Dhanteras is the first day of the 5-day long Diwali celebration. It is also National Ayurveda day in India. The festival is believed to pack in three great benefits: Wealth and prosperity blessed by Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kuber, Vitality blessed by Lord Dhanvantari (Vishnu avatar, God of Medicine/Ayurveda) and longevity blessed by Lord Yamaraj.
It is the time to make our old resolves pure like Gold
Dhanteras is a day when people pray for good health. It is also a day to purchase precious metals like gold, silver, copper and brass. It is believed that these metals have the power to ward off evil spirits. Markets are full of customers purchasing gold and silver jewellery, coins and kitchenware on this day. People also worship Lord Dhanvantri, the God of Ayurveda. This is because the God of Ayurveda gave the knowledge of ayurveda to humans and help them get rid of illness.
Dhanters derived its name from the two words “Dhan” (Wealth) and “Teras”(13). It is celebrated on the 13th lunar day of Krishna Paksha or Dark fortnight. The festival marks the beginning of the five-day Diwali celebrations. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi visits her devotees’ homes on this auspicious occasion. The devotees clean their houses thoroughly and decorate them with lamps and flowers. They also offer prayers to Lakshmi, Dhanvantri and Kubera (God of wealth) for a prosperous life.
Many stories in Hindu folklore reinforce the belief that no matter what fate may write for us, through determination, selflessness and an attitude of service to others (right Karma), we can change our destiny. The story of King Hima and his wife is one such anecdote. According to the legend, a snake tried to bite King Hima, but his daughter-in-law, by putting her wealth outside his room, stopped the snake from killing him.
It is the time to create a new world
Dhanteras is one of the most important days of the 5-day-long Diwali festival. It falls two days before the main festival and is celebrated as a day of wealth, prosperity, health, and happiness. This is because the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, Goddess Maha Lakshmi, comes to her devotees’ homes on this auspicious day.
The story goes that once upon a time, the son of King Hima was destined to die from a snakebite on the fourth day after his marriage. To ensure her husband’s safety, his wife did everything she could think of to distract Lord Yama (the God of Death) from entering their home. She made a pile of gold coins, jewellery, and silver items at the entrance of their home and lit many lamps all around. She spent the night telling her husband stories and singing songs. The serpent or Lord Yama got so entranced that he forgot about his work and left the house silently when the sun rose the next morning. This way, the prince was saved and his life was spared. This is why the day of Dhanteras is also known as Yamadeepdaan or the day to offer earthen lamps to Lord Yama.
Dhanteras is considered very auspicious for buying metals like utensils and silver jewellery as the Goddess of wealth, prosperity, good luck, and new opportunities, Maha Lakshmi, visits houses on this day to bless them with abundance. People also keep a lot of food at home to attract her and light diyas to welcome her.
It is the time to celebrate heyday
Dhanteras is a festival of wealth, prosperity, and good luck. It is celebrated on the 13th lunar day of Krishna Paksha Trayodashi tithi in the Hindu month of Kartika just before Diwali, the festival of lights. The name is derived from the Sanskrit words dhan (wealth) and teras (thirteen). It is believed that purchasing gold and silver on this day will bring good luck in future. This is also considered an auspicious day to buy utensils, kitchenware, and appliances made of metals like copper, brass, iron, and steel.
In Indian mythology, Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean along with other treasures during Samudra manthan (churning of the milky sea). This is why Dhanteras is celebrated to invoke and worship her. It is also believed that the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity visits homes on this day and blesses them with wealth, success, and happiness. Hence, people decorate their homes with glittering diyas to welcome her.
An interesting story associated with the celebration of Dhanteras is that of King Hima’s son. His horoscope predicted that he would die from a snake bite. To keep him alive, the king’s wife piled up jewelries at the door of his sleeping room and kept telling stories all night. This distracted Lord Yama, who was due to take the life of the prince, and he missed the time for taking his life.
It is the time to ward off evil spirits
Dhanteras is celebrated on the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight of the Hindu month of Kartik and it falls two days before Diwali. The word ‘Dhanteras’ is derived from the words ’Dhan’ meaning wealth and ’Teras’ meaning thirteen. On this auspicious day, people buy gold, silver, and utensils to bring good luck into their home. They also adorn themselves with new jewellery and lights. It is believed that if someone pays their bills on this day, they will be free from debts.
There is an interesting mythological story associated with the festival of Dhanteras. According to it, a prophecy had predicted that King Hima’s sixteen year old son would die of a snake bite on the fourth day of his marriage. The newlywed wife was extremely clever and she refused to let her husband sleep that night. She piled up all of her jewellery and gold ornaments at the door to her room and kept lamps lit around the place. Then she began recounting stories to her husband to keep him awake. This way, Lord Yama, the god of death, missed the time for the snake bite and the Prince lived on. This is why the day of Dhanteras is regarded as one of the most important and prosperous days in the Indian calendar.
Another reason behind this celebration is that the festival marks the birth anniversary of Lord Dhanvantari who, according to Hindu mythology, gave the knowledge of Ayurveda to the world. The Indian Ministry of AYUSH therefore celebrates the day as the National Ayurveda Day.