Akshaya Tritiya

What is Akshaya Tritiya?

“Akshaya” is a term that signifies something that does not decrease or diminish and is considered the most auspicious day of the year.

If one were to partake in any fruitful venture or even perform charitable acts on this day, they will be blessed with fortune. Any meaningful activity started on this day would be fruitful and believed to yield great success.

Akshaya Tritiya is said to be entirely free from inauspiciousness, making it unnecessary to check muhurtas. This day is considered highly auspicious, and any activity performed for the devotees and Krsna is believed to bring more benefits, which are eternal and never lost.

When it Occurs?

This festival occurs on the third day (Tritiya) of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) in the month of Vaishakha every year.

How this Festival got the name?

The festival of Akshaya Tritiya is named after the Akshaya Patra. When Draupadi and the Pandava’s were in exile, Yudhisthira, the eldest Pandava, performed penance that pleased Lord Surya. As a result, Lord Surya gifted him the Akshaya Patra, which would always have food until Draupadi finished her meal.

Significance

(1) Lord Parasurama appeared on this day
(2) River Ganges descended to Earth on this day
(3) This day marks the beginning of Treta-yuga
(4) Sudama visited Krishna at Dwarka
(5) The Pandava’s received Akshaya Patra from the Sun God
(6) Vyasadeva started composing Mahabharata on this day
(7) Adi Shankaracharya composed Kanakadhara Stotram on this day
(8) Kubera received his wealth and position as custodian of wealth
(9) Goddess Annapoorna Devi appeared on this day: the Goddess of food

Some Unheard Significances of Akshaya Tritya

Candana yatra starts on the third lunar day of the waxing moon of Vaisakha month, and continues for twenty days. Lord Jagannatha gave direct instructions to King Indradyumna to perform this festival at this time. Smearing the body of the Lord with ointments is an act of devotion, and the best of ointments is sandalwood paste. Since the month of Vaisakha is very hot in India, the cooling effect of the sandalwood is very pleasing to the body of the Lord.

Simhachalam (Andhra Pradesh) is the abode of Lord Narasimha. The Deity of Lord Narasimha is always covered with sandal paste. On the day of Akshaya Tritiya (which occurs 11 days before Narasimha Jayanti – the appearance day of Lord Narasimha), the sandal paste is removed and abhisheka is performed. This is the only day on which the devotees will get to see the form of the Lord. On the same evening, the Deity is again covered with sandal paste.

Every year the Ratha Yatra festival is celebrated at Jagannath Puri. The three chariots of Jagannath (Nandighosha), Baladeva (Taladvaja) and Subhadra (Darpadalana) are newly built every year with the wood of specific trees. The construction of the chariots for Ratha Yatra begins on the day of Akshaya Tritiya.

In the temple of Kshira-chora Gopinatha (Remuna, Odisha) the Deities of Madana-mohana, Govinda and Gopinatha are smeared with sandalwood pulp on this auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya. This tradition is being followed from the time of Sri Madhavendra Puri, one of the acharyas in the Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya, who travelled from Vrindavana to Jagannath Puri on the order of Gopala Deity to collect sandalwood and camphor.

In Badrinath, the temples of Gangotri and Yamunotri are closed during winter. On the day of Akshaya Tritiya the shrines re-open for the pilgrims.

Srila Prabhupada is the founder-acharya of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Before starting ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada incorporated a society in India, called The League of Devotees, at Jhansi on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya (16th May) in the year 1953.

In recent times, the common idea in India is to purchase gold or property or start new things, well this is true. But regrettably we overlooked one important aspects of Akshaya Tritiya is also to donate, to give back, do charity. It is said that the charity done on Akshaya Tritiya remain “Akshaya” imperishable and eternal.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

How to observe Akshaya Tritiya?

Being Yugadi Tithi, it is most beneficial for performing meritorious (Punya Karma) deeds such as recitations (Japa), penance (Tapa), donations (Dana) ritual bathing (Snaana), sacrifices (Havan), burnt oblations to fire (Hooma).

Any service or charity one performs on this day will be paid back many times over. On this day, Sudama gave the Lord a tiny portion of chipped rice and was rewarded with untold opulence. Draupadi was protected by Krishna twice on this day, once when He provided her an unlimited sari at the dice game in return for a tiny piece of cloth, and later, when she needed to provide food for Durvasa muni, the Lord took a single grain from her pot and satisfied the hunger of all the sages.

To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.

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Responses

  1. Thankyou very much Prabhujee on enlightening us about the significance and details of such important events and pastimes of lord ,happening on the most auspicious day of Akshaya Trithiya. Very glad to read through all details being covered with so much simplicity which makes it truly touching the heart with deep clarity.