Akshaya Tritiya: Focus on Giving

We are living in the digital era. We believe whatever the media conveys. Since the past few years, I have observed that Akshaya Tritiya has been advertised as a day to buy precious metals and jewelry. My quest for finding out more information about the significance of the day landed me to this website that explained the relevance of the day.

Significance of Akshaya Tritiya

Akshaya is a word in the Hindi language that means something that is endless. Something that never diminishes. Tritiya indicates the third day of the waning moon as per the lunar calendar. The significance of Akshaya Tritiya is based on the belief is that whatever you do on this day is always fruitful in terms of the results. For example, if you buy jewellery, your prosperity grows manifold. If you do good work, the benefits you reap would be multiplied.

Legends Behind Akshaya Tritiya

The day marks the descent of river Ganges from heavens to the Earth for the benefit of the mankind. It also marks the birth anniversary of the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu; Lord Parshurama.

There is a wonderful anecdote around Akshaya Tritiya that I would like to share. Those like me who have grown up watching the Doordarshan channel may see themselves travelling down memory lane with this tale.

The story goes that while the Pandavas and their wife Draupadi were in exile away from the luxurious life they led, they got a word from a saint (Rishi Durvasa) that he would like to have a meal with them. He also informed that he would be coming with his disciples.

This made Draupadi anxious as she had just fed the family and there was no food to offer to the revered saint. She prayed to Lord Krishna for help. Surprisingly, at the same time, Lord Krishna came to their adobe pretending to be extremely hungry and requesting Draupadi to serve her some food. Draupadi, with tears in her eyes, explained to him that she had nothing to serve him. Lord Krishna looked at the utensils and spotted a grain of rice sticking to the utensil. He had it as if he was having a hearty meal and thereafter thanked Draupadi for satiating his hunger.

He left their place smiling. When Rishi Durvasa came with his disciples to the Pandavas home, Draupadi was not able to understand how she would feed the learned men. To her surprise, as soon as she entered her kitchen, she was struck by the rich aroma from the food that mysteriously appeared in the utrensil from which Lord Krishna had the grain of rice.

Furthermore, she discovered that the food in the pot never reduced. The more she took from it to serve, it would fill up again. That came to be known as “Akshaya Patra”; a pan whose content never diminishes or a pan that is never empty.

Relevance in Current Times

Human life is “Akshaya Patra”. This means we have infinite capability to give. Giving is the core moral value of us humans. Giving selflessly makes us feel the kind of calm that no riches can provide. However, we are more focused on “Take” rather than “Give”. Focusing on “Take” is the seed to materialistic living that invites more misery than satisfaction. So how to celebrate “Akshaya Tritiya” in the best manner? Here are some thoughts:

  • Dedicate a small part of the day to listen mindfully to someone who is never heard.
  • Give a smile to a stranger who might be finding life overwhelming.
  • Give a pat on your back for being sincere in all your efforts that you make every day.
  • Give a compassionate hug to an elderly who is abandoned by his/her own loved ones.
  • Pledge to donate your organs post this life.
  • Offer a cup of tea or a glass of cold beverage to your garbage collector/ vegetable vendor.
  • Spend a day mindfully with your loved ones minus the use of your digital devices. Trust me, they have been looking forward to this treat.
  • View the sunrise today.
  • Most importantly, stop judging yourself and your body and accept yourself completely and wholly.

There are many more beautiful ways to kindle the fire of “giving” to celebrate this auspicious occasion. Which one would you choose and why? Do let me know in the comment section below. Wish you all a very Happy Akshaya Tritiya and a blessed Eid.

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