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Dhanteras is one of the most auspicious days of the year. Dhanteras marks the beginning of the five-day Diwali festival. It is believed that whatever ones buys on this day, reaps rich benefits. The word Dhanteras is derived from two words – ‘Dhan’, meaning wealth and ‘Teras’, which signifies the 13th day of the Krishna Paksh, of the lunar month Kartik. “Dhanteras is the day of incarnation of Dhanwantari, the God of health. It is said that on this day, Dhanwantari arouse from Lord Vishnu’s Samudra Manthan, or churning of the ocean, with a pot of life-giving nectar. So, one prays to Dhanawantri, the deity of health, for good health and wealth in life,” explains states Jayshree Dhamani, a Vastu Shastra and astrology expert. In 2021, Dhanteras will be celebrated on November 2, Tuesday.
“Dhanteras or Dhantrayodashi, which is celebrated two days before Diwali, is an auspicious time to buy property or give token money for a new house. However, ideally, one must not perform a griha pravesh on this day. People also buy gold or silver, utensils and electronic appliances, on this day,” says Mumbai-based Nitien Parmar of VastuPlus. “It is believed that any purchases, whether it may be gold or property, will flourish and bring prosperity, if bought on this auspicious day,” adds Parmar. Dhanteras is an auspicious time to buy property or give token money for a new house. However, one must not do a griha pravesh on this day.
See also: Vastu Shastra tips for a temple at home
A Dhanteras puja is performed in the evening. Along with fresh flowers and prasad, one offers wheat and various pulses. Small footprints, using vermilion, symbolising the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi, are made near the entrance of the home. “Many people also take out their gold and silver items from their lockers and clean it with honey, holy water, curd and milk. People also buy new gold or silver, on this day. Finally an aarti is performed,” Parmar elaborates. It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi is associated with Gomti Chakra, the white coloured sea shell which has small circles. Hence, people buy it to welcome the Goddess of wealth to their homes. On this day, a Chaumukhi – a square diya with four wicks – is lit up at the main entrance door of the house in the evening. Also, earthen lamps are lit at the entrance and in the entire household, to drive out the evil energy and Lord Yama.
Lakshmi puja and Diwali celebrations
Diwali is one of the most important festivals in our country. It is also a day when the Goddesses of wealth is worshipped. To welcome Goddess Lakshmi, home owners clean their homes thoroughly. One should remove shoes, slippers and other broken and unwanted things from the entrance of the house. “It is believed that Goddess Lakshmi only enters a clean house. So, ensure that the home is free of dust, dirt, cobwebs and old and broken things, as they obstruct positive energy from entering the house. From a practical perspective, this is done, to rid the house of insects and fungus, which may have built up during the monsoons,” Parmar explains.
Diwali is celebrated on the day of amavasya of Kartik month. As there is no moonlight on Amavasya, hence, diyas are lit to illuminate the home. Lighting of the diyas, signifies dispelling of darkness, (ignorance) and it represents knowledge, happiness and hope. For Diwali puja, the temple area should have good flow of energy and hence, should be clean. “As the sun rises from the east, one gets maximum energy in this direction. Keep all idols on the east wall of your house and face east, while worshiping. The Diwali puja is done after the sunset and the mahurat lasts for almost two hours, after sunset,” says Parmar.
How to do puja on Dhanteras?
A kalash, rice, kum kum, coconut and betel leaves, are all needed for the puja. Light a diya to start a puja and this diya should be kept lit overnight. Traditions suggest that the devotees should worship clay and silver or any other metal idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi. Avoid buying glass or plaster of Paris idols. The entire family should sit together for the puja. “During the puja, one worships three forms of Goddess Lakshmi – Goddess MahaLakshmi, Maha Kaali and Goddess Saraswati. People also worship Lords Kuber and Ganesha, as they represent wealth, education and peace and serenity,” adds Dhamani.
Prasad of fruits, sweets and dry fruits must be offered. Decorate the temple with fresh flowers, especially red roses and lotus. Light camphor, dhoop or incense sticks. Reciting aartis, ringing bells and chanting of mantras, are the rituals to be followed for blessings of the divine.
Puja mahurat for Dhanteras and Diwali
Dhanteras: 6.18 PM to 8.11 PM on November 2, 2021.
Diwali Lakshmi Puja: 6.18 PM to 8:06 PM on November 4, 2021.
