The Stories of Dhanteras

Dhanteras, a prominent Hindu festival celebrated with much enthusiasm and devotion, marks the beginning of the five-day festival of lights, Diwali. While Dhanteras is synonymous with buying gold, silver, and other precious metals, it is rich in legends that provide deep insights into the cultural and mythological significance of this auspicious day.


Legend 1: The Tale of Cleverness and Love

One of the most popular legends associated with Dhanteras tells the story of a young prince whose horoscope foretold his death by snakebite on the fourth day of his marriage. On the fated day, his quick-witted wife devised a plan to save her husband's life. She placed a heap of gold and silver coins, along with her ornaments, at the entrance of their chamber and illuminated it with numerous lamps. Throughout the night, she regaled him with stories and songs, preventing him from falling asleep. When Yama, the god of death, arrived in the form of a serpent, he was blinded by the brilliance of the lamps and jewelry. Unable to enter, Yama perched atop the treasure and listened to the stories and songs. At dawn, he quietly departed, leaving the prince unharmed. This act of intelligence and love led to the celebration of Dhanteras.


Legend 2: Goddess Lakshmi and the Farmer's Prosperity

Another compelling legend revolves around Goddess Lakshmi and a poor farmer. Goddess Lakshmi accompanied Lord Vishnu to Earth, but she was prohibited from looking in the south direction during her stay. However, her curiosity got the best of her, and she gazed southward, captivated by the beauty of mustard flowers and sugarcane fields. She adorned herself with the flowers and savored sugarcane juice, breaking her pledge.

Lord Vishnu, displeased by her actions, instructed her to serve a poor farmer for twelve years as a form of penance. Over time, the farmer's fortunes multiplied, and he became wealthy. When it was time for Goddess Lakshmi to return to Vaikuntha, Lord Vishnu went to retrieve her. However, the farmer, now prosperous, refused to let her go. After several failed attempts, Goddess Lakshmi revealed her identity and promised to visit the farmer every year on Krishna Trayodashi before Diwali. The farmer, in turn, began to clean his home and light lamps to welcome the goddess, ensuring his prosperity year after year. This tradition spread, and people began to worship Goddess Lakshmi on Dhanteras, also known as Dhantrayodashi.


Legend 3: Ayurveda and the Divine Healer, Lord Dhanvantari

Dhanteras also has a connection to Ayurveda, the ancient system of medicine. According to Indian mythology, during the churning of the ocean, Samudra Manthan, the gods and demons produced the nectar of immortality, known as amrita. It was Lord Dhanvantari who emerged from the ocean bearing this elixir, a gift of healing for all and the foundation of Ayurveda.

Lord Dhanvantari shared his wisdom of Ayurveda, encompassing diet, herbs, pranayama, mantra, and meditation. By honoring Dhanvantari and his teachings, individuals could tap into Ayurveda's healing power. This legend highlights the profound connection between health and wealth, encouraging people to invest in their well-being on Dhanteras.


Legend 4: The Victory of Gods Over Demons

Another intriguing tale linked to Dhanteras involves Lord Vishnu taking the form of Vamana to subdue the demon king, Bali (Mahabali). Despite the efforts of Shukracharya, the demon guru, to thwart the donation, King Bali fulfills his promise to grant Vamana three steps of land. In a divine twist, Vamana measures the entire Earth in two steps and asks for a place to put his third step. With no land remaining, King Bali offers his own head in devotion. In this way, the gods overcame the demons, and Dhanteras also symbolizes this triumph.

Dhanteras is a festival that intertwines legends of intelligence, devotion, prosperity, and health. As people celebrate this auspicious occasion by purchasing gold and silver, lighting lamps, and worshipping Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Kubera, they also reflect on the deeper spiritual and cultural significance of the day. It is a time to cherish the wisdom of the past and to hope for a future filled with wealth, health, and happiness.



Leave a comment