Dhanteras, also known as Dhantrayodashi, is the day of welcoming Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, prosperity, and peace, into the home. On this special day, Goddess Lakshmi reappears from the cosmic ocean Kshira Sagara. It is a significant festival celebrated in India one day before Diwali, the Festival of Lights.
This auspicious day holds great religious and cultural importance and involves various rituals and practices. Here, we discussed the significance, mantras, ritulas, and customs associated with Dhanteras and Lakshmi Puja.
Dhanteras Lakshmi Puja Mantras, Timings, and Rituals
On Dhanteras, it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the cosmic ocean (Samudra Manthan) during the churning of the milk ocean. This story is closely associated with the significance of Dhanteras, as it symbolizes the bestowal of wealth and prosperity upon her devotees.
The central celebration of Dhanteras is the worship of Goddess Lakshmi, and the purchase of pure gold and silver coins, which are believed to invite prosperity, and who symbolizes wealth, underscore the quest for abundance and financial well-being. Gold is synonymous with wealth and prosperity. Silver is used to invoke blessings of the Goddess for economic stability and conitious financial growth.
Dhanteras marks the first day of the five-day Diwali festival and is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Lakshmi. Her emergence during Samudra Manthan is a key aspect of the festival’s mythology. By performing rituals and prayers, lighting lamps, and offering devotion to Goddess Lakshmi, devotees aim to welcome her into their homes, just as she emerged from the cosmic ocean. Her blessings will ensure a year filled with wealth, fortune, and the abundance of all that is good.
The lighting of lamps is done to protect against inauspicious events and to ensure the well-being and longevity of family members.
“Dhan” translates to “wealth” or “values” in Sanskrit. It represents prosperity, abundance, and financial well-being. “Teras” means “thirteenth” in Sanskrit. It refers to the thirteenth day of the lunar fortnight in the Hindu calendar. Dhanteras is the amalgamation of “Dhan” and “Teras,” signifying the day dedicated to the worship of wealth and financial prosperity on the thirteenth day of the lunar month.
Emergence of Goddess Lakshmi
Dhanteras marks the beginning of the five-day Diwali festival. According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that during the churning of the Milky Sea (Samudra Manthan), Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth, emerged from the cosmic ocean on this day. Her emergence symbolizes the bestowal of wealth, prosperity, and fortune upon her devotees. Consequently, Dhanteras is dedicated to the worship and veneration of Goddess Lakshmi.
During the churning, numerous divine and mystical entities emerged from the ocean. One of the most significant beings that arose from the cosmic ocean was Goddess Lakshmi, the personification of wealth, prosperity, and good fortune. She is often depicted as a beautiful goddess holding a lotus flower and showering wealth and blessings upon her devotees.
1. Symbolism of Goddess Lakshmi’s Emergence:
The emergence of Goddess Lakshmi from the milk ocean holds profound symbolism:
- Wealth and Prosperity: The milk ocean represents the cosmic source of all abundance. Lakshmi’s emergence symbolizes the abundance of material and spiritual wealth that the universe has to offer. Her presence signifies the bestowal of prosperity, both in terms of material riches and spiritual well-being, upon her devotees.
- Virtue and Goodness: The churning of the milk ocean and the emergence of Goddess Lakshmi highlight the principle that wealth and prosperity should be sought and used for virtuous and noble purposes. Lakshmi is not only the goddess of wealth but also the embodiment of divine virtues, such as compassion, righteousness, and generosity.
- Victory of Good over Evil: The story of Samudra Manthan itself underscores the idea that through unity, cooperation, and the pursuit of righteous goals, even the most challenging obstacles can be overcome. In this context, it signifies the victory of good (the Devas) over evil (the Asuras).
2. Worship of Goddess Lakshmi: On Dhanteras, people perform special pujas (rituals) to honor and seek the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi. Devotees clean their homes, decorate the entrance with colorful rangoli (patterns made from colored powders), and light oil lamps to welcome the goddess. Special prayers, mantras, and hymns are chanted to invoke her presence and grace. The belief is that by worshiping Goddess Lakshmi on Dhanteras, one can invite her blessings for wealth and prosperity in the coming year.
3. Lord Kubera, the Treasurer of the Gods: In addition to Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Kubera, the treasurer of the gods and the guardian of wealth, is also venerated on Dhanteras. People seek his blessings for the proper management and distribution of wealth. This aspect of the festival underscores the importance of responsible financial practices, including savings, investments, and charitable giving.
