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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Advait: Significance of Akshaya Tritiya

Advait: Significance of Akshaya Tritiya: Significance of Akshaya Tritiya Akshaya Tritiya falls on the third  tithi  (Lunar day) of the bright half ( sukla - paksa ) of ...

Significance of Akshaya Tritiya

Akshaya Tritiya falls on the third tithi (Lunar day) of the bright half (sukla-paksa) of the month of Vaisakha. The presiding deity of this auspicious day is Sri Visnu and his worship is performed with great devotion on this day. It is on this day that the doors to the Sri Badri-Narayana Temple are opened and the all the Gods headed by Brahma, Siva,Indra, Kuvera etc. Worship Sri Laksmi-Narayana. Many pilgrims start their pilgrimage to (char-dhama) the four holy abodes (Gango-tri, Yamuna-tri, Badrika-asrama, and Kedarnatha) from this day.

AKSHAYA TRITIYA - The Legend of this auspicious day is actually connected to the AKSHAYA PATRA given to Draupathi, by SUNGOD, which will ever give food. This day is celebrated every year on third day of the bright half of Vaishakha month. Now read the legend-

This Akshaya-patra is said to have been given by the Sun god, and it is the same pot that Srimati Draupadi used to cook in. It is said that from the time of turning it upwards, the pot will provide unlimited amounts of foodstuffs for the satisfaction of the Lord. Then from the time after cleaning it and placing it upside down it stops providing.

Once, while the Pandavas and Draupadi were living here during their exile, he invited Maharsi Durvasa and fed him a sumptuous, delicious meal with great honour.Durvasaji was satisfied and requested Duryodhana to ask for a boon. With folded hands, Duryodhana said, “Maharaja Yudhisthira is my elder brother. Please accept his hospitality at his residence together with your sixty-thousand disciples. But you should go and be their guest after midday, during the third prahara. The Pandavas are currently living in Kamyavana.”

Duryodhana knew very well that the Pandavas served their guests very carefully.Draupadi had a pot that had been given to her by Suryadeva. The cooking done in that one pot could feed innumerable persons to their satisfaction, but once Draupadi ate and cleaned the pot, that pot could no longer provide any further food. Draupadi would feed any guests as well as the Pandavas, and then clean the pot without fail before the third prahara. Durvasaji and his sixty thousand disciples were to arrive there during the third prahara so that the Pandavas would not be able to feed them. Duryodhana expected that the very hot-tempered Durvasa rsi would curse the Pandavas and thus burn them to ashes.

Maharsi Durvasa is fully aware of the glories of the Pandavas, who are krsna-bhaktas. However, it is difficult for even the demigods to understand his contrary activities. Only he knows what, when and why he does what he does. Thus, he and sixty thousand rsis reached the residence of the Pandavas in Kamyavana in the afternoon. Upon seeing him, the Pandavas became very happy. Maharaja Yudhisthira worshipped him and requested him to accept his hospitality. Maharsi said, “We are now going to take bath in Vimala Kunda and will come back very soon. You should arrange for our meals. We will eat here.” Saying this, Durvasaji left to take bath together with his whole entourage

The Pandavas now became very concerned. What arrangement could be made to feed these rsis? They called Draupadi and asked her if she could arrange to feed a gathering of sixty thousand, but her pot had already been cleaned and turned upside down. She considered hard what to do to save the Pandavas but could think of no plan. At last, she began calling out to her dear friend Sri Krsna in a very distressed voice. How could Dvarakanatha not come upon hearing her call? He immediately appeared in front of Draupadi and said, “Sakhi, I am very hungry! Give Me something to eat.” Draupadi answered, “You are hungry and I have nothing at home. My pot has been cleaned and is lying upside down. The very hot-tempered Maharsi Durvasa together with his sixty thousand disciples are about to come to take their meal. When he finds that there is nothing to eat, he will annihilate the Pandavas. This will be unavoidable, therefore, first please arrange for them to be fed.”

Sri Krsna said, “I cannot do anything without eating and drinking, so please bring your pot.”

