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Dhanvantari - The Physician of the Gods and an Incarnation of Vishnu

According to the mythology, during Samudramanthan, Lord Dhanvantari appeared with Amrita in one hand. Considering it an auspicious thing to happen, the day was named after him. He is also called an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and the physician of gods.

Do you know why we do Laxmi Puja every year on Shanteras? There is an interesting story behind this as well. These legends are traditional stories which provide background of celebrating the festival of Dhanteras during Diwali festivities. These legends are passed through generation after generation and often mentioned in Hindu religious texts.

Many people keep a day long fast on the day of Dhantrayodashi. The day long fast is broken after doing Lakshmi-Kubera Puja in the evening. Hence, this Dhanteras story is also known as Dhanteras Vrat Katha.

Dhanteras Vrat Katha - story of Goddess Lakshmi and the Farmer

Once, Goddess Lakshmi insisted Lord Vishnu to accompany Him during one of His visits to the earth. Lord Vishnu agreed but on the condition that She would not fall for earthly temptations and would not look in the south direction. Goddess Lakshmi agreed to this condition of Lord Vishnu.

However during their visit to the earth, due to Her Chanchal (चञ्चल) nature Goddess Lakshmi got tempted to look in the south direction. When Goddess Lakshmi was not able to resist her urge to look in the south direction, She broke her pledge and started moving towards south. As soon as Goddess Lakshmi started moving in southern direction, She was mesmerized with the beauty of yellow mustard flowers and sugarcane fields on the earth. Finally, the Goddess Lakshmi fell for the earthly temptations and decorated herself with the mustard flowers and started enjoying sugarcane juice.

When Lord Vishnu saw that Goddess Lakshmi has broken her pledge, He got annoyed and asked Her to spend the next twelve years on the earth as a penance, serving at the field of the poor farmer who has cultivated mustard and sugarcane in the field.

With the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi, the poor farmer became prosperous and wealthy overnight. Gradually, twelve years passed and the time for Goddess Lakshmi to return back to Vaikuntha had come. When Lord Vishnu came to the earth in disguise of an ordinary man to take Goddess Lakshmi back, the farmer refused to relieve Goddess Lakshmi from his services.

When all attempts to by Lord Vishnu failed and the farmer didn't agree to relieve Goddess Lakshmi from his services, Goddess Lakshmi revealed her true identity to the farmer and told him that She could not stay any longer on the earth and need to go back to Vaikuntha. However, Goddess Lakshmi promised the farmer that She would visit him every year during the night of Krishna Trayodashi before Diwali.

Dhanvatari Mantra

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya Dhanvantraye

Amrita Kalasha Hastaya, Sarva Maya Vinashanaya

Trailoka Nathaya, Shri Mahavishnave Namah

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