How to celebrate Dhanteras?



Dhanatrayodashi (or Dhanteras), first Day of Deepavali is celebrated in 3 different ways as described below

        Dhan means that aspect due to which our life runs smoothly. Dhanteras is very important for business men, who worship their treasuries on this day. Their commercial year is from Diwali to next year’s Diwali. They consider this day to be a beginning of a new accounting year for their business.

1. Dhanvantari Jayanti

        Deity Dhanvantari is one of the twenty four Incarnations of Deity Vishnu. He has four hands like Deity Vishnu, which carry Sudarshan Chakra, Conch, Jalouka and pot of Amrut (Nectar). Deity Dhanvantari is the founder of Āyurvēda.

        According to the Ayurveda, the birthday of the Deity Dhanvantari falls on this day. Āyurvēdic doctors (vaidyas) worship Him on this day. They give prāsad (Holy food item) of small pieces of neem leaves and sugar to the visitors. This has great significance because the neem fruit has originated from Divine Nectar (Amrut) and Dhanvantari is the Deity who bestows immortality. It is said that if one chews five to six neem leaves everyday then the likelihood of suffering from any disease is highly unlikely. One should pray to Deity Dhanvantari for the effectiveness of the medicine before taking medicines.

Preparing prasad of neem leaves

1. A few flowers of neem

2. 10-12 tenderleaves of neem

3. 4 spoons soaked chana daal or soaked chana

4. 1 spoon honey

5. 1 spoon jeera

6. Pinch of Asafoetida

Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl and add salt to taste. Then grind it till it becomes a soft paste. Then we offer it to God and pray with devotion that God partakes this Naivedya (food item offered to God). Once we have offered it to God we can distribute it to others.

2. Yamadipadan


Deity Yama (Yamaraj, Deity of Death) is allotted the task of taking one’s life (praṇa) away at the destined time. One can never escape death. To prevent untimely death, the Deity of death Yamadharma is worshipped on the days of Dhantrayodashi, Narak Chaturdashi and Yamadwitiya. In the evening, an oil lamp (or thirteen oil lamps) made of wheat flour are lit. These lamps are kept outside the house with its flame facing southwards. Generally, a lit lamp’s flame is never kept facing southwards except on this day.

In this ritual tarpan is performed after reciting the following fourteen Names: 1. Yama, 2. Dharmaraja, 3. Mrutyu, 4. Antaka, 5. Vaivasvat, 6. Kala, 7. Sarvabhutakshayakara, 8. Audumbara, 9. Dadhna, 10. Nil, 11. Parameshthina, 12. Vrukodara, 13. Chitra, 14. Chitragupta.

With the recitation of the Name of each Deity, the Principle associated with that Deity takes form in the Universe and it emits frequencies of blessings towards the person performing the tarpan.

A. Why is Yamatarpan performed during Diwali?

         During Diwali period the subtle Yama frequencies are attracted towards Earth from Yamaloka in higher proportion. This ritual is performed after abhyangasnana. A copper platter is used for the tarpan ritual so that the water of tarpan does not flow away along with the bathroom water. Yamatarpan is performed with wet clothes in the course of bathing itself. Thereafter the ritual of bathing is completed. However, if Yamatarpan is not possible in the bathroom, it can be performed after coming out of the bathroom also; but thereafter a bath should be taken.

B. Yamatarpan ritual 

The person performing the ritual recites the names of Deities like Yama etc. after taking bath and releases water in the copper platter. Thereafter if the person’s father is alive, then he recites the Names of Deities like Yama etc. and releases white consecrated rice and water.

Steps for Yamatarpan ritual to be performed by a person whose father is not alive

1. The person whose father is not alive should put a few black sesame seeds in the water.

2. Put the Holy thread on the right shoulder.

3. Take the sesame-mixed water in the ritualistic spoon (achamani).

4. Release this water in the copper platter along the pitrutirtha, that is, the thumb.

5. While releasing water in the copper platter, recite the mantras along with the Names of Deities like Yama etc.

Dhantrayodashi (Part – 1)

Dhantrayodashi (Part – 2)

Brief ritualistic worship (inside home)

Material required

1. 13 lamps preferably made of wheat flour (if not possible, one can use clay/earthen lamps)

2. Vegetable oil (1 litre)

3. Flowers

4. Material used for ritualistic worship (puja)


People generally do not know the manner in which ‘Yama-Deep-Daan’ is to be performed. The ‘puja-vidhi’ is therefore, given below which will help people to perform the ‘vidhi’ with ‘bhav (spiritual emotion)’ so as to seek Yama’s grace.


Take little water in right palm with a ladle held in left hand and drink it thrice after chanting of each name given below.

