Dhanteras, ‘the Festival of Wealth’ marks the beginning of Deepawali according to Hindu Mythology. It honours the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity– ‘Mata Laksmi’, who showers her blessings as wealth and prosperity upon us.
Here are some of the facts associated with Dhanteras 2016.
#1 Why We Celebrate Dhanteras?
Millions of years back, in a cosmic battle between demons and the gods, both teams churned the divine nectar ‘Amrit’ from Ocean of Milk. The heavenly elixir was said to bestow immortality and eternal youth upon the drinker. It was actually Lord Vishnu, who reincarnated as Dhanavantri, carrying a pot of ambrosia with him.
Legend says if you pray to Dhanvantri and Dhanteras (Goddess Lakshmi’s avatar), they’ll bless you with lifelong health and prosperity. This is why we worship the Divine Couple together.
#2 When Do We Celebrate Dhanteras?
As per Shaka (Hindu) Calendar, the thirteenth (Teras) lunar day of the Dark Fortnight ‘Kirshna Paksh’ in the month of Kartik, (October/November) was chosen for seeking blessings from the Divine Couple.
#3 How Do We Celebrate This Festival?
Since Deepawali is one of the major Hindu festivals celebrated in India, everyone waits for this day. People start cleaning their homes and offices at least one week before Dhanteras. They renovate or decorate their premises with new paints on walls, fairy lights, candles, Diyas and flowers. Women make ‘Rangolis’ (decorative patterns on floor) near the entrance of their homes. People either draw footprints of ‘Lakshmi’ stepping into their homes using turmeric, flour and vermillion or paste readymade stickers available in the market.
#4 What We Do?
It is customary to buy metal utensils, gold or silver coins, ornaments and other new things for it symbolizes good luck for rest of the year. Some folks purchase new electronics for their homes while others inaugurate their new homes and offices or renovate their homes to start afresh on this day. People exchange gifts and offer sweets, necessities and donate money to the needy.
#5 The Proper Way of Conducting ‘Lakshmi Pooja’?
Dhanteras is when we offer our prayers to Lord Dhanvantri and Goddess Lakshmi. It is believed that if you conduct ‘Lakshmi Pooja’ the proper way, the Goddess doubles your income for the upcoming year.
‘Shubh Muhurat‘ for Dhanteras 2016 Pooja is: Friday 7:11 PM to 8:25 PM.
Here is how you conduct rituals:
- Arrange earthen lamps, traditional sweets, Roli (vermillion) and other items required for conducting rituals.
- Take proper bath and wear new clothes before you head to your temple.
- Place a wooden board in your temple. Create a ‘Swaastik’ with the help of plain flour, rice and vermillion. Place a painting or idol of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Dhanvantri in front of the board. Place Kumkum on her forehead, offer her a bud of lotus and seek her blessings.
- Light an earthen/clay/flour lamp containing mustard oil and place it on the board.
- Cover up the lamp with the help of a larger utensil. Sprinkle it with ‘Ganga Jal’ (holy water from the Ganges) thrice.
- Uncover the lamp and apply a ‘Tilak’ on its outer surface, using vermillion and rice mixture.
- Break a small piece of sweet and place it into the lamp. Offer rest of the sweets to the Goddess. Next, place your new purchase (coins or jewellery) on the board. You can also offer some cash.
- Now fold your hands and seek the blessing of divine couple. Chant any of these mantras at least 11 times:
” ॐ श्रीं ह्रीं श्रीं कमले कमलालये प्रसीद प्रसीद ॐ श्रीं ह्रीं श्रीं महालक्ष्मयै नम:॥ “
” ॐ श्री महालक्ष्म्यै च विद्महे विष्णु पत्न्यै च धीमहि तन्नो लक्ष्मी प्रचोदयात् ॐ॥ “
” ॐ ह्रीं श्रीं लक्ष्मीभयो नमः॥ “
- Once you’ve completed the ceremony, pour some mustard oil into a flour lamp. Light it and place it at the entrance of your house. The flame should point towards south.
So, this is how we celebrate this festival. Hope Dhanteras 2016 bring lots of happiness, joys and good memories in your life.