Thursday, April 30, 2009

Significance of Akshaya Truteeya

Significance of Akshaya Truteeya (अक्षय तृतीया / ಅಕ್ಷಯ ತೃತಿಯಾ)

ವೈಶಾಖ-ಶುಕ್ಲ-ತೃತಿಯಾ, ಕೃತಿಕಾ ನಕ್ಷತ್ರ, ಸೌಭಾಗ್ಯ ಯೋಗ, ತೈತಿಲಕರಣ

वैशाख-शुक्ल-तृतीया, कृतिका नक्षत्र, सौभाग्य योग, तैतिल करण

Vaishaakha-Bright fortnight-Third day

It is believed that Akshaya truteeya (अक्षय तृतीया / ಅಕ್ಷಯ ತೃತಿಯಾ) was the first day of Kruta yuga (कृत युग / ಕೃತ ಯುಗ). It is said that all deeds done on this day, which comes once in a year, will become undiminished. As a result, one must make every effort to do good deeds. Specially bathing in the Ganga, visiting holy places, and fire sacrifices are performed. One should also donate rice.

ಯಃ ಪಶ್ಯತಿ ತೃತಿಯಾಯಾಂ ಕೃಷ್ಣಂ ಚಂದನ ಭೂಷಿತ |

ವೈಶಾಖಸ್ಯ ನೀತೇ ಪಕ್ಷೇಸಯಾತ್ಯಂಚ್ಯಚ್ಯುತ ಮಂದಿರಂ ||

यः पश्यति तृतीयायां कृष्णं चन्दन भूषितम् ।

वैशाखस्य नीते पक्षेसयात्यञ्च्यच्युत मन्दिरम् ॥

Meaning: One can attain Vaikuntha loka (वैकुण्ठ लोक / ವೈಕುಂಠ ಲೋಕ) by praying to Krishna who 

is completely clad with gandha (गन्ध / ಗಂಧ).

On this day, study, meditative thinking and donations performed will result in undiminished fruits. For this day, Rohini star and Wednesday will provide special austerity. Any activity can be begun on this auspicious day. People may donate earthen pot filled with water. (The reason and significance of this shall be made known later).

Significance of Vaishaakha maasa

Significance of Vaishaakha maasa

Taking bath in the month of Vaishaakha is revered as conveyed by the saying "वैशाख स्नान मात्रेण न पुनः चार्यते भुवि" / "ವೈಶಾಖ ಸ್ನಾನ ಮಾತ್ರೇಣ ನ ಪುನಃ ಚಾರ್ಯತೆ ಭುವಿ", which means that a person taking bath in this month Vaishaakha won't walk on the Earth again. So, the purity one maintains in Vaishaakha is all important.

The following may be gifted to the needy in this month: - specially filled earthen pot, footwear, umbrella, fan to guests, cold water, coconut drink, paanaka, boiled rice. One may get freed from untimely death by gifting bed, bedding, chaape, blanket. One may also gift goood quality cotton cloth. Its all important to have faith, conviction and devotion while doing so. There is a legacy behind these gifts --

In the past, a Brahmin Shankha (शङ्ख / ಶಂಖ) was travelling from one village to another through a forest where he was stopped by a wicked hunter. He took away the belongings of the brahmin, and let him go. As the hunter had taken away even the footwear of the Brahmin, he was struggling to walk in the heat of the sun. On seeing this, the hunter felt pity for the poor Brahmin. The hunter donated his torn slippers to the Brahmin, upon which the Brahmin whole-heartedly blessed the hunter, and explained to him the significance of the month of Vaishaakha. On hearing this, the hunter's mind got transformed and he returned back the Brahmin's belongings that he had snatched.

A lion and an elephant which were quarelling up until then stood silently. Upon seeing them Shankha questioned "You being enemies, what are you doing standing here ? Who are you ?" The animals started speaking about their past. One of them said, "In our previous birth, we were the sons of a Rishi (ऋषि / ಋಷಿ) named Matanga (मतङ्ग / ಮತಂಗ). Our father ordered us to arrange for drinking water and fans for people travelling in the sunny month of Vaishaakha (there is shaakha in the name itself :-) ). But, we being adamant, neglected that duty. Being angered by this, our father cursed us to be born as animals filled with anger and apathy/sloth. So, I, Dantila (दन्तिल / ದಂತಿಲ) became a lion, and Kohala (कोहल / ಕೋಹಲ) became an elephant. After requesting my father in various ways, he suggest the following to us. When a Brahmin named Shankha gives a discourse on the significance of the month of Vaishaakha, listen carefully. Then you will leave the animal bodies and rejoin me. Hence, thanks to you, we are liberated." Saying thus, they departed. This legacy was revealed by Shrutadeva (शृतदेव / ಶೃತದೇವ) to a king named Shrutakeerti (शृतकीर्ति / ಶೃತಕೀರ್ತಿ). This story appears in the Skanda puraana (स्कन्द पुराण / ಸ್ಕಂದ ಪುರಾಣ).