Akshaya Tritiya / अक्षय तृतीया
Vaishakhi Shukla 3 is called Akshaya Tritiya. On this day, Thakurji’s ointment, coconut, is placed in the temple. Charan Darshan is done in Vrindavan. This day is also commonly called as Akhteej. The third date of Shukla Paksha in the month of Vaishakh is widely known as Akshaya Tritiya. Akshaya means eternal…imperishable. According to Hinduism, this day is a symbol of good fortune and happiness. It is also known as Sarvasiddhi Muhurt day because looking into the Panchang to do a work is not required. It is believed that if a man, with his true heart, requests forgiveness for his sins, the almighty not only forgives him but blesses him with good virtues as well. Purana tells us that Treta Yug started from this very day. Nar-Narayana’s incarnation and Parshuram’s descent also happened on this day. Doors of Badrinarayana’s are reopened on Akshaya Tritiya. In Shri Banke Bihari Temple, Charan Darshan of Shri Vigrah is done only on this day as they are covered with clothes all the year round. It also has a trend of charity and keeping a fast.
How To Do The Fast
One should wake up early and take a bath after finishing the morning routine and cleaning the house. The bath is supposed to be taken in sea or River Yamuna or Ganga. Keep a fast on this day. In a clean and pure place, prepare a small worship place with Vishnu’s image. Start with bathing Vishnu with Panchamrat and then offer him sandalwood and a garland of fresh flowers. Then in naivedh offer him barley or its sattu, gram lentils or kakadi. Vishnu loves tulsi (basil) so should offer some during naivedh and if possible, read Vishnu Sastranaam. Then do the aarti. According to astrology, Sun and Moon are in their highest position on this day. It is also called Navanna Parva. Utensils, grains, sweets, melons, milk, yogurt, rice etc are given away as charity.
Akshaya Tritiya has many stories for the fast. In one of them, once there was a merchant named Dharamdas. He was devoted to gods and saints. Knowing the greatness of this fast, he worshipped the gods after taking a dip in holy Ganga and gave precious jewels and gold to brahmanas in charity. Despite of him being a sick old man, he kept the fast according to the rules. This merchant became the king of Kushawati in his next life. It is believed that Dharamdas became very rich and famous because he kept the fast on this day and gave charity. Skanda Purana and Bhavishya Purana mention that on the third day of the Vaishakh Shuklapaksha, Renu gave birth to Vishnu as Parshuram. So women and unmarried girls worship Gauri and distribute sweets, fruits and soaked gram seeds. After Gauri Parvati pooja, they give water, fruits, flowers, sesame, grains etc in a metal or earthen pot. It is believed that Parshuram, a Brahman by birth and kshatriya by nature, was born on this day. According to another tale, after Parshuram and Vishwamitra’s mothers’ worshipped, the priest exchanged the Prasad; because of which Parshuram, despite being a Brahman, had a kshtriya’s nature and Vishwamitra, actually a kshatriya, became a brahmarishi. Parshuram gave his bow and arrow to Ram during Sita’s swayamvar and left to live a saint’s life.