Akshaya Tritiya: What legends say about its origin?
One of the most auspicious days in Hindu calendar, Akshaya Tritiya is a holy day for Hindus that falls on the third Tithi (lunar day) of Bright Half (Shukla Paksha) of Vaishakha. It is also one of the four most important days for Hindus. Also called Navanna Parvam, Akshaya Tritiya falling on a Rohini star Monday, as this year’s Akshaya Tritiya, is considered more auspicious. The term Akshaya means never diminishing. Hence the benefits of doing any Japa, Yajna, Pitra-Tarpan, Dan-Punya on this day never diminish and remain with the person forever. According to legends, it is an auspicious day of the birthday of Lord Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is also believed that on this auspicious day Veda Vyas and Lord Ganesha began to write Mahabharata. Ganga Devi or Mother Ganges also descended on earth on this day. Jains celebrate this day to commemorate Tirthankara Rishabha’s ending of one-year fast by consuming sugarcane juice poured into his cupped hands. Myths It is believed by Hindus that the day marks the beginning of the “SatyaYug” or the Golden Age. According to another story, 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. According t another legend, on this day, Sudama, Lord Krishna’s best friend, came over to Krishna’s palace to request him for some financial help. Sudama, who was very poor, had nothing more than a handful of beaten rice or ‘poha’ for his best pal. He was 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’ and treated Sudama like a king. Sudama overwhelmed by the warmth and hospitality bestowed upon him by Krishna, that he could not ask for the financial help and came home empty handed. But once he reached home, 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. Since that day, Akshaya Tritiya is associated with material gains and wealth acquisition. Akshaya Tritiya is believed to bring good luck and success. Most people purchase gold on this day as it is believed that buying Gold on Akshaya Tritiya brings prosperity and more wealth in coming future. Being Akshaya day it is believed that Gold, bought on this day, will never diminish and would continue to grow or appreciate. People also buy new home on this auspicious day. Akshaya Tritiya day is ruled by God Vishnu who is the preserver God in the Hindu Trinity. Vedic astrologers also consider Askshay Tritiya an auspicious day free from all malefic effects. As per Hindu astrology three lunar days, Yugadi, 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. In Jain and Hindu calendars, some days of the month are absent in counting and some days (tithi in lunar calendars) come extra, but Akshay tritiya is one day which is never “absent” from the lunar calendar. As the term “Akshaya” means the never diminishing in Sanskrit and the day is believed to bring good luck and success. It is believed that if you do charity on this day you will be blessed. On Akshay Tritiya, Mrutika is worshiped. The day is considered auspicious for starting new ventures. The legend is that any venture initiated on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya continues to grow and bring prosperity. Hence, new ventures, like starting a business, construction, etc. is performed on Akshaya Tritiya. These are called Sade-Teen Muhurtas also. These Tithis are first Tithi of Bright Half of Chaitra (starting of new year), tenth Tithi of Bright Half of Ashvina (Vijay Dashmi), third Tithi of Bright Half of Vaishakha (Akshay Tritiya- Parshu Jyanti) it is also Lingayat religion founder lord Basveshvara Jayanti and first Tithi of Bright Half of Karttika are called “Sade-Teen (3 ½) Muhurt”. The first three tithis are counted as full and the last one as half Tithi and constitute Sade – Teen Muhurt. Sun and moon are astrologically believed to be at their most exalted equal brightness on this day. It was on this day that Goddess Annapoorna devi was born. Kubera received his wealth and position as custodian of wealth and property with Goddess Lakshmi on this day. He got the boon by praying to Lord Shiva at Shivapuram. It is on this day that Dushasana, Duryodhana’s brother, unveils Draupadi at the royal court where Krishna protects her providing the ‘unending’ veil. Adi Shankara recited the Kanaka Dhara Stotr on this day for the sake of the poor couple at whose house he stopped for Bhiksha and was offered their only available gooseberry. In Odisha, on Akshay Tritiya day, farmers start ploughing their land and construction of chariots for Rath Yatra begins at Puri. This day is generally observed by fasting and worship of Lord Vasudeva with rice grains. A dip in the river Ganges on this day is considered to be very auspicious. According to Vedic literatures, knowledge gained or charity done on Akshay Tritiya is very fruitful and is considered to be a very lucky day to start new business or venture. Many people buy gold or property on this day. Fasts are kept on this day and pujas are performed. In charity, fan, rice, salt, ghee, sugar, vegetables, tamarind, fruit, clothes, are given. The god Vishnu is worshiped. Tulsi water is sprinkled in the nearby area of the idol while performing aarti. Starting a new activity or buying valuables such as a home, any property, gold etc on Akshaya Tritiya is considered to bring luck and success. The religious merit acquired by giving gifts on this day is considered never ending. Many buy new gold jewelry on Akshaya Tritiya or book a new home.