Dhanteras is a Hindu festival that is celebrated two days before Deepawali or Diwali or can be called as the starting of Diwali.
“Dhan” in Dhanteras means wealth and “Tera” because it comes from the 13th lunar day of the Hindu month kartik.
Legend and Story behind Dhanteras
There are two main legend or stories behind the origin of this festival as below:
There is a story behind this festival. It is said that in ancient times, King Hima had a son whose horoscope was predicted that he would die by snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage. When he got married and his wife got aware of this, she did not allow his husband to sleep. For this she laid out all her gold and silver jewellery, coins and made a heap of it at the entrance of her room. She also lit lamps all over the place. She narrated the stories and sang songs so that her husband would not sleep. She wanted her husband to remain wake up and so did not allow him to sleep.
Celebrate this Diwali for Good Luck and Happiness
The very next day when the yama (the god of death) came to take the body of the prince, he could not see anything due to the brilliance and reflection of the gold jewellery. As he could not enter the room so he sat on top of the heap of gold coins and jewellery. He also spent the entire night by listening to the stories and went back in the morning without taking the life of the prince. This is how the newly married bride saved the life of his husband.
Another story prevails that during the amrit manthon episode or churning of the ocean, “Dhanvantari” emerged. She was carrying a pot of the elixir. Due to her emergence and the name Dhanvantri, festival is known as Dhanteras.
Thus Dhanteras is also a festival to worship lord Dhanwantari who is considered as the incarnation of the lord Vishnu and is the deity of wealth and health.
There is a legend that due to a curse by sage Duravasa, Laksmi left him. He was the ruler of heaven and Duravasa said that the pride of wealth had entered his head and he had gone blind. When Lakshmi left him, the demons invaded the heaven and defeated Indra.
Indra along with other god went to Vishnu for the rescue. He advised them to churn the sea during which many valuable things came out. During churning, Lakshmi who had also disappeared emerged out and bestowed on devtas.
What do we do in Dhanteras?
People try to please goddess lakshmi in Dhanteras. A lamp is lit at the entrance of the house to welcome lakshmi. People sing aartis and devotional songs and offer sweets and fruits to her. Followers also worship Kuber who is known as the treasurer of wealth on the day of Dhanters.
It is a custom to buy some gold or silver jewelry on the day of Dhanteras. One can buy utensils and new clothes also on the day of this auspicious occasion. Many people buy broom as a symbol of prosperty on the day of Dhanters. The day keeps a very important place in the life of businessmen and they do worship it to their heart to please goddess lakshmi.