Bhubaneswar, Nov 10: Dhanteras, a highly auspicious festival, known as Dhanatrayodashi, signifies the commencement of the five-day Diwali celebrations. On this day, in accordance with tradition, people invest in gold and silver, purchasing jewelry and utensils. 'Dhan' signifies wealth, and 'teras' denotes the thirteenth day of the lunar cycle.
It is also considered auspicious to acquire idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh on this day, as they are venerated during Diwali.
This year, as indicated by drikpanchang.com, Dhanteras will be celebrated with great enthusiasm on November 10, which falls on a Friday. The Dhanteras Puja Muhurat commences at 05:47 PM and concludes at 07:43 PM, spanning a puja duration of 1 hour and 56 minutes.
As per the legend, Dhantrayodashi is the day when Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean during the churning of the milk. Consequently, Goddess Lakshmi, along with Lord Kubera, the God of wealth, is worshipped on Trayodashi, as stated by drikpanchang.com.
Drikpanchang.com also notes that Lakshmi Puja on Dhanteras should be performed during the Pradosh Kaal, which begins after sunset and lasts approximately for two hours and 24 minutes.
"The most auspicious time for Lakshmi Puja on Dhanteras is during Pradosh Kaal when Sthir Lagna is prevalent. Sthir means fixed, implying that it does not change. If Dhanteras Puja is conducted during Sthir Lagna, it is believed that Goddess Lakshmi will grace your home, making this the ideal time for Dhanteras Pujan. Vrishabha Lagna is considered a Sthir Lagna and typically coincides with Pradosh Kaal during the Diwali festivities," as explained by Drik Panchang.
Furthermore, there is a belief associated with this day: King Hima's 16-year-old son was destined to die on the fourth night of his marriage due to a snakebite. To save his life, his wife collected all her gold ornaments and coins. She sang songs and narrated stories to keep her husband awake, preventing him from falling asleep. When Yamaraj, the god of death, arrived in the form of a serpent to claim the prince's life, he was captivated by the gleam of the gold and was entranced by the melodious music and stories. As a result, the king's life was spared. Consequently, the tradition of lighting a lamp for the God of death, Yamadeep, outside the home on Dhanteras is observed to ward off untimely death among family members.
Interestingly, Dhanteras is also observed as Dhanwantari Triodasi or Dhanvantri Jayanti, which commemorates the birth anniversary of the God of Ayurveda.