Akshaya Tritiya is widely known as the day to invest in or buy gold, whatever the amount, for it is believed to bring luck and prosperity.
This day became commercially popular only in recent years and many people are still unaware of what makes this a special day.
While the norm has been to purchase gold, the lesser known traditions actually give more importance to making donations.
So what is Akshaya Tritiya all about? There is more than one theory behind the celebrations on this day.
Akshaya Tritiya, known as Aaka Teej in north India, is one of the most auspicious days for Hindus. It is celebrated on the third day of Vaishakh, the first month on the Hindu calendar. Thus the title of Tritiya, which means third day, while Akshaya means never diminishing.
According to science, both the sun and moon shine the brightest on this day, a natural phenomenon which occurs only once a year.
This is why Akshaya Tritiya is considered so auspicious that any moment is considered beneficial to starting something new, be it a business, an investment, or even marriage.
It is considered the most significant day to perform sacred deeds, like donations or special prayers to Lord Mahavishnu, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi (the goddess of wealth). These sacred deeds are said to bestow eternal blessings on whoever performs it wholeheartedly and selflessly.
According to the Puranas or ancient Hindu scriptures, this day marks the beginning of the Treta Yuga, or second era of the world. This era is significant, as it is in this era that Lord Mahavishnu incarnated in three forms - as Vamana, Parasurama and Lord Ram.
Akshaya Tritiya is also considered to be the birthday of Parasurama. It is also considered the birthday of another one of Lord Mahavishnu's incarnations as Balram, the elder brother of Lord Krishna. Thus the worship of Lord Mahavishnu.
Another legend has it that it is on this day that the great sage Vyasa began writing the Hindu epic Mahabharata, with the help of Lord Ganesha. Thus the worship of Lord Ganesha.
It is also believed to be the day that Mother Ganges (the Ganges river) descended to earth from the heavens.
Myths have it that during the course of Mahabharata, King Yudhishthira performed a yagya or ritual of offering while chanting vedic mantras, which made him and his subjects very prosperous. He decided to carry out this rite, which could be performed only by a universal monarch, on the day of Akshaya Tritiya.
There are other myths which relate Akshaya Tritiya with Mahabharata. When the Pandavas were in exile, they unearthed weapons on this day, which they used in their victorious battle against the Kauravas, who had cheated them of all their land and wealth.
Goddess Lakshmi is the wife of Lord Mahavishnu. She is also the goddess of wealth as well as of spiritual and material prosperity. Devotees worship her and gold ornaments are purchased and adorned to honour her on this day.
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