श्री केशवाय नमः । श्री नारायणाय नमः । श्री माधवाय नमः ।

Shri. Keshavay Namaha |  Shri. Narayanay Namaha | Shri. Madhavay Namaha |

While saying ‘Shri. Govinday Namaha (श्री गोविन्दाय नमः ।)’ , take little water in right palm and release it in the plate kept below.

Then following names may be recited.

विष्णवे नमः । मधुसूदनाय नमः । त्रिविक्रमाय नमः । वामनाय नमः । श्रीधराय नमः । हृषीकेशाय नमः । पद्मनाभाय नमः । दामोदराय नमः । संकर्षणाय नमः । वासुदेवाय नमः । प्रद्युम्नाय नमः । अनिरुद्धाय नमः । पुरुषोत्तमाय नमः । अधोक्षजाय नमः । नारसिंहाय नमः । अच्युताय नमः । जनार्दनाय नमः । उपेन्द्राय नमः । हरये नमः । श्रीकृष्णाय नमः ।

Vishnave Namaha  I  Madhusudanay Namaha  I Trivikramay Namah I Wamanay Namaha I Sridharay Namaha I Rhushikeshay Namaha I Padmanabhay Namaha I Damodaray Namaha I Sakarshanay Namaha I Vaasudevaay Namaha I Pradyumnay Namaha I Anirudhhay Namaha I Purushottamay Namaha I Adhokshajay Namaha I Naarsimhaay Namaha I Achutaay Namaha I Janaardanaay Namaha I Uperndraay Namaha I Haraye Namaha I Srikrushnay Namaha

(Fold your hands)


श्रीमन्महागणाधिपतये नमः ।

Sriman-Mahaaganaadhipataye Namaha

( I bow before Sri Ganapati who is the leader of ‘Ganas (directions))

इष्टदेवताभ्यो नमः ।

Ishtadevatabhyo Namaha

(I pray to my worshipped Deity.)

कुलदेवताभ्यो नमः ।

Kul-devatabhyo Namaha

(I offer obeisance to Kul-Devata)

ग्रामदेवताभ्यो नमः ।

Gram-devatabhyo Namaha

स्थानदेवताभ्यो नमः ।

Sthan-devatabhyo Namaha

वास्तुदेवताभ्यो नमः ।

Vaastu –devatabhyo Namaha

( I offer obeisance to ‘Gram-devata’, ‘Sthan-Devata’ and ‘Vaastu-devata)

आदित्यादिनवग्रहदेवताभ्यो नमः ।

Adityadi Navagraha Devatabhyo Namaha

(offer obeisance to Deities of all 9 planets)

सर्वेभ्यो देवेभ्यो नमः ।

Sarvebhyo Devebhyo Namaha

(I offer obeisance to all Gods.)

सर्वेभ्यो ब्राह्मणेभ्यो नमो नमः ।

Sarvebhyo Brahmanebhyo Namo Namaha

(I offer obeisance to all Brahmins [those who have knowledge of ‘Brahma’])

अविघ्नमस्तु ।

Avighnamastu !

(Let all obstacles be destroyed)


Apply little water to eyes and say the following,

श्रीमद्भगवतो महापुरुषस्य विष्णोराज्ञया प्रवर्तमानस्य अद्य ब्रह्मणो द्वितीये परार्धे विष्णुपदे श्रीश्‍वेत-वाराहकल्पे वैवस्वत मन्वंतरे अष्टाविंशतितमे युगे युगचतुष्के कलियुगे कलि प्रथम चरणे जंबुद्वीपे भरतवर्षे भरतखंडे दक्षिणापथे रामक्षेत्रे बौद्धावतारे दंडकारण्ये देशे गोदावर्याः दक्षिणतीरे शालिवाहन शके अस्मिन्वर्तमाने व्यावहारिके जयनाम संवत्सरे, दक्षिणायने, शरदऋतौ, आश्विनमासे, कृष्णपक्षे, त्रयोदश्यांतिथौ, भौमवासरे, उत्तरा दिवस नक्षत्रे, ऐंद्र योगे, विष्टी करणे, कन्या स्थिते वर्तमाने श्रीचंद्रे, तुला स्थिते वर्तमाने श्रीसूर्ये, कर्क स्थिते वर्तमाने श्रीदेवगुरौ, तुला स्थिते वर्तमाने श्रीशनैश्‍चरौ, शेषेषु सर्वग्रहेषु यथायथं राशिस्थानानि स्थितेषु, एवंग्रहगुणविशेषेणाविशिष्टायां शुभपुण्यतिथौ …

