How to Celebrate Dhanteras•
Posted on October 22 2022
Dhanteras Or Dhantrayodashi, is celebrated two days before Diwali on the Krishna Paksha Trayodashi. As the name suggests, it is a festival of wealth and prosperity. This day is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kuber who are considered to be treasurers of wealth in Hinduism. On this day, devotees pray for the health, wealth, prosperity, success and well being of their families.
It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi likes and will only come and reside in clean, beautiful, attractive and bright places. People wake up early in the morning to clean and declutter their homes and business premises. They decorate their homes with beautiful, fragrant and colourful flowers. They also beautify their homes with traditional rangoli and toran. Small footprints pointing inwards are drawn with rice flour and vermilion powder all over the house to signify the presence of Maa Lakshmi in our homes.
Purchasing and buying new things on Dhanteras is considered as an auspicious activity. Buying utensils and precious metals like silver and gold on this day is said to bring good luck and fortune. It is advisable to buy utensils made of copper or brass as these are considered to be harbingers of wealth and abundance.
On Dhanteras, the Lakshmi Pooja should be performed in the Pradosh Kaal which is the time after sunset during the ' Sthir Lagna' to make the goddess stay year long in your premises. On this day, there is a tradition of lighting Yamadeepam and therefore Dhanteras is also called the Yamadeepdaan. Lighting an oil lamp outside the main entrance of your home is said to ward off the threat of untimely death and the danger to the lives of your loved ones. This diya offered to Lord Yamraj should be kept facing southwards, the direction of Yama.
Family members gather in the evening to offer their prayers. Before starting the rituals of Dhanteras, Lord Ganesha is bathed and anointed with sandalwood paste. A red cloth is offered to the Ganpati Bappa with showering of fresh flowers on him along with chanting of the mantra:
Vakratund Maha -Kaya
Surya-Kotti Samaprabha l
Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva
Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvadaa ll
This mantra is said to clear all obstacles from one's life. Devotees should worship the idols made of clay, silver or any other metal like brass and should avoid plaster of paris or glass idols as per the traditional belief.
Three roops of Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped- Goddess Mahalakshmi, Maa Kali and Goddess Saraswati. Idol of Maa Lakshmi is bathed with panchamrit, a mixture made of milk, curd, ghee, butter and honey. A kalash half filled with water mixed with sacred Ganga jal and a few mango leaves, betel nuts, flowers, coins and some rice grains are kept together for pooja. Prasaad of various fruits, sweets and dry fruits is offered to the deities. Lotus is offered to Goddess Lakshmi as it is her favourite flower. Lighting dhoop, camphor and incense sticks of good quality and mild fragrance makes the whole environment pure and blissful. Ringing metal bells and chanting of mantras wards off negative energies around you and paves way for positivity. Reciting aartis wholeheartedly with a pure mind is sure to please the deities.
It is considered auspicious to buy coriander seeds on Dhanteras. Coriander seeds are considered as a symbol of wealth and are offered to Goddess Lakshmi. After pooja, a few seeds are kept in the locker to invite prosperity.
It is highly recommended to wear red on this day. One should stick to satvik bhojan during the festival and avoid tamsik food like onion, garlic and non vegetarian food. Since it is a day for inviting wealth, one should refrain from lending money on this day. Buying a broom is considered auspicious as it is a symbol of Goddess Lakshmi. Avoid buying iron metal , sharp objects, glass products (as glass is associated with Rahu), fake gold and all things black.
For some these customs and rituals are part of our ancient wisdom , our culture and religion.
While for others, these may seem to be age old superstitions. To whichever category you may belong, the undeniable fact is that at the end of the day,festivals play an important role in nurturing our relationships and economy. They bring in hope, positive vibes of a better tomorrow and a renewed promise to self to make it happen.
Written by - Puja Paul