^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ SYMBOLS OF TWELVE MAJOR WORLD RELIGIONS ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^




Akshaya Trithiya is one of the four most auspicious days of the Vedic Calendar, the other three being Ugadi, Vijayadashami and Balipaadyami. On this day, the sun and the moon are simultaneously at their peak of brightness.

Akshaya Trithiya, also known as Akha Teej is a Hindu and Jain holy day, that falls on the third Tithi (Lunar day) of Bright Half (Shukla Paksha) of the pan-Indian month of Vaishakha.

In Sanskrit "Akshaya" means the never diminishing” and the day is believed to bring good luck and success.

The story originates from the Mahabharata. When the Pandavas were in exile, Lord Krishna gave Draupadi a bowl called the Akshaya Pathram. The word Akshaya means that which never diminishes and this bowl is said to have given infinite food to the Pandavas. Just by turning it upwards a day, the pot will provide unlimited amounts of food for the satisfaction of the Lords. This is why this day is considered to be a good time to bring home Goddess Lakshmi, in any form, platinum, gold or silver.Valuables that are acquired on this day are said to be replenished endlessly.

the birthday of Parshurama:
Akshaya Trithiya is celebrated as the birthday of Parshurama (see picture), the sixth incarnation of Vishnu. This marked the beginning of the Golden Age.

Parshuram is considered to be the personification of valour and of devotion. His father’s name was Jamadagni, and his mother’s Renuka. Jamadagni was very hot-tempered and Parshuram inherited this quality from him. One day, Jamadagni got angry with his wife Renuka and commanded Parshuram to kill her. Parshuram, in obedience to his father’s command, killed his mother. Jamadagni was satisfied and told his son to ask him whatever he wanted. Parshuram asked that this mother be brought back to life. Thus Renuka became alive again. In this way Parshuram proved his devotion to his father and mother.His icon is depicted with an axe, to show him in a heroic pose.

Another legend related to Parshurama:
Kartavirya Sahashrarjun was a Kshatriya king who killed Jamadagni. It was because of this, that Parshuram vowed to exterminate all the Kshatriyas on earth to save it from the tyranny of the Kshatriyas. But Parshuram became proud of his power. Terrorised by him, all the Kshatriyas fled, leaving the earth unprotected. Kashyap Muni called all of them back and ordered Parshuram to leave this world. Ever since, Parshuram lived on the mountain Mahendra. As he wrongly used his power, with his “parshu” (axe) in his hand, he caused this bitter fate to befall him.

victory of good over evil:
It was on this day that the Pandavas unearthed weapons that decided their victory over the Goravas. Also, it is also believed that Goddess Vijaya Chamundeshwari killed Asura on this day. It is on this day that Veda Vyasa, along with Lord Ganesha, started writing the Mahabharata. And according to the Puranas, this day marks the beginning of the Treta Yug.

on AKSHAYA TRITHIYA good deeds are blessed multifold:
Many believe that it is on Akshaya Trithiya that our good deeds are rewarded multifold. This is the reason why many people make donations, give alms and guru dakshina on this day, in the hope of earning punya (merit) for life. According to the Dharamashastras, this day is considered sacred for Vishnu Puja and for donating certain items, such as umbrellas, fans or sandals to the Brahmins. People perform special pujas to invoke the blessings of Lord Vishnu. Roadside watersheds are erected and travellers are given neer mor (மோர் [inTamil], diluted butter milk spiced with lime, salt, coriander leaves, etc).

As per Hindus, this day is ruled by Lord Vishnu, the preserver-God in the Hindu Trinity. It is also traditionally celebrated as the birthday of the Hindu sage Parashurama, the sixth Avatar (incarnation) of the god Vishnu.

According to Hindu mythology, on this day the Treta Yuga began and the river Ganges, the most sacred river of India, descended to the earth from the heaven (see picture).

It is believed that if you do charity on this day you will be blessed. On 'Akshay Trithiya' 'Mrutika' also worshipped. The day is considered auspicious for starting new ventures. The legend is that any venture initiated on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya continues to grow and bring prosperity. Hence, new ventures, like starting a business, construction etc. is initiated on Akshaya Tritiya.

