|What to buy on Dhanteras|
Dhanteras – Dhan means ‘wealth’ and theras indicates ‘the thirteenth day’. It is observed two days before Diwali. Also known as Dhanvantari Puja or Dhantra Yodashi, it falls on the thirteenth day of the dark fortnight of Kartik Month. The day is of great importance to business community and homes. Houses are decorated and special rangolis are drawn on the floor.
Cows are worshipped on the day in many regions. Thus feeding green fodder to cows this day is considered auspicious.
Dhanteras has special significance to the business community of India. All Businessmen, jewelers and corporate houses offer prayers in order to please Maa Laxmi. Especially the jewelers celebrate this festival in the most pompous manner in the gold market areas.
Sending Dhanteras sweets to relatives and acquaintances is another way to celebrate this festival.
A baby girl born on Dhanteras day is considered as the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi into the house and is considered to be lucky for the family. When such girls get married and leave for her husband’s home, they should leave their footprints(with kumkum) at a place in their maternal home to ensure that Maa Lakshmi does not leave the house ever.
|Do's and Don'ts / Tips for Dhanteras|
|Legends of Dhanteras|
Legend has it that when Lord Dhanvantari, the physician of the Gods and an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, emerged from the ocean of milk, which was churned by the Gods and the demons on the day of Dhanteras, he brought a jar of the extraordinary elixir.
Time passed. Brihaspati, Indra's teacher, who was distraught by Indra’s predicament tried to find a solution with Brahma and Vishnu, along with other gods, who accompanied him.
They found a solution, which was a Herculean task: the ocean of milk had to be churned to become potent ambrosia, which, if consumed by the gods, would bring immortality. The churning would also bring back Lakshmi.
To accomplish this paramount feat, the assistance of the demons was necessary. Intelligently, Brihaspati struck a deal with the demons, who agreed, in the hope of procuring ambrosia and amassing wealth for themselves. Mandara Mountain was used as a churning rod and Vasuki, the king of the serpents, as a rope.
Surmounting difficulties like sinking the Mount Mandara into the milky ocean, were overcome by Lord Vishnu, who took the form of a tortoise and hoisted it on his back, the churning began.
Kalakuta, a dreadful poison was initially produced, and which Lord Shiva drank, much to the relief of the gods and demons. Lord Vishnu continually encouraged and motivated the gods and demons during the churning the sea. From it emerged a horse named Uchaishravas and Kalpavriksha was empowered to grant its wish, manifesting Kamdhenu and other celestial bodies. As the ocean continued to be churned, Apsara were born.
Rising from the depths of the ocean of milk was a divine and celestial goddess. She stood on a fully blossomed lotus, wearing a garland of lotus and neck. Heavenly beautiful and radiant, she held a lotus in her hand and smiling. She was Lakshmi.
The sages began reciting hymns in praise of her. Gandharvas sang and Apsaras danced. Even the elephants on either side of her, sprinkled sacred Ganga water on her, bathing her with it, letting her be called Gajalakshmi. As she was born from the ocean of milk, she was referred to as Samudratanya.
The king of the ocean appeared in his natural form and welcomed Lakshmi as a daughter, presenting her with attractive clothes, jewels and a garland of lotus. To everyone’s surprise, she garlanded Vishnu with it. Then, when she turned and looked demurely at Indra, he received extraordinary radiance.
The gods and demons continued to churn the ocean for Amrut or nectar. Ultimately, Dhanavantri emerged from the ocean of milk, carrying a jar of the elixir (ambrosia). Both the asuras and the devas wanted the ambrosia, but Vishnu was able to give the immortal nectar to the gods, and the asuras were defeated. The churning of the ocean resulted in the immortality of the devas and was the reason for Lakshmi's emergence.