Dhanteras is the first day of the five-day Diwali festival, which falls on the thirteenth lunar day of the dark fortnight in the month of Kartik. This year, Dhanteras will be celebrated on November 10, 2023. According to Hindu mythology, this is the day when Lord Dhanvantari, the god of Ayurveda and an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, emerged from the ocean with a pot of nectar during the churning of the ocean (Samudra Manthan). Therefore, Dhanteras is also known as Dhanvantari Jayanti or Dhantrayodashi.
On this auspicious day, Hindus worship Lord Dhanvantari, Kuber, the god of wealth, and Yama, the god of death, along with Gauri and Ganesha, the goddess and god of auspiciousness. It is believed that by performing this worship with devotion and faith, one can attain good health, prosperity, longevity, and happiness. It is also considered very auspicious to buy gold, silver, utensils, vehicles, brooms, and other items on this day to welcome Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, into one’s home.
The worship of Lord Dhanvantari, Kuber, and Yama can be done with the Panchopachar method, which involves offering five items to the deities: gandha (sandalwood paste), Pushpa (flowers), dhoop (incense), deep (lamp) and naivedya (food). The following are the steps to perform the Panchopachar puja:
- Clean the place of worship and place the idols or pictures of Lord Dhanvantari, Kuber, Yama, Gauri, and Ganesha on a wooden platform or a cloth. Arrange the puja items such as Roli, turmeric, akshat, fruits, sweets, garland, flowers, and incense near the idols or pictures.
- Take a bath and wear clean clothes. Light a lamp and incense sticks. Invoke the presence of the deities by chanting their names and mantras. Offer water to the deities for washing their feet, mouth, and hands. Wipe them with a clean cloth.
- Apply roli, turmeric, and akshat to the foreheads of the deities. Offer garland and flowers to them. Offer sweets and fruits as naivedya. Offer water to them for drinking.
- Worship Lord Dhanvantari by chanting the mantra “Om Namo Bhagavate Dhanvantaraye Namah” 108 times. Worship Lord Kuber by chanting the mantra “Om Vaishravanaya Swaha” 108 times. Worship Lord Yama by chanting the mantra “Om Yamaya Namah” 108 times. Worship Gauri and Ganesha by chanting the mantra “Shri Lakshmi Namah” 108 times.
- Perform aarti to the deities by waving a lamp in a circular motion in front of them. Sing devotional songs or hymns in praise of the deities. Pray to them for their blessings and grace. Seek their forgiveness for any mistakes or sins committed. Thank them for their protection and guidance. Bow down to them with reverence and gratitude.
- Distribute the prasad (sacred food) to the family members and other devotees. You can also donate some money or food to the poor and needy as a gesture of charity and compassion.
By following this simple and easy method of worship, you can please Lord Dhanvantari, Kuber, and Yama on the day of Dhanteras and receive their benevolence and favor. May you have a happy and prosperous Dhanteras and Diwali!