Trying to migrate this to a once weekly post! I don’t want to repeat the same parts that are the same every week so this will be a post for the basics of each day of the week and then I’ll try to keep you up to date on fasts and events and festivals as they are about to happen. (Speaking of which, it is Krishna Janmashtami today!)
So please bookmark this page as a reference!
A lot of these rituals and customs have a measure of superstition to them. I personally am not one who does certain things on certain days to get auspicious blessings and that sort of thing. I don’t wear particular colors or eat certain items on certain days. However, there are many such customs within Hinduism. Particularly because it is a very ancient religion and many traditions have developed over time.
So the point is that if you are someone who enjoys these kinds of rituals and customs, there are plenty for you to observe. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s also fine if you don’t care about this style of worship. It doesn’t make you any less Hindu if you don’t do these things.
Mondays are dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Read here for how to worship Shiva: Shiva Lingam Devotion How To
Some people observe a fast on Mondays from sunup to sundown.
Play this playlist of Shiva Bhajans:
Chandra, the moon, is the celestial body that rules Mondays. The color is white and the gemstone is pearl (according to this site)
Tuesdays are dedicated to Sri Hanuman and Muruga/Kartikeya, the brother of Sri Ganesha. Hanuman is a very special deity. He is most known for his incredible selfless devotion to Lord Rama. It is said that at one point he tears open his chest to reveal that Rama and Sita actually reside literally in his heart. At one point Sri Hanuman says that in the world of maya Lord Rama is his master, but in reality Lord Rama and he are one.
How to Worship Sri Hanuman:
Offer oil, sindur and rui leaves to a picture or murti of Hanuman. For the oil, add 14 grains of black gram (udid) gram to it and look at your reflection in the oil before offering it to Hanuman.
Make sure to eat vegetarian on this day.
Chant Hanuman’s name in the morning and the evening.
Play this Hanuman Chalisa:
To ward off mischief, people fast for 21 straight Tuesdays at a time. One meal is taken, comprised of something with wheat and/or jaggery.
Mangal, Mars, is the celestial body that rules Tuesdays. The color of the day is red and you can wear red and also offer red flowers to Lord Hanuman. The gemstone is moonga (red coral stone) (according to this site)
Wednesdays are dedicated to Sri Krishna. (More about Lord Krishna here)
An example of a puja for Lord Krishna (the video is in Hindi, but there are English subtitles)
The celestial being that rules Wednesday is Mercury (Budh in Hinduism). This is considered a good day to begin new things.
Couples may fast together on this day. The fast includes a single meal in the afternoon.
Wednesday’s color is green and the gemstones are Onyx and Emerald.
Thursday is Lord Vishnu’s day, and also Lord Brihaspati, who is the Gods’ guru! It is thought that worship on this day can bring you success in wealth, success, and happiness.
Those who fast on this day take one meal of chaana dhaal and ghee. Many yellow foods are offered to Lord Vishnu and yellow clothes are worn. Yellow is, clearly, the auspicious color of the day. The gems are Sapphire and Pokhraj. The celestial deity of Thursday is Jupiter (Vrihaspati).
Friday is dedicated to the Goddesses. Santoshi Mata is a mother incarnation of Shakti (the feminine energy). This is a day for Kali worshippers as well.
Friday fasts begin an sunrise and end at sunset. White is the color associated with this day. Devotees wear white and eat white foods like kheer and rice.
A common ritual is the 16 fasts, the “Solah Shukravar Vrats.” People observing this ritual will fast for 16 Fridays in a row and offer the Goddess Santoshi Mata channa and jaggery.
Diamond is the preferred gemstone of this day.
Saturdays are for Shani, one of the nine planets/celestial bodies. Shani’s color is black and murti of him are sometimes made of iron. Devotees offer black items and eat black food or foods prepared with black gram. Some will tie a ribbon around a peepal tree on this day.
Shani is a more frightening God. But if he is pleased he is said to ward off troubles. Some Hindus avoid traveling on Saturday. Hanuman is believed to protect people from Shani’s more negative qualities so Hanuman worship is also popular on Saturdays. Another way to ward of Shani troubles is to wear a ring made of black iron from a horseshoe.
Blue and black are the preferred colors.
Sunday is dedicated to the sun God, Surya.
This is the day for giving to charity.
After getting thoroughly clean with a ritual bath, devotees offer red flowers to Surya and apply a red tilak mark to the forehead. Fast is observed until sundown and foods that are fried or have oil or salt are avoided. It is believed that fasting on this day helps cure skin diseases.
Red and pink are the colors for this day.
Everyday Aspects of Hindu Worship
When you wake:
“O! Mother Earth, who has the ocean as clothes and mountains and forests on her body, who is the wife of Lord Vishnu, I bow to you. Please forgive me for touching you with my feet.”
Take a bath or shower:
“In this water, I invoke the presence of holy waters from the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri.”
“Brahman is the oblation; Brahman is the clarified butter etc. constituting the offerings, by Brahman is the oblation poured into the fire of Brahman; Brahman verily shall be reached by him who always sees Brahman in all actions.”
(In my house we said “Om, Param-atmane-namah” which means “I bow to the Supreme Self”)
“Oh Lord kindly forgive my wrong actions done knowingly or unknowingly, either through my organs of action (hand, feet, speech) or through my organs of perception (eyes, ears) or by my mind. Glory unto Thee O Lord, who is the ocean of kindness.”
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