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Dhanteras: Meaning, Significance, Rituals and Importance of Gold & Silver

Updated on January 8, 2022
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Dhanteras is a Hindu worship before the festival of Diwali, also known as 'Dhanatrayodash' (Sanskrit: धनत्रयोदशी), from this day the festival of Diwali begins.

The name of Dhanteras Puja is derived by combining two Sanskrit words, Dhan and Teras.

• “DHAN” : From the name of Lord Dhanvantari.
• “TERAS” : Birthday of Lord Dhanwantari, on Trayodishi (on the 13th lunar day of Krishna Paksha). And "Teras" means, thirteenth

On which day Dhanteras Puja (worship) is done?

Dhanteras is celebrated every year, on the 13th day of the moon cycle, in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik, which falls in October or November.

Why is Dhanteras Celebrated?

The festival of Dhanteras is celebrated to mark the birthday of Lord Dhanvantari (incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and the god of health).

According to the belief of Hindu religion, the health of a human is the first priority and that is why this worship is done on the first day of the festival of Diwali. Yamraj, the god of death and Lord Dhanvantari, is worshiped on this day.

The Lord Dhanvantari
The Lord Dhanvantari | Source

The Lord Dhanvantari

Lord Dhanvantari was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who introduced the spiritual science of Ayurveda to relieve human misery, bless them healthier and overjoyed life and get rid of diseases and sufferings.

Confinement of the spiritual science of Ayurveda

Ayurveda is considered to be a divine science in Hinduism, which was prescribed by Lord Brahma to rid humans of diseases. Lord Brahma taught this knowledge to Prajapati, from which Ashwini Kumars learned this knowledge and taught it further to lord Indra.

The Kord Indra, taught this knowledge to all the other gods and it spread in heaven. But the knowledge of this Devine science was not yet available in the earth, which Lord Dhanvantari brought it to the human beings on the earth.

The birth of lord Dhanvantari
The birth of lord Dhanvantari

The appearance of Lord Dhanvantari

When and how did Lord Dhanvantari appeared on earth?

There is an ancient legend behind the appearance of Lord Dhanvantari, when gods and demons together started churning the ocean, then many gems came out of it, out of which a Bulues-black coloured boy also appeared, holding the pot of Amrit (Divine nectar) in his hand.

Though he disappeared after handing over the Devine nectar, but Lord Vishnu foretold “He would appear again in the world to impart the divine science of Ayurveda”. Later that child was reborn on earth, and he gave the knowledge of Ayurveda to the whole world. Who was the incarnation of the Lord Vishnu and known as Lord Dhanvantari.

Where and when was Lord Dhanvantari born?

Lord Vishnu had already predicted that this child would be born in the royal family of Kashi (the Varanasi city of present India).

The story behind his birth is, the king of Kashi (Varanasi) was performing severe austerities and offering them to Lord Dhanvantari to get a boon to blessed him a son. And finally Lord Dhanwantari appeared and asked him about his desire, the king requested, that he should be born here as a child and bless him.

And the lord Dhanvantari accepted that and he took birth in the royal family of Varanasi and extended the wisdom of Ayurveda to the human race. His lessons of Ayurveda are recorded in books Agni Purana, Susruta, Pauskalavata, Aurabha, Vaitarana.

The Dhanteras Worship

The wish of Dhanteras Worship

The significance of Dhanteras

  • What is the significance of Dhanteras without “Dhan (Wealth)”?
    Many people think that if this worship is not in the context of "wealth", then why do we wish and worship wealth on this day?

In fact, in the Sanatan Hindu religion, the greatest wealth of man has been thought to be healthy and healthy. And that's why Lord Dhanwantari, is worshipped on this day, because he Introduced Ayurveda to relieve human misery to live a healthy and blissful life. So, people worship the Lord "Dhanvantari", on the day of Dhanteras to wish his blessings for a healthy and happy life.

What is the ideology of Sanatan Dharma for health?

The Sanskrit Shloka signify it as,

  • सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः।
    सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चिद्दु:खभाग्भवेत्॥

The English Enunciation is,
Sarve Bhawantu Sukhinah, Sarve Bhawantu nairamayah |
Sarve bhadrari pashyantu maakashiduh Khbhagbhawed ||

  • The meaning is,

    May everybody be happy, may everybody be free from disease |
    May everybody found bliss, May nobody have any sadness ||

The association of “Dhan” with “Dhanteras”?

  • Why people relate Dhanteras with “Dhan (Wealth)?
  • Why Hindus worship Dhanteras two days Before Diwali?

The goddess Laxmi was also appeared during the churning of the ocean. She is the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity and being worshipped on the day of Diwali.
But Hindus deliberate "Health is the first wealth" and a good health and long life is needed to enjoy the wealth and prosperity. So, Hindus worship Lord Dhanvantari, two days before the worship of Goddess Laxmi.

Why people purchase something new on Dhanteras?

Dhanteras, the Hindus festival in India
Dhanteras, the Hindus festival in India | Source

Dhanteras is worshiped to mark the birth of Lord Dhanvantari. Who was appeared during the churning of the ocean to distribute the Amrit (ambrosia, or Divine nectar).

The Lord Dhanvantari gifted the Amrit (Divine nectar) to the gods, that blesses them a happy and misery free life. After getting AMRIT (the divine nectar), the Hindu gods began a renewed and healthy and blissful life. And since then it accepted as a tradition.

