Dhanteras: A Prelude to Prosperity
Dhanteras, celebrated on the thirteenth day of the Kartik month in the Dark Lunar fortnight (Krishna Paksha), is a festival that bestows affluence upon the lives of those who embrace it. Known as both Dhantrayodashi and Dhanvantri Jayanti, this festival commemorates the discovery of the ‘Amrit Kalash’ by the Father of Ayurveda, God Dhanvantri, through the churning of the sea. As Lord Dhanvantri emerged from the sea with a pot of elixir, this day is marked by the custom of purchasing pots and utensils. Dhanteras paves the way for the grand festival of Diwali, heralding days of jubilation and merriment.
The Scriptural Significance of Dhanteras
An Auspicious Date
1. Dhanteras Date: Dhanteras falls on the 13th day of the Kartik month and is also known as ‘Udayvyapini Trayodashi.’ This is the day when the thirteenth date of the Hindu calendar begins with the timing of sunrise. The festival of Dhanteras is celebrated only if this situation aligns.
2. Dhanteras Timing: During the Pradosh kaal (evening twilight) of Dhanteras, it is believed that donating lamps to Lord Yamraj, the Lord of Death, brings auspiciousness to you and your family. If the Triyodashi Tithi extends until the next day after sunrise, then Dhanteras is to be celebrated on that day.
Dhantrayodashi Puja Vidhi
Embracing Health and Prosperity
Dhanteras eulogizes health, well-being, and abundance, making it a festival of profound significance. The festival celebrates the incarnation of Lord Dhanvantri, the Father of Ayurveda, with the aspiration of a long life filled with success, wealth, and luxury. A healthy being is the abode of a healthy mind, thriving despite life’s numerous challenges.
1. Shodashopchara Puja: On the day of Dhanteras, Lord Dhanvantari is traditionally worshipped with Shodashopchara Puja, a ritual consisting of 16 distinct worship procedures. These include Aasan (seat), Padya (water for washing the feet), Arghya (offering water), Aachaman (scented drinking water), bathing, clothing, jewelry, scents (saffron and sandalwood), flowers, dhoop (incense), lamps, Naivaidya (offering food), Aachman (pure water), betel leaves with offerings, Aarti (devotional song), and parikrama (circumambulation).
2. Purchase of Silver and Gold Utensils:** On Dhanteras, it is customary to buy silver and gold utensils. These utensils are believed to play a significant role in attracting prosperity to one’s household.
3. iIllumination: Lights and lamps adorn the front gate and open areas of the house on Dhanteras, signaling the approach of Diwali.
4. Offering Lamps to Lord Yamraj: Lamps are offered in front of Lord Yamraj, symbolizing the end of fear associated with the Lord of Death.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unveiling the Mysteries of Dhanteras
1. What is done on Dhanteras?
People purchase different items, worship Lord Dhanvantari, conduct Laxmi Pujan in the evening, and light clay lamps in their houses and at the main entrance, towards the South direction.
2. Why is Dhanteras celebrated?
Dhanteras marks the day when Goddess Laxmi emerged from the ocean of milk with Lord Kuber and a vessel full of Gold. It is also celebrated to worship Dhanvantari at the time of Samundra Manthan.
3. What should we buy for Dhanteras?
Buying gold and silver items, kitchenware, metal idols of Lord Ganesh and Goddess Laxmi, and diyas (lamps) is considered auspicious on Dhanteras.
4. How many Diyas are lit on Dhanteras?
On Dhanteras, 13 lamps are lit inside the house and at the main gate in the evening. Another lamp, called Yama, is lit at bedtime.
5. Who celebrates Dhanteras?
Followers of Sanatan Dharma celebrate Dhanteras.
6. Can we spend money on Dhanteras?
Yes, you can spend money on Dhanteras to buy different items. However, it is considered inauspicious to borrow money or repay a loan on this day.
7. What is the date of Dhanteras in 2023? Dhanteras will be celebrated on 10th November in 2023. According to the Hindu Panchang, this festival is observed on Trayodashi (13th day) of Krishna Paksha every year.
8. What should not be done on Dhanteras? Avoid consuming alcohol and non-vegetarian food, lending or borrowing money, and engaging in sexual activities on Dhanteras. Keep your main entrance clean and refrain from napping during the afternoon.
9. What should not be bought on Dhanteras? It is considered inauspicious to buy iron, steel, aluminum products, empty utensils/pitchers, sharp objects, oil, or anything black, as well as glass products.
10. Can we eat on Dhanteras?
Yes, you can eat on Dhanteras. Start by venerating Lord Kuber, offering him Bhog (food offering), and then consume the food. Some popular food items include Naivedya, Atte ka Halwa (wheat pudding), Lapsi (sweet dish), Panchamrit (a mixture of milk, curd, ghee, honey, and sugar), Boondi Ladoo (sweet dumplings), and Kheer (rice pudding).