Astrological significance:
As per Hindu electional astrology (Muhurta) three Lunar days (Tithis) are auspicious. These are called Sade-Teen Muhurtas also.

These Tithis are : 1st Tithi of Bright Half of Chaitra (starting of new year), 10th Tithi of Bright Half of Ashvina (Vijay Dashmi), 3rd Tithi of Bright Half of Vaishakha (Akshay Tritiya- Parshu Jyanti) & 1st Tithi of Bright Half of Karttika are called “Sade-Teen (3 ½) Muhurt”. The first three Tithis are counted as full & the last one as half Tithi, and constitute Sade - Teen Muhurt. Sun and Moon are astrologically believed to be at their most exalted equal brightness on this day.

Akshaya Tritiya is also called Navanna Parvam. Akshaya Tritiya falling on a Rohini star Monday is considered more auspicious
Religious significance:
Ø According to Hinduism, Akshay Trithiya was the day when Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and obstacle removal, started writing the epic Mahabharata to Ved Vyas's dictation.

Ø It was also on this day that Goddess Annapoorna (see picture) was born.

Ø Kubera received his wealth and position as custodian of wealth and property along with Goddess Lakshmi on this day, by praying to Lord Shiva at Shivapuram.

Ø It is also traditionally observed as the birthday of Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of god Vishnu. The Puranic scriptures speak about how he reclaimed the land from the sea.

Ø In Mahabharata, Yudhistra (son of Dharma) receives the Akshaya pathram from Thirumanthurai temple on Akshaya Trithiya day, which he uses to serve food for all the needy in his Kingdom.

Ø It is on this day that poor Kusela, the best friend of Krishna visits Him (Lord Krishna) to greet him after He became the King. With nothing to offer due to his poverty, Kusela takes with him Poha (puffed rice) and offers it to his friend and never discusses his poverty though he intends to. But on his return he finds his hut changed to a Palace.

Ø It is also on this day that Duchadhana, Duryodana's brother unveils Draupadi at the Royal Court where Krishna protects her providing the 'undiminishing' veil...

Sri  Sankara reciting Kanakadhara Stotram
Ø In most recent history, Adi Shankara recited the Kanaka Dhara Stotra on this day for the sake of the poor couple at whose house he stopped for Bhiksha on the day and was offered the only available gooseberry in the house.

Ø The day is generally observed by fasting and worship Lord Vasudeva with rice grains. A dip in the river Ganges on this day is considered to be very auspicious.

Ø Fasts are kept on this day and pujas are performed. In charity, fan, rice, salt, ghee, sugar, vegetables, tamarind, fruit, clothes, are given. Vishnu is worshipped on this day. Tulsi water is sprinkled in the nearby are of the idol while performing aarti.

Ø It is believed that god Kubera, the treasurer of the gods, is the richest deity. Lakshmi Tantram says that even Kubera will pray to goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and consort of Vishnu, on this day. On this day, a day-long Kubera Lakshmi Puja is performed in which an image of Lakshmi is worshipped along with Sudarsana Kubera Yantra, symbolising Kubera.

akshaya trithiya IN DIFFERENT STATES:

v In Bengal, on the day of the Akshay Trithiya, "HalKhata" - a ceremony to start the new audit book is performed - with the worship of Ganesha and goddess Lakshmi. Bengalis perform many rites and rituals on this day.

v Goa and Konkan regions, even today, are referred to as Parusurama Kshetra. Akshaya Trithiya, the third day of the bright-half of the lunar month of Vaisakha is considered as one of the most sacred days of the year.

v In Orissa on Akshay Trithiya farmers start ploughing their land and construction of chariots for Rath Yatra begins at Puri.

v This day is also most auspicious day for the Jat farming community. Early morning, a male member of Jat family goes to field with shovel. All the animals and birds encountered on the way to the field indicates omen and predictions for rains and crops. Akshay Tritiiya is also an occasion for weddings, which are conducted in mass marriage ceremonies. It is considered an unboojha muhurat.

