According to Hindu philosophy there are four purusharthas or goals of human life. They are Dharma (righteousness, duty and moral order), Artha (wealth and prosperity), Kama (wordly desires), Moksha (liberation or salvation). Hindu festivals are also celebration of these principles. Many critics believe that Hinduism always deals with things that are other-worldly. A close look at rituals associated with Hindu festivals will reveal that they are an effort to drill in these principles into the masses.
Diwali, the five-day festival, starts with Dhanteras. Dhanteras is a combination of Sanskrit words dhan and teras — the 13th day of the Hindu calendar. It is also known as Dhantrayodashi. On this day, Hindus worship Goddess of wealth Lakshmi and Lord Kubera. It is celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha in the Vikram Sambat Hindu calendar month of Aaswayuja in the Amavasyanta Luni-Solar Calendar.
Hindus believe, it is auspicious to purchase precious metals like gold and silver and utensils. The belief is that during Dhanteras, Lakshmi visits home and people make intricate and colourful designs to welcome the goddess. People also make footprints with vermillion powder along with rice flour to signify the arrival of Lakshmi. Offerings are made to Lakshmi and Kuber, as people believe this would double the benefit of prayers.
Hema Malini on Dhanteras
“I am a strong follower of traditions. I follow and celebrate each and every festival as it brings the entire family together. Dhanteras is a North Indian festival. Before my marriage, when I used to live with my mother, on this day we used to decorate the entrances with colourful lanterns and traditional motifs of rangoli or kolam designs which are made to welcome the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. To indicate her long-awaited arrival, we also draw small footprints with rice flour and vermilion powder all over the houses. Lamps are kept burning all through the night. But after marriage when I moved to Mumbai, I found that here it is celebrated with lot of gusto. A majority of Hindus consider it auspicious to purchase gold or silver articles or utensils. It is believed that new “dhan” is a sign of good luck. Lakshmi puja is performed in the evenings while diyas of clay are lit to drive away the shadows of evil spirits. Bhajans in praise of Goddess Lakshmi are also sung. For bhog, we usually prepare puris and sweets to offer it to Goddess Lakshmi. A mixture made of honey, ghee, sugar, yogurt and milk called Panchamritham is also offered,” says Hema Malini, MP, BJP, tells indusscrolls.com.
Dhanteras 2017: Puja Vidhi and Muhurat Timings
Dhanteras Puja Timing- 19:32 pm to 20:18 pm
Pradosh Kaal – 17:49 pm to 20:18 pm
Vrishabha Kaal – 19:32 pm to 21:33 pm
Trayodashi Tithi starts at 00:26 am on 17th October, 2017
Trayodashi Tithi ends at 00:08 am on 18th October, 2017
Lakshmi puja should be done during Pradosh Kaal which starts after sunset.