Srimadbagavato mahapurushasya vishnoradhnyaaya pravartamanasya adya brahmano dvitiye parardhe vishnupade srishveta-varahakalpe vaivasvata manvamtare ashtavimsatitame yuge yugacatushke kaliyuge kali prathama carane jambudvipe baratavarshe barataKamde dakshinapathe ramakshetre bauddhavatare damdakaranye dese godavaryah dakshinatire salivahana sake asminvartamane vyavaharike jayanama samvatsare, dakshinayane, sharadarutau, asvinamase, krushnapakshe, trayodasyamtithau, baumavasare, uttara divasa nakshatre, aimdra yoge, vishti karane, kanya sthite vartamane sricamdre, tula sthite vartamane srisurye, karka sthite vartamane sridevagurau, tula sthite vartamane srishanaischarau, sesheshu sarvagraheshu yathayatham rasisthanani sthiteshu, evamgrahagunaviseshenavisishtayam subapunyatithau …


Resolve to be made with holding few ‘akshatas’ in hand.

मम आत्मनः परमेश्वर-आज्ञारूप-सकलशास्त्र-श्रुतिस्मृति-पुराणोक्त-फलप्राप्तिद्वारा श्रीपरमेश्वरप्रीत्यर्थं मम अपमृत्यु-विनाशार्थं यमदीपदानं करिष्ये ।

Meaning : Let me get the benefits of all ‘Shastra- Shruti – Smruti-Purana’ which are like  command of ‘Parameshwar’ and for acquiring His grace, let me be protected from untimely death; for which I am doing ‘Deep-daan’ to Yama-deva.


Make a lamp from wheat flour; light it by using oil of sesame. Keep it outside house with wick turned towards South direction and offer ‘gandh, flower amd haldi-kumkum’ reciting following mantra.

श्री दीपदेवताभ्यो नमः । विलेपनार्थे चन्दनं समर्पयामि ।

श्री दीपदेवताभ्यो नमः । पुष्पं समर्पयामि ।

श्री दीपदेवताभ्यो नमः । हरिद्रां समर्पयामि ।

श्री दीपदेवताभ्यो नमः । कुङ्कुमं समर्पयामि ।

Shri dipadevatabyo namah | vilepanarthe candanam samarpayami |

Shri dipadevatabyo namah | pushpam samarpayami |

Shri dipadevatabyo namah | haridram samarpayami |

Shri dipadevatabyo namah | ku~gkumam samarpayami |

Then stand facing in South direction and say the following ‘mantra’ with folded hands. Recitation of this shloka is also essential for the persons whose fathers are not alive.

यमो निहन्‍ता पितृधर्मराजो वैवस्‍वतो दण्‍डधरश्‍च काल: ।
भूताधिपो दत्तकृतानुसारी कृतान्‍त एतद्दशभिर्जपन्‍ति ।। – पूजासमुच्‍चय

‘Yamo nihantaa pitru-dharmarajo, Vaivasvato danda-dharashch kaalah |

Bhutaadhipo Dattakrutaanusaari, krutaant etad-dashabhirja-panti ||’

Meaning : We chant the ten Names of Yamadeva – 1.Yama, 2. Nihanta, 3. Pita, 4. Dharmaraja, 5. Vaivasvata, that is, son of Sun, 6. Dandadhar, 7. Kala, 8. Bhutadhip, that is, the master of living beings, 9. Dattakrutanusari, that is, One who has been assigned the task of abducting death and 10. Krutanta.

मृत्युना पाशदण्डाभ्यां कालेन श्यामया सह ।

त्रयोदश्यां दीपदानात् सूर्यजः प्रीयतां मम ।।

mrutyuna pasadandabyam kalena syamaya saha |

trayodasyam dipadanat sUryajah priyatam mama ||

Meaning : Let this ‘Deep-daan’ made on the day of Trayodashi help in Yama-Deva, who carries ‘Paash and Danda’; who is the protector of Time; the Son of Surya (Sun); along with Shyamla Devi bestow His grace on me.

अनेन दीपदानेन श्री यमः प्रीयताम् ।

anena dipadanena sri yamah priyatam |

(Saying this, take little water in right palm and leave it in the plate; do ‘aachaman’ twice.)

Note 1, 2 : Necessary changes may be made in ‘Desha-kaal’ and day as per the place and day on which it is to be performed.

C. Why should ‘Yamadeep-daan’ be performed with 13 lamps ?

While performing ‘Yama-tarpan’, 13 lamps are offered to Yama-devata. Let us learn about the science behind offering 13 lamps and importance of ‘Yama-tarpan’ and its benefits through this article.

Reasons behind performing ‘Yamadeep-Daan’ with 13 lamps

A. 13 lamps are used for worship; because on that day, frequencies coming from Yama-Devata stay only for 13 moments in Hell and 13 lamps are offered to ‘Yama-Devata’ in symbolic manner; making an appeal to Him which is known as ‘Yama-Tarpan’. – A Scholar from Subtle World (Through the medium of Sou. Anjali Gadgil, 18.5.2005, at 11.34 a.m.)

