Dhanteras: History, Puja, Ritual, Facts
Diwali is one of the major Indian Festivals celebrated by the Hindu community. The festival is celebrated over 5 days. The first day of Diwali is celebrated as Dhanteras. Observed on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha, Dhanteras is one of the auspicious occasions in Indian culture. Dhanteras is also known by different names such as Dhantrayodashi or Dhanvantri Jayanti. Dhanteras brings wealth into everyone’s life.
Dhanteras is the first day of the Deepawali festival. So its celebration marks the arrival of the Diwali festival. We will tell you some interesting and less-known facts about the festival.
Story behind Dhanteras
Dhanteras is associated with huge wealth, prosperity, and human bonding. Here we unfold some of the facts linked to this prosperous festival.
According to the Vedic scriptures, during Samudramanthan, Shri Dhanvantari appeared with Amrita in one hand. Considering it an auspicious thing to happen, the day was named after him. He is also called an incarnation of Shri Vishnu. There is one more interesting story associated with Dhanteras.
It is a common belief that king Hima’s 16-year-old son was predicted to die on the fourth day of this marriage due to a snake bite. Knowing this, his wife did not let him sleep for the entire day and night. Also, she kept all her belongings (gold jewelry) around her husband’s bed, brightens the room with lights, and started singing.
As predicted, Yamraj arrived there like a serpent on the fourth night but left the prince unharmed. This is why it is considered that on Dhanteras, buying gold and lighting up the house can bring prosperity and no harm to you.
On the occasion of Dhanteras, buying gold is believed to bring Lord Kuber’s blessings into the house. Also, according to popular belief, the things you buy on this day become 13 times more due to the blessings of God of wealth. Also known as Yamadeepdaan, on Dhanteras a ‘Deep Dan’ is offered to Yamraj. This is done to prevent any unfortunate incident like the premature death of a family member.
Diya is lit at the house entrance facing south. Doing this can keep evil and death away. One of the famous folklore is about Goddess Laxmi.
Why Lakshmi Puja on Dhanteras?
Do you know why we do Laxmi Puja every year on Dhanteras? There is an interesting story behind this as well.
Once upon a time, Goddess Laxmi and Visnu visited earth. She was asked by him not to get attracted by earthly temptations. However, Goddess Laxmi couldn’t resist herself and landed on a farmer’s sugarcane field. There, she relished impeccable sugarcane juice. Seeing this, Shri Visnu declared that Goddess Laxmi has to serve the farmer as a helper for 12 years. Post this, the farmer started to prosper with the arrival of Goddess Laxmi. Later, when the farmer and his family visited the river Ganga, she revealed Goddess Laxmi’s true identity. Knowing this, the farmer refused to let her go away after the time of her stay was completed.
Overwhelmed by the farmer’s love and affection, goddess Laxmi promised him to visit every year on Dhanteras.
The goddess also asked him to keep his house clean on the day and to light a lamp for her. This is the reason; we do Laxmi Puja after sunset.