Importance of worshipping ‘Vaibhav-Lakshmi’ with Sree Vishnu:
On Akshay Trithiya while worshing Sree Lakshmi, if Sree Vishnu is not invited, how can His ‘divine energy’ come here and bless us? Therefore, before worshipping Sree Lakshmi in any of her forms, first invite Sree Vishnu and then invite Sree Lakshmi to get maximum benefit of Lakshmi-tattva (Principle).
*      *      *      *      *     *     *     *     *     *    *     *
akshiya trithiya In Jainism:
Akshay Trithiya is a holy day in Jain Calendar as well. People who observe the year-long alternative day fasting finish their Tapsaya on this day. The story behind the festival in Jainism is written in Harinvansh Purana and Padam Purana (one of the holy granthas of jains).

Lord Rishabh Dev
The Day of Akshay Trithiya is worshipped and said to be auspicious in Jainism because it is said to have established the very first "ahar charya" a methodology to prepare and serve food to Jain Monks. Lord Rishabhdev  denounced the worldly pleasures after dividing his vast kingdom in his 101 sons, prominent of whom are Gommateshwara Bahubali (whose world's tallest monolithic staure stands at shravanbelgola and Chakravarti Bharata, by whose name it is known today as "Bharat". Lord Rishabhdev meditated without any food and water for six months and upon attaining enlightenment (Kevalya Gyana), set out to accept food (Ahar). He was the first monk of this Era. Jain monks do not own anything. They do not even cook food for themselves. When hungry or thirsty, (Maximum Once in day), they set out to accept ahar. They do not even ask for it and accept where it is offered. Tirthankara Rishabhadeva also went to people to accept food. However, the people of that time did not know anything about the lives and disciplines of monks, as he was the first monk of this era. The people of Ayodhya offered him gold, jewellery, gemstones, elephants, horses, expensive garments and even their daughters to honour their beloved king. Rishabhadeva was not in quest of all these. He sought only a morsel of food, but nobody offered it to him. Nobody understood that their king was looking for to receive food to ensure that the monks that would come after him get food and water in the purest form needed to lead a ascetic life. As there was no choice, he had to fast for a long time of one year until his grandson Shreyansha Kumara understood his need due to his "purva-bhava-smaran" Finally Shreyansha Kumara, offered him sugarcane juice and thus Rishabhadeva ended his fast after a year. This was on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. This is considered by the Jains as one of the best offerings. It is believed that religious gifts bestowed on Akshaya Tritiya become inexhaustible. Jains even today, observe a fast to commemorate their first Tirthankara Rishabhadeva on Akshaya Tritiya and end their fast with sugarcane juice. In Shwetambara Jain community it is widely celebrated than digambaras.

In Hastinapur, there is a Mela on Akshay Trithiya and Jains reach there from Maharshtara, Gujrat, Rajsthan​ in large numbers to end their fast (Ekasana Vrats) of 10 or more days. It is called as PARANA.

*      *      *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Works recommended and prohibited during Akshay Trithiya:
Being Yugadi Tithi, it is most beneficial for performing meritorious (Punya Karma) deeds such as recitations (Japa), penance (Tapa), donations (Dana) ritual bathing (Snaana), sacrifices (Havan), burnt oblations to fire (Hooma). But initiation / conducting of activities like wearing sacred thread (Upnayana), ending of fast, house construction & entering thereof, travailing and plantation is prohibited in certain communities, while most look forward to start/restart relationships, purchases and commitments on this auspicious day. To some, it is beneficial for spiritual activities and not the worldly activities.

Worldly activities can also be initiated during currency of this Tithi however, aspirants must ensure that the said duration is not sullied by concurrence of malefic times observed according to the Hindu electional principles, and the moments are favourable to the doer by transits of the planets and the like. Aspirants are cautioned against using this Tithi blindly for initiating and conducting all types of life-activities. Auspiciousness of the Tithis for specific activity depends upon simultaneous presence of Panchangam Shuddhi, Muhurt Yogas and host of other elements of Hindu electional astrology.

Starting a new activity or buying valuables on this day is considered to bring luck and success. The religious merit that is acquired by giving gifts on this day is considered inexhaustible. Many buy new gold jewelry on this day. Most jewelry stores stock in new jewelry models for this occasion with "Lakshmi-inscribed" gold coins, diamond jewellery and golden dollars with the pictures of many gods and goddesses.

SOURCES: akshayatrithiya.org  &   Wikipedia.org

No comments: