Widely celebrated across the country Akshaya Tritiya is said to be an auspicious day to start something new and invest in charity according to the Hindu calendar. On this day, people offer prayers to different deities and seek blessings to lead a prosperous life. However, the least heard tales of mythological figures, revolving around this day, add the significance to the festival. Read ahead and brush up your cultural history with the following tales.
The emergence of Lord Parashurama
Akshaya Tritiya is also celebrated as Parashurama Jayanti. On this day, Lord Parashurama was born to sage Jamadagni and his Kshatriya wife Renuka. According to Hindu mythology, Parashurama was the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It also marks the beginning of Treta Yuga. At that time when the duties of society were divided as per the Vedic caste system, Kshatriya kings started to misuse their power to dominate, torture and rule other castes. Hence, Lord Vishnu was born on this day as Parashurama to exterminate evil Kshatriyas and save the dharma and Vedic culture.
Descent of River Ganga to Earth
The holy river of the Hindus, Ganga is believed to have descended to earth from heaven on this day. This sacred river has many tales to tell. One such belief revolves around King Bhagiratha. He was a descendant of King Sagar who had 60,000 sons. These sons once went out in the search of their father’s missing horse and mistakenly blamed sage Kapila who had been meditating for ages. The sage could not control his anger and burnt them into ashes with the rays of his eyes. Ever since then, their souls kept wandering. To provide salvation to his ancestors’ souls and wash their sins, Bhagiratha prayed to Lord Shiva to send river Ganga to earth. Hence, Lord Shiva granted the wish, controlled the river’s flow with his hair and Ganga came to the earth with a mild flow washing the sins of Bhagiratha’s ancestors.
Lord Krishna met his friend Sudama
We all have heard stories of Sudama and Lord Krishna’s friendship. On the day of Akshaya Tritiya, Sudama who came from a poor background went to meet Lord Krishna to seek financial help. All he had was a handful of flattened rice to offer. When Sudama reached Lord Krishna’s palace, he was treated like a God and was taken aback by the heart-warming welcome. Sudama’s heart was so full that he could not ask for anything else. However, when he returned home, he found his small hut replaced by a palace. Lord Krishna blessed his friend with everything he could have ever asked for.
The onset of Mahabharata
According to the Hindu mythology, the onset of the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata took place on this day when Maharishi Veda Vyasa began reciting it to Lord Ganesha, who penned it down.
Kubera became the custodian of wealth
Kubera, being born to sage Vishrama and his first wife, received all the wealth and ruled Lanka. Later, Kubera’shalf-brother Ravana along with his siblings won the entire kingdom with the help of Brahma’s boon offered to them after years of long prayers. Thrown away from Lanka, Kubera was helpless and sought help from his grandf ather Pulastya – who advised him to worship Lord Shiva. Impressed by Kubera’s prayers, Lord Shiva blessed him with all the wealth and made him the custodian of wealth and prosperity along with Goddess Lakshmi.
Goddess Annapurna appeared
It is also believed that Goddess Parvati was incarnated on this auspicious day in Kashi as Goddess Annapurna. As per the beliefs, the reason behind the birth of Annapurna Devi was because of the fight between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati; where the former called materialistic things including food to be an illusion. Goddess Parvati refused to agree and disappeared. This incident led to drought, barren lands, and hunger. People begged God for food. Looking at people suffering, Goddess Parvati incarnated as Annapurna Devi and started distributing food. Later, Lord Shiva too begged for food and apologised for his argument to the Goddess. Annapurna Devi smiled and fed him too. – Srivalli Kasibhatta