The festival of Akshaya Tritiya is one of the most auspicious & sacred day celebrated with gaiety & vivaciousness by Hindus all over the country. Also known as Akti (in Chhattisgarh), Akha Teej (in Rajasthan & Gujarat) & Navanna Parvam, this holy festival of Hindus & Jains falls on the third day (Tritiya) of the bright half (Shukla Paksha) of Hindu month, Vaishaka. This day is considered sacred for making new beginnngs in any field, marriage, buying gold etc.
Meaning of Akshaya Tritiya
The word ‘Akshaya’ means eternal or never diminishing & tends to bring eternal luck, happiness & success whereas ‘Tritiya’ means third day of lunar fortnight of Vaishaka. It is believed that if you do charity on this day, you will be graced by the lord.
Significance of Akshaya Tritiya
This day has a lot of religious, astrological, social & cultural significance as this festival marks the beginning of prosperity, wealth, happiness, good fortune etc. in life.
1) Religious Aspect – Lord Ganesha & Rishi Ved Vyas started writing the epic “Mahabharata” on this day. Further when Pandavas were in exile, Lord Krishna presented them with a bowl called ‘Akshaya Patra’ & blessed it that it will produce an unlimited supply of food & never become empty. This day is also celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Parashurama, believed to be the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
2) Astrological Aspect – On this special day, the Sun & Moon are considered to be at their planetary best. Akshaya Tritiya falling on a Rohini star Monday is considered quite auspicious. People who observe the year-long alternative day fasting known as Varshi-tap on the sacred day finish their Tapasya by doing parayana by drinking sugarcane juice.
3) Social Aspect – Marriages solemnized on this day are considered to be ever lasting & successful. There is a story according to which Goddess Madhura got married to God Sundaresa (an incarnation of Lord Shiva) on this day. So couples marrying on this day get eternal bliss & blessings by the Gods themselves. Buying gold, gold jewellery & other valuable products on Akshaya Tritiya is considered to bring good fortune & prosperity.
4) Cultural Aspect – People bath in holy rivers like Ganga & Yamuna on this auspicious day & do charity like giving food, umbrellas, gold, cool refreshing drinks etc. to the poor. Some devotees offer barley in a sacred fire, worship Lord Ganesha & Goddess Lakshmi & remember their ancestors as they believe it will do their good.
Some Important Beliefs & Myths about Akshaya Tritiya
There are some interesting stories or beliefs prevalent about the festival which are:
It is believed that the God of Wealth & treasurer – Kubera prayed to Devi Lakshmi on this special day & got the boon of eternal wealth & fortune. That’s why this day is considered auspicious for starting new ventures, buying & wearing gold or silver, coins, investing in shares, bonds, property etc. as it assures fortune & well-being.
The day also marks the beginning of “Satyuga” or the Golden Age – First of Four Yugas.
The holy river Ganga descended on earth from heaven on this day.
During this time, Lord Krishna’s childhood friend Sudama visited him in Dwarka & offered him humble gift of poha (rice flakes). That’s why Krishna devotees fast during Akshaya Tritiya & open their fast by eating rice.
Celebrations Across the Country
Akshaya Tritiya is celebrated with much fervor & auspiciousness across the country & people practice different rituals & trends to bring good luck & fortune.