamadhim divya mayura vahanam.

Rudrasya soonam, sura sainya natham,  Guham satha, sharanam aham prabadhyey.

Wednesday

God – Budvar, Wednesday, is dedicated to Lord Krishna and the planet Budh or Mercury.

The day is also associated with Lord Vithal, an incarnation of Krishna. Green colour leaves, especially Tulsi leaves, are used in Pujas. The day is highly auspicious for starting new ventures and it is believed that those who observe the Vrat are bound to get blessed with fortunes. People also give alms on the day.  In some regions, Lord Vishnu is worshiped. Keeping a fast (Upvas) on Budhvar is believed to help in leading a peaceful family life.

Those devotees who undertake a fast on the day only take a single meal in the afternoon. The fasting is observed mainly by husband and wife together. The green color is considered highly auspicious on the day. In Astrology, mercury is considered compassionate and generous. Mercury is usually depicted riding a lion.

Wednesday, also known as Budhavar, is the day of Budha or Mercury, who is regarded as the wisest and youngest of planets and considered as a symbol of knowledge, wisdom and wealth. Wednesday is an auspicious day in Hinduism as it is associated with Lord Krishna and the planet Mercury. Chanting mantras bring immediate and lasting relief from the difficulties in life and grants the devotee his heart’s desire. Fasting on Wednesday brings harmony in personal relationships, wealth, better intellectual capacities and overall success in life.

Recite Srikrishna stotram on Wednesdays

Vasu deva sutham devam Kamsa Chanura mardhanam,

Devaki paramanandam Krishnam vande jagat gurum.

Thursday

God – Thursday is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, his incarnations and Guru Brihaspati.

Pujas are conducted using milk, ghee etc. Food is only consumed once during the day and includes Chana Dal (Bengal Gram) and ghee. Basically, yellow coloured food is eaten on the day. In some regions, banana or plantain is worshipped and watered. People read Srimad Bhagavad Purana on the day. Thursday, which is called Brihaspatiwar is also dedicated to Brihaspati, the Guru of Devas.

Yellow is the colour of the day. In some areas, people make it a point to visit Hanuman Temple on Thursdays. Those who perform pujas and Vrata on Thursdays will be blessed with wealth and happy life.

Recite Lord Vishnu prayers on Thursday

Shaanthakaaram Bhujagashayanam. Padmanabham suresham,

Vishwadharam gaganasadrusham meghavarnam shubhangam

Lakshmi kantham kamalanayanam Yogibhir Dhyaana Gamyam

Vandhe vishnum bhavabhayaharam sarvalokayeeka Natham.

Friday

God – Friday is dedicated to Mother Goddess – Mahalakshmi, Santhosi Ma, Annapurneshwari and Durga.

Worship of Shakti – Durga, Kali and other forms – on Friday is considered highly auspicious. Shakti temples in India attract a large number of devotees on this day. Devotees wear a white coloured dress on this day. The fasting on Shukravar begins at sunrise and ends with sunset. The person fasting only partakes in the evening meal. White coloured food like kheer or milk is the most preferred.

Another deity that is propitiated on the day is Shukra, who is known to provide joy and material wealth. The period of Shukra in one’s astrological chart is considered to be most productive and lucky period.

Fast is kept for various reasons, which include removal of obstacles, for a child, happy family life etc. There are numerous stories associated with Shukravar. In almost all the stories, Lord Shukra or Venus is dishonoured in the beginning and the devotee later realizes his/her folly through numerous untoward incidents. Then the devotee realizes the mistake and propitiates Shukra and is finally rewarded. Sweets are distributed on the day.

Recite Devi sthuthi on Fridays

Sarva Mangala Maangallyey, Shivey Sarvaartha Saadhikey,

Sharanyey Thrayambakey gauri, Narayanee Namosthuthey.

Saturday

God – Shani Dev

Saturday is dedicated to alleviating the bad influence of Lord Shani. The Vrat on this day is mainly observed by those people who believe in Hindu astrology. Black is the colour of the day and people visit Shani shrine or Navagraha shrines. In South India visiting Lord Ayyappa temple is very popular on Saturdays.

Shani or Saturn is the most dreaded ‘graha’ in Hindu astrology. Astrologers believe that all the other planets fail to give any good results if Shani happens to cause obstruction. Shani’s ‘sade-sati’ is considered as terribly ill-fated. There are many legends, myths, fears and folklore associated with Shani. He is the son of Surya (sun) and his wife Chhaya (shadow), hence also known as Chayyaputra. He is the elder brother of Yama, the Hindu god of death, who in some scriptures corresponds to the deliverance of justice. Shani gives us the results of one’s deeds through appropriate punishments and rewards; Yama grants the results of one’s deeds after death. According to a famous mythological story, when Shani opened his eyes as a baby for the first time, the sun went into an eclipse. This clearly denotes our belief in the impact of Shani on astrological charts. Stories about his evil influence are plentiful. In Vedic astrology, the planetary position at the time of birth determines the future of a person. Therefore, Hindus accord immense importance to the planets, and Saturn or Shani is one such planet which they fear the most for ill-luck. Anyone born under his influence is believed to at risk. In the legends, Shani is represented as riding a chariot, carrying a bow and arrow and pulled by a vulture or crow. Shani is found wearing a blue cloth, blue flowers and sapphire. He is depicted dark in colour, clothed in black; holding a sword, arrows and two daggers and mounted on a crow.

According to one school of Vedic astrology this is a troublesome time for the person who is under sade-sati’s influence. There may be a lot of challenges in his life, and he may face accidents, sudden failures, money, legal and health problems. Saturn is a teacher like Jupiter, but Saturn is a bit harsher than Jupiter. Saturn loves to show you reality of your life and present to you in ‘Now’, whereas Jupiter gives optimism about the future.

It is believed that those who have the blessing of Lord Hanuman are protected from the wrath of Shani. Therefore many people make it a point to worship Hanuman at home or in temples. Black is the preferred colour on Saturday. Devotees who are observing Shanivar Vrat usually visit Shani shrines. Black coloured items like sesame til, sesame oil, black clothes, and black gram whole are offered to Shani. It must be noted here that the color of the idol of Shani is always black in color.

Those devotees who fast on Saturday only take a single meal that too in the evening after prayers. Food prepared usually consists of sesame til or black gram or any other black coloured food item. Salt is avoided by many on the day.

Shani Dhyan Mantra

Nilanjana samabhasam raviputram yamagrajam

Chaya martanda sambhutam tam namami shaishcharam

Shani Gayatri Mantra

Aum Sanaischaraya Vidmahe Sooryaputraya Dheemahi,

Tanno Manda Prachodayat.

Doing good to others is one of the best way to please deities. It must be noted here that the deity worshipped on a particular day might vary from region to region and community to community. The result of all upvas or fast depends on the person. It is good, if all the members in the family can undertake a Vrata together. All rituals and observances are path towards understanding the Supreme Soul and this will automatically alleviate all sufferings.

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