4. Gold and Silver Purchases:
The purchase of gold and silver items, particularly coins, jewelry, and utensils, is a significant tradition on Dhanteras. These precious metals symbolize wealth and financial security. People believe that buying gold or silver on this day will invite prosperity and ensure financial stability throughout the year. It is also considered an auspicious time to invest in these metals.
5. New Business Ventures: Dhanteras is a favorable day for new beginnings and ventures. Many people initiate new business deals, investments, or start new projects on this auspicious day. The belief is that such endeavors commenced on Dhanteras are likely to be successful and yield positive results.
6. Protection and Positive Energy: Lighting lamps and diyas on Dhanteras is not only a way to welcome the deities but also to dispel negative energies and protect one’s home from harm. It is believed that the radiance of the lamps brings positivity and divine blessings into one’s life.
Dhanteras and the Moon’s Position
Dhanteras is celebrated on the thirteenth day (trayodashi) of the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha) of the lunar month of Ashwin. This specific timing is essential because the lunar calendar plays a vital role in determining Hindu festivals and rituals.
The Moon’s position is critical in setting the lunar calendar and, consequently, the timing of Dhanteras. It aligns with the belief that certain lunar phases and alignments have a direct impact on human lives and activities. The phases of the Moon are integral to various Hindu festivals, including Dhanteras.
Dhanteras and Lord Kubera:
Lord Kubera is the treasurer of the gods and is often invoked alongside Goddess Lakshmi during Dhanteras. While Goddess Lakshmi represents wealth, Kubera symbolizes the wealth’s distribution and management. Devotees seek the blessings of both deities to ensure not only the acquisition of wealth but also its proper utilization and distribution.
The association with Lord Kubera underscores the importance of responsible financial management and generosity in one’s wealth-seeking endeavors. It is believed that inviting Kubera’s blessings can help maintain wealth and prosperity.
Dhanteras Lagnas and Muhurtas
The choice of auspicious lagnas (ascendants) and muhurtas (auspicious timings) for Dhanteras is important to ensure a successful and prosperous celebration. Vrishabha Lagna is often considered highly auspicious for Dhanteras.
Vrishabha Lagna, which is considered a Sthir Lagna, often coincides with the Pradosh Kaal during the Diwali festivities. The concept of Sthir Lagna ensures a stable and spiritually charged atmosphere for the puja, and it is believed to maintain the presence of Goddess Lakshmi in one’s home throughout the year, signifying continuous wealth and prosperity. Vrishabha Lagna is a commonly chosen Sthir Lagna for Diwali festivities, making it an auspicious and favored time for Dhanteras Puja.
A muhūrta denotes a division of time: 1/30 of a day, or a period of 48 minutes. There are two types of Lagnas: “Janma Lagna” and “Muhurta Lagna”, each with its own significance and use. Muhurta Lagna is an auspicious time (muhurat) to initiate a particular event, activity or ceremony.
Muhurta Lagna is the period that maximize the positive outcomes and minimize negative influences for specific activities such as weddings, business ventures, or religious ceremonies. On Dhanteras, a specific muhurat is chosen for Lakshmi Puja to welcome wealth and prosperity into one’s home.
Kaal represents the divisions of time based on the movement of celestial bodies. Pradosh Kaal is especially associated with the worship of Lord Shiva, and it is considered an opportune time for observing Shiva Puja, and Lakshmi Puja. Pradosh Kaal typically spans for approximately 1.5 hours, starting around half an hour before sunset and extending into the early evening.
Dhanteras 2023 Date and Time
Vrishabha Kaal, also known as “Shubh Kaal,” is a specific auspicious time period during Dhanteras. Vrishabha Kaal typically occurs during the evening on Dhanteras and is believed to be the most propitious time for invoking the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth and prosperity. It falls within the broader Pradosh Kaal, which is the twilight period right after sunset and lasts for a few hours.
1. Pradosh Kaal:
- Pradosh Kaal is the twilight period just after sunset, and it is considered an auspicious time for conducting religious rituals and pujas.
- During Pradosh Kaal, the energies are believed to be favorable for invoking the blessings of deities. It is a time when the spiritual and cosmic forces are in harmony.
2. Sthir Lagna – The Fixed Ascendant:
- Sthir Lagna, as the name suggests, represents a fixed or non-moveable ascendant in the astrological context. This is an important astrological consideration for selecting an auspicious time for rituals.
- The significance of Sthir Lagna lies in the idea that when the ascendant is stable and unchanging, it signifies a harmonious and spiritually charged environment for conducting pujas.
3. Lakshmiji’s Presence:
- Performing Dhanteras Puja during Sthir Lagna is believed to have a specific benefit—it ensures that Goddess Lakshmi stays in your home. The stability of Sthir Lagna is thought to keep the goddess’s presence constant throughout the year, bestowing continuous wealth and prosperity.
4. Vrishabha Lagna – Overlapping with Pradosh Kaal:
- Vrishabha Lagna is considered a Sthir Lagna, and it mostly overlaps with Pradosh Kaal during Diwali festivities.
- This overlap of Vrishabha Lagna with Pradosh Kaal makes it an ideal time for Dhanteras Puja as it combines the stability of a fixed ascendant with the auspiciousness of the twilight period.
Lakshmi Puja Rituals
The celebration of Dhanteras, which is observed as Lakshmi Puja, involves a series of rituals and customs that emphasize the worship of Goddess Lakshmi and the preparation for Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Let’s explore and explain the various aspects of Dhanteras rituals and customs:
1. Evening Puja and Lighting of Diyas:
Dhanteras is celebrated in the evening when clay lamps or diyas are lit. The illumination of these lamps symbolizes the dispelling of darkness and the welcoming of light and positivity into one’s life.
The evening puja is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth and prosperity. Devotees perform traditional rituals and chant bhajans (devotional songs) in praise of the goddess to seek her blessings.
2. Offering Traditional Sweets:
During the Lakshmi Puja, devotees offer traditional sweets and delicacies to Goddess Lakshmi as naivedhya. These offerings symbolize the abundance and sweetness that the goddess brings into their lives.
Among these offerings, a peculiar custom in Maharashtra involves pounding dried coriander seeds with jaggery to create a unique mixture that is offered as naivedhya. This is a regional variation of the tradition, and it represents the diverse cultural practices within India.
3. House Cleaning and Preparation:
In the days leading up to Dhanteras, homes that have not yet been cleaned and prepared for Diwali are thoroughly cleansed and whitewashed. This meticulous cleaning is a way of purifying the living space and making it ready to welcome the goddess and the positive energy associated with Diwali.
The act of cleaning is not just physical but also symbolic, signifying the removal of negativity and impurities.
4. Worship of Dhanvantari:
Dhanvantari, the god of health and Ayurveda, is also worshiped on Dhanteras. This aspect of the festival reflects the importance of well-being and health along with wealth. Devotees seek the blessings of Dhanvantari for good health and healing.
5. Decoration of the Main Entrance:
To welcome Goddess Lakshmi into their homes, the main entrance is decorated with colorful lanterns, holiday lights, and traditional motifs of rangoli designs. These decorations create a festive and inviting atmosphere.
Rangoli is an art form where intricate and beautiful patterns are created on the ground using colored powders, flower petals, or rice flour. It is a way of enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the surroundings.
6. Small Footprints and Diyas:
Small footprints, often drawn with rice flour and vermilion powder, are a common feature of Dhanteras. These footprints are symbolic of the goddess’s anticipated arrival and the path to her blessings.
On the night of Dhanteras, diyas (lamps) are kept burning throughout the night as a mark of respect and devotion to Goddess Lakshmi and Dhanvantari. The continuous glow of the diyas is believed to invite the goddess’s presence and protect against negative influences.
Purchase of Gold and Silver Coins
The purchase of gold and silver coins is a significant tradition associated with Dhanteras, and it holds both cultural and symbolic importance. Here’s a closer look at why buying coins, particularly made of precious metals, is a common practice during Dhanteras:
Symbol of Wealth and Prosperity:
The primary reason for buying gold and silver coins on Dhanteras is their association with wealth and prosperity. In Indian culture, gold and silver have long been considered symbols of affluence and financial stability. Purchasing these precious metals, even in the form of small coins, is believed to invite wealth and prosperity into one’s life. The act of buying them on Dhanteras is a way of setting the stage for a financially successful year ahead.
Dhanteras marks the beginning of the five-day Diwali festival, which is one of the most auspicious periods in the Hindu calendar. People believe that any activity or purchase made during this time, especially on Dhanteras, is likely to yield favorable results. Acquiring gold or silver coins at this time is seen as a highly auspicious start to the festive season and is believed to bring good fortune throughout the year.
Gold and silver have been prized as stores of value for centuries. They are considered safe investments that can retain their worth over time. By buying gold or silver coins on Dhanteras, people not only invite immediate prosperity but also make long-term investments. These coins can be stored or gifted and may appreciate in value over the years.
Dhanteras is not only about accumulating wealth but also about ensuring financial security. In a world where financial stability is a primary concern for many, the purchase of gold and silver coins can serve as a form of financial insurance. It is seen as a way to safeguard against economic uncertainties and unexpected expenses.
