Akshaya Tritiya falling on 9th May at Shukla paksha of Vaishaka Month in 2016
Puja Timings :05:38 to 12:17
Begins : 17:51 on 8 May 2016
Ends : 14:52 on 9 May 2016
Akshaya Tritiya, also known as Akha Teej, is a holy day for Hindus and Jains.It falls on third day of Shukla paksha of the bright-half of the lunar month of Vaisakhaand is one of the four most important days of Hindus. Akshaya Tritiya is also called Navanna Parvam. Akshaya Tritiya falling on a Rohini star Monday is considered more auspicious.
Chandanotsavam or Nijarupa Darshanam is an important ritual celebrated in Simhachalam Temple which falls on Akshaya Tritiya day every year. This year it falls on May 9th 2016, Monday in Rohini Nakshtra which is considered to be the most auspicious of all. Chandanotsavam attracts lakhs of devotees from all over India.
Nijarupa Darshanam of Lord Varaha Narasimha Swamy
The word Akshaya means never deminishing and the day is believed to bring success and good luck,and also if you do charity on this day you will be blessed. On Akshay Tritiya, Mrutika is worshiped.According to Hindu Electional Astrology, the three Lunar days:Yugadi, Akshay Tritiya and Vijay Dashami do not need any Muhurta to start new ventures as they are free from all Malefic effects.
Akshaya Tritiya is considered the birth date of Annapurna and is believed to be very auspicious for buying gold jewellery,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 performed on Akshaya Tritiya.
Significance of Akshaya Tritiya:
1)It was the day when Veda Vyas and Lord Ganesha started writing the history of the great Bharat war in the form of an epic Mahabharata.
Significance of Akshaya Tritiya Festival
2)On this day the Treta Yuga began and the river Ganges, the most sacred river of India, descended to the earth from the heaven and a holy dip in the river Ganges is very auspicious on this day.
3)It was on this day that Goddess Annapurna Devi was born.
Annapurna Devi is a Hindu goddess for nourishment and is the incarnation of Goddess Parvati and wife of Lord Shiva. Annapurna Mandir was constructed in 18th century by Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao and is the most famous Hindu Temples in the holy city of Varanasi along with the Kasi Viswanath Temple.
Sri Annapurna Devi
Annapurna is usually depicted as a youthful goddess having red complexion with a face round like full moon, three eyes, high breasts and four hands. She is glorified in various sacred and religious literature from the Vedic period with mention in religious texts like Rudrayamala, Sivarahasya, Annapurnamantratsava, Maha Tripurasiddhanta, Annapurna Kavacha, Annapurnahavamti, Annapurnamalininaksatramalika and Bhairvahyantantra.
Worship of food and offering of food, is highly praised in Hinduism and hence Annapurna is regarded as a popular deity.
As per legend-
a)Once Mata Parvati got very angry when Lord Shiva told her that the entire world is maya. In order to demonstrate the importance of food to Lord Shiva, she made all the food on earth disappear. Entire world started to suffer due hunger. Annapurna fed the whole world along with her consort Shiva, who was begging for food on account of a whim created by her and thus constructed the Kasi Viswanath Temple in Varanasi.
b)Once Mata Parvati closed all three eyes of Lord Shiva due to which pralaya occurred and entire world was in darkness.Mata Parvathi who was white in colour too lost her Gauri Rupa and asked help from Lord Shiva to attain the Gauri rupa by asking him to donate anna (food) in Kashi. Thus got the Annapurna Devi Rupa with a golden pot and ladle and made anna daan in Varanasi and also attained the Gauri rupa.
Annapurna Devi offering food to Lord Shiva
Worship of Annapurna Devi on this Day:
Food is considered sacred by Hindus and prayers are offered before consuming it and the person who identifies the importance of Annam (food) within the five layer of body helps carry life in the worldly process and subsequently seeks to identify Brahman, the enlightenment. Annadhanam, the donation of food, is highly praised in Hinduism. The importance of Annadhanam can be seen in Vishnu Dharamottara, Agni Purana, Padma Purana, Kurma Purana, Nandi Purana and Vayu Purana.
She is worshipped through the recitation of Sri Annapurna Sahasranam which presents her one thousand names and the Annapurna Shatanama Stotram containing 108 names of her composed by Adi Shankaracharya is chanted by several devout Hindus around the world as a prayer for nourishment, wisdom, and renunciation.
Before partaking of any food, Hindus chant the following prayer:
"Oṃ Annapūrṇe sadāpūrṇe Śaṇkara prāṇa vallabhe jñāna vairāgya
siddhyartham bhikṣām dehī ca pārvatī.
Māta me Pārvatī devī pitā devo Maheśvara bāndhavāḥ Śiva bhaktāsca
Oh Annapurna, who is forever complete, more beloved to Lord Shiva than life. Oh Parvati give me the alms of Your grace to, awaken within me spiritual knowledge, inner freedom, prosperity, and spiritual attainment.
My mother is Goddess Parvati, my father is the Supreme Lord Maheshwara (Shiva). My relatives are the devotees of Lord Shiva, wherever they are in the three worlds.
The Annapurna Vrat Katha containing stories of her devotees are also recited by her devotees.
The other names of Annapurana are -
*Viśālākshī (विशालाक्षी) - she who have large eyes.
*Viśvaśakti (विश्वशक्ति) - world power.
*Viśvamātā (विश्वमाता) - mother of the word.
*Sṛṣtihetukāvaradānī (सृष्टिहेतुकावरदानी) - she who is boon granter for the sake of the world.
*Bhuvaneśvarī (भुवनेश्वरी) - goddess of Earth.
*Annadā (अन्नदा) - donor of food.
