Dhanteras or Dhanwantari Triodasi falls on the 13th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Kartik (October-November), i.e. two days before Diwali. The word ‘Dhan’ means wealth and ‘Teras’ means thirteen. Lord Yama is worshipped on this day to provide prosperity and well-being. According to a legend, when the Gods and demons churned the ocean for Amrit or nectar, Dhanavantri (the physician of the Gods and an incarnation of Vishnu) emerged carrying a jar of Amrit or elixir. Both the Asuras and the Devas wanted the ambrosia, but finally Vishnu with a slight of hand managed to give the immortal nectar to the Gods and the Asuras were defeated. Thus the churning of the ocean resulted in the immortality of the Devas and was the reason for Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi`s emergence. Another legend says that on this day the 16-year old son of King Hima was doomed to die by a snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage as per his horoscope.
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