Festival in India: Akha Teej (Akshaya Tritiya), the auspicious day

Rishabhadeva , Jaipur

Rishabhdev, Adinath as Mulanayaka in Vijaya Gachchha Jain Temple, Jaipur, India.
Rishabhdev, Adinath as Mulanayaka in Vijaya Gachchha Jain Temple, Jaipur, India.

Akshay Tritiya - Akha Teej in 2016


Akshay Tritiya (Akha Teej), Vaishakh Shukla Tritiya falls on Monday, May 9, in the year 2016 in Gregorian calendar. Indian festivals follow Lunar calendar, hence, the date vary in the solar calendar.

Akshaya Tritiya: Auspicious day for Indians


Akshaya Tritiya is a great festival in India and one of the most auspicious days of the year for Hindu and Jain communities. Akshaya Tritiya is also called Akha Teej.

Akshaya, a Sanskrit word, literally means one that never diminishes. Tritiya means the third day of the lunar fortnight. Akshaya Tritiya (Akha Teej) falls on the third day of the bright half of the lunar month of Vaisakha. This is according to the traditional Indian calendar.

Chaitra, Vaishakha, Jyestha, Ashadha, Shravana, Bhadra, Ashwina, Kartika, Agrahayana or Margasheersha, Pausha, Magha and Phalguna are the twelve lunar months in Indian calendar named after twelve Nakshatras.

Chitra, Vishakha, Jyestha, Ashadha, Shravani, Bhadra, Aswini, Krittika, Mrigashira, Pushya, Magha and Phalguni respectively. Vaishakha is the second month in Indian calendar and Akshaya Tritiya (Akha Teej) comes in this month every year. Akha Teej is celebrated as kite flying festival in Bikaner, Rajasthan.

Ganga and its origin

Gaumukh, the source of river Bhagirathi (a major tributary of Ganga) in Uttarakhand, India. Taken by Anshul Sawant at noon on May 28, 2007
Gaumukh, the source of river Bhagirathi (a major tributary of Ganga) in Uttarakhand, India. Taken by Anshul Sawant at noon on May 28, 2007
View of serene Gangotri in the morning
View of serene Gangotri in the morning | Source
A public prayer in the River Ganges in the Indian holy city of Haridwar
A public prayer in the River Ganges in the Indian holy city of Haridwar | Source

Ganga, the Ganges river descended on Akshy Tritiya


River Ganges, the holiest and sacred river of India, descended to the earth from the heaven on Akshaya Tritiya as Hindus believe. Bhagirathi, son of Sagar observed austerity and penance to worship Ganga. Pleased with him, Ganga had agreed to descend on the earth. Gaumukh in Gangotri glacier in the Himalaya is the origin of river Ganga.

Many of the ancient cities in India Haridwar, Varanasi, Prayag (Allahabad), Pataliputra (Patna), Champanagar (Bhagalpur) and modern cities like Kanpur and Kolkata (Calcutta) are situated on the banks of the Ganges river.

The Ganges is the lifeline of northern and eastern India. Hindus believe that bathing in the River Ganges is sacred especially on Akshaya Tritiya (Akha Teej).

Ravi crop in India

Young Wheat crop in a field near Solapur, Maharashtra, India
Young Wheat crop in a field near Solapur, Maharashtra, India | Source
Woman harvesting wheat, Raisen district, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Woman harvesting wheat, Raisen district, Madhya Pradesh, India. | Source

Akha Teej and Indian agriculture


There are four Yugas (era) Satyuga, Tretayuga, Dwaparayuga and Kaliyuga according to Hindu mythology. The Treta Yuga began on this day. Akshaya Tritiya (Akha Teej) on a Monday or with Rohini Nakshatra is considered to be more auspicious.

Akshaya Tritiya is also observed as Navanna (new grain) Parvam (festival). Indian economy is based on agriculture and this is the time for reaping Ravi crops. The farmers in India bring their crop (Wheat, gram, mustard etc) home from the fields in these days. Farmers have much cash on their hands and plenty of time to spend in these days. This socio-economic reason brings them in the festive mood.

Farmers, the primary producers spend money that goes to the traders and industrialists. Hence, the secondary market boosts. This festival accelerates the economic activities in India.

Kubera

Kubera, the Hindu god of treasure
Kubera, the Hindu god of treasure
Kubera, the Deity of Wealth. Eastern Tibet. 18th century
Kubera, the Deity of Wealth. Eastern Tibet. 18th century

Laxmi

Drawing of Laxmi, goddess of wealth, and a pair of khyahs in the foreground
Drawing of Laxmi, goddess of wealth, and a pair of khyahs in the foreground

Kubera - Laxmi Poojan on Akha Teej


Lord Kubera, the god of treasures, considered being the richest among the gods. He is one of the Asta Dik pals and also Lord of Yakshas. Kubera himself pray to goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth and wife of Lord Vishnu) on this day according to Lakshmi Tantram.

