Akshaya-tritiya which is being celebrated on 21st April this year is an important day in Vedic culture. ‘Akshaya’ means that which has no ending or no impediment and ‘Tritiya’ refers to the third day after the new moon in the month of Vaishakh, which has the specialty that any vrata (penance) that is undertaken during this month will bear extraordinary results.
According to the Vedic scriptures, there are certain astrological combinations that favor the beginning of new projects and some astrological influences inhibit the success of the new initiatives or projects that we may begin. Akshaya-tritiya is the most favored day as this particular day has no inauspicious or inhibiting factor within it.
It would be interesting to note that several historical events occurred on this day. It was on Akshaya-tritiya that
- Mother Ganga descended to Earth
- Lord Parasurama (an incarnation of Lord Krishna) appeared on Earth as did the sacred grain Barley.
- Darupadi, the wife of the Pandavas also received the gift of Akshya Patra on this day from Vivasvan, the Sun God.
- The great sage Srila Vyasadeva began composing the Mahabharata.
This day also marks the beginning of 21 day Chandana-yatra festival wherein due to the summer season, the deities are covered with a sandalwood paste to cool their bodies.
Devotees consider this day as a reminder to surrender whatever they have in the service of the Krishna. Somethings that devotees can particularly do on this day are to:
- Offer Prasadam (sacred food) to family, friends and the people in general
- Recite from spiritual scriptures such as Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavat Purana)
- Offer charity
- Begin a commitment to practice spiritual center life by adding Japa, Kirtan and worship of the Lord to your daily life.
- Visiting the temple to present an offering to Lord Krishna with devotion.