Dr K K Aggarwal
Padma Shri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee
President, Heart Care Foundation of India
Dhanteras is also observed in worshipping Lord Yama: the god of death. On this day the “Owl” form of Goddess Laxmi is worshiped. When the Gods and demons churned the ocean for Amrita or nectar, Dhanvantari also emerged carrying a jar of the elixir (wealth of wisdom) on this day.
The Story of win over the Yama goes like this. “Once as per the horoscope, 16 year old son of King Hima was doomed to die of a snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage. On the 4th day his wife did not allow him to sleep, laid gold ornaments and lots of silver coins in a big heap at the entrance and lighted innumerable lamps all over the place and went on telling stories and singing songs. When Yama, arrived there in the guise of a serpent his eyes got blinded by the dazzle of those brilliant lights and he could not enter the Prince’s chamber. So he climbed on top of the heap of ornaments and coins and sat there the whole night listening to the melodious songs. In the morning he quietly went away. The 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 Yama, the god of Death.
The story has a lot of spiritual significance. It indicates that with continuous positive thoughts one can win over the death. Lights here means a illuminate positive atmosphere and silver cum gold means continuous positive thoughts.
There was a time in the past when the terminal patients were kept in open sunny well illuminated sanatoriums.
In Bhagavad Gita in Shloka 8.24 also Krishna talks about the importance of positive thoughts at the time of death. “agnir jyotir ahah suklah, shan-masa uttarayanam, tatra prayata gacchanti, brahma brahma-vido janah”.
He said that people attain salvation if they leave the body in Uttarayana, during the fortnight before full moon, in day light, near fire, at an auspicious moment of the day. These are all situations and times with positive state of the mind. Salvation here means either getting liberation from the cycle of death and birth or the revival from a terminal sickness.
Dhanteras is the only day in a year when we are talking about spontaneous positive thoughts day before new moon (Amavasya) and that is the benefit we get of Navratre and then subsequent fasts of Sharad Purnima, Karvachauth, Ahoi Ashtami and Dhanteras.
Dwarka Parichay wishes Happy Dhanteras to you.