Did you know that Akshaya Tritiya is celebrated by both Jains and Hindus? Have you ever wondered how this festival came into existence? There is so much more behind mama buying various metals on this day. From the historical perspective that gives us reasons why we celebrated it back then to what Akshaya Tritiya is to the modern Indian that celebrates this festival, take a peek to look at how it is celebrated in different homes across the country! We are sure you didn’t know all of the facts that we have dug up. Please sit back, relax, and let’s dive right in.
A long time ago, during the Mahabharata era, when the five Pandava princes and their wife Draupadi (Yes, she was married to all the five Pandavas, but that is a story for another day) were exiled to the forest, they had to overcome many hurdles. One of them was being famished. Draupadi was very upset because she could not provide enough food for all her husbands and their saintly guests and seeing that Yudhishthira, the eldest, decided to pray to Lord Surya. Lord Surya, in return, gave him the famous Akshaya Patram, which will feed everyone and be empty for the day only after Draupadi eats from it.
But one day, Durvasa, a powerful saint who would curse them if they let him down in terms of hospitality, came by with his shishya’s (students) to visit them, but he came after Draupadi ate. So there was no food left. She sat and prayed to Lord Krishna, and he appeared before her and, using his divine powers, made the Akshaya Patram forever wholly complete with any food they desire that could feed the entire universe if required!
Hence is how the name of Akshaya Tritiya came into existence.
Celebrating abundance and never encountering scarcity, goddess Lakshmi is worshipped by Hindus and Lord Adinatha by Jains across the country. It is said that any investments made on this day will forever be never diminishing or eternal! This is why buying gold and other metals, marriages, and opening businesses are highly encouraged.
The day on when Akshaya Tritiya is celebrated also has a significant effect on the rituals and benefits, with Akshaya Tritiya falling on a Monday is the most blessed.
This day in history
- Goddess Annapurna was born
- Lord Krishna bestowed wealth on his childhood friend Sudama who demonstrated immense kindness even in the middle of needle help.
- This festival marks the day Ganesha and Ved Vyas started writing the Mahabharata.
- River Ganges descended from heaven to earth
- Celebrates the birthday of Lord Parashurama, who is the 6th incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Look inside the doors- this Akshaya Tritiya!
There is an age-old question for the modern Indian on what to do for Akshaya Tritiya, so we took a peek inside different households to answer this question for you to get a rough idea. Rituals and practices differ from home to home and state to state, so we did the sleuthing and came up with a guide for you:
In Kerala, Akshaya Tritya is celebrated for buying any type of metal, mainly gold, or even just simple katoris (small silver bowls). Vishnu devotees keep a fast and then distribute grain, ghee, and other food items to those who need them. Payasam is a staple prepared for dessert.
2. West Bengal
Buying precious metals again is a practice here as well. Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha are worshipped in the morning, and various pujas are conducted to obtain their blessings. There are sweets, prasad, or any offerings, plus a calendar gifted to any customer who visits any of the businesses on this day.
Women take over the wheels for the celebration here! They exchange turmeric (Haldi) and vermillion (kumkum) between themselves and pray for the long life of their husbands along with their healthy being. Goddess Gauri is worshipped as she is the goddess for marital bliss, and sweets and fruits are distributed.
In Odisha, this day marks the day when the chariot for the Rath Yathra will be constructed. This festival is a favourite for farmers, and they begin their day by ploughing their fields and sowing the seeds for their paddy fields. There is also the superstition that eating green leafy vegetables avoids bad luck.
Akshaya Tritiya is a very well celebrated festival throughout India, with different festivities being followed across the country. This adds to the idea of India being a hotpot of cultures and traditions. Some of the key takeaways from this piece should be how one festival can be celebrated in so many different ways throughout the country. Knowing these festivals can add to your child’s take on diversity and understand the different perceptions of people and celebrations.
Let us know in the comments how you celebrate this festival and what happens in your family!