Akshaya Tritiya is an extremely auspicious day for both the Hindus and the Jains. The day has equal importance in both the communities by default of their own reasoning.
The Akshaya Tritiya as the name itself suggests falls on the tritiya or the third day of the shukla paksha of the month of Baisakha according to traditional Hindu calendar or in the month of April May according to Gregorian calendar.
It is supposed to be one of the four most important days according to the Hindu astrological calendar. Akshaya Tritiya if falling on a Monday under the Rohini star is considered to be tremendously auspicious.
Dates of Akshaya Tritiya in the next five years according to the modern day calendar:
- In 2014, the Akshaya Tritiya date is on Friday, May 2.
- In 2015, the Akshaya Tritiya date is on Tuesday, April 21.
- In 2016, the Akshaya Tritiya date is on Monday, May 9.
- In 2017, the Akshaya Tritiya date is on Friday, April 28.
- In 2018, the Akshaya Tritiya date is on Wednesday, April 18.
Why is Akshaya Tritiya an important day for Hindus and Jains?
Akshaya Tritiya is an important day for Hindus and Jains both as mentioned earlier. In case of the Hindus, on this day, the 6th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Parashurama was born.
It is this day when, Veda Vyasa started writing the epic saga of Mahabharata along with Lord Ganesha. It is also believed that while the Pandavas were in exile, they were presented with an Akshaya Patra by Lord Krishna. It was a bowl that would never be empty, and would always produce food when asked for.
This is the day when Devi Annapurna is also believed to have been born.
On Akshaya Tritiya, Kubar, the richest God is believed to have received his responsibility of being custodian of wealth and treasury by praying to Lord Shiva.
On this very day, Lord Krishna’s friend Sudama went to visit his friend Krishna, who had then become a king with nothing but puffed rice as he had nothing more to offer. Upon returning he found his humble hut turned in to a new mansion.
As regards to the Jains, Akshaya Tritiya is the day when the first Tirthankara, Rishabhadeva broke his varshi tap by consuming sugar cane juice. This is believed to have established the aharacharya or the methodology by which food is prepared and served to the Jain monks. Rishbha deva had to fast for a year as people could not understand that all he wanted was a morsel of food until Shreyansa Kumar had a purva-bhava-smarana” and understood that he wanted a morsel of food. Finally he offered Rishabhadeva sugarcane juice to put an end to his yearlong fast. Jains on this day end their fasts by consuming a glass of sugarcane juice.
Thus it is said under so much of auspicious guise any initiative started on Akshaya Tritiya, continues to grow and prosper. The auspiciousness of the day is such, that it is never absent from the lunar calendar.
How to celebrate Akshaya Tritiya?
Akshaya Tritiya is what is called a Yugadi tithi, meaning a tithi to transcend all tithis, and thus any dan or charity or punya or pious deeds is bound to prove beneficial. The punya karma or pious deeds may include chanting or japa, meditation or tapa, dana or donations, sacrifices or Havana, ritual bathing or snana, offer oblation to fire of homa etc. but there are a couple of activities which are also prohibited on Akshaya Tritiya. For example one cannot have an Upanayana, or the sacred thread ceremony, one cannot have a house construction start on this day neither do a Griha Prabesh that is enter a new house.
Starting any kind of new activity other than those prohibited or buying valuables on this auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya is said to bring success and prosperity. The dana or charity set aside, giving gifts is ensured to bring fantastic results and blessings. There are many people who buy gold and other valuables on Akshaya Tritiya, and thus there is a lot of sales on jewelry on this day. The jewelers keep the Lakshmi Mata inscribed gold coins as they are thought to be auspicious and other valuable items.
Fasts are observed on this holy day and Lord Vishnu is worshipped. Rice, ghee or purified butter, sugar, vegetables, fruit, clothes and tamarind are given in charity. An aarti is performed in front of the idol.
On Akshaya Tritiya, In Odisha, the farmers start ploughing their land and the preparations and construction for Ratha Yatra in Puri starts. Lord Ganesha and Lakshmi are worshipped on this day along with numerous other rituals.
In Bengal, traders start their new auditing book for business .on this auspicious day which is called the Hal khata.
Amongst the Jat community this is an important day. On this day an elderly male Jat, belonging to the farming community leaves house in the morning with a shovel. All the birds and animals that he meets en route have their own significance in terms of good crops and rain.
A day long worshipping of Lakshmi and Kuber is performed on this day.
Akshaya Tritiya is considered to be one of the best days for weddings, as the spirit of this auspicious day blesses the life long journey ahead.
Thus, Akshaya Tritiya can be safely called one of the golden days in the entire Hindu calendar.
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