AKSHAYA Tritiya is one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar and is considered ideal for new beginning and investment. One of the most important legends associated with observing Akshaya Tritiya is that of Sri Krishna and Kuchela. Another significant mythology is that of the Pandavas receiving the Akshay Patra from Krishna. Interestingly, Sri Krishna plays an important part in the stories associated with Tritiya.
Every moment is auspicious on the Akshaya Tritiya day, which falls on the third day of the bright half of Hindu month Vaishakh. Akshaya in Sanskrit means that which never diminishes. It is also the birthday of Parashuram, Sri Vishnu’s sixth incarnation. Now, Akshaya Tritiya has become the “Hindu gold rush” day.
Astrologically, it is believed that the sun and the moon are most radiant and best placed on the Akshaya Tritiya day. Many devout Hindus choose the day to conduct auspicious functions. There is no need to select a muhurat on this day as the entire day is devoid of malefic influences. Large number of marriages and several new beginnings take place on the day.
In the most famous story associated with Akshaya Tritiya, Kuchela, a poor Brahmin and schoolmate of Sri Krishna, visited Sri Krishna with the intention of asking some financial favour. Kuchela, also known as Sudama, carried with him a handful of poha or aval (beaten rice). On reaching the palace of Sri Krishna at Dwarka, Kuchela was ashamed to give poha to Sri Krishna.
But the ever-playful Sri Krishna noticed the small bag in the hand of his schoolmate and soon grabbed it and ate a handful of poha. Kuchela could not believe his eyes, Sri Krishna, the king, eating his poha.
It is said “Atithi devo bhava” (Guests are equal to God) and Shi Krishna treated Kuchela like a God. The poor Brahmin was so overwhelmed by the love shown by Sri Krishna that he forgot to ask for financial help and returned home empty handed.
On reaching his village Sudama could not find his old hut. Instead his hut was replaced by a palace. His wife and children were wearing good clothes and everything that was old and worn out was replaced with new one.
It didn’t take long for Kuchela to realise that all this was the leela of the ever-smiling Sri Krishna. The day Kuchela met Sri Krishna is hence observed as Akshaya Tritiya.
Another legend happened in the Mahabharata. The Pandavas received the Akshaya Patram (bowl) from Sri Krishna on this day. The Akshaya Patram provided unlimited food for the Pandavas during their exile. Due to this reason, people believe that anything that is acquired on this day will be replenished. Therefore, people conduct special puja for Goddess Lakshmi and buy new gold and silver ornaments and invest money in shares and real estate.
According to the Puranas, the day also marks the beginning of Treta Yuga. On this day, Veda Vyasa began the composition of the Mahabharata. The main puja and prayers on this day are dedicated to God Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. Therefore, one can do a simple Vishnu puja in the morning with tulsi leaves and flowers. Some people also perform an elaborate Lakshmi puja or Lakshmi kubera homa.
Annadanam -offering food to the poor-is considered to be the greatest thing one can do on this day. Hindus believe there is no danam greater than annadanam.
Akshaya Tritiya, true to our rich Hindu tradition, is an auspicious day to invite Goddess Lakshmi into our homes and take Her blessings for everlasting wealth and prosperity.