India is regarded as a country of many religions and cultures. Each festival celebrated has a religious significance attached to it. One of the festivals which is celebrated on the bright half of the lunar month of Vaishaka (as per Hindu calendar) is known as “Akshaya Trutiya”. The word Akshaya means – undiminishing and Triteeya meaning the third day.
As per ancient texts, Akshaya Trutiya was the day when Lord Ganesha – god of wisdom and remover of obstacles started writing “Mahabharata” as dictated by the great sage Veda Vyasa. Hindus usually considered four days to be auspicious and Akshaya Trutiya is one among them. The other three are Ugadi, Vijayadashami and Balipaadyami. There are also several fascinating mythological facts pertaining to Akshaya Trutiya. In Mahabharata, it was on this day that Pandavas recieved the Akshaya Patra (a bowl blessed with unending food) from the Sun God.
The famous Chardham Yatra- begins on this auspicious day. Our ancient scriptures also say that Treta Yuga started on this day. It is also said that any knowledge gained or Aksharabhyaasa – a religious ceremony where children start their education formally is considered to be very auspicious. This day is also considered to be propitious to start a new business venture. Giving a daana (gift) today is known to get inexhaustible religious merits. Legend has it that even Lord Kubera – considered the richest among all, himself worships Godess Lakshmi on this day. Hindus also celebrate weddings and even plan long tours on this occasion.
People bathe at holy rivers, perform puja of Lord Vishnu and Mahalakshmi and donate articles which protect people from sun such as an Umbrella, donation of footwear etc. on day of this festival. This day is also celebrated with fervour among the Farmers in India. Since Akshaya Trutiya comes just before monsoon, the soil in the fields should be worshipped with gratitude, (fields should be ploughed on the auspicious day of “Gudi Padhva” and completed on Akshaya Trutiya). If the sowing of seeds is started on the auspicious day of “Akshaya Trutiya”, such seeds will give a good harvest and there will never be a shortage of seeds at any point of time. Since this is considered a very auspicious day for beginning any work, some individuals begin their new projects, however, astrologers suggest this practice as incorrect as they some planetary combinations may be against for some new beginnings. Some of the religious events that are prohibited on this day are Upanayanam, (thread ceremony), Gruhapravesham, (house warming), starting house construction and planting a new tree.
Birth of Great philosophers
Renowned Hindu Saints and Gurus such as Adi Sankaracharya, Ramanujacharya were born on Akshaya Trutiya. Swami Chinmayananda, Lord Buddha and Basaveshwara were also born on Akshaya Trutiya. This day is also considered as the Jayanthi of Parashurama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is also believed that people who are born in this month are considered to be very lucky and will achieve great success in their respective fields.