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Diwali or Deepavali is celebrated for five days according to the lunisolar Hindu Calendar. The festival starts with Dhanteras. Dhanteras or Dhana-trayodashi  or Dhanwantari Triodasi. This day falls on the 13th day of the second half of the lunar month.  Dhana means wealth and Trayodashi means 13th day. It is considered an auspicious day for buying utensils and gold, hence the name ‘Dhana’. In 2020 DhanTeras is on Fri 13 Nov. This article covers some of the myths, stories regarding Dhanteras. What should one not buy on DhanTeras? What should one buy on DhanTeras?

DhanTeras and Yama and King Hima’s son

It is said that as per horoscope King Hima sixteen-year-old son was doomed to die by a snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage.  On the fourth day after his marriage, his young wife did not allow him to sleep. She laid all the ornaments and lots of gold and silver coins in a big heap at the entrance of her husband’s boudoir and lighted innumerable lamps all over the place. And she went on telling stories and singing songs.

When Yama, the god of Death arrived there in the guise of a Serpent his eyes got blinded by that dazzle of those brilliant lights and he could not enter the Prince’s chamber. So he climbed on top of the heap of the ornaments and coins and sat there whole night listening to the melodious songs. In the morning he quietly went away. Thus the young wife saved her husband from the clutches of death. Since then this day of Dhanteras came to be known as the day of “Yamadeepdaan” and lamps are kept burning throughout the night in reverential adoration to Yam, the god of Death.

Since then, buying gold or silver on this day or even other forms of ‘dhan’ is considered auspicious to keep evil and death away.


Yama: God of death

DhanTeras and Birth of Dhanvantari, the Physician of Gods

This day is also regarded as the birth of God Dhanvantari, the Physician of Gods, who came out during Samudra Manthan, the churning of the great ocean by the gods and the demons. He emerged carrying a jar of the elixir on the day of Dhanteras. Dhanvantari brought knowledge of medicine, Ayurveda to this material world. The people who worship Lord Dhanvantari by lighting earthen lamps (Diya) on the threshold of their houses are blessed with good health and are protected against untimely death. (Ref:

Did you know thatThe Sanskrit word “Ayu” means life in all its aspects, from birth till death.  The word “Veda” means knowledge and learning.  So Ayurveda is “the knowledge of life”  or a more accurate translation is the knowledge of longevity.


Dhanvantari: Physician of Gods

DhanTeras and Yama attendants

Once Yamraj asked his attendants: Oh attendants, did you ever feel pity for someone while taking his/her life? The attendants told him that once a king named Hansa went for hunting in the forest and got separated from his soldiers. He then reached the palace of king Hemraj, who was childless. But a handsome son was born to him after the arrival of King Hansa. When the child was baptized on the sixth day of his birth, it was foretold that he would die on the fourth day after his marriage. And as per the forecast, he got married to a beautiful and well-mannered girl. But death took him away from her. At that time, tears rolled down the cheeks of the attendants after seeing the girl’s condition. But they were bound by Yamraj’s order and thus were helpless.

At that time, Yamraj told his attendants that he too was moved with this incident and further added that if people worship God Dhanvantri on the day of Dhanteras by lighting lamps on their threshold, then untimely death can never touch them.

DhanTeras and Lakshmi and Vishnu

Once Goddess Lakshmi wanted to accompany Lord Vishnu to the earth during one of His visits. Lord Vishnu agreed to take Her with him provided She will not will not look in the southern direction and fall for earthly temptations. But Goddess Lakshmi looked in the southern direction and she saw yellow mustard flowers and started dancing in the fields and decorated herself with the flowers. She fell for earthly temptations. Further south she saw sugarcane fields and started enjoying the sugarcane juice.

Lakshmi tempted

Lakshmi tempted

Lord Vishnu soon found out that Goddess Lakshmi had violated the conditions and said that now you will need to spend 12 years as a labourer in the field of the person to whom the sugarcane and flowers belonged.

