This story is listened to by those devotees who observe the Tuesday fast. They listen to it before breaking the fast. The fast is observed for obtaining royal patronage, happiness or begetting a son. People generally wear red clothes during worship and offer red flowers to the deity. God Hanuman is also worshipped. Once there was a Brahman’s son. He was married at an early age. He went to his father-in-law’s village to get back his wife. His in-laws welcomed him heartily and gave him the 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 boy’s 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 to the Mars god. He is the commander of this day. The Mars saw the Brahman’s beautiful wife. He was dazzled to see such a beauty. He knew witchcraft. He disguised himself as a Brahman’s 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 Brahman’s 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 Brahman’s 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 Brahman’s son said, “She is my wife and I am her real husband”. The cow-herds got confused at their claims. One of the cow-herds 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 Brahman’s 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 Brahman’s 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 placed that earthen pot deep into it and filled the hole up. The Brahman’s 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.
Mangalvar ki Kahani - II
Tuesday is devoted to Lord 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 hair falling. 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 offer two loaves there while the remaining two were eaten by her, after which she felt satisfied. Once the daughter-in-law asked her children to follow their grandmother and 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 and 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 grandsons noticed this and reported again to their mother. Their mother thought that the old lady was wasting her food at family’s 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 don’t 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 lady’s 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 realized 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 lady’s daughter-in-law fell at the feet of her mother-in-law and begged pardon for her misdeeds. The old lady said to the young boy, “Should I accompany them as they have realized 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.
Mangalvar ki Kahani - 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 and hence, 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 Prasad to Lord Hanuman. Once she observed some special fast for the whole day. So she could not offer Prasad to Hanuman. She was very sorry for it and felt guilty.
She decided to observe a fast till the next Tuesday. She said to herself that she would take her meals only after offering Prasad 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 along with 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 with 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 chaste 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 father’s feet. That night 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 realized 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.