Dhanteras is an important festival for Hindus across the globe and here’s a detailed article on the significance of this beautiful Indian festival. This blog has the following sections:
- What is Dhanteras?
- Why is Dhanteras celebrated?
- What is the meaning of Dhanteras?
- Who is Lord Dhanvantari?
- What we should do on Dhanteras?
- What is the story of Dhanteras?
What is Dhanteras?
Dhanteras is the day on which Lord Dhanvantari appeared. Lord Dhanvantari, according to Hindu traditions, emerged during Samudra Manthan, holding a Kalasha full of Amrita in one hand and the sacred text on Ayurveda in the other hand. He is considered to be the Vaidya of Gods. On the day of Dhantrayodashi, Goddess Lakshmi also came out from the ocean of milk during the churning of the Sea. Hence, Goddess Lakshmi is also worshiped on the day of Trayodashi.
Why is Dhanteras celebrated?
Lord Dhanvantari appeared on the Trayodashi Tithi of Krishna Paksha of Kartik month, hence this date is known as Dhanteras or Dhantrayodashi. The Government of India has decided to celebrate Dhanteras as National Ayurveda Day. Dhanteras is also celebrated as Lakshmi Puja.
Dhanteras is also called ‘Dhanya Teras’ or ‘Dhyana Teras’ in Jain Agamas. Lord Mahavira had gone to the third and fourth meditation on this day for yoga nirodha. After meditating for three days, Nirvana was attained on the day of Deepawali while doing Yoga Nirodha. Since then this day became famous as Blessed Teras.
What is the meaning of Dhanteras?
Dhanteras, also known as Dhanatrayodashi (धनत्रयोदशी), is the first day that marks the festival of Diwali in India.
It is celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the Hindu calendar month of Ashvini. Dhanvantari, who is also worshipped on the occasion of Dhanteras, is considered the God of Ayurveda who imparted the wisdom of Ayurveda for the betterment of mankind, and to help rid it of the suffering of disease.
Who is Lord Dhanvantari?
Dhanvantari is the physician of the gods and is considered the god of medicine, so the day of Dhanteras is very important for the doctors. Worship Lord Dhanvantari by lighting a lamp on the day of Dhanteras. Buy a silver utensil or a silver coin marked with Lakshmi Ganesha. Buy a new vessel in which to offer bhoga (naivedyam) to Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi on the night of Diwali. It is said that Lord Dhanvantari and Mother Lakshmi were born during the churning of the ocean, which is why Lord Dhanvantari and Mother Lakshmi are worshiped on Dhanteras. Dhanteras is celebrated two days before Diwali.
What we should do on Dhanteras?
When Lord Dhanvantari appeared during the ocean-churn (samudra manthan), he had an urn full of nectar (amrit) in his hands. Since Lord Dhanvantari had appeared with an urn, hence there is a tradition of buying utensils on this occasion. Somewhere, according to popular belief, it is also said that buying money (goods) on this day increases it thirteen times. On this occasion, people buy coriander seeds and keep them in the house. People sow these seeds in their gardens or fields after Diwali.
There is also a custom to buy silver on the day of Dhanteras. When this is not possible, people buy utensils made of silver. The reason behind this is believed to be that it is a symbol of the moon which provides coolness and the wealth of contentment resides in the mind. Contentment is said to be the greatest wealth. He who has contentment is healthy , happy, and he is the richest. Lord Dhanvantari who is also the god of medicine. There is no greater wealth than health and well being. People also buy idols on this day for the worship of Lakshmi and Ganesha on the night of Diwali.
What is the story of Dhanteras?
On the evening of Dhanteras, there is also a practice of lighting a lamp outside the house at the main gate and in the courtyard. There is a folk tale behind this practice . According to the legend, once upon a time there was a king whose name was Hema. By divine grace, he got the son Ratna. When the astrologers made the child’s horoscope, it came to know that the child will get death exactly four days after the day the child will be married. The king was very sad to know this and sent the prince to a place where no shadow of a woman could be seen. By luck, one day a princess passed by and both of them were fascinated by seeing each other and they got married in a Gandharva-vivaha.
After the marriage, destiny was at play and after four days of marriage Yama-doota came to take the life of that prince. When the Yama-doota was taking life, his heart was moved after hearing the lamentation of the prince’s wife. But he had to do his work according to the law. He said to Yamraj, “O Yamaraja! Is there no such way by which a man can be freed from premature death?” On this request of the messenger, Yama Deva said, “O messenger! Premature death is the course of karma, I tell you an easy way to get rid of it, so listen. The creature who worships in my name on the Trayodashi night of Kartik Krishna Paksha and lights a lamp in the south direction, does not have the fear of premature death.” This is the reason why people keep a lamp outside the house in the south direction on this day.