Dhanteras: Why do we celebrate it? Know Its Historical Significance

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dhanteras
Dhanteras is a festival that marks the beginning of the festival of lights Diwali

You must have cleaned your house and negative energy as part of Diwalis’ cleaning.
Dhanteras or Dhanatrayodashi, is an important Hindu religious festival celebrated in India. ‘Dhan’ means wealth and ‘Teras’ means the thirteenth day of the moon cycle.

Dhanteras is celebrated through the worship of wealth as people buy jewelries and new utensils to mark Dhanteras.

The historical significance of Dhana Trayodashi

There are three mythological stories behind the festival of Dhanteras.

  • Samudra Manthan
Samudra Manthan Story
Dhanteras Mythology

Durvasa also cursed Indra that Goddess Lakshmi would disappear from his side. After this the Asuras defeated the Devtas and they were left in Misery. Lord Vishnu then suggested the Gods to churn the milk of the sea and drink the Amrit which will come out of it to become immortal. Thus the great Samudra Manthan, or sea churning started between the Asuras and Devas where Vasuki, the king of serpents became the rope.

Dhanvantari emerged carrying a jar of the nectar. Dhanvatari(an incarnation of the lord Vishnu and physicians of gods) managed to give the immortal nectar to the gods and the asuras were defeated. Thus on this day by worshiping the Tulsi and the Akashdeep, we symbolically seek the favor of Nature.

  • Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean of milk
Goddess Lakshmi
Goddess Lakshmi

It is believed that on this day in history, goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean full of milk with a pot of gold while the sea was being churned. She came out along with lord Kuber. This is the reason why both these deities are worshipped on Dhanteras.

  • Story of King Hima
yamraj
life of her husband from the clutches of the god of death.

Another story goes back to an ancient legend where the son of King Hima was predicted to die due to snakebite on the fourth day of his marriage.

His newlywed wife did not let him sleep, and placed all her ornaments in a heap at the entrance of the sleeping chamber to save him.

Hima’s wife placed treasuries of gold and silver coins too along with those jewelries. She lighted up the entire place with lamps so that there was no darkness anywhere. She then began to sing songs and recite poems in order to keep her husband from falling asleep. She feared that he may die if he falls asleep.

When Yama arrived at their door in the form of a serpent, he was diverted by the glitter of ornaments of gold and silver. He listened to the stories the newly wed wife was narrating to her husband and enjoyed the songs. As the next day dawned, Yama went away silently. And this is how the newly wed bride was able to save the life of her husband from the clutches of the god of death.

According to mythologies, the following day came to be called Naraka Chaturdashi because Krishna and Kali killed Narakasura on this day.  As it is the night before Diwali, it is also called choti Diwali.

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