Dhanteras: The Day of Beginning of Diwali

Dhanteras (Dhana Trayodashi)

Dhanteras (Dhana Trayodashi): As much as I remember from my childhood and still, I have seen my mother purchasing the gold ornaments and jewellery, which were then kept in front of Lakshmi Ji for the puja. Also, I used to know this day as the Choti Diwali and was very happy as the child to wander around the jewellery shops with my parents.

But, the real meaning I got to know, when I learned all related folklore’s about this festival and why it is being celebrated. Well, each and every folklore behind this festival is interesting and a must to learn. Let us learn one by one.

Dhanteras (Dhana Trayodashi)

Dhanteras: The basic significance in Hindu mythology

In the Hindu mythology, this day is the first of the 5 days of the Diwali festival, and just before the Choti Diwali. On this day, housewives generally go to the jewellery shop and buy gold and silver jewellery. It can be anything according to their financial reach and willing. However, the meaning of the tradition is little changed; people now even buy cutleries and electronics items to celebrate the day.

So, basically, the customs are changing according to the needs of people, and how they want to celebrate it. But the customs only tell about the worship of Mata Lakshmi to pray for fortune and prosperity.

This festival comes in every month of Karthik, according to Hindu calendar that is the month of October and November. On the day, Mata Lakshmi is worshiped, and best Muhurta is said to be the Pardosh Kaal. During the Pooja, females of the family put the brought jewellery in front of Goddess Lakshmi and wish for the fortune to be showered like that. There is a very prevalent belief behind the purchase, which is that by bringing home new things, Goddess Lakshmi comes home.

Also Find: Best way to perform diwali puja

The customary celebration of the day

Every family in the Indian society has its own way of worshiping, and hence, the custom changes from family to family. But what remains same is the divinity and piousness, which every family has in the prayers. On the day, after the sunset, the housewives make Rangolis and the footprints of Goddess Lakshmi, marking her arrival. Nowadays, one can easily find the ready made footprints available in the market.

Further, the Pujan Chauki, the place to keep the idol of Goddess Lakshmi and God Ganesha is to be kept. The idols are presented with the flowers and garlands of Marigold and a Diya is lit in front of them. The Diya is to be filled with Pure Ghee and other items like Dhoop, Camphor, Kumkum and Sweets should also be there.

Once the prayer is started, mantras are enchanted and Lakshmi Aarti is sung followed by the Ganesh Aarti.

In fact, to uplift the joys of the festival, people also play cards for the money.

Folklore and legends associated with Dhanteras

With Dhanteras, there are two stories associated, one is of King Hima and other is of Goddess Parvati. These stories tell the significance of the day in their terms and thus form the legends. The stories are like this-

  • King Hima and his story: This story is about a King, Hima, whose son’s death was predicted by the snake’s bite. Worried about his death, the newly wedded wife of the boy did not let him sleep and to keep him awake, started telling him stories. Also, to protect the entrance, she stacked all her ornaments and treasures in the middle of the door and kept an oil lamp on the top of the stack. Also, she lightened up the whole room and palace with Diyas, so that, there is no darkness and every nook is clearly visible. After doing so, she started the narration and began to sing the songs.
  • As the time arrived, the God of Death, Yama, came to the palace in the disguise of the snake. But due to piled up treasures, he could not get in. Also, his eyes were totally blinded by the lights and dazzle of ornaments and he could not see the things properly. Therefore, to wait for the time, he sat on the top of the stack of ornaments and began listening to the songs. This way, the whole night was passed and the kaal was passed in which Yama had to kill the boy. So, what left with the Yama was to leave and thus, the intelligence of the boy’s wife had saved him. Followed the tradition, people also started lightening the Diyas, and thus, this day is still celebrated.
  • Goddess Parvati and her story: Another story that signifies the card games on the night of the festival. In this story, Goddess Parvati played a dice game with her husband Lord Shiva and won. Therefore, people nowadays, play the card game so that the game will bring prosperity to them. They bet money and play friendly games. Those who win are supposed to be blessed by the Goddess Lakshmi.

Another significance of the festival: Yama deepdaan

Inspired by the intelligence of the daughter-in-law of Hima, housewives then started keeping the earthen diyas in the middle of the doorstep throughout the night, so that Yama is appeased and their family members are safe.

Dhanteras: The day of emergence of Dhanvantri and Goddess Lakshmi

Surprisingly, there are other folklore’s connected with the day and tell about the celebration of the festival. And they are the emergence of Dhanvantri and Goddess Lakshmi by Samudramanthan.

Yes, on the day, Samudramanthan was performed by the armies of Devgan and Rakshas. And during the Manthan, Goddess Lakshmi and God Dhanvantri emerged from it. God Dhanvantri were none other than an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who then became known as the God of Health. Since then, it is also celebrated as the Dhanvantri Jayanti.

Therefore, this first day of Diwali, Dhanteras is celebrated in many ways and many stories are associated with it, and hence, you can follow any of them according to your belief. However, the belief and piousness in worship should be there.