Why is 'Akshaya Tritiya' a day for GOLD

  • India is probably the only country where a religious day is linked to a  practice of gold buying. It is the ‘gold’en day of ‘Akshaya Tritiya’ and we are  talking tons of gold here. So what makes Akshaya Tritya a day for GOLD?

According to  estimates, Indian consumers bought about 20 tonnes of the gold on this festive day  in 2010. However this was much lower than the buy in 2009 due to soaring prices  when India, the world's largest consumer of the yellow metal, bought some 45  tonnes of Gold in 2009. 

According to gold  industry pundits, in 2011 GOLD is all set to offer fourth best returns to  investors in last 10 years as it has so far gained 18 per cent in price since  the festival day last year. For Indians buying gold is a popular activity on  Akshaya Tritiya day, as it is the ultimate symbol of wealth and prosperity. According  to the Hindu calendar, this most auspicious Akshaya Tritiya day falls on Friday  next week. This year the date of Akshaya Trithiya is Friday May 6. This day is  important to both Hindus and Jains. According to the traditional panchāng Akshaya  Tritiya falls on the third day (Tritiya) of the new moon of Vaishākh month  (April-May) every year. 

Akshaya in  Sanskrit means one that ‘never diminishes’ (a—kshaya) and the day is believed  to bring good luck and success. Hindus who imbibe what is originally called  ‘Sanātana Dharma’ believe they can get lasting prosperity by buying precious  metals on the day. Akshaya Tritiya is traditionally earmarked for beginning new  ventures, for investing and purchasing valuables especially gold, jewellery and  diamond. It is no surprise Indians buy gold on Akshaya Tritiya as it is  considered very auspicious and a safe investment. It is also believed that any meaningful activity started on this day would be fruitful.

Economically  this day is quite productive for marketers as they cash in on the festivity to  boost their sales. Marketers indulge in high voltage advertisement campaigns especially the jewellery stores. In fact  people in India and overseas book jewellery in advance and take delivery on  Akshaya Tritiya day. It’s a day of frenzy buying for all precious metals  especially gold. Sales on Akshaya Tritiya day usually increases four to five  times compared to normal days. Traditionally the preference for customers is to  buy light-weight jewellery, diamond jewellery but today’s economic superpower  India sees several buyers preferring diamond jewellery purchases.

According to ‘Jyotisa’-  the ancient Indian system of astronomy and astrology, the entire Akshaya  Tritiya day is auspicious. So there is no need to look for an auspicious time  i.e. no ‘muhurat’ required on this day. This is the only day in any year when  the Sun which is the lord of the planets and Moon which is the lord of  creativity are in exaltation meaning at their peak of radiance. During the  month of vaishaakha, the sun is in the Mesha (Aries), the first sign of the  zodiac, where it is in an exalted or most powerful position to give benefits. The  moon is also in a powerful position. This combination of the planetary energies is believed to create abundance whereby any auspicious activity commenced on  this day leads to continued growth of beneficial results throughout the year.  Astrologically this is extremely auspicious.  That also makes this day one of the most popular dates in Hindu calendar for marriages and partnerships.

It is also  believed that people born during this time shine bright in life due to the  exaltation of Sun and Moon in the native’s horoscope. Many greats were born during this period like Basaveshwara, Ramanujācharya, Ādi Shankarācharya, Swāmi  Chinmayānanda and Lord Buddha.

Glance through  the annals of ancient Indian heritage and one finds that on this tritiya day of  Vaishaka month many significant things of great spiritual importance happened. According  to Jain tradition this day is auspicious as people from Ayodhya bought gold and  jewellery to offer to their Tirthankara Rshabhdev who was the King of Ayodhya  centuries ago. Even today Jains observe long term fast to commemorate their  first Tirthankara Rshabhdev and break their fast on Akshaya Tritiya day with  sugar cane juice just as Rshabhdeva broke his fast with that juice after one  year.

According  to the ancient Hindu religious texts like the Puranas, this day marked the beginning  of the "SatyaYug" or the Golden Age - the first of the four Yugas. It is believed that on this day Lord Krishna gave Draupadi a bowl - akshaya pātara  (where food came in abundance) when the Pāndavas were in exile. Traditionally  this third day in the bright fortnight of Vaishākh is also the day of the sixth  incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Parshurama, and the ‘preserving’ manifestation of God  in the Hindu Trinity. Parshurama is considered to be the  personification of valour and of devotion. 

On  this day of Akshaya Tritiya, Maharishi Veda Vyās along with Lord Ganesha  started writing the great epic Mahabharata. It is also the day the most sacred  river of the Hindus, Ganga descended to earth. On this day Sudāma visited his  childhood buddy Lord Krishna with a hearty gift of a handful of beaten rice (pohā).  The good returns (prasād) he got in return for his devotion to the Lord is a classical  story told in Hindu households. On such a day associated with Lord Krishna the  story of Sudāma’s offering is mentioned along with Lord Krishna’s affirmation  in his Holy Gita ~ “Whoever offers a leaf, a flower, a fruit or even water with  devotion, that I accept, offered as it is with a loving heart".

Thus, many are  the reasons for Akshaya Tritiya to be considered a wish fulfilling day. Any  worship performed or daan (donation) given on this day is considered extremely good  karma. Good karma is considered meritorious and is supposed to bestow  beneficial results. So what are the some recommended things to do on Akshaya  Tritiya day? During this day it is considered auspicious to:
•Start or initiate any beneficial activity for  family and community  
•Visit temples, worship Lord Krishna or Lakshmi  Narayan to invoke abundance in oneself  
•Participate in spiritual activities like satsang 
•Make offerings to and seek blessings of elders  and spiritual teachers 
•Donate food, clothing to the needy 
•Buy safe and secure investments

Happy Akshaya  Tritiya day to ALL.

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