In a very sad voice Draupadi said, “There is nothing in the pot. I have cleaned it very thoroughly.” “Still, you please bring it. I want to see.”

Draupadi brought the pot and put it in Krsna’s hands. Krsna looked into it and became joyful. A very tiny piece of leafy vegetable was stuck to the side of the pot.

Sri Krsna scraped it off with His nail and put in His mouth. He then filled His stomach with water poured by Draupadi’s hands. Trpto ’smi! Trpto ’smi! (“I am satisfied! I am satisfied!”) He exclaimed, and he began to pat His stomach with His hand. He even belched in satisfaction. Sri Krsna then sent Bhima-sena to quickly go and call the rsis.

The great warrior Bhima, club in hand, started towards Vimala Kunda.

Maharsi Durvasa and his disciples had been bathing in Vimala Kunda when suddenly their stomachs felt so full that they all started belching as if they had eaten a meal. When Durvasaji saw Bhima coming towards them, the memory of the incident with Ambarisa Maharaja entered his mind and he became very frightened. He and his sixty thousand disciples quickly fled to Maharsi Loka through the celestial pathways. Upon arriving at Vimala Kunda, Bhima could not find the rsis anywhere. He returned and told Maharaja Yudhisthira and Sri Krsna, “I searched everywhere but could not find them.”

After learning what had happened from Sri Krsna, Draupadi and the Pandavas became free from anxiety. If Sri Krsna is satisfied, then the whole universe is satisfied. This is indeed this episode’s message to the world. This lila of Sri Krsna took place here at Kamyavana.

Another legend says, "On this day Shri Krishna has blessed his friend Shri Kuchela with all prosperity. Untill then Kuchela was living in utter poverty. When Krishna has eaten one mouthful of parched rice prepared by Kuchela's wife, He blessed 'Akshaya' meaning without diminish or without depreciating.

Kubera, the treasurer in Heaven received his wealth on this day from Siva. It is on this day Lord Siva blessed Goddess Lakshmi with wealth. In fact Lord Siva made Kubera as Lord of wealth and Lakshmi as Goddess of wealth. Kubera worshipped Lord Siva in the temple at Sivapuram. Buried underneath the land surrounding the temple are thousands of Sivalingams. Just by stepping on the ground here, or by worshiping here, your bad money karma will be dissolved, they say.

According to  another legend, the "Akshaya bowl" which creates unlimited food was given to the great king Yudhishtira on this day. This event happened at the Thirumanthurai temple. Also on this day Avatars (Gods incarnation on the earth plane) were blessed to rule their countries. They received wealth on this day. Two people were born on this 3rd moon. One is Parasurama, the warrior Brahmin who destroyed all his enemies and then became a sage. The second one was Annapurani, a special form of Parvati who feeds the hungry. Annapurani fed Siva on this day. Siva disguised himself as a beggar (for Bikshaatana) and approached Annapurani for food. Siva’s begging is a symbolic act. He is the lord of the Universe. Why should he beg? The answer is he begs for all his beggars (the impoverished lots, like us!!).

Also as per another legend connected with Arasar Koil,  Lord Ganesha seems to have gifted the Akshaya bowl (divine vessel of inexhaustible food) to Garuda (the Vehicle of lord Vishnu). Garuda worshiped Lakshmi who happens to reside in this temple and Goddess Lakshmi offered this Akshaya bowl in gold to Garuda. Garuda while worshiping Lord Surya Narayana (the Sun God) offered food to the deity in this golden Akshaya bowl. All the above incidences happened in Arasar Koil temple only in the previous Yugas, mind you.

In this temple, Lord Ganesha is in front of Goddess Mahalakshmi' s Sanctum and is known as Akshaya Vinayakar. He is also known as Sri Lakshmi Ganapathy. Since it was Lord Siva who on this day bestowed Kubera as the Lord and Lakshmi as the Goddess of wealth, worshiping Lord Siva on this day and chanting the mantra, “Om Namah Sivaaya” will bring in abundance and prosperity in one’s life. Let the Srivaishnavite's differ on this, and chant "SrimathE nArAyaNa namah: ".

