The Great Mythological History Of Dhanteras

The Great Mythological History Of Dhanteras

The Great Mythological History Of  Dhanteras

India is the land of festivals because of its rich heritage and culture and Diwali is one of the biggest and grandest festivals celebrated across India. Just 1-2 days before Diwali, the unique festival Dhanteras is celebrated by Hindus. Dhanteras is also known as ‘Dhanatrayodashi’ where Dhan in Sanskrit means wealth and Teras means thirteen. Kartika is the Hindu month with thirteen lunar days, the Krishna Paksha. The Festival of Dhanteras is marked by praying to Goddess Lakshmi and purchasing precious metals and gifts. But do you know about Dhanteras history or the importance of Dhanteras? If your answer is no, let's understand Dhantera's significance and the importance of buying new things on Dhanteras in this post.

Like many other Indian festivals, the history of Dhanteras is linked to mythological stories. According to legends, there was a king named Hima who had a son. Astrologers and horoscopes had predicted that he would die on the fourth day of his marriage from a snake bite. However, on the 4th day, his brave newlywed wife decided to turn fate around. She did not allow him to sleep on that particular day instead they both stayed awake throughout the night, while she kept telling him stories. She laid a pile of gold coins and ornaments at the entrance of the room and lit several lamps near the pile to create a blinding glow to lure the serpent. It is believed, that Yamraj, the Lord of Death came to visit that night disguised as a serpent. But he was blinded by the glow of lamp and gold. He climbed up on the pile and waited but got hooked to her stories and songs. When the muhurta of her husband’s death passed away, he silently left the place and the young prince survived!  Hence the day is celebrated as Dhanteras where people buy gold or precious metals and offer prayers to Lord Kuber, and Goddess Lakshmi.

Significance of Dhanteras

Dhanteras is one of the most auspicious days for Hindus and marks the beginning of 5 days long Diwali festival. Following the mythological story just before Diwali people clean their houses and decorate with lights, diyas and lamps to keep the evil forces and negative energy away from their abode.

Why is Dhanteras one of the main festivals?

For Hindus, Dhantera's significance is multifold because it commemorates several incidents according to Hindu Mythology and people worship three deities on Dhanteras. Dhanteras commemorates the birth of Lord Dhanvantari, the God of Ayurveda, and an avatar of Lord Vishnu. He is believed to have emerged from the ‘Samudra Manthan’ holding a pot of elixir in one hand and sacred texts in the other. Lord Dhanvantari is also considered the father of Ayurveda and thus holds great significance to Hindus. 

On the day of Dhanteras, Hindus also offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi, who is the goddess of wealth and good fortune. Naividya or traditional sweets is offered to the goddess and the house is decorated with diyas and rangolis.

The Lord of Death, Yamraj is also worshipped on Dhanteras because he had spared the life of the 16-year-old young prince of King Hima!

Some interesting facts about Dhanteras

  • Deep Daan

Dhanteras is also known as Yamadeepdaan because on Dhanteras a ‘Deep Dan’ is offered to Lord Yamraj. This is done to prevent any unfortunate incident or accident like the premature death of any family member. Diyas and lamps are lit at the house entrance facing south to keep evil and death away.

  • Lord Lakshmi’s Visit To Earth

In Indian mythologies, it is believed that Lord Vishnu asked Lakshmi not to get attracted by earthly temptations. However, she landed on a farmer’s sugarcane field and enjoyed the sweet sugar cane juice.  Angered by this Lord Vishnu declared Goddess Lakshmi has to offer her labour in the poor farmer’s field for 12 years. At that time the farmer saw himself prospering with good fortune and wealth. Later she revealed her true identity and the farmer didn’t want her to leave. Impressed with his dedication love and affection she promised she would visit him on earth every year on Dhanteras. She had asked him to clean his house and light a lamp for her. That is why we do Lakshmi Puja after sunset.

  • Lord Kuber’s Blessings
Hindus also offer puja to Lord Kuber on Dhanteras. They buy gold and precious metals on this day because it is believed the things you buy on this day become 13 times more due to Lord Kuber’s Blessings because he is the Lord of Wealth.

Dhanteras 2023 Date and Time

  • Dhanteras will be celebrated on Saturday 10th November 2023.
  •  Dhanteras Puja muhurat - 05:47 PM to 07:43 PM.
  •  Duration - 01 Hour 57 Mins

 Rituals Followed on Dhanteras

 Hindus follow several Dhanteras Vidi to mark this festival. In the evening of Dhanteras, earthen lamps or diyas are lit around the household to dispel the evil spirits and get the blessings of Lord Yamraj, Goddess Lakshmi, Ganesha, and Lord Kuber and Lord Dhanvantari. You have to light up at least 13 diyas on Dhanteras.

