Unlike the popular belief that inspires people to invest in gold, Akshaya Tritiya is actually a day to share or donate food with the poor and the needy and helping those who are less privileged than us. It is not mandatory to buy gold today. A good deed like donating clothes or feeding the poor will serve the purpose and help you observe the symbolic day in the most sacred way.
Akshaya Tritiya, also known as Akha Teej, is a highly auspicious and holy day for Hindu and Jain communities. It falls on the 3rd Tithi (lunar day) of Bright Half (Shukla Paksha) of the Indian month of Vaishakha and this day is one of the brightest and luckiest days for Hindus. On this day the Sun and the Moon are at the height of their brightness. In 2016 Akshaya Tritiya falls on the 9th of May. It is one of the four most important days for Hindus. (Akshaya Tritiya is considered very auspicious if it is on the Rohini Nakshatra day of Wednesday).
Lord Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu was born on this day and hence this day is highly auspicious. It is said that Veda Vyas and Lord Ganesha started writing Mahabharata on this day. For Jains, this day commemorates the ending of the one-year fast by Tirthankara Rishabha by consuming sugarcane juice. Akshaya Tritiya is an auspicious day to start new ventures as it is believed that any endeavor started on this day will continue to grow and bring prosperity. The benefits of performing rituals such as Jap, Yagya, Pitra-Tarpan, Dan-Punya also stays with the person till perpetuity.
Akshaya means “Endless” that which never diminishes. As per Hindu Electional Astrology the three lunar days, Yugadi, Akshaya Tritiya and Vijay Dashami do not need any Muhurta to start any new ventures as these three days are free from all malefic effects. So there is no need to check the auspicious time to do any good deeds (kaarya) because each and every moment of these days are propitious. The jewelers also keep their shops open till late at night in the belief that their belongings are well protected.
Significance of this Day
- Akshaya Tritiya is considered the day when Treta Yug commenced. The Treta Yuga is the second Yuga and is significant for the births of Lord Vishnu’s incarnations in the form of Vamana, Parasurama and Lord Ram.
- Birthday of Lord Parasurama (sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu).
- Ved Vyas and Lord Ganesha began to write Mahabharata.
- This is also believed to be the day when Panadavas discovered weapons under the earth which made them victorious against the Kauravas.
- It was on this day, Kubera received his wealth and the position as custodian of wealth and property along with Goddess Lakshmi, by praying to Lord Shiva at Shivapuram.
- Gold and gold jewelry bought and worn on this day signify never diminishing good fortune.
What to Do On Akshay Tritiya:
Akshaya Tritiya is considered as one of the most auspicious festivals by Hindus. It marks the setting of Treta Yuga among the other three Yugas (Satya, Dwarpa and Kali).
On this auspicious day, one may perform Madhusudhana ritual, with Tulasi archan and also chant Sri Vishnu Sahasranaamam. Also, one may perform charities during this day which will certainly bless the donor.
Following are the charities (Daanam) one can undertake:
- Jala Daanam: One can offer jala or water to Brahmins with betel nuts and donate to them dakshina, offerings in one’s capacity.
- Shayana Daanam: One can donate beds to the needy or the underprivileged.
- Vasthra Daanam: Vasthra means clothes. One may donate clothes to the needy and be blessed with a long life.
- Kunkum daanam: Donating kumkum blesses the donor with higher status in life and the women are blessed with their husbands getting a longer life.
- Chandana daanam: Just like others mentioned above, donation of Sandalwood protects the donor from untimely accidents and inauspicious.
- Thamboolam: Giving Thamboolam or betel leaf invites prosperity into one’s life. Thamboolam epitomizes spiritual strength and prosperity. It is believed that the betel leaf was produced during the churning of the ocean aimed at extracting amrita, nectar and the leaf is also the abode of all the demigods.
- Naarikela Daanam: Donating Naarikela, coconuts to Brahmins relieve our ancestors from agonies of the underworld.
- Butter milk daanam: Offering butter milk as a charity blesses the donor with vidya prapti, attainment of knowledge.
- Udakumbha Daanam: Giving water contained in a bronze or silver vessel along with camphor, saffron, basil leaves (Tulasi) and betel nut assures one of having their desires fulfilled soon. Those who seek a suitable life partner, want to have a child and want to get rid of ancestral curses (Pitru Shraap) must perform this charity on Akshaya Tritiya.
- Padaraksha: Donating padaraksha, slippers, shoes, chappals or any footwear will ensure that the donor’s life gets purified and is never subjected to entering Hellish planets after death.
- Chatra Daanam: Offering chatra, an umbrella to the needy removes unexpected obstacles from one’s life.
Apart from the above donations, one can also donate wheat which is believed to please the King of Heaven, Lord Indra who is in charge of rains. And the sufficient rains help grow plants and vegetation on Earth.
You may select the donation of your choice or may do all of them. The end results would be cessation of bad karma’s impacting the existing life which a gift from the Lord to realize one’s own self and their relationship with the Creator.
Holy Bath: Taking bath in the holy river rids one of all inauspiciousness and bad karmic reactions. One may take bath before sunrise in one of the Holy Rivers; Ganges, Yamuna, Godavari, Sindhu, Saraswati, Narmada, Krishna, Bhagirathi, Gandaki, Gomathi, Kaveri and Phalgu.
Popular Pujas performed on Akshaya Tritiya
- Puja of Goddess Mahalakshmi and Vishnu: Goddess Mahalakshmi is the goddess of wealth. Vishnu is the preserver and one of the Gods of the Trinity. By performing Pujas on this day, the worshipper is bestowed with love, good health, wealth and new opportunities.
- Puja of Cow: Cow is considered as holy animal in Hindu religion and millions of Hindus worship cows. Cow represents purity, love and ever giving and is the symbol of planet Venus.
- Puja of Horse: Horse (Ashwa) is considered to be disciple of Mars, which represents command and energy. Performing Ashwa Puja on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya blesses the devotee’s home with positivity and mental peace.
- Gaja (Elephant) Puja: If elephants are offered flowers and food while a priest chants the appropriate mantras, it invokes the blessings of Lord Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles.
- Worshipping Goddess mother Earth: By doing so, one is bestowed with the grace of goddess of food grains (Dhaanyalakshmi), the goddess of wealth (Dhanalakshmi) and goddess of prosperity (Vaibhavlakshmi).