Dhanteras announces the coming in of the Festival of Lights filling the air with gleaming happiness. Considered to be the first day of Diwali festivities, Dhanteras is also called ‘Dhantrayodashi’ popularly. In common parlance ‘dhan’ literally means wealth. The day marks worship of Goddess Lakshmi who is referred for prosperity & auspicious life. Since a very long time shopping is regarded as a good omen on this day.
India is undoubtedly a land of festivals. With each occasion carrying a unique story with it, Dhanteras also brings forth some interesting folk tales that signify history, morals, life & opulence. It shall be most befitting to explore these tales here.
One of the most popular legend talks about a 16 year old son of King Hima. According to horoscopes and predictions he was supposed to die due to a snake-bite on the 4th day of his marriage itself. He thus delayed his marriage but finally tied the knot. On hearing about this sad prediction, his young wife ensured that the prince does not sleep. There was music being played the entire night. The entrance of the palace was all covered with heaps of gold and silver with innumerable lamps. At the predicted time, Yama, the god of death came to the palace. However, due to the intelligent plan of the bride, he got completely blinded by the lights and glitter at the entrance itself & thus could not enter the palace. The entire night passed away and the time of death had gone. The prince survived and lived happily with his bride. The shining metals since then are considered auspicious and markers of a long satisfying life.
In another story, Goddess Lakshmi once insisted Lord Vishnu and came down to earth for a visit. Vishnu agreed on her company only on the condition that she should not get tempted by earthly richness nor look into south direction at all. Though the goddess agreed, she could not resist and started going southwards where she saw yellow mustard flowers and was enamoured by their beauty. She finally gave into the temptations and decorated herself with the flowers. Lord Vishnu, on seeing this, got annoyed and told her to live on earth and serve a poor farmer for twelve years as part of penance. Over the years, the poor farmer gained a lot of prosperity and became wealthy. On completion of the twelfth year, when Lord Vishnu came to get the goddess back, the farmer refused to send her. It is then that Goddess Laksmi revealed her true self to the farmer and promised that she shall visit the farmer every year before the night of Diwali. Since then the farmer cleaned his house thoroughly on the day of Krishna Trayodashi before Diwali. He also began lighting earthen lamps to welcome the goddess. Devotees then started worshipping Lakshmi along with Kubera on Dhanteras.
According to another legend, the gods and demons once churned the ocean for Amrit. It is then Dhanavantri; the physician of the gods and an incarnation of Vishnu emerged with a beautiful jar of elixir on Dhanteras. The popular belief states that devotees who worship Lord Dhanvantari can be released from all disease.
All folktales send us a special meaning of the occasion. What remains common is the auspiciousness that the festival carries with itself and need to embrace well-being and life. Staying nicely, shopping for new things, keeping home clean and decorated are some of the things that bring a lot of positivity and merriment. This is thus an opportunity to feel special & make everything around extraordinary for your loved ones.
सोनेकारथ, चांदनीकीपालकी, बैठकरजिसमेंमांलक्ष्मीहैंआई,
With these words, this year let cheer knock your door and welcome the high spirits with smile on face & satisfaction in hearts.