Hindus perform Kubera Lakshmi Puja for Artha and Kama on Akshaya Tritiya. This puja goes day long. The puja starts in the morning and ends in the evening. Goddess Lakshmi Devi along with Sudarsana Kubera Yantra are worshiped in this puja.

Jamadagni and Parashuram

Rishi Jamadagni (father) telling Parasuram (Son) about kartyaveerarjun
Rishi Jamadagni (father) telling Parasuram (Son) about kartyaveerarjun

Religious and socio-economic relations of Akha Teej


Akshaya Tritiya (Akha Teej). is considered as very auspicious day and Hindus tend to do auspicious things such as start building a house, opening of a business or industry etc on the day. Maximum numbers of marriages in India are held on this day.

The day is also traditionally celebrated as the birthday of the Hindu sage Parashurama, the sixth avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. Hindu Puranas (mythological stories) speak about how Parashurama reclaimed land (Kerala province in India) from the sea.

Indians believe Akshaya Tritiya (Akha Teej).brings good luck and success. It is widely celebrated by different sections of the Hindu society in all parts of India irrespective of their social groupings.

Laxmi - Kuber Pujan

Indian religious festivals and socio-economic relations.


Indian religious and social festivals are well embedded with socio-economic relations. These festivals well affected the psyche of common Indians. Indians, since time immemorial, know the importance of savings and investments in the life.

Gold, silver, diamonds, gemstones and jewelry and real estate are always considered as a good investment and saving tools. Akshaya Tritiya (Akha Teej).is particularly considered auspicious for buying gold, silver, diamond and other precious stones, Kundan Meena Jadau Jewelry and real estate.

Indian religious and social festivals are well embedded with socio-economic relations. These festivals well affected the psyche of common Indians. Indians, since time immemorial, know the importance of savings and investments in the life.


Best day to buy gold - Akha Teej

Buying gold silver and jewelry on Akha teej


Indians tend to buy gold, silver, diamond and other precious stones such as ruby / sapphires, emerald, and jewelry on this day. Jewelry stores stock in and show new jewelry models for this occasion. Gold and silver coins inscribed with goddess Lakshmi or other gods and goddesses, diamond Jewelry, Kundan Meena Jadau Jewellery are the main attractions.

This day has been taken over by the mass media for marketing.Marketers promote sales and bookings for Gold Jewelry, Kundan Meena Jadau Jewellery, real estates etc.

Kite flying in Bikaner on Akha Teej

Four Purushartha in Indian culture


Indian religions, cultures, and societies act on the basis of four Purushartha (entrepreneurship / action) Dharma (duty / spirituality), Artha (wealth), Kama (earthly pleasure) and Moksha (liberation / salvation from earthly bondage).

It is believed that any or all of these four Purushartha started on Akshaya Tritiya become non-diminishing. Worshiping God, observing vows and fasts, offering prayer (puja) etc are considered as religious and spiritual duties (Dharma). Creating assets are considered as Artha Purushartha. Here Artha does not only mean money and wealth but also includes honor, happiness etc.

Hindus perform Kubera Lakshmi Puja for Artha and Kama on Akshaya Tritiya. This puja goes day long. The puja starts in the morning and ends in the evening. Goddess Lakshmi Devi along with Sudarsana Kubera Yantra are worshiped in this puja.

Child marriage in Rajasthan

Marriage: Sacred way to Kama Purushartha


Marriage is one of the main themes of Kama (earthly pleasure, sexual activities) Purushartha. Hence, Akshaya Tritiya is considered to be the best day for Indian marriages. Millions of marriages in India occur in this day.

Those achieved higher levels of spirituality and want to be free from all earthly bondage use this day for Moksha Purushartha. Moksha (Liberation)is considered as an ultimate goal for all beings because this is living in eternal peace forever.

Rshabhadeva, Adinath Jain Temple in Jaipur

Akshaya Tritiya in Jainism


Jainism is one of the oldest religions in India. Rshabhadeva alias Adinath is the first Tirthankara of the Jains. There is a story related to Tirthankara Rshabhdeva about Akshaya Tritiya.

Tirthankara Rishabhdeva was king of Ayodhya. He being enlightened left all earthly pleasures and chosen to ascetic life become a Jain monk. Jain ascetics do not possess anything with them not even food. They do not even cook food for themselves. While hungry or thirsty, they go to people and ask for food or drinking water.