B. There are total 13 types of subtle gases in the physical body of embodied soul which keep the physical body in motion. If any of the gases out of these 13 reduces, it results in sickness, unconsciousness or death. By offering 13 lamps, the covering of death on all gases gets destroyed and all 13 gases flowing in the body of embodied soul start functioning in proper manner. (13 gases [Vaayus] are related to ‘Pancha [5]-praan, ‘Pancha [5] – Oop-Praan and creation, sthiti (maintenance) and ‘laya (destruction)’.)

C. The ten ‘Vaayus’ that we know (i.e. ‘Panch-praan and Panch – Oop-Praan) are related to functions and actual movement. Besides, there are 3 prominent gases (‘Vaayu’) functioning in an un-manifest form depending on the time in an embodied soul and they have the quality of taking different forms as per the time in different states of the animals’ subtle body.

D. These 3 ‘Vaayus’ in unison with 3 states i.e. creation, maintenance and destruction, matching with the condition of respective ‘Vyashti-chakras’ merge with the Vayu in body which help in functioning of the body and nurturing subtle and gross bodies of every embodied soul. The actual functioning of these 3 Vayus is in un-manifest form and takes place in the form of circles as per functions.


A. Avoid untimely death : The period of death of an embodied soul lasts for 13 days. In these 13 days period, transmission of black covering of death occurs and slowly he succumbs; then in next 13 days, the soul penetrates, one by one subtle boundaries of time for going to other ‘loka’ from ‘Bhoo-loka’. This is the reason behind performing ‘shraaddha’ till 13 days after death of embodied soul. Untimely death occurs by crossing over these 13 wheels of time. To avoid such untimely death in the subtle 13 wheels of time, 13 ‘Deep-daan’ is performed to escape from death.

B. Avoiding untimely death : ‘Owing to attraction of ‘Yama-frequencies’, individual vyashti-chakra of an embodied soul leaves its attraction on the line of period and falls towards left due to influence of Yama-frequencies’ i.e. part where there is dominance of ‘Yama-loka’; in the vacuum of time. It is known as untimely death. Yama-frequencies are, therefore, appeased by offering 13 lamps to avoid such untimely death.’

C. Number ‘13’ has power to satisfy Yama : ‘The number ‘13’ has word -power to satisfy Yama; therefore, on the day of Trayodashi, prayer is made to Yama by offering 13 lamps to escape from death.’

D. Subtle-effects of the Yamatarpan ritual

By performing Yamatarpan, the sins of the entire year are cleansed. The subtle-effects of the Yamatarpan ritual are as follows:

1. In order to avert untimely death, a person after the abhyangasnana prays to Yama and Chitragupta along with their attendants with spiritual emotion. At that time a spiral of spiritual emotion is generated around the person.

2. After the abhyangasnana, a flow of Divine Principle is attracted in the person and spirals of Divine Principle are generated.

3. Spirals of Chaitanya are generated in the person.

4. Flow of Energy of Deities like Yama etc. is attracted towards the person and spirals of Energy of those Deities are generated.

5. While Yamatarpan is offered to Deities like Yama etc., that is, consecrated rice and water are released, the flow of Energy is carried from the copper platter to the person.

6. Particles of Energy move around in the body of the person in an activated form.

7. The person is protected from the negative energies and a protective sheath is created around his body.

Through this ritual the person performs his duty towards his ancestors (Pitrudharma). The subtle process taking place at the time of recitation of shlokas at the end of the Yamatarpan ritual is as follows:

1. By facing the south direction, holding the hands up and reciting the shlokas, the Yama frequencies coming from the south direction are acquired by the person.

2. These frequencies flow in the entire body through the medium of hands. The action of holding the hands up works as an antenna.

3. Due to the flow of Yama frequencies in the body, a protective sheath is generated around the person.

At some places after the Yamatarpan ritual, a bitter fruit called Karit is crushed under the foot symbolising killing of Narakasur and its juice is applied on the tongue.

Proportion of benefit gained by a person from Yamatarpan


Proportion of
benefit (%)

1. Divine Principle 1.25
2. Chaitanya 2
3. Energy 3.25

E. Aukshan

After the ritual of Yamatarpan, new clothes are worn after taking bath and a lit lamp is waved in front of the person. During aukshan an elder lady of the house first applies vermilion and unbroken rice. Then she waves a betel nut and a gold ring together thrice in front of the person in semicircular motion. Finally she waves a lit lamp thrice in front of the person in semicircular motion.


राष्ट्र एवं धर्म रक्षा के लिए कार्यरत
हिन्दू जनजागृति समिति को
दिया गया धर्मदान ‘सत्पात्र दान’ होगा !