Akshaya Tritiya 2016
Among Hindus and Jains, Akshaya Tritiya is considered to be a holy festival and an auspicious day to inaugurate new ventures. This year, it is on May 9th.
Akshay Tritiya, also known as Akha Teej, is celebrated on the third day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) of the Hindu month of Vaisakha.
The Sanskrit word “Akshaya” means the “never diminishing” or “the infinite that never recedes.”
It is believed that any meaningful activity initiated on this day would be fruitful, bring good luck and success. It is believed if you give to charity on this day or purchase gold, it will continue to grow and bring prosperity. Hence, new ventures like starting a business, construction, etc. are performed on this day.
The festival falls on the day when the sun and moon are both in exaltation and are in equal radiance. Also, they are simultaneously at their peak of brightness, which happens only once every year.
People conduct special Pujas on this day, bathe in holy rivers, offer charity, and offer barley in a sacred fire. Gaja (elephant) puja, Ashwa (horse) puja and Go (cow) puja are also done on this day. Lord Ganesha & Goddess Lakshmi are specially worshipped on this day.
The following are legends associated with the festival of Akshaya Tritiya:
- Sage Parashurama, the sixth Avatar (incarnation) of god Vishnu, was born on this day.
- This day marks the beginning of Treta-yuga.
- Ganga, the holy river, descended to Earth on this day.
- Sudama, a poor Brahmin friend of Sri Krishna, visited Sri Krishna at Dwaraka and was astonished to see, on his return, that his hut had transformed into a palace with all treasures.
- Yudishtira, the eldest brother of the Pandavas, received Akshaya Patra (inexhaustible vessel) from Lord Surya (Sun God).
- Maharishi Vyasa started composing the Mahabharata on this day.
- Adi Sankaracharya composed stotram on this day.
- Kubera received his wealth and position as custodian of wealth, and it is said that Goddess Annapoorna Devi appeared on this day.
- The construction of the chariots for Ratha Yatra in Puri Jagannath Mandir, Orissa begins on this day.
- In the temple of Kshira-chora Gopinatha (Remuna, Orissa) the deities of Madana-mohana, Govinda and Gopinatha are smeared with sandalwood pulp on this auspicious day.
Author: Brahmacharini Shobhana