Vastu tips for Lakshmi Puja on Dhanteras and Diwali
- Make sure you keep the idol of lord Ganesha on the left of Goddess Lakshmi while Goddess Saraswati is placed on the right side. All the idols should be in the sitting position. Set up the puja area in the north-east direction of the home. The idols placed in the puja must face the east direction. When performing the puja, sit facing the north direction.
- Place the kalash on the chowki covered with a red cloth above it, place the idols and decorate it with sindoor and flowers.
- Some of the offerings for Laxmi Puja include batasha (spherical crispy sugar candy ) laddoos, betel leaves and dry fruits, coconut, sweets and some coins or jewellery.
- Spray salt water in all the corners of your home as it absorbs negativity and purifies the atmosphere.
- Lighting guggal dhoop is considered very auspicious during Diwali. It brings peacefulness to the environment.
- Do not wear dark-coloured clothes for Lakshmi Puja as it is considered inauspicious.
- Apart from laddu, offer rice kheer as prasad during this puja as it is considered very auspicious.
- Offer lotus to Goddess Lakshmi after Diwali Puja, as it is considered very lucky for the house.
- It is auspicious to ring a bell or blow a conch at the time of Lakshmi Puja, as it removes negative energies from the house.
- Chant the mantras of Lakshmi and perform an arati to conclude the puja.
Tips to decorate the house for Diwali and Dhanteras
- The main door is called as the Simha Dwara and it is the face of the Vastu Pursush. Hence, should be decorated well, clean and free of any obstructions.
- Light diyas, not only near the temple but also keep them at the main door. Diyas symbolise goodness and purity and lighting them denotes chasing away darkness or ignorance and going into the light and knowledge. Vastu associates the tulsi plant with Goddess Lakshmi. If you have a tulsi plant, keep diyas near it. Traditionally, diyas were lit using ghee (clarified butter) but nowadays people commonly use mustard oil diyas for Diwali. Keep safety in mind, when placing diyas near the main door, windows or in the temple. Opt for diyas with glass covers.
- Decorate the home with rangoli designs, with motifs like lotus, swastika, Om, etc., to welcome Goddess Lakshmi.
- Hanging of torans at the entrance, restricts negative energies from entering the house and invites good luck and prosperity.
- Decorate the temple with fresh flowers, like marigold, mogras and roses. On a white paper, write ‘Shubh Labh’ with Kum Kum and keep it near the Lakshmi idol or photo.
Eco-friendly Dhanteras and Diwali Puja tips
When worshiping Goddesses Lakshmi and celebrating Dhanteras and Diwali, do it in a sustainable and eco-friendly way. Use earthen diyas for the puja and brighten up the puja room or temple with LED lights. Decorate the altar and the main door with fresh flowers, floral strings, origami or bamboo decorations. Make a rangoli near the puja area with biodegradable colour or use rice powder, flower petals and grains. Avoid plastic lanterns and instead, use recycled or handmade paper, clay palm leaf and jute lanterns. Decorate the puja thali with turmeric powder, kum kum and fresh flowers or simply paint them.
How to do Laxmi Puja on Dhanteras at home?
Keep a kalash half-filled with water (mixed with Gangajal), a betel nut, a flower, a coin and some rice grains together. After this, take a plate and bathe the idol of Lakshmi with panchamrit.
What should be done on Dhanteras?
On the night of Dhanteras, diyas (lamps) should be lit in honour of Lakshmi and Dhanvantari. Buying gold or silver articles or even steel utensils (ensure it is not empty, fill it with water or some grain when taking it home) is considered very auspicious.
Can one buy a broom on the day of Dhanteras?
Apart from gold and silver, brooms are also bought on Dhanteras, as it symbolises the removal of poverty from the household.
What should one avoid buying on the day of Dhanteras?
On Dhanteras, never buy items which have sharp edges, leather or things made of iron. Avoid buying black-coloured things on Dhanteras.
What is the significance of kheel batasha during Diwali Puja?
Kheel is puffed rice and batasha is sugar candy offered to Godesses Lakshmi during Diwali, seeking blessings for health and wealth.
Can we keep a standing Lakshmi idol at home?
It is advised to keep images of Lakshmi comfortable seated, preferably next to Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge.
(With inputs from Surbhi Gupta)