With the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi as a labourer, the farmer became very prosperous. Twelve years passed and it was time for Goddess Lakshmi to return.

But the farmer was not ready to relieve a good labourer. So he offered Goddess Lakshmi more wages. But Goddess Lakshmi still wanted to leave; the farmer offered more things and this denial and offers continued.

Finally, Goddess Lakshmi asked the farmer and his family to take a pilgrimage to Ganga River and they will decide on her future stay there on his return. Goddess Lakshmi also gave four small shells to the farmer to offer to Goddess Ganga. When the farmer was offering the shells to River Ganga, four hands came up and accepted the offering. Goddess Ganga then revealed that the woman at the farmer’s home is Goddess Lakshmi.

The farmer returned home happily realizing that it was Goddess Lakshmi who was staying in his house. He requested her not to leave. Goddess Lakshmi said that she cannot live on earth permanently and has to return. But she said that she will visit him on all Dhanteras day. She asked the farmer to keep the house clean and light an earthen lamp. The farmer said as directed by Goddess Lakshmi and he became very prosperous and people who came to know about the incident started performing the same ritual on Dhanteras day.


What are you buying at DhanTeras?

People believe that prosperity comes to their homes with any new utensil or metal item purchased on this day. Some people also feel that Dhanteras is the best day for setting new business, starting new projects, fixing wedding dates, buying new cars. Gold buying is not an uncommon ritual on nearly every Indian festival or occasions like weddings.On this day, people around the country, worship ‘dhan’ and Goddess Lakshmi symbolized by a one rupee coin. This ritual is also carried out by businesses across the country that usually decorate the office premises and worship Goddess Lakshmi.

It is considered auspicious to buy gold on Makar Sankranti, Gudi Padwa, Navratri, Dusshera, Akshaya Tritiya.

buy on dhanteras

What are you buying on Dhanteras

Things to buy on Dhanteras

According to mythology and beliefs, these things considered to be good to buy on Dhanteras.

  • Metals – Gold, Silver
  • Metal Utensils
  • Ganesh-Lakshmi idol
  • Broom
  • Salt
  • Rudraksha
  • Accounts Register
  • Swastik symbol

Things NOT to buy on Dhanteras

We are not propagating superstition, just that if you believe in good luck coming your way on purchasing certain things, why take a risk when it comes to bad luck?

  • Iron: According to customs, one should not bring home products made of iron on Dhanteras. Since steel is another form of iron, it is advisable to avoid buying this metal. Instead, go for copper or bronze.
  • Sharp objects: Please skip buying scissors, knife etc on Dhanteras.
  • Glass products: Since glass is considered to be associated with Rahu, it is meant to be avoided on Dhanteras
  • Anything black: Even if you are one of those who is obsessed with the colour back, it is recommended to avoid buying black particularly as it is considered to be a symbol of bad luck.

Gold Price on DhanTeras

People invest in gold on Dhanteras, as it is believed to be auspicious and brings prosperity for the buyer. The yellow metal is also considered a good hedge against inflation. Gold purchased every year on Dhanteras since 2005 has yielded an average annualised return of 7%. This beats the 6.7% annual rise in the cost inflation index in the past 13 years. Somebody who bought 10 grams gold on Dhanteras every year would have spent ₹3.07 lakh on the metal. That gold is now worth ₹4.43 lakh.

Ref: EconomicTimes on 29 Oct 2018

Gold Price on Dhanteras

Gold Price on Dhanteras

Why do we celebrate Festivals?

Festivals break the monotony of life. If there weren’t any celebrations what would you be able to look forward to? Festivals also bring family and people closer together. It basically gives you time to talk and be with people.  Festivals remind us of our traditions. We must remember that festivals exist for us not the other way round.  So spend wisely, remembering that feelings are more important than cost of thing. Diwali mein Diwala nahin nikalna chahiye(One should not get bankrupt in Diwali). Happy Dhanteras to all our readers.


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Did you know the stories of DhanTeras? How do you celebrate DhanTeras? What are you buying this DhanTeras?


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