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Dhanteras: An Auspicious Prelude to Diwali Celebrations

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As the much-awaited Diwali festivities approach, Hindus across the country come together to celebrate the auspicious festival of Dhanteras. Falling on the Trayodashi Tithi of Krishna Paksha in the month of Kartik, Dhanteras marks the commencement of Diwali, spreading joy and religious fervour.

Cultural and Religious Significance of Dhanteras:

Observed on November 10 this year, this is a day of immense cultural and religious importance in Hinduism. It holds spiritual significance as a celebration of victory, with Diwali festivities extending over five or six days, starting from Dhanteras and culminating with Bhai Dooj.

On this propitious day, devotees engage in worshipping Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Kubera, and Lord Dhanvantari, the God of Ayurveda and health. The prayers are offered with a heartfelt appeal for wealth, prosperity, and overall well-being.

Mythological Roots – Samudra Manthan:

The origins of the festival can be traced back to Hindu mythology and the churning of the milk ocean, known as Samudra Manthan. During this celestial event, Goddess Lakshmi emerged, symbolizing wealth and fortune. Hence, Dhanteras holds a special place as a day to invoke the blessings of prosperity.

Alongside Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Kubera, the divine custodian of wealth, and Lord Dhanvantari are also revered on this day. The festival encourages believers to embark on the path of righteousness, seeking spiritual wealth along with material affluence.

Dhanteras Rituals:

The evening of Dhanteras is marked by the performance of special rituals that resonate with divinity and auspiciousness. As the sun sets, devotees engage in a ceremonial Lakshmi puja, offering prayers and seeking the goddess’s blessings. The sacred Dhanteras Katha, recounting the stories of wealth and fortune, is recited during this time.

Homes are illuminated with the warm glow of oil lamps, signifying the welcoming of Goddess Lakshmi into households. Rangoli patterns, crafted with intricate designs using vermilion and rice flour, adorn entryways, enhancing the festive ambiance.

One of the significant customs of Dhanteras is the purchase of new items during the auspicious muhurat. Gold and silver, considered highly auspicious, are often acquired, as it is believed to attract the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi. Additionally, items like copper utensils, Kuber Yantra, brass elephants, and even brooms are considered symbols of good luck.

The Prosperous Muhurat:

The timing of purchases during the auspicious muhurat is crucial, signifying the alignment with divine energies. Devotees often flock to markets to acquire new items, symbolizing a fresh start and prosperity for the upcoming year.

Community Celebrations:

Dhanteras is not merely a festival confined to individual homes; it fosters a sense of community spirit. People come together, exchange greetings, and partake in collective prayers, reinforcing the bonds of unity and cultural harmony.

As Dhanteras heralds the beginning of the joyous Diwali season, it sets the stage for the upcoming days filled with festivities, lights, and jubilation. The festival resonates with the essence of hope, prosperity, and the triumph of good over evil.

In essence, Dhanteras goes beyond a ritualistic celebration; it is a cultural tapestry interwoven with beliefs, stories, and traditions that reflect the richness of India’s heritage. As families unite and homes shine with the radiance of diyas, the spirit of Dhanteras illuminates hearts, fostering a sense of abundance and gratitude.

ALSO READ: KATI BIHU: PENANCE AND DEVOTION

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