Akshaya Tritiya The holy beginning of Rath Yatra

Akshaya Tritiya

Akshaya Tritiya is an auspicious festival for both Jains and Hindus. It is observed on the third tithi of Shukla paksha in the month of Vaisakha. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu incarnated on Earth as a human as Parshurama on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya.

Akshaya Tritiya mostly falls in the month of April. This day marks the beginning of the famous Chariot festival Rath Yatra.

In the urban areas, this day is considered auspicious to buy gold or invest in new beginnings. People also buy properties or start the construction of houses. But in the famous Jagannath temple, Puri it is celebrated in a very different way.

Chandan Yatra

The 21 days Chandan Yatra begins from this day. The small representative deities of the Gods are taken to the Narendra tank and put in a beautiful boat. It is known as Chappa Khela which is done to give relief to the Gods from the scorching sun and heat.

Construction of the chariots

The construction of the chariots of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are started on the same day. Rituals begin with the Dwadas Yatra where all the Gods are taken to the Vimana.

The Agyan Mala from Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra is brought and three logs are consecrated.  Chariot constructions take place at Rath Khala which start the same day from the evening itself. The logs are 12 feet of Soura Katha. It takes around 60 days to complete all the chariots.

This day is also important to farmers as they begin sowing of new seeds.

Rituals of Akshaya Tritiya that should be done at home
  1. Keeping fast for the day is considered auspicious.
  2. Lord Vishnu is worshipped on this day with sandalwood paste and flowers. Rice and sweets are given as Prasad.
  3. Vishnu Sahasranama mantra should be recited.
Donations that should be done on Akshaya Tritiya

One should donate coconut, water, kumkum, buttermilk, Chandan, bed, slippers, curd rice and clothes on this day.

Belief of Jains

This day is believed to be the one year-end of Tapasya of Rishabdev by consuming sugarcane. This festival is referred to as Varshi Tapa by Jains. They do fasting on this day.

Other myths
  1. It is said that River Ganges descended to earth on this day.
  2. Sudama is said to have been gifted unlimited wealth on this day by Lord Krishna, his childhood friend while visiting Dwaraka.
  3. Kubera was given the position of Lord of Wealth on this day.
  4. Pandavas received the gift of Akshaya Patra on this day.

I hope you found the above information useful and give you an overall idea about the things to do and expect on this day. I will be writing further stories about Rath Yatra so keep reading. Feel free to share if you have any myths and legends to add in the article.

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