During the Hindu month of Karthika, the thirteenth day of the Krishna paksha, as per the Hindu calendar, is observed as Dhanteras. It is with Dhanteras that the celebration of Diwali begins, as it falls two days before Diwali.
It is also known as Dhanvantri Jayanti, Dhanvantri Trayodashi and Yamadeepdaan. The word "Dhan" means wealth and "Teras" means 13, and it is on this day that the great goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kubera are worshipped. It is said that on this day Goddess Lakshmi had emerged from the ocean during Samudra Manthan.
This year, Dhanteras falls on 5th November and the Puja can be performed any time between 17:35 (5:35 PM) and 19:30 (7:30 PM), which would be the auspicious Muhurat for Dhanteras Puja.
Dhanteras Puja Vidhi
Following is the Dhanteras puja vidhi and mantra for Dhanteras Puja. Have a look.
1. To begin with the Puja, one needs to make certain preparations and arrangements. This puja is performed in the evening after seeing the stars. Take a wooden stool and place a Swastika on it. (The Swastika for performing Dhanteras Puja will be easily available in the market.)
2. Place a diya with four wicks (earthen or flour dough lamp) on this Swastika and then light it. You can use ghee or oil for the diyas.
3. Now you need to put a cowry shell with a hole in it, into the diya and then light the diya. This diya is lit so as to gratify the lord of death 'Lord Yamraj' and also to pay gratitude to the deceased ancestors of the family, as it is believed in some communities. Now you have to sit down and recite the Dhanvantri mantra for 108 times. The Dhanvantri mantra is as follows:
Om Namoh Bhagvatey Vasudevaya
Sarvamaya Vinashaye Trilokanathaya
Sri Mahavishnave Swaha
4. After the Dhanvantri Puja, you have to follow it with the Ganesh Lakshmi puja. Offer flowers and sweets to Lord Ganesh as well as Goddess Lakshmi. Light incense sticks and Dhoop. You may use clay idols of Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi to perform this vidhi of the Dhanteras Puja.
5. With the help of a panchpatra, i.e., a copper vessel, sprinkle the holy water of river Ganga around the diya at least three times. Now apply the roli tilak and rice grains on the lamp. After performing this, you are to offer four sweets before each of the four wicks of the diya. You can also use sugar, kheel and batasha to make the offering. Also, do not forget to put a 1 rupee coin in the diya.
6. It is now that you have to offer flowers to the diya and finally light the incense sticks or dhoop batti. The women have to go around the diya four times and then pray. Kneel and perform the Pranam to the diya to show your respect and devotion towards the almighty.
7. The eldest woman of the family or an unmarried one puts tilak on the forehead of the rest of the family members, and lastly a male member of the family has to take the lit diya and place it on the right-hand side of the entrance of the house. It is also essential to note that while keeping the diya on the main entrance, you must make sure the flame of the diya is in the southern direction.
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