The spring season is very significant for Hindus. The month called 'Vaisakh (May-June)' brings good omens and new beginnings, and it begins with the festival of Akshaya Tritiya. ‘Akshaya’ means "never diminishing," and the festival celebrates wealth, auspiciousness, and prosperity. On this day, people pray that all these blessings would keep growing for them throughout the year.
Importance of Akshaya Tritiya
The festival is auspicious for many reasons. It is the birth anniversary of Parashurama, who was one of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu. And it is on this day that Lord Krishna's friend Sudama went to see him and Krishna blessed him with wealth and prosperity. The day also marks the start of a new yuga. After Satya Yuga came to an end, on this day, Treta Yuga started.
As the day represents new beginnings, wealth, and prosperity, Hindus buy gold and silver on this day as they believe their wealth will keep increasing for the rest of the year if they do so. Also, on this day, people embark on new partnerships or projects, pray to Goddess Lakshmi, and observe vrat or fast. The festival of Akshaya Tritiya is also significant as supposedly the line of destiny changes on this day. This makes the day very auspicious.
The festival’s name comprises two words- Akshaya and Tritiya. While Akshaya' means “never diminishing”, 'Tritiya' comes from the fact that the festival is on the third day of Shukla Paksha or the bright half of Vaisakhi month. For Jains, there is another reason for celebrating the festival. It is a time to remember Tirthankara Rishabha’s year-long fast, which came to a close on Akshaya Tritiya after the sage broke his fast with sugarcane juice.
Akshaya Tritiya 2021 is celebrated under different names in different parts of India. In Chhattisgarh, Akshaya Tritiya is called Akti, while in the Western parts of the country like Rajasthan and Gujarat, it is called Akha Teej.
Why people buy gold and silver on Akshaya Tritiya?
Devotees believe that Kubera, the God of wealth, prayed to Goddess Lakshmi on this day, and she blessed him with immense wealth and money. This is why people feel that buying gold or new property is auspicious on Akshaya Tritiya. The launching of new business ventures or joining a new job on Akha Teej is also said to be very lucky.
The day is not only about buying gold and silver or starting a new business, though. Many people also get married on this auspicious day. Getting married on Akshaya Tritiya is said to be very good, as Sundaresa, an incarnation of Siva, married Goddess Madhura on this very day.
Akshaya Tritiya rituals
On this day, devotees wake up early and after having a bath, they perform Pooja. They also offer yellow clothes to Lord Vishnu along with incense sticks, sandalwood paste, flowers, and basil leaves. Texts like Vishnu Sahasranama and Vishnu Chalisa will be recited on this occasion. A special bhog is also offered to Vishnu. At the end of the Pooja, devotees offer aarti and make donations to needy people.
Due to fear of the virus, Akshaya Tritiya celebrations are likely to be a little muted. Instead of thronging jewelry stores, people may choose to make online purchases. Temples, too, may not witness huge crowds like before. But people will ensure that they celebrate safely at home, as Goddess Lakshmi’s blessings are very important for a life of abundance and prosperity.
Akshaya Tritiya 2021 is on May 14.