‘Akshaya Tritiya’ or ‘Akha-Trij’ is considered as the most auspicious day for Hindus and Jains. It is believed that all work or tasks undertaken on this ominous day would result in success and prosperity. It is falling on the third day of Shukla Paksh (Brighter half) of the Vaishakha month. The name Akshaya itself translates into “Undiminishing Abundance”, signifying that any work or tasks undertaken on this ominous day would result in success and prosperity. It is also believed that on this day the sixth form of Lord Vishu was incarnated as Lord Parshuram; hence this day is also celebrated as ‘Parshuram Jayanti. But this year due to some change in the stars Parshuram Jayanti is prior to Akshaya Tritiya.
Akshaya Tritiya is a day of many firsts and with many legends. It is the day when ‘Sat-Yuga’ began. It is said that Sage Ved Vyas and Lord Ganesha began to pen down the legend of ‘Mahabharata’ on this auspicious day. According to one of the legends inscribed in Mahabharata, when Pandavas were in exile and were to feed Brahmins, Lord Krishna gave Yudhishtira with ‘Akshaya Patra’ – a serving bowl which helped feed the entire town.
As per another lore, Sudama, a dear friend of Lord Krishna, who was in immense poverty, was persuaded by her wife to seek help from Krishna. Sudama visited lord Krishna on the holy day. He was amazed by the grandeur in kingdom, but it only made him more conscious of his poverty. Lord Krishna rushed in his friend’s arms welcoming him in his palace. Abiding by his principle of ‘Athiti Devo Bhava’, washed his feet with water and chatted reminiscing his childhood days. On returning Lord Krishna asked Sudama what he had brought to gift him. Ashamed of his gift, Sudama tried to hide the small potli his wife had packed. Krishna saw this and took the potli from Sudama, which contained a handful of plain beaten rice flakes (poha). Krishna was ecstatic and rejoiced as he heartily ate the food Sudama brought as a token of tribute to their friendship and love. When he finished Sudama was content and left the palace without asking for any help. Once he reached his village he was shocked to see a grand palace instead of his hut all filled with riches and abundant food. This was a boon from Lord Krishna.
Akshaya Tritiya is associated with gains and wealth. Any deed done on this day will bear profits and growth. Hence people undertake new ventures on this ominous day – be it construction, buying new property or a car, house warming puja etc. Buying gold and valuables on Akshaya Tritiya also result in increased fortune as even Lord Kubera worships Goddess Laxmi for prosperity and well-being on this day. Akshaya Tritiya is considered to be purest of days hence donating things also reap good wishes and luck. People donate different things for desired result – like Jal Danam (water with betel nut) to Brahmins for wealth, Bedding for happiness, Clothes for long life, Chandan for avoiding accidents, 7 coconuts for moksha for ancestors, Shoes for avoid going to hell after death and Umbrella for safe guarding against obstacles in life.
On Akshaya Tritiya, people cleanse themselves and get dressed in new clothes. Whole house is cleaned thoroughly for Puja. Lord Parshuram and Goddess Laxmi are prime deities worshipped today by offering of flowers, tulsi, and mantra jaaps. A prayer is sung to Goddess Laxmi asking for her blessings and success in new ventures. Some people even do ‘Anna Daan’ by offering food to needy after the puja.