Akshaya Tritiya is an annual springtime festival of the Hindus and Jains. It falls on the third lunar day (Tithi) of Bright Half (Shukla Paksha) of Vaisakha month. In Sanskrit, the word “Akshayya” (अक्षय्य) means ” never-ending ” in the sense of “hope, prosperity, success, joy”, while Tritiya means “the third phase of the moon.
It is perceived as an auspicious time regionally by Hindus and Jains globally.
The holiday date varies and is set according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar and falls in May or April of every year in the Gregorian calendar. This day is also known as ‘Akha Teej.’
This day marks numerous incidents.
In Hinduism, food is worshipped. The Hindu goddess of food and nourishment is Annapurna or Annapoorna. Mata Annapurna was born on this Akshaya Tritiya. During their exile in the forests, the Pandavas from Mahabharata were famished for the lack of food, and their wife Draupadi was pained by the lack of food for hospitality to their many saintly guests. Yudhishthira, the eldest, prayed to Bhagwan Surya, who gave him this bowl, which would remain full until Draupadi had eaten her meals. During sage Durvasa’s visit, Bhagwan Krishna made this bowl invincible for Draupadi, the wife of the five Pandavas, so that the mysterious bowl called Akshaya Patram would always remain full with food, even as to satisfy the whole universe if required.
Akshaya Tritiya is believed in Hinduism to be the birthday of Parasurama, who is the sixth incarnation of Vishnu. So, it is also referred to as Parasurama Jayanti.
On Akshaya Tritiya, River Ganga descended from heaven on earth. On this day, Kubera revered Mata Lakshmi and was thus assigned the responsibility of being the treasurer of Gods. Ved Vyasa started reciting Mahabharata to Bhagwan Ganesha on Akshaya Tritiya.
Sudama visited his childhood friend, Bhagwan Krishna, in Dwarka on this date and received unlimited wealth.
In Jainism, it celebrates the first Tirthankara’s (Rishabhdev), ending his one-year asceticism by drinking sugarcane juice poured into his cupped hands.
Rituals on Akshaya Tritiya
Hindus worship Vishnu on this day by keeping a fast. Later, charity is done by distributing salt, rice, ghee, fruits, vegetables, and clothes to the needy. Tulsi water is sprayed all around as a symbol of Bhagwan Vishnu. In Orrisa, this day commences as the first plowing day for the upcoming harvest season. Also, for people in business, Bhagwan Ganesha and Mata Lakshmi are worshipped before starting a new audit book for the next financial year.
On this day, many families buy gold jewelry. As gold is symbolic of good wealth and fortune, purchasing this is considered pious on this day. People plan weddings on this day.
Other rituals include taking a bath in the Ganga and making donations and offerings on this day. Jains complete their year-long Tapasya on this day and end their worship by drinking sugarcane juice.
Happy Akshaya Tritiya, everyone.