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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Why is Akshaya Tritiya the Most Auspicious Day in the Hindu Calendar?

 


Akshaya Tritiya – The Day of Never-ending Prosperity  


Akshaya Tritiya is a highly auspicious day observed across India and the Hindu diaspora in other countries. It is derived from two words Akshaya which means ‘never diminishing and everlasting’ and Tritiya which means the ‘third day as it falls on the third day of Shukla Paksha (bright half) of Vaishakha lunar month in the Hindu festival calendar.


How is the day celebrated?


This auspicious day is dedicated to Laxminarayan, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu and consort Goddess Laxmi. The Akshaya Tritiya puja vidhi includes observing the daylong fast and performing puja of Lord Laxminarayan with dhoop, flowers, ointments, sweets, and recitation of Vishnu Saharanama. Plus, scriptures are read, Homa/Havan (fire ritual) is conducted, donations are made to the needy, specific Lord Vishnu mantras are chanted, investments are made in gold, properties or business, auspicious ceremonies like housewarming and marriages are conducted, and sadhaks/worshippers also take a dip in holy Ganga river.  It is believed any act done this day be it investing in assets, earning punya/ merit by charity, or spiritual activities, all continue to grow and remain forever with the person.


Deceased ancestors are believed to come closer to earth on this day to imbibe the positive energies present on Earth. So, performing of Apindak shraddh or Til Tarpan (rituals to satiate ancestors) and donations made in the name of ancestors is recommended during Akshay Tritiya. As it helps in repaying debt unto the ancestors to some extent and gives momentum to their onward journey to higher realms.


Reasons this day is considered very auspicious


Scriptural reference: In the ancient text, Madanratna Lord Krishna narrated the significance of this Akshaya Tritiya to Yudhistara. He stated that any offerings made in the Fire ritual /Havan/Homa/Yagna would never go in vain and everything done on this day for ancestors or /and Deities will be everlasting.


Astrological reasons: Akshaya Tritiya is one of the three and half auspicious days of the year where one does not have to choose any Tithi (auspicious moment) to perform any rituals because each moment of this day is highly auspicious. Also, the Sun is believed to be in its highest radiance this day thus deeming it a highly favourable day for conducting any auspicious act.


Spiritual reasons: Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma's principles descend on the Earth on the day of Akshay Tritiya so the Sattvik Tattva (pure and calming energies) in the aura is high in proportion on this day.


Interesting Legends of Akshaya Tritiya


There are various legends associated with Akshay Tritiya which reflect the auspiciousness and meritoriousness of this day.


Kuber appointment as Custodian of wealth


Kuber, the son of the sage Vishrawava had performed severe penance to appease Lord Shiva in the temple of Sivapuram. On the day of Akshay Tritiya, Lord Shiva got appeased by the worship of Kubera and coveted Him the position of the custodian of Universal wealth and prosperity and guardian of the Northern direction. It is also believed Lord Shiva had blessed Goddess Lakshmi with immense riches on this day. The tradition of buying gold on this day for blessings of prosperity has an association with this legend.


Akshay Patra and Pandavas


The epic tale of Mahabharata narrates an interesting episode that occurred on the day of Akshay Tritiya. It was during the time when Pandavas and their consort Draupadi were exiled in the forest. They were in trouble one day because sage Durvasa along with his disciples was to visit them, which was the day when Pandavas had no left to offer them. Lord Krishna came to their rescue by consuming the only grain left from the Akshay Patra which served food only once a day, causing Durvasa and his disciples to magically feel satiated without having any food and thus saving Pandavas from the curse of Durvasa.


Transition of Satya Yuga to Treta Yuga


This day also marks the end of Satya Yuga(era) and the beginning of Treta Yuga. This transition phase from one era to another is considered very auspicious with the positive vibrations lasting for an entire day. 


Various incarnations of Lord Vishnu


Lord Hayagreeva, Who retrieved Vedas, Parshurama, Who annihilated evil Kshatriyas (warriors), and Naranarayan, Who killed Sahasrakavacha by meditating for 1000 years had incarnated on the Akshay Tritiya.


Bhakta and friend Sudama and Lord Krishna


Sudama who was poverty-stricken had visited his childhood friend Lord Krishna, the king of Dwarka in hope of aid but could not share his ordeal. Legend states that the moment he offered puffed rice to Krishna, his family back home was blessed with immense opulence, happiness, and wealth. The event is believed to have occurred during Akshaya Tritiya. 


Descent of Holy River Ganga on earth


The ancestors of King Bhagirath were unable to attain higher regions of Gods due to the curse of sage Kapila. To relieve them, Bhagirath performed severe penance for thousands of years but could not succeed. He later did severe penance to request Him to control the extremely strong force of Ganga when She would descend on Earth from the Heavens. He finally succeeded in appeasing Lord Shiva. River Ganga is believed to have descended on the day of Akshay Tritiya. As a significance, the Gangotri temple, the temple where Ganga originates, is reopened on this day.


Apart from these, the appearance of Maa Annapurna and the first recitation of Mahabharata by Ved Vyas to Lord Ganesha is attributed to this day.

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