Dhanteras 2017 Date
Tuesday 17 October 2017
Best Muhurat, Dhanteras Puja Time 2017
7:31 PM to 8:12 PM
(Trayodashi tithi starts at 12:26 AM on 17 Oct 2017 and ends at 12:08 AM on 18 Oct 2017)
Dhan Teras, also known as Dhanvantari Trayodashi is the first day of the five days long Diwali celebrations. There are two beliefs regarding the festival of Dhanteras. The first belief is that it is the festival of ‘Dhan’ which means money or prosperity. The festival gets its name from this belief- Dhan + Teras where Dhan means money and Teras means the thirteenth day of Hindu Ashwin month (Oct-Nov) when it is celebrated. The second belief relates to the birth of Dhanvantari, the Father of Ayurveda. Dhanvantari is believed to be the physician of God. Ayurveda is the ancient Hindu methodology of medicine. Thus, it is also called Dhanvantari Trayodashi where Trayodashi again means the thirteenth day of Aswin month when Dhanvantari appeared on earth to bestow health on all people here.
Legend of Dhanvantari Birth
Shreemaad Bhagwat Puran and Sushrut Samhita, the ancient Hindu mythological books, mention the birth of Lord Dhanvantari who emerged on earth during Samudra Manthan- the cosmic churning of ocean by Devas (Gods) and Asuras (Demons). Dhanvantri is depicted as Lord Vishnu with four hands holding a pot of Amrita (elixir of life), Shankha (Conch Shell), Chakra (Wheel shaped weapon associated with Lord Vishnu), and Herbs in each of his hands. He was born to protect human beings from diseases, untimely death and sorrows.
On Dhanvatari Trayodashi, the day when he emerged from sea with Amrit pot in his hand, the Ayurveda medicine practitioners celebrate Dhanvantari’s birthday by worshipping him. Many commoners too worship Lord Dhanvantari on Dhanteras to be blessed with good health and to avoid untimely death.
How to Worship Lord Dhanvantari on Dhanteras
To worship the lord of health on the pious day of Dhanteras, keep the idol or an image of Lord Dhanvantari facing west so that when you worship him, you may face East. Wash the idol of Dhanvantari with water, milk, ghee, honey and sugar while reciting mantras. Put yellow flower garland around the idol of the Lord. Lit Yamadeepa or earthern lamps before the Lord and in front of the Tulsi plant at your home. Keep offering yellow flowers and turmeric to the idol. Distribute and partake Trifala as Prasada of Lord Dhanvatari.
Namaami dhanvantari maadi dēvam suraa surair vandita paada padmam
loke jara ruk bhaya mrutyu naasham daatarameesham vividoushadeenaam
shankham chakram jalaukam
dadhad amruta ghatam charu dorbhi chaturbhih
Sukshma svacch ati hridyam
sukha pari vilasanam
maulim ambhoja netram
Kalam bhodojo valangam kati tata vilasan
charu pitam baradhyam
Vande dhanvantarim tam nikhila gada vanam
praudha davagni leelam
Dhanvantari Mantra Video
Legend of King Hema’s Son and Yamadeepadaan
There is yet another legend behind Dhanteras festival. Once the lord of Death, Yamaraj asked his Yamadoots, his followers who take away lives, “Do you feel sympathetic while taking away life of any living being?” The Yamdoots said that its their duty to take away lives and so why should they feel like that. However, Yamaraj thought they they were not answering with open hearts. So he assured them and said, “Don’t worry, I will not mind if you say the truth.” Then, the yamadoots said, “Once we felt sad about an incident of death.” They then narrated the story to Yamaraj.
“A king named Hansa went for hunting in the jungle. There he got lost and entered another kingdom. King Hema of that other kingdom welcomed King Hansa and showed his great regards. The same day, the wife of King Hema gave birth to a son. The astrologers predicted that this new born boy would die just after four days of his wedding. With the orders of king Hema, his son was kept in a cage near Yamuna river as a “brahmachari’ (Celibate). No woman was allowed to go near him. Time went by and his son became a handsome young man. One day, the daughter of King Hansa went near river Yamuna and coincidently saw the young son of King Hema. They both got married. When the fourth day of their marriage arrived, the young man died. His new bride was very sad and wept like nobody was seen before. We, on that day, also cried looking at the condition of the new bride. But we were not able to help her as it is our duty to take lives on prescribed day.”
Lord Yamaraj also got sad after listening to this story, “What can I do, I too have to follow the rules of destiny.” One of his yamadoots then asked, “Isn’t there any remedy that can avoid untimely death?” The Lord of Death then told this remedy, “On the day of Dhanteras, anybody who worships by following rituals and do deepadaan, there would be no untimely death in that house” Since the, the tradition of worshipping on the day of Dhanteras began and people started performing Yamadeepadaan to avoid untimely death.
Dhanteras is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country but the aim of the celebration remains the same- well being and prosperity. People in north India, decorate their houses with Rangoli and lit diyas, offer prayers to Lord Yamaraj by Yamadeepadaan to seek his blessings and long life. They buy gold, silver, and other things to bring prosperity in life. Goddess Lakshmi, and her owl is also worshiped. In villages, people worship their cattle, particularly cows who are believed to be the form of Goddess Lakshmi. As cattle is also the main source of income for rural people, they worship them in hope of greater prosperity. Shopping for jewelery and utensils, have become the major celebration style on Dhanteras.
In many parts of India, the lord of wealth, Kuber is also worshipped along with Goddess Lakshmi on Dhanteras. Kuber is believed to be the treasurer of all the riches in the world. Astrological Kuber Yantra is worshipped by many to bring riches to them.
How to do Kuber Puja on Dhanteras?
On the day of Dhana Teras, place the Kubera Yantra or its Photo in the worship room. Honey and jaggery should be offered as Naivedya in front of the Yantra. Pure ghee should be used to light the lamps. Initiate puja by worshipping Lord Ganesha. After that offer prayers to Lord Kubera to seek his blessings. This is the Kuber mantra:
Om Yakshaya, Kuberaya, Vysravanaya, Dhanadanyathipatiye, Dhana Dhanya Samruthideye Dehi Dapaya Swaha!
Business persons clean their shops/ offices and close their accounts on Dhanteras. They worship Goddess Lakshmi and their Accounts books with coins. Yamadeepdaan is done by placing lamps at the entrance of the shop and also the house in the evening after dusk. This wards of untimely death family and friends.