Children you must have seen the term ‘Akshaya Tritiya ‘ in advertisements of vehicles, property, jewellery etc. But do you know what the term signifies.
The word “Akshaya” means imperishable or eternal. Akshaya Tritiya is a very popular festival that the Hindus and Jains celebrate every year. Akshaya Tritiya falls on the third day of the bright half of Vaishakh month (April-May), when the Sun and Moon are simultaneously at their peak of brightness, which happens only once every year. Akshaya Tritiya is also known as ’Akha Teej’. People conduct special Pujas on this day, bathe in holy rivers, make a charity, offer barley in a sacred fire, and worship Ganesh and Lakshmi on this day.
Akshaya Tritiya is considered as the most golden day of the year. Initiations made or valuables bought on this day are considered to bring success or good fortune. It is believed that any meaningful activity started on this day would be fruitful. The most popular activity is the buying of gold and it is believed it will be a sign of good fortune for the buyer. In the Indian culture people typically start a new business or begin a new venture on Akshaya Tritiya. Hindus celebrate this day because, according to them, Akshaya Tritiya is the day when the great God of Wisdom, Lord Ganesh along with Veda Vyas started writing the epic Mahabharat.
Stories on Akshaya Tritiya
Perhaps, the most famous of the Akshaya Tritiya stories is the legend of Lord Krishna and Sudama, his poor Brahmin childhood friend. On this day, as the tale goes, Sudama came over to Krishna's palace to ask him for some financial help. As a gift for his friend, Sudama had nothing more than a handful of beaten rice or 'poha'. So, he was utterly ashamed to give it to Krishna, but Krishna took the pouch of 'poha' from him and relished having it. Krishna followed the principle of Atithi Devo Bhava or 'the guest is like God'. His poor friend was so overwhelmed by the warmth and hospitality shown by Krishna, that he could not ask for the financial favour and came home empty handed. Lo and behold! When he reached his place, Sudama's old hut was transformed into a palace! He found his family dressed in royal attire and everything around was new and expensive. Sudama knew that it was a boon from Krishna, who blessed him with more than the wealth he actually intended to ask for. Therefore, Akshaya Tritiya is associated with material gains and wealth acquisition.
According to another story, during the time of the Mahabharat, when the Pandavas were in exile, Lord Krishna, on this day, presented them an 'Akshaya Patra,' a bowl which would never go empty and produce an unlimited supply of food on demand.
The day also marks the beginning of the SatyaYug or the Golden Age – the first of the four Yugas. Ganga or Mother Ganges also descended on earth on this day.
Kuber, the God of Wealth received his wealth and position as custodian of wealth and property with Goddess Lakshmi on this day, by praying to Lord Shiva at Shivapuram.
It is on this day that Dushasan, Duryodhan's brother, unveiled Draupadi at the royal court where Lord Krishna protected her by providing the 'unending' veil.
In more recent history, Adi Shankara recited the Kanaka Dhara Stotra on this day for the sake of the poor couple at whose house he stopped for bhiksha and was offered their only available gooseberry.
How To Celebrate Akshaya Tritiya
Akshaya Tritiya day is ruled by God Vishnu who is the preserver God in the Hindu Trinity. The Treta Yuga began on Akshaya Tritiya day. Vedic astrologers also consider Askshay Tritiya an auspicious day free from all malefic effects. As per Hindu Astrology three lunar days, Ugadi, Akshaya Tritiya and Vijay Dashami don’t need any muhurta to start or perform any auspicious work as these three days are free from all malefic effects.
It is also believed that people born during this time shine bright in life. Many luminaries were born during this period: Basaveshwara was born on May 4, Ramanujacharya and Adi Shankaracharya on May 6, Swami Chinmayananda on May 8 and Lord Buddha on May 16. Akshaya Tritiya is also celebrated as the birthday of Lord Parashurama, the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu. It was on this day that Goddess Annapoorna was born.