Dhanteras | First day of Diwali | Yamadeepdan | Dhanwantari Triyodasi

Significance of Dhanteras, Significance of Yamadeepdan.

The thirteen day of the dark fortnight or the waning phase of the moon of the month of Ashwin or the Krishna Paksha Triyodasi of the Ashwin month as per the lunar calendar is observed as Dhanteras or Yamadeepdan or Dhanwantari Triyodasi or the first day of Diwali.

Dhanteras is formed by combining two words Dhan and Teras. Dhan means wealth and Teras is the thirteenth day of the Paksha or fortnight. Dhanteras is considered as the first day of Diwali and the puja of Goddess Lakshmi starts on Dhanteras. The Diyas are also lit from Dhanteras.

Dhanteras is also known as Dhanwantari Triyodasi, as it is considered as the birthday of the God Dhanwantri, who is the physician of Gods. It is believed that God Dhanwantri appeared on Dhanteras while the ocean of milk was churned for the divine nectar called Amrit.

Rituals on Dhanteras or Yamadeepdan or Dhanwantari Triyodasi or First day of Diwali

Devotees get up early in the morning and take a head bath.

They pray to Goddess Lakshmi.

It is believed that buying of precious metals on Dhanteras brings good luck and so it is made a point to buy Gold or silver on Dhanteras depending on whatever they can afford. But every one tries to buy at least some amount of Silver or Gold.

In the evening puja of Goddess Lakshmi is performed.

In the night a Diya is ignited and care is taken that the Diya or lamp is lit the whole night. This Diya is lit to please the God Yama the lord of Death. There is a legend behind lighting the Diya which is known ad Yamadeepdan. The story of the Yamadeepdan on Dhanteras can be read at “ Yamadeepdan on Dhanteras”.

In Maharashtra it is a custom to offer Naivedya made out of Jaggery and pounded Coriander seed to Goddess Laksmi.

In South India Cows are decorated with ornaments and worshipped on Dhanteras. Cows are considered as another form of Goddess Lakshmi and hence worshipped on this day.

In few places small footprints are drawn as if Goddess Lakshmi is walking into the house on Dhanteras.

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