|period of unhappiness signifies lighting the lamps of truth and purity and driving away the darkness that lives within as well as surrounds us. To celebrate the re-establishment of God on earth and demise of the rule of asuras or Ravana, Diwali is celebrated. Since coming of the divine reign signifies the freedom of the wealth from the clutches of the anti-divine, Dhanteras which precedes Diwali by 2 days is celebrated.
According to the myths, death which came to prowl in the household of King Hema in the form of a serpent was prevented from killing his son by the power of Goddess Lakshmi. The amassed wealth and the dazzling lights of divine energy made death retrace its steps. People light lamps throughout the night of Dhanteras to keep away death from their doorway even today.
story that is associated with the Dhanteras event is the 'Samudramanthan'.
In order to restore order in his kingdom, accursed Lord Indra had to defeat
the asuras who had invaded heaven and usurped wealth and happiness. Goddess
Lakshmi who had fled from the kingdom had to be brought back. Lord Vishnu
was approached and his
decision was to churn the ocean to acquire the amrit or ambrosia that
would immortalise the Devas. Since the churning was an upheaval task Asuras
were included in the design and later duped as immortalising them or the
asuric qualities could be perilous for the country as well as an individual
if both the macrocosmic and the microcosmic worlds are to be considered.
Lakshmi, the goddess of power, bravery, enthusiasm and radiance was restored
after days of drilling of the ocean and periods of spilling out venom
and finally attaining the sweet nectar that immortalizes one.
Socially people clean their homes, revamp and decorate them, draw traditional motifs of rangoli at the entrance of their homes to welcome the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, worship Goddess Lakshmi and light earthen lamps at door ways and windowsills. On Dhanteras women buy gold, silver or utensils to mark the welcome of wealth at their household.
Earthen ‘katoris’ known as kulris and chaugaras, lots of kheel (puffed rice), toys made out of candy (known as khand ke khilone) are sold for puja. The shops selling wares are well decorated.
Dhanteras festival is ideal time for setting up business, commencing new projects, deciding wedding dates, buying cars and jewellery. Exchanging gifts on Dhanteras is very popular. Special gifts for Dhanteras flood the market.In villages cattles are adorned and worshiped by farmers as they form the main source of their income.
Dhanteras as the word denotes is welcoming wealth 'Dhan'on the thirteenth day ('teras') of the month of Aashin (Ashwin). The events that surrounds Dhanteras and the myths that mark this important event reestablish the restoration of the Divine on the earth, the selfdiscovery of the nectar that lies within every human soul and the restoration and freedom of the wealth from the clutches of asuric forces.
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