A blog discussing life and things in Odisha

Akshaya Trutiya : A Festival of Fervour

The state of Odisha is blessed with religious culture and traditions. It is as famous for its rich and exotic natural environment, lush green forests, eco friendly tourists spots as for its fairs and festivals observed. Odisha observes a huge range of festivals with great fervor and devotion, Akshaya Tritiya being one of them. This festival is also known by the names of  Akti or Akha Teej, is an annual spring time festival of the Hindus and Jains.

About Akshaya Trutiya

Akshaya Trutiya falls on the third Tithi of Bright Half (Shukla Paksha) of Vaisakha month. It is observed regionally by Hindus and Jains in India and Nepal,.

The day of heritage signifies the third day of unending prosperity. The festival date varies and is set according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar, and falls in April or May of every year in the Gregorian calendar.

Importance of Akshaya Trutiya

The word “Akshaya” means “imperishable, eternal, the never diminishing” which is never ending, in the sense of “prosperity, hope, joy, success”, while the word  “Tritiya” means “third”. And as per the horoscope,  It is named after the “third lunar day” of the spring month of Vaisakha in the Hindu calendar, the day it is observed

Rishabhdev, believed to have lived over a million years ago, is considered the founder of Jain philosophy.

Farmer celebrating Akshaya Tritiya
Farmer celebrating Akshaya Tritiya (courtesy New Indian Express)

The day is celebrated in the memory of first Jain Tirthankar or the founder of Jainism, on completion of his one-year asceticism by consuming sugarcane juice poured into his cupped hands. Also, according to some Jains the festival is referred as Varshi Tapa.

Jains do fasting and ascetic austerities at prominent pilgrimage sites like as one in Palitana, Gujarat. 

Akhaya Trutiya is an auspicious festival in Hindu and Jain religions, and is celebrated with fervour in many regions of India. The day brings occasion for new ventures, marriages, expensive investments such as in gold or other property, and any new beginnings. 

The day remembers the loved ones who have died. The day is regionally significant for women, married or unmarried, who pray for the well being of the men in their lives or the one they may in future get engaged to. After prayers, they distribute germinating gram (sprouts), fresh fruits and Indian sweets.

Mythological Legends

Parsurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu is believed to be born on Akshaya Tritiya. 

Some people observe it in the honor of Parasurama sometimes refer to the festival as Parasurama Jayanti.

Vasudeva avatar of Vishnu is also worshipped on this day. 

According to one legend, Ved Vyasa began reciting the Hindu epic Mahabharata to Ganesha on this day, while another legend states that river Ganges descended to earth on this day.

According to Mahabharata it is believed that on this glorious day Lord Sun gifted the Akshaya Patra to the Pandavs. This was an enchanted pot which had a never ending supply of food. One day Draupadi needed food for a visiting sage and therefore prayed to Lord Krishna for food. Krishna appeared and ate the last grain that was stuck on the Akshaya Patra. That one grain satisfied Krishna’s belly and in turn satisfied all the human beings and also the visiting Sage.

On this day people who observe the year-long alternative day fasting known as Varshi-tap finish their Tapasya by doing parana by drinking sugarcane juice.

Former MLA Anubhav Patnaik observing Akhi Mukhi Ankul
Former MLA Anubhav Patnaik observing Akhi Mukhi Ankula (Anubhav Patnaik, Twitter )

Akshaya Tritiya is considered to be the day of the birth of Lord Parsurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is also considered to be the day when Ved Vyasa and Lord Ganesha started writing the Mahabharata. The farms of Odisha is where you can witness most of the Akshaya Tritiya customs and traditions. Farmers start the day by sowing seeds in their paddy fields. Homes are cleaned and ingredients for Akshaya Tritiya rituals are arranged. Farmers carry a basket of seeds to the farms where the seeds are offered to Goddess Lakshmi praying for a richer harvest season. 

Farmers of all castes and creed observe Akshaya Tritiya in Odisha. In the western part of the state, the day is called “Muthi Chhuan”. Eating of shag or green leaves is forbidden on the day of Akshaya Tritiya.

How is the celebration in Odisha ?

Akshaya Tritiya is one of the most important festivals celebrated in the state of Odisha. This day marks the beginning of the Chandan Yatra in several shrines of Odisha. On the day of Akshaya Trutiya,  starts the construction of the chariots for the popular Jagannath rath yatra begins too. People start preparing chariots for Lord Jagannath, Balabadra and Subhadra, for the procession to be carried out on the day of Jagannath Rath yatra.

Odisha observes the day with Odia people starting their annual construction of chariots for the Puri Rath Yatra festivities.

Rath being assembled
Rath being assembled (courtesy Deccan Herald)

With Akshaya Trutiya, the auspicious festival of the Hindu calendar hits round the corner,  people start celebrating the day. Many people in Odisha, know this festival as the day when it is considered auspicious to purchase gold. 

The prior significance of the festival is that it is the annual spring time festival. It falls on the third lunar day of the bright half of the Hindu month of Vaisakh. Several states of India celebrate Akshaya Tritiya with great devotion. 

The day of Akhaya Tritiya is considered to be auspicious for new beginnings like weddings, buying property, making investments, etc. The word ‘akshaya’ means something that never diminishes which is why it is believed that things started on the day of Akhaya Tritiya continue to grow and prosper. While all states hold this day dear, Odisha puts its best foot forward during Akhaya Tritiya. 

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