Spiritual Significance Of Dhanteras – The First Day Of Diwali Celebrations


Dhanteras is known to be the festival of wealth. It also has other names like Dhantrayodashi or Dhanwantari Triodasi. The name Dhanteras is formed by the culmination of the two words that is Dhan and teras. “Dhan” means wealth and “teras” means that this festival is observed on the thirteenth day of Krishna paksh of the Kartik month that is between October-November.

Dhanteras or Dhantrayodashi is one of the most important religious ceremonies that is performed on the first day out of 5 days of Diwali puja and celebration. This special celebration is also called Yamadeepdaan as all the ladies of the house light earthen lamps or ‘diya’ all through the night to worship Yama, the god of Death. Dhanwantari Triodasi or Dhanteras is one of the important events in India that is celebrated with great fervor throughout India.

Like every festival that we celebrate has some of the other mythological connection so does Dhanteras. Last year when I was all set to buy a gold ring on Dhanteras my mother asked me if I knew the significance of buying gold and lighting diyas on this day. I was at loss of words that is when she told me the story. As per mythology, the sixteen-year-old son of King Hima was doomed to death by a snakebite on the fourth day of his marriage.

But on the fourth day of his marriage, his newlywed wife did not permit him to sleep. It is believed she had laid out all her ornaments and lots of gold and silver coins in a heap at the entrance of her husband’s room and then she lit innumerable lamps all over the place. And she also continued telling stories and sang various songs to keep her husband awake all night.

When Yama, the god of Death arrived at her door in disguise of a Serpent, it is believed his eyes got blinded by that dazzle of all those lights and gold thus he could not enter the Prince’s chamber. But he did climb on top of the heap of the of ornaments and coins and stayed there whole night listening to the melodious songs. In the morning he quietly went away. Thus, in this way, the young wife saved her husband from the clutches of death.

This is the reason why this day of Dhanteras came to be known as the day of “Yamadeepdaan” thus lamps are kept burning throughout the night in adoration to Yam, the god of Death.

My mother continued saying that on this day bringing in new things are considered auspicious and the houses are also cleaned and old things are replaced with the new ones. This also has a spiritual significance. The way we clean our house, in the same way, we should also clean our thoughts and make way for Guru Prem, Seva, Bhakti and Naam Jap and replace the old thoughts that are redundant and useless with the new and refreshing thoughts of love. Dhanteras Puja is usually held on the evening of the auspicious day by the lighting of tiny diyas. The lighting of diyas signifies that the shadow of evil spirit can be kept away from our homes.

The Dhanteras Puja is said to purify your previous sins and it also acts as a remedy for removal of all doshas keeping health related problems at bay. Dhanteras Puja is also believed to eradicate all sinful-effects of Black magic, Curses, Evil spells, Ghosts and Spirits and protects one from an untimely death. Dhanteras or Dhantrayodashi also cure us of the ill effects of previous attacks and protects us from all the bad effects that would hurt us in future. On whole, this day is thus considered to be very auspicious to buy authentic Parad items, silver, gold, jewelry, and new utensils as they are also symbols of prosperity and wealth.

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