Tirthankara Rishabhdeva being Jain ascetic also went to people and asked food. However, the people of that time did not know anything about the acts of monks, as he was the first monk in this era. People of Ayodhya offered gold, jewelry, gemstones, elephants, horses, expensive garments and even their daughters to honor their beloved king. Rshabhdeva was not in quest of all these. He wanted food only that nobody offered him. Nobody at that time could guess that their king was asking for food.

As there was no choice, he had to fast for a long time until his grandson Shreyansha Kumar understood his need. Shreyansha kumara, finally, offered him sugar cane juice and Rishabhdeva broke his fast with that juice. The incident happened on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. This is considered by the Jain community as one of the best offerings.

It is believed that bestowing upon religious gifts on Akshaya Tritiya becomes inexhaustible. Jain, even today, observe long term fast to commemorate their first Tirthankara Rishabhadeva, Adinath and broke their fast on Akshaya Tritiya with sugar cane juice. A Huge crowd of Jain assembles in Hastinapura and Palitana to celebrate the auspicious day.

Temples in Palitana

Samavasharana Temple in Palitana Talheti (Valley).
Samavasharana Temple in Palitana Talheti (Valley).
Temple on Palitana hills.
Temple on Palitana hills.

Jain temple on the Palitana Hills (Siddhachala)

Motishah Toonk (Temple) on the hills of Palitana (Siddhachala).
Motishah Toonk (Temple) on the hills of Palitana (Siddhachala).

Palitana (Shatrunjay), Jain Akha Teej


There are many Jain temples above the hills of Palitana (Siddhachala or Siddhagiri) including the main temple of Adinath or Rshabhadeva. People say this main idol Dada.

The river Shatrunjaya flowing throw Palitana is also auspicious. Palitana has various names and Shatrunjaya is one of those. Shatru means enemy and Jaya means triumph or victory in the Sanskrit language. Hence, Shatrunjaya means getting victory over the enemies.

Jainism believes in conquering internal enemies such as ignorance, lust, ego, anger etc as a path to salvation and Shatrunjaya is a symbol for the same. People take a bath in the Shtrunjaya river and offer Pooja to Tirthankara Shree Rshabhadeva and other Tirthankaras in Palitana.

Akshaya Tritiya at Palitana

The Shatrunjaya river

The sacred river Shatrunjaya at Palitana.
The sacred river Shatrunjaya at Palitana.

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Comments 14 comments

viewfinders profile image

viewfinders 4 years ago from God's own country(kerala)


ImChemist profile image

ImChemist 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing this wonderful pictures.


Darshan 6 years ago

Hi,

Great description about Akha Teej. We have just celebrated it.

Thanks for sharing!


soumyasrajan 6 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

Info about akshaya tritiya is interesting Jyoti. Pictures of temples I liked too.


JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

JYOTI KOTHARI 6 years ago from Jaipur Author

Hi Arvind,

It is nice to see you here. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Akshay Tritiya is an auspicious festival of India and it is better to know about Indian festivals.

Jyoti Kothari


arvind kumar medatwal 6 years ago

i see this type of information first time at net.

so i fell glad after reading about akshaya tritya.

while i am an indian but i heared only name and something about it.

but today i know all about this day.

i thanks you for this spacial knowledge.


mrm-velsingh 7 years ago

vedic astrology

numerology


Aruna 7 years ago

jyoti,

I iked info about jains and palitana.


JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur Author

Dear Torpey,

Thanks for comment. India is a fascinating country. We see unity in diversity here. I am gladt o know your interest in India. Please feel free yto contact for any relevant info.

Regards,

Jyoti Kothari


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

We don't see much of Indian traditions here in the U.S., JYOTI KOTHARI, so I was very glad to read about Akshaya Tritiya, which apparently is a significant day in India. I remember writing a paper on India as a "Land of Contrasts" as a young student. Thank you for enlightening me.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

A fascinating read. I enjoy reading about Indian traditions and would like to spend more time in the country. So far, I've only seen Mumbai, but that left a lasting impression.


SEO Expert Kerala profile image

SEO Expert Kerala 7 years ago from KERALA

Akshaya Tritiya -Now celebrated by entire gold shop owners in india... they have only business interest behind this , they r not interested in religious aspects


JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

JYOTI KOTHARI 7 years ago from Jaipur Author

Hi Anjali,

Indian festivals are based on religions but embedded with socio-economic reasons. Same with Akshaya Tritiya.

Few people know that Jain religion is well attached with Akshaya Tritiya. Hence, i tried to bring forward the matter.

Jyoti Kothari


Anjali Kapadia 7 years ago

Hi,

This is a nice blog depicting indian festival Akshay tritiya or akha teej. Socio-economic aspect is something special.

Jain connection is a new thing.

Thumbs up!

Anjali

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