On the 13th lunar day (Trayodashi Tithi) of Krishna Paksha or Dark Fortnight, Dhanteras, also called Dhanavantri Trayodashi and Dhanatrayodashi, is celebrated in India. People worship ‘wealth’, which enables their lives to progress. According to the Shrisukta, the Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Sun are names of pure wealth.
Numerous people devote Dhanteras to the medicine Lord Dhanvantri, while others spend their time worshipping Lord Yamaraj and Goddess Lakshmi.
Worshipping Goddess Lakshmi on Dhanteras brings happiness, prosperity, and wealth. It’s a practice to buy a gold coin on the day of Dhantrayodashi so that there’s prosperity throughout the year. Furthermore, if the wealth available till Dhantrayodashi gets utilized for serving god, it continues to live with us in the form of Devi Lakshmi. The scriptures recommend offering at least 1/6th of the earnings to god.’
Story of Lord Dhanavantri
According to Ayurved, this is the birthdate of the Deity Dhanavantari. According to Ayurveda, Dhanvantri is considered the God of Ayurveda and medicine. It’s believed that he was the one who spread knowledge of Ayurveda to man and helped him get rid of diseases. They distribute neem leaves and sugar as prasad to visitors, which has significance. The neem fruit originated from Amrit ( Divine nectar). The distribution of specific prasad signifies that Shri Dhanvantari is the Deity who bestows the Divine Principle.
The tale of Lord Yam Raja
King Hima’s son, whose horoscope predicted that he’d die on the fourth day after his marriage because of a snake bite. However, upon hearing this, his wife decided to turn her husband’s fate around. She assured her husband didn’t sleep on the four days of their marriage by reciting stories and keeping him awake. To deceive the snake, she made a pile of all her coins and ornaments at their sleeping chambers’ entrance and lit several diyas. When Yamaraj arrived disguised as a snake, he couldn’t see anything due to the brightness of the diyas and the metals. It’s believed that Lord Yamaraj stayed there the entire night and left the following morning quietly, without killing him.
For this reason, Dhanteras is also known as Yamadepdaan and to prevent untimely death, an oil lamp (or thirteen oil lamps) made of wheat flour should be lit and placed outside the house in the evening, facing southward. Then we should recite the following mantra.
मृत्युना पाशदंडाभ्यां कालेन श्यामसह ।
त्रयोदश्यांदिपदानात् सूर्यजः प्रीयतां मम ।।
My offering is to the son of the Sun Deity so that He will free me from death’s clutches and bestow His blessings upon me.