Akshaya Tritiya - A festival that celebrates the act of giving
Posted: May 17, 2021
India is a land of myriad colourful festivals that have been celebrated and observed for ages. Through the transition of time and era, the essence and ethos remain as strong as ever. One such auspicious festival is Akshaya Tritiya or Akti or Akha Teej. This is an annual festival celebrated in spring. Akshaya as in the name is a Sanskrit word that means ‘never ending’ in terms of good fortune, prosperity, success, happiness and joy, which is why it holds high significance to people and its popularity keeps rising each year. There are many symbolic activities or events connected with the festival. One of the most popular events is that of Draupadi receiving Akshaya Patra from Lord Krishna in Mahabharata, Where Akshaya Patra is a magical bowl or vessel that never runs out of food.
Activities associated with the festival
Apart from the traditional rituals of honouring the deities such as Lord Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kuber, there are numerous activities that people pursue in this festival.
It is believed that anything done on this day of Akshaya Tritiya is auspicious and the positive results have a multiplier effect therefore, people look forward to starting a new venture, a fresh beginning, marriage, investment in gold etc. During this festival, you will find people in traditional attires thronging shops and stores to purchase lentils, green vegetables, grains, ghee, sandalwood, coconut, buttermilk etc. Buying these items is believed to bring good fortune, positive energy and prosperity. Many of these purchases are meant to be given away to others for the positive effects to come. People also buy gold on this auspicious day to usher in more wealth to the family.
One of the best and most powerful activities is the act of giving or donating to the needy. People choose this particular day to make in-kind donations or provide monetary support. Given the current scenario of the ongoing pandemic, the most convenient way is to donate online to any organisation, institution or individual they want to help.
Act of giving on Akshaya Tritiya As the day is considered to be extremely auspicious when it comes to an act of charity or giving, people wholeheartedly perform it with a firm belief that the difference they are making will increase manifold. An NGO is a go-to target of a good deed on Akshaya Tritiya, and many Indian NGOs are empowered and enabled by the generosity of millions of individuals. One such NGO is Akshaya Patra, synonymous with the unending vessel of food in terms of its vision and purpose. In these tough times when COVID-19 has adversely affected the entire world, the act of giving, of kindness and collaboration between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ is the need of the hour.
In some parts of India, like Odisha, this festival is celebrated to start rice cultivation. People offer prayer to Mother Earth, the cattle and equipment to seek blessings for a bountiful harvest. It is a celebration of much fanfare in the state. Also in Puri, Odisha the construction of chariots for the Ratha Yatra festival starts on this specific day.
The day is a day to make a fresh start, do something new, do something good and aspire for the best results that one can expect. This year, the festival comes when the world is struggling due to the pandemic, but Akshaya Tritiya will continue to remain as significant as ever in India as it symbolises hope, good fortune and positive energy. And in this current scenario, many are in need of all!
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is an Indian Ngo implementing the Mid-Day Meal Programme. Your support to Akshaya Patra can potentially improve lives of millions of children across India and also avail you tax exemption.