Akshaya Tritiya is also known as “Akha Teej”. It is a highly auspicious and holy day for Hindus and Jains across the country. It is celebrated on the third day of Shukla Paksha the Indian month of Vaisakha. This day is symbolic of good luck, success, and fortune gains. It is believed that anything that begins on this day will always emerge victoriously.
|Official name||अक्षय तृतीय, ଅକ୍ଷୟ ତୃତୀୟ, Akshaya Tritiya|
|Observed by||Hindu, Jain|
|Observances||Prayers, Distribution of sugarcane juice and festive foods, & Buying gold|
|Worship||Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesh, Goddess Lakshmi|
|Celebrated on||Prayers, Distribution of sugarcane juice and festive foods, & Buying of gold|
|Date 2023||22 Apr (Sat)|
|Date 2024||10 May (Fri)|
In Sanskrit, the word “Akshaya” means never decreasing or endless in the sense of prosperity, hope, happiness, and success, while “Tritiya” means the third phase of the moon. It is named after the third lunar day of Vaisakha, the spring month in the Hindu Calendar. If Akshaya Tritiya falls on Rohini Nakshatra day, the festival is believed to be more auspicious and propitious.
Significance of Akshaya Tritiya
According to Hindu mythology, the Treta Yuga began on this day. On this day, Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesh, and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped. Akshaya Tritiya is headed by God Vishnu who is the preserver God in the Hindu trio god.
Akshaya Tritiya is believed by Hindus to be the birthday of Parsuram, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu. He is appreciated in Vaishnava temples. The festival is also referred to as Parsuram Jayanti those who observe it in respect of Parsuram. Instead, some focus their worship on Vasudeva (Krishna), the eighth avatar of Vishnu.
Very important, and associated with the name of the festival itself, is the presentation of the Akshaya Patra to Draupadi by Lord Krishna during the visit of many saintly guests including sage Durvasa. During the exile period of Panchu Pandavas and their wife Draupadi in the forest, they were starved due to lack of food, and Draupadi was pained by this because she couldn’t extend the traditional welcome to their guests.
The eldest brother Yudhishthira prayed to Lord Surya who gave him the Akshaya Patra, which would remain filled till Draupadi served all their guests. During the visit of sage Durvasa, Lord Krishna made this bowl invincible for Draupadi so that the magical bowl called Akshaya Patra would always remain full of food of their choice, even if required to satiate the whole universe.
According to one legend, Sage Veda Vyasa began chanting the Hindu epic Mahabharata to Lord Ganesh on Akshaya Tritiya. Another legend states that the river Ganges descended to earth on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. Very remarkably the Yamunotri and Gangotri temple is opened on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya during the Chota char Dham pilgrimage, after closing down during the heavy snowfall during winters in Himalayan regions.
Another significant event is that it is accepted that on this day Sudama visited his childhood friend, Lord Krishna in Dwarka when he received unlimited wealth as a boon. On this day Goddess Annapurna was born. It is also believed that Kubera received a position as the god of wealth on this propitious day.
The importance of Akshaya Tritiya dates back to Indian tradition. As per South Indian legend, on this day, Goddess Madhura and God Sundaresan, an incarnation of Lord Shiva got married on this day. Hence, it is remarked that those who get married on Akshaya Tritiya are blessed with prosperity and happiness.
In Odisha, Akshaya Tritiya is celebrated during the beginning of the sowing of rice paddy for the rise of the Kharif season. The day begins with ritual worship of Mother Earth, the bullocks, other traditional farm equipment, and seeds by the farmers for the benefit of a good harvest. The farmers sow paddy seeds after plowing the fields as the symbolic beginning for the most important Kharif crop of Odisha. This ritual is known as Akhi Muthi Anukula ( Akhi – Akshay Tritiya, Muthi – a fistful of paddy, Anukula – inauguration or beginning) and is celebrated with much flourish throughout the state.
In recent years, the event has acquired much publicity due to ritualistic Akhi Muthi Anukula programs organized by farmers, organizations, and political parties. The construction of chariots for the Ratha Yatra festival of Jagannath temple also starts on this day at Puri.
In the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the festival is associated with opulence and success and women purchase gold and jewelry. Simhachalam temple observes special rituals on this day. The main deity of the temple is coated with sandalwood paste for the rest of the year, and only on this day, the layers of sandalwood applied are removed to show the statue of the deity. The visitor’s darshan of the actual form of the deity happens on this day.
On this day, local people fly kites here because this is the next day of the foundation city of Bikaner, Rajasthan. It is trusted that on the next day of the foundation by Rao Bikaji on Baisakhi Shukla Dwitiya, they fly around circular kites called Chanda. So, it is celebrated as the birthday of the city.
This day is considered an auspicious day by Hindus and Jains in many regions of India for new journeys, marriages, and expensive investments such as gold or other property. It is also a day of recall for the loved ones who have died. The day is regionally remarkable for women married or unmarried, who pray for the well-being of their families and their future husbands. They distribute germinating sprouts, fresh fruits, and Indian sweets after prayers. Fasting, charity, and helping others on this day is other festive tradition.
In Jain’s, Akshaya Tritiya starts the first Tirthankara, Lord Rishabhdev ending his one-year austerity by drinking sugarcane juice poured into his cupped hands. Some Jains mention the festival as Varshi Tapa.
Fasting and austerity are remarked on by Jains, particularly at pilgrimage sites such as Palitana (Gujrat). On this day, people who keep the year-long alternative day fasting known as Varshi Tapa finish their Tapasya by drinking sugarcane juice.
Why do People purchase gold on Akshaya Tritiya?
The most common reason why people buy gold on Akshaya Tritiya is that it is appraised as the perfect and auspicious time to purchase expensive items including gold. Those who buy gold on this date get an increase in grandeur.
As per many optimistic, it is considered that on this day Lord Kubera gets the post of treasurer. Therefore, buying gold in Akshaya Tritiya pleases Lord Kubera.
Another cause to buy gold on Akshaya Tritiya is that this festival falls in a month favorable for engagements and marriages. A lot of gold jewelry is bought in Hindu culture. So, this date becomes the logical choice to buy gold. Even marriages performed on this date are considered very propitious and it brings harmony and peace.
Rituals during Akshaya Tritiya
On the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya, people clean their houses. Puja and Yajna are performed to fulfill their desires and for the good health and prosperity of their loved ones. An important ritual of the day is doing charity such as food, clothes, and other items distributed among poor and needy people.
Devotees of Vishnu worship the deity on this day by observing fasting. Later, charity is done by distributing rice, ghee, vegetables, fruits, and clothes among the poor. Tulsi water is sprinkled all around as a mark of Lord Vishnu.
In Eastern India, this day begins as the first plowing day for the upcoming harvest season. Moreover, for businessmen, Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped before the beginning of a new audit for the next financial year. It is known as “Halkhata”.
Many people buy gold and silver items on this day as gold is the symbol of good fortune and wealth. Buying gold on this day is considered pious. People plan weddings and journeys on the day of Akshaya Tritiya.
New Business Ventures and construction work comments on this day. Other rituals include taking a holy bath in the Ganges, offering barley into a sacred fire, and donating on this day. Jains complete their long-year meditation (Tapasya) on Akshaya Tritiya and end their worship by consuming sugarcane juice.
Performing spiritual activities, meditations, and enchanting holy mantras are regarded as very important to ensure good fortune in the future. Devotees of Lord Krishna lay out the deity with sandalwood paste on this day. It is accepted that by doing so, the person is bound to reach heaven after Earth.