The family gathers together in the evening to worship Goddess Lakshmi and Ganesha. They give them the holy bath, decorate their poojasthall and offer flowers, sweets, and chant mantras.

Mantra:

Vakra-Tunndda Maha-Kaaya Suurya-Kotti Samaprabha |
Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryessu Sarvadaa ||(1)

 Meaning of Mantra

I pray to Sri Ganesha, who has a Curved Trunk, a Large Body, and Who has the Brilliance of a Million Suns, O Lord, Please make all my Works Free of Obstacles, Always.

Mantra:

"Om Namo Bhagavate Maha Sudharshana Vasudevaya Dhanvantaraye; Amrutha Kalasa Hasthaaya Sarva Bhaya Vinasaya Sarva amaya Nivaranaya Thri Lokya Pathaye Thri Lokya Nidhaye Sri Maha Vishnu Swarupa Sri Dhanvantri Swarupa Sri Sri Sri Aoushata Chakra Narayana Swaha"(2)

Meaning of Mantra

We pray to God, who is Sudharshana Vasudeva Dhanvantri. He holds the pitcher full of the nectar of immortality. Lord Dhanvantri removes all the fears and diseases. He is the well-wisher and preserver of the three worlds. Like Lord Vishnu, Dhanvantri is empowered to heal our souls. We bow to the Lord of Ayurveda.

Why Do You Light 13 Diyas On The Doorstep During The Dhanteras Festival?

Families get together on Dhanteras evening and light 13 earthen lamps or diyas and keep them outside their house. There is significance to each of these 13 diyas. The first diya is for protecting the family from unexpected death. The second diya is lit with ghee and kept in the mandir or poojas thall in the house. The third diya is placed in front of Goddess Lakshmi to seek her blessings for wealth and good fortune. The fourth diya is placed in front of the tulsi plant to bring peace and happiness to the household, whereas, the fifth diya is placed outside the main entrance of the house to welcome joy, love, and happiness in the family.

The sixth diya is supposed to be lit with mustard oil and placed under a peepal tree and it signifies relief from any financial crisis and health woes. While the seventh diya is to be lit in a temple in your vicinity, the eighth one is to be lit near the garbage. The ninth diya is usually placed outside the washroom to maintain the flow of positive energy around the house while the tenth diya is lit on the roof for protection. The eleventh diya is placed near the window to spread cheer the twelfth one is placed on the terrace or roof to celebrate the festive spirit. You can place the thirteenth diya at the intersection of your house.  

Why Do Hindus Gift New Things On Dhanteras Especially Gold, Silver, And Utensils?

Are you wondering why new things on Dhanteras? It is believed if you buy new precious metals like gold, silver, or utensils on Dhanteras day these precious metals are said to protect one from ill omen and they bring good luck to the family.

It is believed among Hindus that gold symbolizes good luck and will come back 13 times more if bought on this day. If you consider the resale value of a precious metal like gold then this makes a lot of sense as well.

What Can You Gift On The Pious Occasion Of Dhanteras?

The tradition of gifting on Dhanteras is not new. It is a time when families gift each other traditional gifts, sweets, new clothes and much more. There are various Dhanteras Gifting ideas we can suggest if you are looking to gift your family and loved ones on this day. Diyas, home décor items, Lakshmi Ganesh idols, Diwali Pooja Thalis, Kitchen containers,  and handmade Diwali Gift hampers are some of the ideal gifts you can gift your loved ones on the pious occasion of Dhanteras. iTokri has a wide range of handcrafted traditional Indian handicrafts and pooja essentials that you can give as Dhanteras gifts.

FAQ:

What is Dhanteras celebrated for?

Dhanderas, also called the Dhanatrayodash is one of the ways to increase wealth and prosperity. This occasion is been celebrated by the Hindus. 

What to buy on Dhanteras?

There is nothing specific, But people tend to prefer buying things like brass, copper, silver, and even other kitchen utilities. Not just this, but also products like pieces of jewellery, electronic products, and more can be brought on this day. 

Why are 13 diyas lit on Dhanteras?

It is said that the 13 Diyas are been lit for Lord Kuber, who is the god of wealth and valuables.  

Conclusion

Dhanteras or Dhanatrayodashi is a pious occasion for Hindus and is celebrated across India. People share their love and affection among friends and family by getting together, lighting lamps, offering puja, and sharing Dhanteras gifts. It is also a day to buy gold silver or other precious metals to bring prosperity to life.

Wishing you a happy Dhanteras and a Happy Diwali.



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