Festivals & Fasts

Dhanteras

Dhanteras

Krishna Trayodashi of Ashwin Month

Birth Celebration for Goddess Laksmi and Dhanvantri

Dhan means wealth and teras is short for Trayodashi, the 13th day of the tithi of the lunar month. Traditionally Dhanteras is an auspicious day where the people wait for the arrival of Wealth. Those involved in the material life tend to think of this wealth in terms of money and the house is decorated to invite the goddess of wealth Lakshmi into their houses.

The real meaning of dhan is spiritual wealth and Man's aspiration for Amrita, the real wealth. Amrita is the nectar of immortality which allows the soul to let go of the shackles of this material life.

According to the legend, the ocean of milk was churned by the Gods and the Demons in search of Amrita, the nectar of immortality. First came the poisons that threatened to ruin the world. This was drunk by Shiva. Herbs, gems, Moon and Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, all emerged from this ocean. Dhanteras heralds the coming of Lakshmi but also of Dhanvantri, it is part of the Diwali celebrations.

Dhanvantri arose during Samudra Manthan carrying the pot of Amrita on Ashwin Trayodashi. Dhanvantri is the god of Ayurveda and the physician to the gods.

Finally, Dhanvantri emerged carrying the pot of Amrita. Amrita carries with it the secret of eternal life. Dhanvantri teaches us how to preserve our health and well being.

Dhanvantri is a demi-god as he can only preserve life, he cannot give eternity. Dhanvantri was given the task of helping to preserve the health of humans as so that they could fulfill the spiritual mission of this incarnation. Without good health, the soul is unable to follow its path.

Dhanteras is a good day to consider about your health but also learn to preserve your spiritual wealth and this will, in turn, give the physical strength to deal with the material but also allow you to fulfill the soul's purpose in this incarnation.


Dhanvantri Gayatri

Om Vasudevaya Vighmahe
Vaidhyarajaya Dhimahi
Tanno Dhanwantri Prachodayat

Gayatri is a mantra that seeks the inner spirituality and this mantra prays to Dhanvantri for his blessings.


— Komilla Sutton

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