Celebrated In: India in Summer Season
Celebrated By: Hindu (Hindu)
Akshaya Tritiya, a very popular festival among the Hindu and Jain community is celebrated every year with great devotion and enthusiasm. The day holds lot of importance for Hindus as it marks the birthday of Lord Parshurama; the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The day is considered to be a lucky day for the Hindu community as any business venture or the construction work started on this day, bestows people with prosperity and profit. Akshaya Tritiya is a one day celebration that falls in late April or early May. According to Hindu spirituality, the Lord Ganesha started writing the epic work called "Mahabharata" on Akshay Tritiya. According to ‘Mahabharat’, Pandavs received a bowl named Akshaya Tritiya from God, when they were in exile. The bowl never became empty; hence called Akshay Patra as it produced an unlimited amount of food when Pandavas demanded.
Akshaya Tritiya, the golden day of the year, holds a lot of importance as the word Akshaya signifies the most "eternal" things on earth, which never diminishes or ends. Any new venture made on that day is considered to bring good fortune into life. People buy gold jewellery on this occasion, as gold is regarded as the most precious metal on earth that brings good fortune for the buyer. Typically in India people like to start a new business on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya. The auspicious day holds the significance of being one of the most popular days for weddings or any sacred initiative, as the spirit of this day bestows everyone with happiness and prosperity. People born in that month are said to be very lucky as they shine like a star throughout their life.
Akshaya Tritiya is considered to be a golden day only for Hindu and Jain community;
Significance of the Akshaya Tritiya festival :
According to Hindu astrology Akshay Tritiya is considered as the most important tithi or date. The sun and the moon exhibit equal brightness on this sacred day. Legend is that on the day of Akshaya Tritiya, Kuber achieved the glory of becoming the lord of wealth and hence declared as the divine banker by Lord Shiva. The traces of this can be found in the holy ‘Shiva Purana’.
Another legend is when the Pandavas exiled in the forest, many dignitaries like seers and kings visited them. Draupadi used to found it difficult to prepare a great quantity of food as the Pandavas did not possess enough resources to offer food to the dignitaries. One day, Lord Krishna visited the Pandavas and was greeted graciously by the five brothers. But Draupadi did not greet him as she was weeping in the kitchen. Lord Krishna noticed the empty pot in which she used to cook. He found a single grain of rice left in the pot and Lord Krishna had that single grain of rice. By the time he ate the grain, the whole universe was satiated for that day. He then gave her the Akshaya Patra, a pot that could supply unlimited amount of food every day as per the demand. From this day Akshaya Tritiya is celebrated every year to commemorate Lord Krishna’s blessings on the mankind.
Krishna-Sudama & Akshaya Tritiya :
Another famous legend associated with Akshaya Tritiya that holds importance for Hindus, is closely related to Lord Krishna and his childhood Brahmin friend Sudama. On this auspicious day, Sudama visited Lord Krishna in Dwarka in order to seek his blessings and ask for the financial help. Sudama’s wife had given a little package of puffed rice for Lord Krishna as a token of love, as they have nothing to offer the Lord while meeting him at his palace. Lord Krishna personally welcomed his childhood friend Sudama with so much warmth and love. Lord Krishna himself washed his friend’s feet and offered royal food to him.
But Sudama was ashamed to offer his gift of puffed rice because he felt his gift would not match the level of Lord krishna’s riches and hence he did not ask for his help. At the time of return, Lord Krishna asked Sudama about what he had brought for him but Sudama did not show the gift to him. Lord Krishna then grabbed the gift from Sudama and saw that it was a handful of puffed rice. Lord Krishna delighted to see this gift which he brought as a token of love, affection and friendship. However Sudama could not ask for his financial help and eturned home.
After reaching home, he got astonished to see that his hut was transformed into a palace and realised that Lord Krishna granted him a special boon against his handful of puffed rice. Since then, the day of Akshaya Tritiya came into existence as it privileges a person with material gains and wealth. Hence, buying gold on the day of Akshaya Tritiya is considered as auspicious as it brings financial growth and prosperity as well.
Akshaya Tritiya Rituals :
People comece the auspicious Akshay Tritiya By sanctifying their homes and then they keep fasting and worship Lord Vishnu with rice grains. Most people like to buy new lands and invest in gold or anything that adds up to their savings. The day also holds the significance of being one of the luckiest days for the couple tying marital knot on this day. In fact, for the Jain community, the day holds a lot of importance as it commemorates the first Tirthankara's ending his one-year asceticism. On this day, people also seek blessings from the god for good harvest and prosperity by distributing germinating gram (sprouts) and sweets.
Akshaya Tritiya Offerings :
On the day of Akshaya Tritiya, Hindus donate the items like Til (sesame seeds), Bed or mattress (Shayan Daan), Clothes(Vastra Daan) to the needy, Kumkum (dried red color powder), Chandan (sandalwood), Betel leaves, Nariyal (coconut), Chhach Daan (buttermilk) that results in good education, financial prosperity and wellness of family members.
People also donate water in copper or silver vessel with saffron, camphor, Tulsi leaves along with betel nut, which is considered auspicious for marriages and having offsprings. This donation is popularly called as Uda Kumbh Daan.
People love to make offerings on the day of Akshay Tritiya as it blesses them with good fortune. The day holds lot of importance as we welcome prosperity, richness and wealth into our lives with the blessings of God. During Akshaya Tritiya, one should start new ventures to receive abundance in wealth and special prayers should be offered to Goddess Lakshmi and Kubera (Lord of Wealth) in order to achieve extreme richness.