Significance of Dhanteras/Dhanatrayodashi (25 Oct 19)
Dhanteras is the first day of the five-day Diwali Festival as celebrated in India. The festival, known as "Dhanatrayodashi" or "Dhanvantari Trayodashi".The word Dhan means wealth and Teras means 13th day as per Hindu calendar. It is celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik.
On Dhanteras, Goddess Lakshmi is worshiped to provide prosperity and well-being. Dhanteras holds special significance for the business community due to the customary purchases of precious metals on this day. Lord Kubera, the God of assets and wealth is also worshiped on this day.
An ancient legend ascribes the occasion to on interesting story about the 16 year old son of King Hima. His horoscope predicted his death by snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage. On that particular day, his newly-wed wife did not allow him to sleep. She laid out all her ornaments and lots of gold and silver coins in a heap at the entrance of the sleeping chamber and lit lamps all over the place. Then she narrated stories and sang songs to keep her husband from falling asleep. The next day, when Yama, the god of Death, arrived at the prince’s doorstep in the guise of a Serpent, his eyes were dazzled and blinded by the brilliance of the lamps and the jewellery. Yama could not enter the Prince's chamber, so he climbed on top of the heap of gold coins and sat there the entire night listening to the stories and songs. In the morning, he silently went away. Thus, the young prince was saved from the clutches of death by the cleverness of his new bride, and the day came to be celebrated as Dhanteras. The following day came to be called Naraka Chaturdashi ('Naraka' means hell and Chaturdashi means 14th). It is also known as ‘Yamadeepdaan’ as the ladies of the house light earthen lamps or ‘deep’ and these are kept burning throughout the night glorifying Yama, the God of Death. Since this is the night before Diwali, it is also called 'Chhoti Diwali' or Diwali minor Diwali.
According to another popular legend, when the Gods and demons churned the ocean for Amrita or nectar, Dhanvantari (the physician of the Gods and an incarnation of Vishnu) emerged carrying a jar of the elixir on the day of Dhanteras. Dhanvantari statues are available at Hayagi, follow this link www.hayagi.com
Determination of Date
Dhan Trayodashi (Dhan Teras) is celebrated on Kartik Krishna Trayodashi falling at Pradosh. If Kartik Krishna Trayodashi falls on two days and falls or does not fall at Pradosh then it is celebrated on second day otherwise on first day.
How to Celebrate
On Dhanteras Hindus consider it auspicious to purchase gold or silver articles or at least one or two new utensils. It is believed that new “Dhan” or some form of precious metal is a sign of good luck. "Lakshmi Puja" is performed in the evenings when tiny Diyas of clay are lit to drive away the shadows of evil spirits. "Bhajans", devotional songs in praise of Goddess Lakshmi, are also sung.
On the day of Dhanteras, business premises are renovated and decorated. Entrances are made colorful with traditional motifs of Rangoli designs to welcome the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. To indicate her long-awaited arrival, small footprints are drawn with rice flour and vermilion powder all over the houses. Lamps are kept burning all through the night.
Dhanteras is celebrated with gusto and enthusiasm. "Lakshmi Puja" is performed in the evenings when tiny diyas of clay are lit to drive away the shadows of evil spirits. Bhajans, devotional songs in praise of Goddess Laxmi, are sung and "Naivedya" of traditional sweets is offered to the Goddess. There is a peculiar custom in Maharashtra to lightly pound dry coriander seeds (Dhane in Marathi for Dhanatrayodashi) with jaggery and offer as Naivedya.
In villages, cattle are adorned and worshiped by farmers as they form the main source of their income.
Dhan Teras Vrat
(For long and healthy life)
In deeper terms, on this day Lord Vishnu's un-manifest energy flows through Shri Laxami Devi's Surya nadi (the right channel of the Kundalini) and the channel is activated. Thus the rays generated during the day are full of the 'Tej tatva' or the fire element. These 'Tej' rays spread all over the Universe and the whole Universe is illuminated by shiny golden particles.
Goddess Laxami's chaitanya present in these golden particles provides opulence, prosperity and creates an environment conducive for spiritual practice. Hence on this day Goddess Laxmi is worshipped with utmost devotion. Because of the ritualistic worship with spiritual emotion, the Lord and controller of wealth - Kuber enters the earth's environment and in this process Lord Ganesha removes the hindrances in way.
Thus by worshiping the coupled Divine energy of Goddess Laxami- the creator of wealth, Lord Kuber- the distributer of wealth and Lord Ganesha – the remover of obstacles in way, devotees are blessed with ability to attract wealth and thus fulfilling their desires.
Method of Observing Dhan Teras Vrat
This festival is celebrated on the Krishna Trayodashi of the month of Kartik. On this day Lord Dhanvantri should be worshipped and Dhan Teras Vrata Katha should be read. Have food only once in the evening. It is considered auspicious to buy a new utensil on this day.
"Om Hreeng Shreeng Kleeng Namah"
Courtesy : Indian Astrology