Akshaya Trithya, also known as Akti or Akha Teej, is an annual spring time festival of the Hindus and Jains. Akshaya in Sanskrit means one that ‘never diminishes’ (a—kshaya) and the day is believed to bring eternal wealth, good luck and success to all. Trithya means "third", it is named after the "third lunar day" of the spring month of Vaisakha in the Hindu calendar.

Akshaya Trithya is associated with many stories and legends.  Here are a few that I am sharing with our readers today. These incidents, stories and legends explain why Akshaya Trithya is celebrated and why the day is considered highly auspicious to buy 22K gold jewelry and embark on other new ventures.

Akshaya Trithya is important for the Jain community in India, as it was on this day that devotees from Ayodhya bought gold jewelry to offer to Jain Tirthankara Rishabhdev – who was the king in Ayodhya centuries ago. Another story is that, on this day, the Ganges (a holy river in India) came to Earth to purify mankind.

According to Hindu mythology, it was on the day of Akshaya Trithya (Akha Teej) that Veda Vyasa began the composition of the epic, the Mahabharata. Vyasa is believed to have dictated the entire epic to Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and obstacle remover.

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Akshaya Trithya is also associated with Lord Krishna from our Epic Mahabharata. What happened is, once the five Pandavas, (the five brothers from the Mahabharata epic) and their wife were in exile. At that time, a saint came to their doorstep and requested for food, but the Pandavas had no food. They had already eaten and had kept their pots away. Draupadi (the wife of the 5 Pandavas) prayed to Lord Krishna. At the same time, Krishna came to their house and said, ‘Oh I am very hungry.’ When he came in, he saw that there was only one grain of rice stuck to the pot. He picked that one grain of rice and ate it, and turned the pot into an Akshaya Patra, meaning that which never diminishes.

Another incident that connects Lord Krishna to Akshaya Trithya is that of his childhood friend Sudama. Unfortunately, Sudama and his family were very poor so he wanted to seek financial help from Lord Krishna and decided to visit him. Before setting out on his journey, Sudama packed a handful of poha or aval (beaten rice) as a humble gift for his friend. Seeing the
prosperity and wealth of Lord Krishna, Sudama could not get himself to give the gift he had gotten for Lord Krishna. But Lord Krishna happened to see the packet of beaten rice which Sudama was hiding and playfully grabbed it, opened it and began to eat the poha with immense enjoyment. Although Sudama visited Lord Krishna with an intention to ask for help, but when he reached Lord Krishna's place, he couldn't do so. However, Lord Krishna understood his dilemma and blessed him with all sorts of riches and wealth.

Legends mention that Lord Maha Vishnu chose Akshaya Trithya day to be born on earth as Lord Parashuram because this day is so auspicious. Lord Parashuram is the sixth Avatar of Lord Maha Vishnu. Also, It is believed that the God of wealth and the treasurer of all deities, Kubera, prayed to Goddess Lakshmi on this special day, and was granted the gift of perpetual wealth and prosperity. That is why, this day is so auspicious for starting new ventures, buying a new property or gold, or getting married, as it assures lasting prosperity. In many households, Kubera-Lakshmi puja is performed on this day.

Hindus who imbibe what is originally called ‘Sanātana Dharma’ believe they can get lasting prosperity by buying gold on this day. Akshaya Trithya is traditionally earmarked for beginning new ventures and for investing and purchasing valuables especially 22K gold jewelry. India is probably the only country where a religious day is linked to a practice of gold buying.

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