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Akshaya Tritiya: A Day of Eternal Auspiciousness

May 6th, 2024 | 4 Min Read
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Category: Festivals


Language: English

The term 'Akshaya' (akṣaya/अक्षय) in Sanskrit combines 'A' (not) and 'Kshaya' (erode), signifying something that doesn't decay or diminish. And 'Tritiya' (tṛtīyā/ तृतीया) refers to the third lunar day in the traditional Hindu calendar. Thus, Akshaya Tritiya is a festival of unerodable blessings celebrated on the third lunar day of the Vaishakha month (April-May). 

Significance of Akshaya Tritiya

  • Spiritual Growth: This day is particularly significant for those pursuing spiritual endeavours. Meditation, self-reflection, and acts of charity are believed to nourish the soul and lead to inner fulfilment. Special pujas, honouring ancestors, and studying sacred texts are common practices.
  • Purification and Renewal: Akshaya Tritiya coincides with a period dedicated to purification, with festivals like Parashurama Jayanti and Ganga Saptami (on the seventh lunar day of the same month). The favourable position of the Sun and Moon is seen as symbolic of cleansing the mind and body.
  • Blessings and Prosperity: As it marks the dawn of the Treta Yug, Akshaya Tritiya is considered especially auspicious for receiving divine blessings. Buying gold on this day is a popular tradition, symbolising the blessings of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. It is an invitation to endless fortune and a time for hope and optimism.

Twelve stories related to the origin of Akshaya Tritiya

  1. The appearance of Mata Lakshmi: During the churning of the cosmic ocean (Kṣīrasāgara/ क्षीरसागर), Mata Lakshmi emerged and was declared the deity of wealth and prosperity on this day. 
  2. Birth of Lord Parshuram: The sixth incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu, Parshuram, is said to have been born on Akshaya Tritiya. Though a Brahmin, he possessed the warrior qualities of a Kshatriya.
  3. Sudama's Offering and the Akshaya Patra: On Akshaya Tritiya, Sudama, a poor friend of Shree Krishna, visited him with a handful of parched rice. Krishna, touched by his devotion, transformed Sudama's hut into a palace, symbolising the concept of Akshaya Nidhi (eternal wealth).
  4. Yudhishthira Receives the Akshaya Patra: On this auspicious day, Suryadeva is believed to have bestowed upon Yudhishthira the Akshaya Patra, a magical vessel that never ran out of food. 
  5. Beginning of the Mahabharata: Legend has it that Maharishi Ved Vyasa began narrating the epic Mahabharata on Akshaya Tritiya, with Lord Ganesha writing it down. 
  6. Annapurna's Appearance: Mata Annapurna, a manifestation of Mata Parvati, appeared before Shiva and offered him a bountiful meal on this day.
  7. Dawn of the Treta Yug: The Bhavishya Puran states that Akshaya Tritiya marks the beginning of the Treta Yug, the second of the four ages in Hindu cosmology. This imbues the day with immense auspiciousness, as any good deeds performed then are believed to yield everlasting results.
  8. Draupadi's Honor Saved: During the infamous dice game in the Mahabharata, Draupadi's honour was at stake. To protect her, Shree Krishna provided her with the Akshaya Vastra, an endless sari that miraculously covered her modesty.
  9. Birth of Mandodari: On Akshaya Tritiya, Bhagawan Vishnu created Mandodari, one of the Panchakanyas, from sandalwood paste.  Despite marrying Ravan, Mandodari remained pious and righteous, even advising him against his evil ways. 
  10. Ganga's descent to Earth: On this day, the River Ganga descended from heaven on earth.
  11. Kuber's appointment: Kubera worshipped Mata Lakshmi and was thus assigned the job of treasurer of devatas on Akshaya Tritiya.
  12. Lakshmi Vrat: Vishwamitra and other great sages observed the Lakshmi Vrat on Akshaya Tritiya and never experienced any lack in their home or ashram.

Reasons for Buying Gold on Akshaya Tritiya

  • Auspicious Time for Wealth: Akshaya Tritiya is considered the most auspicious day to invest in wealth, particularly gold. Gold purchased on this day is believed to bring lasting prosperity since Kuber was appointed the treasurer of devatas on this day. 
  • Planning for Weddings: The period between Akshaya Tritiya and Shravana (July-August) is considered auspicious for weddings. Families traditionally purchase gold ornaments during Akshaya Tritiya in preparation for upcoming weddings.

Akshaya Tritiya: A Day of Giving

Traditionally, Akshaya Tritiya has been seen as a time to focus on helping others rather than material possessions. Here's how your charitable deeds on Akshaya Tritiya can bring blessings:

  • Conquering the Fear of Death: Charity is believed to help overcome the fear of death and ensure a peaceful transition.
  • Blessings in the Next Life: Helping the community on this auspicious day is said to bring blessings in your next birth.
  • Attaining Higher Fulfillment: Offering fruits as a form of charity is believed to lead to greater fulfilment in this lifetime.
  • Overcoming Illness: Donating clothes is said to bring good health and cure illnesses.
  • Peace and Prosperity: Those who donate grains are said to be blessed with a prosperous and peaceful life.
  • Breaking Free from Poverty: Performing "Deva Tarpanam" (a ritual offering to devatas) is believed to help overcome poverty.
  • Offering Forgiveness: Providing curd rice is said to help you find forgiveness for past transgressions.

How to Celebrate Akshaya Tritiya?

  • Worship: 
    • Anoint your Ishta Devata (chosen deity) statue with sandalwood paste, Akshata (vermilion rice) and Tulsi water.
    • Observe Upavasa (fast).
  • Charity (Dāna):
    • Financial donation to a non-profit. 
    • Donate to the community: rice, salt, ghee, vegetables, fruits, clothes, curd, coconut, etc.
    • Specific donations: Jaldān (water pot with betel nut), Sayana dāna (mattress), Vastradāna (clothes), Kumkum (vermilion), Chandan (sandalwood), Kumbha (water pot), Pādarakshā (footwear) and Chatra (umbrella).
  • Regional Practices (Eastern India): 
    • Ceremonial ploughing to mark the start of the harvest season.
    • Opening new financial account books.
  • Spiritual Practice:
    • Start reading scriptures or start your sadhana (devotional practices).
    • Engage in Bhajan, kirtan, roopdhyan sadhana.

Akshaya Tritiya is a multifaceted festival offering opportunities for spiritual growth, purification, material and spiritual prosperity. It is a day to embrace new beginnings and seek blessings for a brighter future. By extending a helping hand on the day of Akshaya Tritiya, you contribute to the well-being of others and potentially unlock blessings for yourself.