The festival of Akshaya Tritiya is celebrated by Hindus and Jains around the world. Also known as Akti or Akha Teej, this day is believed to be one of the most auspicious occasions. This year, it falls on Saturday, April 22.
According to the Hindu calendar, Akshaya Tritiya falls on the third tithi (lunar day) of Shukla Paksha of the Vaishakha month. Going by the Gregorian calendar, it falls somewhere around April and May.
One of the most important rituals includes worshipping Lord Vishnu on this day. For Hindus, the Sanskrit meaning of Akshaya Tritiya, the two words, holds a lot of importance. “Akshaya” means “never diminishing” and the term “Tritiya” signifies the third day of the illuminated half of Vaishakha month.
History and significance
People celebrate Akshaya Tritiya to bring good luck to their lives. As per common belief, buying gold and properties on this day brings prosperity and wealth in the future.
Going by mythology, it is believed that a number of events took place on Akshaya Tritiya, making it an auspicious day.
As per one legend, on Akshaya Tritiya, Treta Yuga, the second of the four yugas, started and the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Parshuram, was born.
Also, it is considered that Maharishi Ved Vyasa, the author of Mahabharata, started narrating the epic to Lord Ganesh on this day.
It was on this occasion that Lord Krishna met his childhood friend Sudama.
As per Hindu tradition, the river Ganga descended on Earth from heaven on Akshaya Tritiya.
THE STORY OF AKSHAYA PATRA:
DHARMA RAJA, THE ELDEST OF PANDAVA PRINCES RECEIVING “AKSHAYA PATRA” FROM ‘SURYA BHAGAWAN’
The word ‘Akshaya Patra’ in Sanskrit language means an inexhaustible vessel. This pot could supply delicious meals in an endless manner. This story is found in the Indian Epic poem of Mahabharata. Akshaya Patra was a divine gift given to Dharmaraj by the Sun god, Surya. The pot was given to help the princely family of Pandavas to tide over their difficulties while they spent twelve years in the forest. They had to spend time in exile after losing their kingdom in a game of dice. Akshaya Patra would provide meals so that the Pandava family could keep up with the Indian traditions of hospitality.Also keeping in line with the tradition, each day Akshaya Patra would serve the final and last meal to the hostess. The hostess, Draupadi was very mindful of her traditional role and each day she would feed all the guests, all the dependents, all the family members and would then take the last meal.
THE DISCOVERY OF BLISS FROM AN EMPTY POT:
As per the story from Mahabharata, one evening, Princess Draupadi finds herself in a troubled situation. A Hindu sage by the name of Durvasa with a large entourage of his disciples arrives at the forest abode of Pandava princes after hostess Draupadi took the last meal from Akshaya Patra. Since the pot cannot serve any more food, she prays to Lord Krishna seeking help to feed her guests. Lord Krishna appears before her and asks her to feed Him from Akshaya Patra. Draupadi regretfully answers that the pot is empty. He directs her to take a closer look. Princess Draupadi carefully reexamines the pot and discovers a single grain of rice that remained stuck in the pot. As instructed, she feeds the last grain from the pot to Lord Krishna and now the pot gets truly empty. However, Lord Krishna derived His satiation, complete satisfaction when the last grain from the pot got removed. Along with Lord Krishna’s experience of full satisfaction from eating a morsel of food, the entire party of guests experience full satiation and inform Princess Draupadi that she need not serve them any meal. Thus Princess Draupadi escapes from the duty of the hospitality tradition of actually feeding them that evening.
I am speaking of this story about Akshaya Patra to understand the concept about emptying the mind to discover pure consciousness. In Indian literature and idiom, the mind is often compared to a vessel or a pot. When all thoughts (or desires) are taken out of the mind, what would remain in the mind is like that single grain of rice that Draupadi discovered in the otherwise empty Akshaya Patra. In my analysis, this last grain of food represents the desire or attachment to life. When the desire or attachment to life is surrendered, the man attains the state of pure consciousness which discovers its unity with the Divine consciousness to provide the experience of Pure Bliss and Joy. Lord Krishna could have easily provided a hearty meal to the entire party of guests. He did not choose to provide happiness through gratification of the physical needs of the body. The pot, if seen as the representation of the mind, the mind gets truly emptied when the last grain or desire, or craving, or attachment is removed from it. Lord Krishna demonstrates that there is no need to fill-up the pot to feed our desires. He delivered Joy, Bliss, and the experience of perfect satisfaction after emptying the pot. Just like the empty Akshaya Patra that provided Bliss, when the last grain of desire or attachment is removed from the mind and given in offering to the Lord, the Lord would provide all that you may need without the physical gratification of the senses. Man at any given age, under all given circumstances, in good health, or ill-health exists in this physical world because of ‘God-Connection’, the Connection between man, the energy seeker, and God, the energy provider. When the God-Connection is recognized, the man experiences a sense of satisfaction, mental satiation, and he would have no desires to be gratified.