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Dhanteras 2017: Dhantrayodashi Legend, Importance and Muhurt

Last Updated: 3/29/2017 11:18:35 PM

Dhanteras is the first day of the five-day Diwali Festival. The festival, also known as "Dhantrayodashi" or "Dhanvantari Trayodashi", falls on the auspicious thirteenth lunar day of Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Kartik (October/November). Dhanteras will be celebrated on October 17 in 2017.

The word Dhanteras, ‘Dhan’ stands for ‘wealth’ and ‘Teras’ stands for ‘the thirteenth day’. On Dhanteras, the "Owl" form of the Goddess Laxmi is worshiped to provide prosperity and well being. Dhanteras holds special significance for the business community due to customary purchases of precious metals on this day.

Dhanteras is also spent in worshipping Lord Yama – the god of death – to provide prosperity and well being. People flock to the jewelers and buy gold or silver jewelry or utensils to venerate the occasion of Dhanteras.

Legend behind Dhanteras

One day, Lord Vishnu decided to go for a walk in the land of mortals. Just when he was about to leave, his wife Goddess Laxmi also wished to accompany him. Lord Vishnu agreed, subject to the condition that she will do only what he says. Goddess Laxmi conquered and both came to the earth.

Reaching earth, both walked together for a few minutes when Lord Vishnu asked Goddess Laxmi to stay back for a while until he returned. He specially asked her not to move in the south-ward direction as he was going in the same direction. Having said so, Lord Vishnu left her and moved towards south.

Left alone, Goddess Laxmi's curiosity rose to such an extent that she could not resist herself from following her husband. She went forward in the same direction for a while when she saw a sarso-field, which was looking pleasant on account of the blooming crop. Goddess Laxmi was so attracted that she stayed for a few minutes in the field, put some flowers in her hair and then started again. A few miles away, she reached a sugarcane field. She took four sugarcanes and started eating them.
In the mean time, Lord Vishnu came and was so angered that he cursed her. He said, "I had asked you not to come in this direction. You came. Then you committed theft by taking flowers and sugarcane without asking the owner of the field. Now, you will have to do service to the farmer for 12 years for penance."
After cursing her, Lord Vishnu left her and went into the Kshirsagar. Goddess Laxmi had no option but to go to the farmer's home.

The farmer was very poor, barely managing to meet two ends. Goddess Laxmi told farmer's wife- before you make meal for the family, take bath and worship Goddess Laxmi which I have made. You will get whatever you wish for. Farmer's wife followed her direction and no surprises, she became prosperous overnight. It became full of gold, silver, food grains etc. and the farmer couple became rich. They spent those 12 years without any difficulty.

When 12 years were completed, Lord Vishnu came to take his wife back. But the farmer was not willing. Even Goddess Laxmi refused to go without her master's permission. Lord Vishnu was left in a quandary when an idea struck his mind.
It was Varuni Parva, when Lord Vishnu had come to take back Goddess Laxmi. Impressing upon its importance, the Lord told farmer, 'Take these coins and go to take bath in River Ganga along with your family. Throw these coins in the river when you had taken your bath. I will be here until you come back.'

The farmer did the same. He started off with his family for river Ganga. The moment he threw the four coins in the river after taking bath, four hands came from inside the water and caught them. Farmer family was amazed at it. Feeling bewildered, farmer asked about it from the Goddess Ganga with folded hands. Those were my hands, replied Goddess Ganga and asked him about who had given him those coins.

'A woman who is living in my household for last 12 years had given me the coins', said the farmer. 'She is none other than Goddess of prosperity Laxmi herself', said Goddess Ganga to farmer, 'and the man accompanying her is Lord Vishnu himself. Don't let Goddess Laxmi go otherwise you will become poor again.'

The farmer rushed back to his home, where Lord Vishnu was ready to leave along with Goddess Laxmi. Farmer caught hold of Laxmi and said that he would not let her go. After that, Lord Vishnu told him, 'Nobody wants to let her go, but she can't stay at one place only.' Then the Lord told the farmer about the curse and the 12 year penance.
After that, Lord Vishnu told him, 'Nobody wants to let her go, but she can't stay at one place only.' Then the Lord told the farmer about the curse and the 12 year penance.

But the farmer did not budge. He told Lord Vishnu, you can take any other woman, but I wouldn't let Goddess Laxmi go.

Then Goddess Laxmi took matters in her own hands. She told farmer, 'if you want to stop me, do what I ask you. Its Dhanteras tomorrow and I will celebrate Dhanteras for you. You should clean up your home and surroundings well tomorrow. Light up a ghee diya in the evening and perform Laxmi puja. Fill a bronze pot with coins and keep that for me. I will be in that pot, but you won't see me. If you do it tomorrow, I will stay in your house throughout the year. And if you want to stop me, do the same every year. After that, light rays came from ten directions and she disappeared.

The farmer did the same next day on Dhanteras. He became rich and prosperous once again. He made it a ritual to perform Laxmi puja every year on Dhanteras and spent his life without any difficulty.

Preparations

Preparations are simple. To mark the auspicious day, houses and business premises are renovated and decorated. Entrances are made colorful with lovely 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 nights

Puja Prepration-

- One Deepak made out of atta/clay with 4 wicks
- Wicks for the Deepak oil/ghee, matchstick
- One shell with a hole
- Flowers, roli, chawal
- Water in panchpatra and a spoon
- Some money
- Pata & Aasan
- Kheel & batasha
- Dhoop (sambrani) & dhoop daan
- Chopda with roli, chawal for applying tikka
- Suhali, petha (shaker para) Dhanteras

Vidhi / Method of Performing the Puja

Dhanteras puja has its own importance. After seeding stars the women of the house get together for puja. In some houses both men & women do the puja. The 4 wick Deepak is placed on the pata. Oil/ghee is put in the Deepak with the Four Wicks. The Cowrie shell is placed on the Deepak. The Deepak is lit. This is referred as Yamadeep. This Deepak pleases Yamaraj and the pitars/departed ancestors of the family. Some water from the panchpatra is sprinkled around the Deepak, puja is performed with roli, chawal and money. Four suhali and little pethas are offered. Some people offer kheel and batasha also Dhoop is lit. Women performing the puja go around the Deepak four times & do pranam.
After puja, the family members do namaskaar to all the elder people to them.
Dhanteras Muhurt for Pujan--
1-Dhanteras Pradosh Kal
The Dhanteras pradosh kaal will start from 17:50:03 and will end at 20:20:44. It’s considered good and fortunate to do Laxmi Puja as well Deep Daan.

Traditions
It is believed that new “Dhan” or some form of precious metal is a sign of good luck. "Laxmi-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 also sung.
More from the section: Dharm
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