Dhanteras is the first day of the five-day Diwali festival and falls on November 13 this year.
According to ancient Hindu mythology, Sagar Manthan was performed on this day in the month of Kartik, on Krishna Trayodashi, by the Gods on one side and the Demons on the other. When the Divine Physician, Dhanvantri, appeared with the pot of nectar, the Gods consumed it, to gain immortality. And so, on this day people worship God Dhanvantri for a healthy and long life. Some people even seek Lord Yamraj’s blessings for a clean death after enjoying a long and healthy life. They keep a fast for the next 3 days for ‘Gau-Triratra’.
To successfully appease the God of wealth, do the following for Dhanteras-
Buy and worship a new broom and dust-pan.
In the evening, light diyas in your house and shop, to decorate it.
Light a diya in the temple, cow-sheds, on the bank of a river, pond, boundary of a well and in your garden.
Depending on your means, buy copper, brass or silver house-hold items and ornaments.
Apply cultivated soil soaked in milk and mixed with fresh grass, three times on the body.
Worship Lord Kuber. In your business place, change the old cushion on which you sit, to a new one. Or, simply wash the old one and change the cover.
After sunset, light 13 diyas and pray to Lord Kuber, in front of your safe, where you keep your money.
Say these mantras and place flowers on Lord Kuber-
Shresth vimaan par viraajmaan, garudmanni ke smaan aabha waaley Donohaathon mein gadda aiwam var dhaaran karney waaley Sirr par shreshth mukut se alankrut tundil shareer waaley Bhagwaan Shivke priya mitr Nidhishwar Kuber ka mein dhyaan karta hoon.
After this, while saying this mantra, worship Lord Kuber with sandalwood paste, incense, diya and sweets.
Yakshaay Kuberay vaishrawanaaya dhan dhaanya adhipatye
Dhan–dhaanyasmrudhi mein dehee daapay swaaha.
And then do the aarti with kapoor.
On behalf of ‘Yam’ (there could be 5 or 10), offer a diya.
On the evening of the 13th day of the lunar fortnight, light a lamp using til oil.
And facing the South, pray to ‘Yam’, chanting the following, with the offering of scent, flowers and rice – Mrityunaa dandpaashabhyaam kaalein shyaamya saha Tryodashyaam deepdaanaat sooryajah pryaataam mamm. Then place these diyas in any public place to appease ‘Yam’.