Akshaya Tritiya or Akshya Teej is a spring-time festival observed by Hindus and Jains. The festival is believed to bestow prosperity and well-being on the people. Every year Akshaya Tritiya falls on the Shukla Paksha (the waxing or the brighter phase of the Moon)Tritiya Tithi (third day) of the Jyeshta month.
“Akshaya” is a Sanskrit term that means ‘the one that is eternal (unending)’. Hindus all over the world observe Akshaya Tritiya.
Facts about Akshaya Tritiya
The Akshaya Tritiya festival is significant in several ways. Many events of spiritual importance and the ones that are auspicious have occurred during this day. A list of some important activities that occurred on this day are below.
- The sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Shri Parshurama, was born on Akshaya Tritiya.
- It was on an Akshaya Tritiya day, Sage Ved Vyssa started dictating the Mahabharata to Lord Ganesh.
- The day is ideal to commence anything new or important.
- The sun and moon radiate brightly during Akshaya Tritiya.
- As per the Hindu beliefs, Treta Yuga (2nd epoch) commenced on this day.
- Goddess Annapurna emerged in Kasi on a Akshaya Tritiya day.
- It was during this festival, Lord Krishna bestowed wealth and prosperity on his poor friend Sudama, who had come to seek help from Krishna.
- As per the legends of Mahabharata, it was on Akshaya Tritiya, Lord Surya presented the ‘Akshaya Patra’ to the Pandavas while they were on exile.
- The most holy river, Ganges descended to the earth from the heavens on a Akshyaya Tritiya.
- It is on this day that Kubera worshipped Goddess Lakshmi and got theresponsibility of serving as the Custodian of Divine treasures.
- In Akshaya Tritiya, the Jains commemorate and offer special worship to Lord Adinatha, their first Tirthankara.
Akshaya Tirtiya Rituals
- Vishnu Devotees observe fast during Akshya Tritiya and distribute rice, salt, ghee, vegetables, fruits and clothes to the Brahmins and poor.
- In the Eastern parts of India, the Akshaya Tritiya festival day marks the first ploughing day for the upcoming harvest season.
- Gold represents good fortune and prosperity and buying gold on this day is considered very auspicious.
- People commence new business and start construction work on Akshaya Tritiya.
- Taking holy dip in the Ganges, offering barley into a sacred fire and making donations and offerings on this day are some of the other popular rituals of Akshya Tritiya.
- The Jains end their yearlong tapasya on this day and end their worship by drinking sugarcane juice.
Rituals of Akshaya Tritiya
People follow some unique rituals and practices during the Akshaya Tritiya festival. Some of the popular Akshaya Tritya rituals are listed below.
- Akshate: People observing the Akshaya Tritiya puja vrat prepare Akshate which is considered auspicious and is believed to bring fortune and prosperity for the family. It is prepared by smearing grains of unbroken rice with turmeric and kumkum.
- Doing Charity: Charity performed during Akshaya Tritiya shall bring unlimited well-being and prosperity to the donating family for the following year. Food grains, clothes, jaggery and other items are ideal to be donated to the Brahmins and the poor.
- Buying gold and Silver: Traditionally, on Akshaya Tritiya just like Dhanteras before Diwali, people buy gold for prosperity. As Akshaya symbolizes eternal, people buy gold and silver for unending happiness and prosperity in their lives. If you cannot buy gold you can buy food items like Legume, Rice, Wheat flour and specially Ghee which will bring prosperity.
- Puja, Japa and Yajya: Chanting mantras, shlokas dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Ganesh or the household deity on this day shall bring ‘eternal’ good fortune.
- Preparing the Akshaya Tritiya Naivedyam thali: This refers to special food items, which are prepared on the auspicious day and offered to the gods. The items on the Naivedyam thali or plate differs from state to state but milk and milk products like kheer, ghee, curd and sweets find a place in all cultures.
Akshaya Tritiya Puja Samagri (Items)
The following are the Puja Samagri used in the Akshaya Tritiya Puja.
- A wooden platform or altar
- A piece of fresh yellow coloured cloth
- Images of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu
- An image of Lord Ganesh
- An oil lamp
- Cotton wicks
- Ghee or sesame oil
- Fresh flowers
- Fruits, banana and 3 whole coconuts with a husk
- Durva for Lord Ganesh
- Tulsi for Lord Vishnu
- Paan and supari
- A Kalash
- Raw mango leaves
- Ganga Jal
- Incense sticks
- Naivedhya (porridge made of semolina/Sheera or any other sweet preparation)
- Kalava (sacred thread)
- A fresh piece of red or green cloth
- Panchamrit (a concoction of ghee, curd, milk, banana, candy sugar, honey)
- Trays for keeping these items utensils/cups for the offerings
This year the Akshya Tritiya is on the 3rd May Tuesday, 2022.« Benefits of Navagraha Mantras A Look Ahead For May 2022 »