THE SCIENCE OF FESTIVALS: Akshaya Tritiya
The brightest day
Acknowledged as one of the most auspicious days, today, we celebrate Akshaya Tritiya which falls on the Shukla Paksha Tritiya in the month of Vaishakh.
Let’s break it down to understand the significance of this festival.
The word Kshaya in Sanskrit means ‘to cease’. Akshaya, therefore, stands for ‘that which never diminishes. Therefore, the benefits of good deeds performed on this day like yagna (ritual), daan (charity), and Japa (prayer) never fade away.
The same logic implied wealth, people buy gold on this day to bring wealth that shall continue to grow.
Tritiya denotes the ‘third lunar day’ (the moon rising half of the month).
Astrologically, the sun and moon are at their most radiant phase (exalted position) on this day, i.e. they emit maximum light making it the ‘brightest day’.
Additionally, the planet Venus is also at its exaltation this month. This auspicious phenomenon happens only for a few hours, once a year, and is regarded as highly beneficial, as the planet is a key significator when it comes to relationships, marriages, and children.
- Day of Creation: Akshay Tritiya is the day of creation of our Universe. It’s celebrated as – सृष्टि का सनातन पर्व or सर्ग दिवस.
- According to Hindu scriptures and Puranas, Satya Yuga ended and Treta Yuga began on the day of Akshaya Tritiya.
- Day of Incarnations – On this day, incarnations of God like Hayagreeva, Parashuram, and Naranarayana manifested.
- The holy river Ganga also descended on the Earth from its origin.
- Rishi Ved Vyas, the author of the Mahabharata, initiated the epic recital before Lord Ganesha, on Akshaya Tritiya.
- Lord Surya gave Akshay Patra to Yudishtira who held a never-failing supply of food to the Pandavas during their exile.
अस्यां तिथौ क्षयमुर्पति हुतं न दत्तं । तेनाक्षयेति कथिता मुनिभिस्तृतीया ।।
उद्दिश्य दैवतपितृनि्क्रयते मनुष्यैः । तत् च अक्षयं भवति भारत सर्वमेव ।। – मदनरत्न
Meaning : (Shrikrushna says) O Yudhishtir, the offerings made and the oblations offered in the sacrificial fire on this day never go in vain. Hence, Sages have imparted the name Akshaya Tritiya to this day. Everything done on this day for the sake of Deities and ancestors is Akshay, meaning they are imperishable.
Madanratna – an ancient Sanskrit Holy text
Celebrating Akshaya Tritiya
- Worship: Devotees of Lord Vishnu worship the deity on this day.
- Meditation: Performing spiritual activities, meditation, and chanting holy mantras.
- Charity: Donating food to the poor
- Ploughing Day: In Eastern India, this day commences as the first ploughing day for the upcoming harvest season.
- Financial Year Begins: Businessmen start a new audit book for the next financial year. This is known as ‘halkhata’. This could be the reason, we still follow April March Financial year in our country.
New business ventures and construction work are started on this day.
- Buying Gold: As gold is symbolic of good fortune and wealth, buying this is considered pious on this day.
- Jains complete their year-long Tapasya on this day and end their worship by drinking sugarcane juice.
- People plan weddings and long journeys on this day.