4)On this day Kubera received his wealth and position as custodian of wealth and property with Goddess Lakshmi, by praying to Lord Shiva at Shivapuram. Lakshmi Tantram says that God Kubera,also prays to goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and consort of Vishnu, on Akshay Tritiya. A day-long Kubera Lakshmi Puja is performed in which an image of Lakshmi is worshiped with Sudarsana Kubera Yantra, symbolising Kubera.
Kubera Lakshmi Devi Puja
5)It is traditionally observed as the birthday of Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of god Vishnu.Goa and Kerala regions, even today, are referred to as Parushurama Kshetra.
6)It is on this day that Yudhishthira(In Mahabharata) receives the Akshaya patra, which he uses to serve food for all the needy in his kingdom.
7)It is on this day that poor Sudama, the best friend of Krishna visits Him to greet Him after he became the King and had nothing to offer, but takes with him Poha (puffed rice) and offers it to his friend and never discusses his poverty though he intends to. On his return he finds his hut changed to a palace.
Sudama meeting Lord Krishna
8)It is on this day that Dushasana, Duryodhana's brother(In Mahabharata), unveils Draupadi at the royal court where Krishna protects her providing the 'unending' veil...
9)The great Adi Shankaracharya recited the Kanaka Dhara Stotra on this day for the sake of the poor couple at whose house he stopped for Bhiksha and was offered their only available gooseberry.
10)Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Spiritual Guru and founder of Art of Living foundation, was also born on this day (13 May, 1956).
11)On this day in Odissa,farmers start ploughing their land and construction of chariots for Rath Yatra which begins at Puri.
12)It is on this day when Treta yuga(second yuga) commenced and significant for the birth of Lord Vishnu's incarnations in the form of Vamana,Parsurama and Lord Rama. This day is generally observed by fasting and worship of Lord Vishnu with rice grains. Tulsi water is sprinkled in the nearby area of the idol while performing aarti.
13)Knowledge gained or charity done on Akshay Tritiya is very fruitful and is considered to be a very lucky day to start new business or venture. Many people buy gold or property on this day.
14)On this day Begalis do "HalKhata" - a ceremony to start the new audit book is performed - with the worship of Ganesha and goddess Lakshmi.
15)Akshay Tritiiya is an occasion for weddings, which are conducted in mass ceremonies.
16)On this day on early morning, a male member of a Jat family goes to the field with a shovel. All the animals and birds encountered on the way to the field are omens and predictions for rains and crops.
17)One should always perform ‘puja’, with gratitude and devotion, of the picture of ‘Vaibhav-Lakshmi’ with Sree Vishnu and remember before worshiping Sree Lakshmi in any of her forms, first invite Sree Vishnu and then invite Sree Lakshmi as the worshiper gets maximum benefit of "Lakshmi-tattva" as it helps to make the subjects happy and prosperous.
Lord Vishnu with Lakshmi Devi
Celebration by Jains:
Jains celebrate this day to commemorate Tirthankara Rishabha's the Lord Adinatha, also known as Rishabhadeva, first of the twenty-four Tirthankaras by ending of one-year fast by consuming sugarcane juice poured into his cupped hands. On this in Hastinapur, there is a fair held where Jains arrive from all over India in large numbers to end their fasts and the ritual is called parana (पारणा).
Lord Rishabhdev also known as Lord Adinath
Lord Rishabhadeva meditated without any food and water for six months and after that set out to accept food (ahara). He was the first monk of this era and went to people to accept food.Jain monks do not own anything nor cook food for themselves, when hungry accept ahara where it is offered.
Belief in offering Sugarcane juice:
Tīrthankara Rishabhadeva went to people to accept food but not knowing his intention people offered him gold, jewellery, gemstones, elephants, horses, expensive garments and even their daughters to honour their beloved king.The king was looking for food to ensure that the monks who would come after him get food and water in the purest form needed to lead an ascetic life. As there was no choice, he had to fast for one year until King Shreyansa understood his need due to his "purva-bhava-smarana" (previous life). Shreyansa Kumar offered him sugarcane juice and thus Rishabhadeva ended his fast.
Do's and Dont's suggested on Akshay Tritiya:
1)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).
2)On this day one can perform Madhusudhana ritual, with Tulasi archana and chant of Vishnu Sahasranaamam.
3) One can have Holy Bath before sunrise in one of the sacred rivers to get rid of their all inauspiciousness and bad Karmic reactions.
Rivers:Ganges,Yamuna,Godavari,Sindhu,Narmada,Krishna,Bhagirathi,Gandaki,Gomathi,Kaveri and Phalgu.
4) On this day Charities peformed by one will certainly bless the donor. In charity, fan, rice, salt, ghee, sugar, vegetables, tamarind, fruit, clothes, are given.
5)New Gold Jewelry bought and worn on Akshaya Tritiya signify never diminishing fortune. Most jewelry stores stock in new models for this occasion with "Lakshmi-inscribed" gold coins, diamond jewelry and golden dollars with the pictures of many gods and goddesses. There are vigorous campaign conducted by banks, jewelry shops and financial institutions,which gained prominence. Although modern retailers are exploiting the materialistic urge in people, there is today a very high awareness regarding Akshaya Tritiya or Akha Teej.
Buying gold on Akshay Tritiya
6) On this day wheat is donated to please King of Heaven,the Lord Indra incharge of rains is worshipped for the sufficient rains to help grow plants and vegetation on Earth.
7)Activities like wearing sacred thread (Upnayana), ending of fast, house construction and entering thereof, traveling and plantation is prohibited in certain communities on this day while some like to start purchases and commitment's on this day.
Image Courtesy: Google