The meaning of the word 'Akshaya' in Sanskrit is the never diminishing and the holy day is considered to fetch success and good luck. Akshaya Tritiya is chiefly regarded as one of the auspicious days when one should buy long term assets which include gold and silver, and various other ornaments, diamond and several precious stones and of course, real estate. There is a legend that any venture which has been started on the divine day of Akshaya Tritiya will continue to grow and bring good luck and prosperity. Thus, it is quite natural to see a number of new ventures of starting a business, breaking ground for construction work, etc.
Astrological Importance of Akshaya Tritiya
According to the Muhurta or Hindu astrology, three lunar days or Tithis are considered to be most auspicious. These are known as the 'Sade-Teen Muhurtas'. These tithes include; the first Tithi of Bright Half of Chaitra which is marked with the starting of the new year), the tenth Tithi of Bright Half of 'Ashvina' or the Vijay Dashmi, the third Tithi of the Bright Half of Vaishakha or the Akshay Tritiya and the first Tithi of Bright Half of Kartika, which form the Sade-Teen Muhurta. The last Tithi is counted as half and the first three Tithis are regarded as full, which together form the Sade - Teen Muhurta. The Chandra or Moon and Sun are astrologically considered to be positioned at their grandest equal brightness on the holy day. The festival of Akshaya Tritiya is also known as 'Navanna Parvam'. This festival falling on the day of a Rohini Nakshatra is regarded as more auspicious.
Rituals of Akshaya Tritiya in Hinduism
On the day of Akshaya Trititya, a fast is observed prior to worshipping Lord Vasudeva, along with grains and rice. One must take bath in the sacred waters of Ganga River and as per the Vedas, one receives fruitful charity and knowledge on this day. Hindus feel it is an extremely lucky day to commence brand new venture or business undertakings. Several people often purchase property or gold on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. Clothes, rice, vegetables, fruits, salt, tamarind, ghee, sugar and fan are donated in charity during Akshaya Tritiya and Lord Vishnu is worshipped. One must sprinkle Tulsi water on the areas near the idol of Lord Vishnu while the 'Aarti' is performed.
A special ceremony termed as 'Hal-Khata' is also observed during the day of Akshaya Tritiya, which marks the commencement of a new audit book, which is accompanied by the worshipping of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi. Akshaya Tritiya is a very holy day for the Jat communities during which time a member of a Jat family approaches the field, armed with a shovel. It is believed that if one comes across birds and animals on his way to the field, it is a good omen and signifies that it might rain. Weddings are conducted on a large scale during the special occasion of Akshaya Tritiya as it is thought to be an 'unboojha muhurat'. A person who is responsible for looking after people must perform the Puja of 'Vaibhav-Lakshmi', along with Sree Vishnu as it is believed this ritual ushers in health, wealth, happiness and prosperity for the household.
Rituals of Akshaya Tritiya in Jainism
Today, Jains keep a fast in the memory of Rishbhadeva, who was the very first Jain Tirthankara and conclude their fast by drinking sugarcane juice, on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. A grand fair is celebrated on Akshaya Tritiya in the region of Hastinapur. On this occasion, a large number of Jains assemble in this area in order to end their fasts. 'Parana' is the name of the ritual ending of the fasts held by the Jains.
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