Hindus deliberated this event as a renewed inauguration of life and improved living. To mark the holy event and in aspiration of a better start, people bring something new to home to mark the grit of a new start.

Why people purchase Silver on Dhanteras?


Hindus relate Silver to the moon, which is the symbol of calm and blow out the peace and satisfaction. In Hindi language, Silver is called "Chandi" and moon is called "Chand". Hindus consider they both have similar names and role, the metal Chandi (Silver), also provide the calm and harmony and that’s advantage human being to be satisfied in life.

The Hindu methodology “Satisfaction” is measured the utmost part of success and uppermost wealth in life. Hinduism believes the person who is fully satisfied is the happiest person.

So the story behind purchasing silver is - the people bring silver because they consider that spread calm and harmony and help them to accomplish the stage of satisfaction.

Why people purchase new pot on Dhanteras?


The Lord Dhanvantari was the incarnations of Lord Vishnu and also also known as, “Chatur Bhuj” and “Chatur Bahu”. means the person with four hands.

Actually his all hands signifies some connotation. He is always portraits as,

  • Holding medial herbs in one right hand.
  • And a Pot of Amrita in left hand.
  • Third hand is to Holds a weapon called the "Chakra"
  • And he holds a shell in fourth hand called "Shankh"

The Holy Pot of Amrita in his left hand: Was a rejuvenating nectar, given to Hindu god to fulfill the desire of the Gods. And to mark that moment, people purchase a new pot on the day of Dhanteras.

The worship of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi at the occasion of Dhanteras

The worship of Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesha
The worship of Goddess Laxmi and Lord Ganesha | Source

People just bring the statue of Goddess Laxmi and lord Gansha on the day of Dhanteras. But they worshiping “Laxmi and Ganesha” on the day of Diwali. (But at many places people worship on the day of Dhanteras only).

The Goddess Laxmi is the Hindu goddess of Wealth, who was appeared during churning of ocean on the day of Diwali. Hindus believe the Goddess Laxmi is landing to the earth on the day of Diwali and she blesses to her devotees with wealth and prosperity. So, people worship her on the day of Diwali, even in many parts of India, people worship at all the five days of festival.

According to Hindu methodology, the lord Ganesha must be worshiped before to start of any holy occasion. So, people worship Lord Ganesha on the day of Diwali, because Hindus New Year starts from the day of Diwali.

Dhanteras Diya
Dhanteras Diya | Source

Why people lit Diyas (Erthern lamp) on the day of Dhanteras

Once Yama, the Hindus god of death asked his personal – If they felt empathy or regret during their job. (Because they were not supposed to feel mercy or became emotional)?

Personals replied - YES, once they felt very disgraced and helpless.

The story was - Once the ancient King “Hans”, overlooked the way during hunting and entered into the kingdom of king “Hema”. The soldiers of king Hema arrested and take him to king Hema. The king Hema was blessed with a baby boy and he was very happy, he forgives the mistake of King Hans and even welcomed him.

But Pandits of king Hema foretold that the boy will have a short life and he will die soon after his marriage. Then king Hema decided positioned him to an isolated abode at forest, to keep his baby away from the women.

The king Hans, have a beautiful daughter - Once he told her about his mistake and kindness of King Hema. His daughter felt obliged and decided to meet the son of King Hema. And when she meets him, she liked him and offered for marriage and they get married. But as it was foretold, the boy died on the next day of his marriage.

When the personnel of god Yama reached to take his soil – they saw thousands of people from both of the family and kingdom were crying. That was the one of the most emotional moment for them.

The story touched the Lord Yama also and he also and he gave a boon – The people who will light Diya filled with oil (Earthen lamps) on the day of Dhanteras, will get his blessing to avid the sudden or unfortunate death. And since then people light earthen Diyas.

The Lord Dhanvantari Temple in Tamilnadu, India
The Lord Dhanvantari Temple in Tamilnadu, India | Source

The Temples of Lord Dhanvantari, in India

The lord Dhanvantri was born in Varanasi, the sacred city of the Hindus, in Northern India. A small temple of lord Dhanwantari is located in Varanasi. But unfortunately no any Temple of Lord Dhanvantri is located Northern India.
But some many temples are located in the Southern Indian states Kerla and Tamiladu. Mainly, the temples are located in Kalicut, Trissure and Coimbatore districts. And recently a temple is built in Bangalore City of the Karnata State.

Dhavantari Temple at Tamilnadu
Dhavantari Temple at Tamilnadu | Source

The Lord Dhanwantari Temples in South India,

  • Dhanvantari Temple – At Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam ,Tamil Nadu.
  • Sri Dhanvantari Temple – Located at Arya Vaidya Pharmacy Campus [Arya Vaidya Chikitsalayam and Research Institute], Coimbatore, Tamilnadu
  • Sree Dhanvantari Temple – At Peringavu, Thrissur, Kerala
  • Sree Rudra Dhanvantari Temple – Situated at Pulamanthole, Malappuram, Kerala
  • Dhanvantari Kshetram [temple] – Situated at the outskirts of Calicut, Kerala
  • Dhanvantari Temple – Erumapetty, Vadakkanchery, Thrissur, Kerala
  • Dhanvantari Temple – Kannur [Cannanore], KeralaLord Dhanvantari Temple, Nelluva – Located at about 20 km from Guruvayur, Thrissur, Kerala.

The Prayer of Lord Dhanvantari

Why Hindus worship Dhanteras?

See results
Best Wishes
Best Wishes

© 2016 Arai


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