Cultural and Family Traditions:
The practice of buying gold and silver coins during Dhanteras is deeply ingrained in Indian culture. It is often passed down through generations as a cherished family tradition. Family members may gather to participate in the coin-buying process, making it a special and meaningful ritual.
Gifting and Celebrations:
Dhanteras is also a time for giving and sharing. The coins purchased on this occasion are often gifted to family members, friends, or loved ones as a token of good wishes and blessings. Gifting gold or silver coins is a way to celebrate the spirit of the festival and strengthen social bonds.
Purity and Quality:
When buying gold and silver coins on Dhanteras, people are often conscious of the purity and quality of the metal. Reputed jewelers and banks offer coins with certifications attesting to their purity. This ensures that the coins serve both as a symbol of prosperity and as a valuable investment.
The “Ashta Lakshmi Mantra” is revered during Dhanteras, acknowledging the various forms of Lakshmi, each representing different aspects of wealth, knowledge, and success. Devotees chant this mantra seeking the multifaceted blessings of the Goddess.
Ashta Lakshmi Kuber Mantra
Om Hrim Shrim Krim Shrim Kuberaya AstoLakhsmi Momo Grihe Dhanam Puray Puray Namaha ||
MahaLakshmi Ashtamakm Mantra
The rhythmic vibrations of the MahaLakshmi Ashtamakm mantra are believed to create a harmonious connection with the cosmic forces, aligning the devotee with the energy of prosperity.
Dhanvantari The God of Health
Dhanvantari emerged from the cosmic ocean, carrying the pot of amrita. His appearance brought hope and relief to the gods, who were seeking the nectar to regain their lost strength and immortality. He symbolizes the pursuit of well-being and the importance of natural remedies.
Dhanvantari is typically depicted as a divine figure with four arms, holding a conch shell (shankha), a churning rod (manthara), a pot of immortal nectar (amrita-kumbha), and a healing herb. The pot of immortal nectar, also known as the “amrita,” is a symbol of eternal life and well-being. It is believed to possess the power to heal and grant immortality.
Dhanteras Spiritual and Cultural Significance
In conclusion, Dhanteras is a festival that encapsulates several elements, from the lighting of diyas and the singing of bhajans in praise of Goddess Lakshmi to the offering of traditional sweets and the cleaning and decoration of homes. It also pays homage to Dhanvantari, the god of health. All these rituals and customs reflect the desire for prosperity, good health, and the removal of negativity, making Dhanteras a spiritually and culturally rich celebration in the lead-up to Diwali.
The celebration of Lakshmi Puja on Dhanteras is a momentous occasion that carries deep spiritual, cultural, and astrological significance. It marks the commencement of the vibrant Diwali festivities, where devotees come together to seek the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi, the harbinger of wealth and prosperity. The rituals and customs associated with Dhanteras reflect the profound reverence for Goddess Lakshmi and the collective aspiration for a year filled with abundance and success.
The precise timing of Dhanteras, especially during the Pradosh Kaal and under the influence of a stable ascendant like Sthir Lagna, is believed to enhance the potency of the pujas and rituals. It is during this auspicious time that devotees light lamps, offer prayers, and engage in heartfelt worship to welcome the goddess into their homes.
The purchase of gold and silver items on Dhanteras signifies the pursuit of financial security and the recognition of the spiritual significance of these precious metals. It is a custom that underscores the belief in the transformative power of wealth when used for noble and righteous purposes.
Furthermore, the emergence of Goddess Lakshmi from the cosmic ocean during the churning of the milk sea, as described in Hindu mythology, underscores the profound symbolism of her presence in the lives of her devotees. Her benevolent blessings are believed to bring not only material wealth but also spiritual well-being and harmony.
As we celebrate Dhanteras, let us not only focus on the material aspects of wealth but also on the spiritual wealth that brings clarity of mind, protection, success, creativity, and the ability to manifest positive intentions. It is an occasion to reflect on the importance of balance, the responsible use of resources, and the practice of gratitude.
In the radiant glow of oil lamps and the melodious chants of devotional songs, Dhanteras reminds us to be mindful of our intentions, actions, and the values we hold dear. It encourages us to nurture the light of consciousness and prosperity within us, recognizing that true wealth is a harmonious blend of material affluence and inner abundance.
As the diyas continue to flicker through the night, may the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kubera fill our lives with prosperity, success, and the radiant glow of positive manifestation. On this Dhanteras, let us reaffirm our commitment to ethical living, generosity, and the pursuit of holistic well-being, thus ensuring that the wealth we seek brings not only opulence but also lasting joy and fulfillment.