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Akshaya Tritiya - The Gold Rush Day For Hindus

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Akshaya Tritiya - the Hindu festival popular for gold purchases in India. The festival is known by the name of Akshaya Tritiya in South India and Akha Teej in North India. It falls Vaisakha Suddha Tadiya day i.e. on the 3rd day after Amavasya in the Hindu month of Vaisakh.

The festival has gained popularity as a gold rush day in the recent past. Jewelry shops are heavily crowded with customers who make sentimental purchase of gold on this auspicious day. The shops lure the public with apparent discounts / special price offers.

Significance of Akshaya Tritiya

There are no religious activities / pujas performed on this day unlike the other Indian Hindu festivals. Hindus consider it as an auspicious day mainly for purchasing gold items. Though there are few mythological significance of the festival connected to the earliest Yuga (Vedic time period) i.e. Satya or Krita Yuga, the most popular one is associated with Dwapara Yuga. It is believed that on this day in Dwapara Yuga, Surya Bhagwan (Sun god) had gifted Akshaya Patra (vessel) to Yuddhishtra the eldest of the Panda princes when they went on their 12 year exile period to the forest.The story goes like this:

The story of Akshaya Patra

Even the most honest and truthful Pandava Prince Yuddhishtra popularly known as Dharma Raja could not come out of his addiction to playing dice. As a result of his addiction to the game, he literally lost everything in the gambling and was sent to 12 years forest exile along with his four brothers, wife and mother Kunti.

Many sages and subjects of Indraprastha who were much attached to Dharma Raja, followed him to the forest. Yuddhishtra couldn't stop them from following him but he was worried about feeding them as the food reserves they had were not sufficient to meet their needs. So Dharma Raja requested the sages to return to Indraprastha who refused to go back but they commanded him to pray Surya Bhagwan.

As per their instructions Dharma Raja meditated upon Surya and praised Him by chanting 108 names of Surya. Pleased with the devotion and dedication of the Pandava prince Yuddhishtra, Sun God appeared before him. But Dharma Raja was so much involved in the meditation and chanting that he did not even notice Surya Bhagwan appear in front of him.

And it is said that on Akshaya Tritiya day Sun god gifted him with the marvellous Akshaya Patra - the inexhaustible vessel that provides unlimited food to eat. So after the possession of the wonder vessel, the pandava princes, Draupadi and Kunti and the sages and subjects had no dearth for food.

Besides the possession of Akshaya Patra by the Pandavas, it is also believed that on this day the Holy River Ganges descended on to Earth. And this day is also celebrated as Parasurama Jayanti as it is believed to be the birthday of Parasurama - the 6th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to Puranas (the ancient Hindu texts), it is believed that Treta Yuga started on this day. And on this auspicious day Sage Veda Vyasa began composing the great epic of Mahabharata.

Importance of Akshaya Tritiya

The gold jewelry shops across the across are heavily crowded with Hindus who are crazy about making gold purchases on this auspicious day. It is believed that if they make gold purchases on Akshaya Tritiya day, the investment of gold would multiply and increase manifold. And the jewelry shops on the other hand are increasing their sales / business by luring the sentimental public with special prices and offers. 

Akshaya Tritiya is more of a gold purchase day than any other religious activity or puja. On this day Chandanotsavam is celebrated at Sri Varaha Narasimha Swamy temple, Simhachalam near Visakhapatnam.

People worship of Goddess Lakshmi Devi - the Hindu goddess of wealth. In some regions of the country people get involved in charitable activities like poor feeding, donating clothes and other useful materials to the poor and needy. While others involve themselves in Tulasi Pooja. 

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