,May 16, 2010
Akshaya Tritiya is among the most sacred festivals celebrated in India. According to the Hindu calendar it is considered as one of the four most auspicious days. It is observed on the third day of Shukla Paksha in Vaishakha month.
The term ‘Akshay’ is derived from Sanskrit which means ‘never diminishing’. As the meaning says, on the day of Akshay Tritiya people never feel the dearth of happiness or bliss.
It is believed that by doing a good deed on Akshaya Tritiya one can earn punya (merit) for life. Knowledge gained or charity done on the day is sure to be to be fruitful.
The sun and the moon are said to be most radiant and best placed on the day. Therefore it is one of the most popular dates in Hindu calendar for marriages, for beginning new ventures, for investing and for purchasing valuables like gold and diamond.
Advocate Anupama Hegde feels that any good work done on the day will reap good results. “It is not just a day associated with gold purchase but one can engage in charity works and the like which will provide lot of satisfaction”, says she. Interestingly her daughter’s birthday also falls on the same day. Hence there will be twin celebrations at her residence with some delicious sweets.
Dr Shreelatha Shetty, a specialist in Medical astrology feels that Akshaya Tritiya is indeed a very sacred occasion. Considering the holiness of the day, she has decided to start treatments for some patients who are suffering from rare or chronic illnesses. She believes that it will lead to speedy recovery. “Time has immense value in Ayurvedha and before starting any new project it is necessary to check if the time is right. But when it comes to Akshaya Tritiya each second is auspicious. There is no need to look for a ‘muhurat’ on the day”, she says.
Legends Associated With Akshaya Tritiya
There are numerous legends associated with Akshaya Tritiya; most popular is that of Sudama or Kuchela visiting Lord Krishna in Dwarka with a handful of beaten rice (poha or aval).
Kuchela, a poor Brahmin and schoolmate of Sri Krishna, visited Krishna with the intention of asking some financial favor. Kuchela, also known as Sudama, carried with him handful of poha or aval (beaten rice). On reaching, the palace of Krishna at Dwarka, Kuchela was ashamed to give the ‘poha’ to Krishna.
But the ever playful 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, Krishna, the king, eating his poha.
It is said ‘Athiti Devo Bhava’ (Guest are equal to God) and Krishna treated Kuchela like a God. The poor Brahmin was so overwhelmed by the love shown by 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.
It didn’t take long for Kuchela to realize that all this was the ‘leela’ of the ever-smiling Sri Krishna. The day Kuchela met Sri Krishna was hence observed as Akshaya Tritiya.
Another connection of the day is with Mahabharata. While the Pandavas were in exile, Sri Krishna presented them with an Akshaya Patra – a bowl which gives unlimited amount of food. It is believed that Krishna had presented it on a Trithiya day. Therefore it is believed that all investments on the day will only increase in value.
The day is also the birthday of Lord Parashuram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
According to the Puranas, the day also marks the beginning to Treta Yuga. On this day, Veda Vyasa began the composition of the infamous epic Mahabharata.
Significance of Akshay Tritiya as per the Hindu Astrology
According to the Hindu Astrology, especially in terms of Muhurtas, Akshaya Tritiya is considered as one of the three most auspicious Muhurtas (Sade-Teen Muhurat). One is the first thithi of the Chaitra Month (Ugadi Day), second is the tenth thithi of the Lunar month Ashwin or Aswayuja masam (Vijaya Dashmi Day) and the third one is the third thithi of Vaishakha masa, the Akshaya Tirtiya Day. It is also referred as Unboojha Muhurat.
On the day of Akshaya Tirtiya, Lord Shri Balarama Jayanthi (birthday of Lord Sri Balaram) is also celebrated. Balarama was the elder brother of Lord Sri Krishna. Lord Balaram is significantly known with his weapon ‘Hal. Lord Balarama is also referred as one of the Dasavatara, ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
Rituals, Customs and Traditions on Akshay Tritiya
Akshay Tritiya festival is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Worship of Lord Vishnu on Akshay Tritiya eradicates and removes ones sins and makes him free from all sorrows. Puranas described that Devotees who perform Sri Maha Vishnu Puja on Akshay Tritiya may attain salvation.
In some regions, devotees keep fasts on Akshaya Tritiya. As per the Puranas, charity of food, clothes and other edible material on Akshaya Tritiya is also considered as most important ritual of the festival. There is a ritual to perform Goddess Tulsi Puja on Akshay Tritiya in some regions of India. People also conduct Lakshmi puja on Akshaya Tritiya.
Strong Association with Purchase of Gold
It is believed that buying and wearing new gold jewellery on Akshaya Tritiya brings prosperity and success to an individual and his family.
Across the country, gold retailers will be running gold jewellery shopping festival, jewellery Mahotsav, launching new gold jewellery designs and collections to commemorate the occasion of gold buying and wearing on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya.
Harsha Shet of R.G Jewelers said that Akshaya Tritiya is very much likely to provide a boost in business and is expecting a lot of customers. He also has plans of making gold purchases for his family members to mark the occasion.
The festival redefines Gold in all its facets from jewellery adornment to portfolio diversification. Thus it is an apt time to buy, wear and celebrate gold. It is also said that if gold is purchased on the day of Akshaya Tritiya life also shines like gold.
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