Feeding the poor is the most important charitable act. Also donation of umbrellas and chapels (sandals) for poor children are recommended by some. Poojas and charity acts will yield good results on this special 3rd moon day, i.e.3rd day from new-moon day known as Tritiya, a day for charity.

If you do charity, you will conquer the pain of death.

If you help the poor and down-trodden, you will be blessed in your next birth.

If you give clothes to poor people, you will get over diseases.

If you give fruits, you will get higher position in life.

If you give butter milk, buttermilk, etc, you will progress in studies.

If you give grains, you will not die untimely.

If you perform " Deva tharpaNam", you will get rid of poverty.

If you give curd rice, you will get over your negative deeds and you will progress in life

IN THE OLDEN DAYS Sumangalies (Housewives) used to FEED BHRAMINS ON THIS DAY after performing puja and prayer to Lord Krishna and Lakshmi.

But of late for the past 2 decades, it is celebrated for some other reason and people start buying Gold, Silver, Properties ect. This practice has been started by the business people who sell jewellery and other things. Nowhere it is mentioned that gold and silver are to be purchased on this day.

Akshaya Tritiya, is now considered one of the four most sacred days of the year. The word Akshaya means that which never diminishes - hence beginnings made or valuables bought on this day are considered certain to bring luck and success. All over India people celebrate weddings, plan new business ventures, long journeys and other events on this day. Like Diwali, Dussera and Gudi Padva. Akshava Tritiya is reserved for buying gold, silver and other assets. On this day jewellers keep their shops open well into twilight time to entertain their buyers. Akshaya Tritiya or Akha TeeJ is traditionally the birthday of Parshurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu. The Puranas tell how he reclaimed land from the sea along the west coast of India by his valour.

Even today Goa and the Konkan are called Parshurama Kshetra. He then settled 96 selected families there, called Shahanavkuli Brahmins, who are said to have created the cultural heritage of this nart of India. In India gold is regarded as the ultimate symbol of wealth and prosperity. Buying gold and jewellery is a popular activity on Akshaya Tritiya, considering it now as one of the most auspicious days of the year.

Why Is Akshaya Tritiya So Auspicious?

1.Astrological Importance- Do you know what is the astrological significance of akshaya thritiya? It is considered as one of the most important time (tithi) of Hindu astrology. It is believed that the sun and the moon become equally bright on this day.

2.Beginning of the Epic- You can never ignore this important significance of akshyaya thritiya. Sri Vyasdev started to dictate the great Indian epic, Mahabharata, and Lord Ganesh began to write it down without asking second time. Definitely, it is an important cause to commemorate the day.

3.Birthday of Goddess Annapurna- it is believed in Hinduism that this holy day is the birthday of the goddess Annapurna. People, basically, who are related to cultivation, celebrate navanna on this day which is an occasion of having new and healthy crops.

4.Regain of Wealth- The old Hindu Purans are consists of many stories. On this day, Kuber, the keeper of gold and other wealth of the heaven, worshipped Lord Shiva and regained his post. Thus it is believed that if you worship Lord Shiva and donate something, for his blessing, you get double.

5.Parshuram’s Birthday- The importance of akshaya tritiya is never ending. This day is the time when Parshuram, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, appeared on the earth to establish justice by demolishing the tyranny of Khastriyas.

6.Never ending Wealth- You already know the occasion is named on idea of never diminishing health and wealth. So, the mythical significance of aksahya thritiya lies in another charming story. Lord Krishna’s poor friend Sudama came to meet him with a hand of rice and received never ending wealth from Him as blessing.

7.Another Mahabharata Reference- In Mahabharata, it is the day when the King Yudhistir received ‘Akshaya Patra’ to quench the hunger of his kingdom. On the list of significance of akshaya thritiya, it is also important.

All these stories are based on faith and myths which are age old Indian culture from ancient time. If you carefully go through all the points, it will be clear to you that all stories are denoting the fulfillment of wish, getting blessings of God and the accomplishment of human life.


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