The Hindus worship the Goddess of wealth, Laxmi on the Dhanteras. “Dhan” means wealth and “Teras” means the thirteenth day of the month. Hindus worship Goddess Laxmi because she bestows prosperity, good health and abundance on her devotees.

Abundance is a beautiful word; it gives a feeling of completeness. The Universe responds to what we are feeling. Abundance is not related only to money. It is a about feeling of contentedness with all the goodness life has offered. The word abundance encompasses health, relationships, standard of living, profession, entertainment, affection, and status. On Dhanteras Hindus thank Goddess of abundance by doing her pooja.  The festival of Dhanteras falls in the month of Kartik which usually comes in October/November.

This auspicious day is celebrated two days before the festival of lights, the Diwali. Dhanteras holds special significance for the business community due to the customary purchases of precious metals on this day. On Dhanteras, business premises are refurbished and decorated. They are cleaned up; the entrances are decorated with flowers and mango leaves garlands. They are decorated even with motifs, Rangoli designs to welcome the Goddess Laxmi.  Small footprints are sketched with rangoli powder to signify her long-awaited arrival. Oil lamps are lit all through the day and night.

Dhanteras is considered very auspicious by Hindus; they purchase gold or silver articles or at least one or two new utensils. Some people buy large quantity of grains on this day. Gold, silver, metal, grains are considered as “Dhan” wealth and good luck among Hindus. You will hear devotional songs in praise of Goddess Lakshmi in many people’s house on Dhanteras.

Hindus also worship Lord Kuber who is believed to be the treasurer of wealth.  The meaning of the name ‘Kuber’ in Sanskrit is ‘poorly–shaped.’ I am yet to see Lord Kubera’s well shaped statue in any temple; it seems he assists the Goddess of wealth. His name is derived from ‘kumba’ which means ‘to conceal.’ You will see Lord Kubera as fat and dwarf man embedded with lot of jewelry and carrying a bag of gold coins.

On Dhanteras people worship Lakshmi and Kuber together. You will see rush in all jewellery and utensil shops on this day. People wear new clothes, ornaments, perfume as they light the first day of Diwali lamps.

The business community gambles on this day. It is considered lucky and auspicious to play cards on Dhanteras as well as Laxmi Puja. Men and women flock to clubs and friend’s houses to play cards.  It is believed that on playing cards, the goddess of wealth smiles upon the player and ensures her goodwill. Well, the winners can enjoy the windfall and the losers can wait for the next Diwali to come around! It is a festival of gaiety and prosperity. It is also believed by some people that losers are in for some good news. So many players relax and take the game lightly – for the sake of losing!

Dhanteras marks the beginning of Diwali. And, Diwali is a festival of abundance. The festival of Diwali or Deepavali symbolizes the victory of good over evil. The Sanskrit word “Deepavali” means “an assortment of lights.” The lights signify the conquest of brightness over darkness. It is festival to cheer, new beginning, and gathering, giving and receiving.  India is a spiritually oriented country. Spirituality lies in the ethnicity of this country. Therefore, festivity is a part and parcel of Indians. The varieties of festivals are directly linked to its cultural heritage.

Diwali is a festival of abundance; galore of sweets, lights, clothes and gifts.  It is about giving and receiving. We give gifts to our neighbors, friends and relatives to make this festival more special.  Gifts are a great way to express your feelings, love and appreciation. A gift says thousand things without speaking and is a binder in any relationship. Everyone loves to receive gifts from the person they like or love. At the same time, you would also like to express your feelings with the help of this gifts giving custom. Yes, you would agree on that it has become customary to give presents to your near and dear ones on any special occasion or just to make any day an occasion that they would remember when look at that gift.

Friends, abundance begins in the mind. Cultivate the belief of abundance in your life by enjoying each day. Abundance is a feeling of warmth; it is about enjoying each day with your family, each one’s small or big accomplishments, good food, good music, travelling, pursuing your hobby, and entertainment. Abundance is seeing a seedling grow; sprouting of flowers, soaking in rains, soaking in sunlight on a cold day. It is simply a feeling of fulfillment, of being filled with goodness. No matter what you are doing and where you are learn to nurture the feeling of abundance.

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS DIWALI!!!

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