Akshaya Tritiya, is a sacred auspicious festival which is of most significance to Hindus, Jains and Nepali communities. This day is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm in most regions of Indian sub-continent. In Sanskrit, Akshaya means, “the one that never ends”, the one that is eternal and never ceasing relating to success, prosperity and luck. Tritiya in Sanskrit means, “third”. Hence, as per Indian faith, this day commences the start of most prosperous phase in Hindu Calendar. Observing the ritual of Akshaya Tritiya brings harmony, prosperity and success to anyone who performs the rituals and offers prayers to Goddess of Wealth, Sri Lakshmi and Lord Kuber.
Akshaya Tritiya falls on third lunar day of Shukla Paksha (Waxing Moon phase) of Vaishakha Maas (Vaishakha month) of Hindu calendar that is during April- May each year. During this period, the Sun and Moon are in brightest form and the day is considered most auspicious under Rohini Nakshatra. Astrologically, the day is considered very auspicious to start new projects, ventures, new alliances, partnerships and marriages for everlasting blissful relationships. The combination of planetary energies is believed to give profound benefits. Thus, any auspicious act commenced on this day leads to continued growth.
Akshaya Tritiya is a day of “no muhurta” as it is believed that every second of this day is auspicious. The day offers best time for spiritual activities such as Yoga, Mediation, Japa (Recitations), Tapa (Penance), Homam (Oblations to Yagna), Daan (Donations). The spiritual activities performed on this day are believed to give multi-fold eternal benefits.
Today, I am going to share Akshaya Tritiya stories. These are some of the important mythological events from the Vedic sacred texts that are related to Akshaya Tritiya.
- Beginning of Treta Yuga: According to Vedic Puranas, there are four Yugas (Epochs). These are Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga and Kali Yuga. In the Vedic text, Akshaya Tritiya marks the beginning of Treta Yuga. Treta Yuga comes after Satya Yuga and precedes Dwapar Yuga. Treta Yuga is known as the age of morality. During Treta Yuga, Sri Vishnu’s three incarnations were seen. The fifth incarnation as Vaman, the sixth incarnation as Parashuram and the seventh incarnation as Sri Ram.
- Parashuram Jayanti (Birth of Parshurama): Parashurama, is a sixth incarnation of Sri Vishnu who appeared on Earth on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. He was a great warrior who slayed unruly Kshatriya Kings. Lord Shiva trained Parashurama with great warrior skills. HE received his weapon axe at the end of long penance to please Lord Shiva.
- The birth of great Epic Mahabharata: It was on the day of Akshaya Tritiya (Akha Teej), that Ved Vyasa began the narration of the epic, the Mahabharata. Maharishi Ved Vyasa is believed to have dictated the entire epic to Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God of Wisdom.
- Sudama meets Lord Krishna: The story of Lord Krishna and His poor Brahmin friend Sudama is a significant one. Sudama visited Sri Krishna in regards to financial assistance. On seeing Sudama, Sri Krishna greeted him with big smile and compassion. As a customary act, Sri Krishna washed Sudama’s feet. Sudama was reluctant to ask for help seeing Sri Krishna’s luxurious belongings. Sudama got a handful of beaten rice for Sri Krishna as a gift. Krishna snatched it from Sudama’s hand and ate it with great excitement. It was Krishna’s love and affection for Sudama. Sudama returned back home with embarrassment and shock thinking he came home empty handed. On reaching home, he was amazed to see a magnificent palace in place of his small hut and that his wife and kids were adorned with luxurious clothing and jewelry. Sudama soon realized the glory of Sri Krishna. Sudama met Sri Krishna on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. Hence, this day is given great importance in regard to unending prosperity.
- Draupadi’s Akshaya Patram: One important event associated with Akshaya Tritiya is in the epic Mahabharata. Draupadi and five Pandavas, were famished due to lack for food during their exile in the forests. Pained by the sight of her anguish, Yudhistira did penance to Lord Surya (Sun God) who gave him the bowl that will remain full until Draupadi served the meals. Sage Durvasa visited Draupadi and five Pandavas in the forest. During Sage Duravasa’s visit, Lord Krishna turn this bowl into Akshaya Patra, the bowl that will always remain full with food of their choice. It is also believed that Pandava princes unearthed weapons that would guarantee their victory in battle with the Kauravas on Akshaya Tritiya day.
- Descend of Ganges from heaven: Holy River Ganga is believed to have descended to Earth from the Heavens on Akshaya Tritiya (Akha Teej) day to grant Moksha to ancestors of King Bhagirath. King Bhagirath was born to King Dalip, who was son of King Sagar. King Sagar resolved to perform Ashvamegh Yagna (Horse -sacrifice ritual). Indra, the Lord of Heaven’s feared King Sagar would become very strong and dethrone him. Indra, descended to Earth and stealthily carried away one of the horses to patal (netherland). All of King Sagar’s sons went searching for the missing horse. When they reached patal, they found the horse next to Sage Kapil who was in deep meditation. The sons mistook Sage Kapil to have stolen the horse. Sage Kapil raged in anger and cursed King Sagar’s sons and turned them into ashes. Sage Narad Muni informed King Sagar about the ill-fate of his sons. King Sagar prayed to Sage Kapil for relief and was advised that only Holy River Ganga can give salvation to his sons. It was then King Bhagirath, grand son of King Sagar performed severe penance to please Lord Shiva. As Ganga had to descend from Heaven, King Bhagirath was afraid that her profound force would wreak the Earth. Lord Shiva appeared and controlled the force of Ganga by capturing and holding the river in His matted hair locks (jatta). The river finally flung downwards from Shiva’s matted hair and flowed down to Earth at a mild pace. King Bhagirath led way for Ganga on Earth and into the ocean. Ganga gave salvation to all his ancestors. The descend of Holy River Ganga to Earth is believed to have taken place on Akshaya Tritiya day.
- Day of Mahishasura’s defeat by Goddess Durga: There was a demon named Mahishasur who took on the form of a very powerful buffalo. He wreaked death and destruction wherever he went. It was on Akshaya Tritiya, Goddess Durga killed Mahishasur after a fierce battle that went on for 10 days.
- Goddess Lakshmi and Kuber: Lakshmi Kubera Homam (Sacred Yagna) is performed for Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity and Lord Kubera, the king of yakshas and the lord of wealth. The homam is performed especially during Akshaya Tritiya and Dhanteras time. It is also believed that Lord Kubera received his wealth and position as the ‘Lord of Wealth’ on this auspicious day.
Wish you all Happy Akshaya Tritiya.
Friends, I hope you all enjoyed reading ancient tales related to the auspiciousness of Akshaya Tritiya. Please do share this with your friends and family.