Akshaya Tritiya is celebrated as the day of abundance and prosperity. It is said that any endeavor started on this day is bound to yield multiplied results. People usually commence projects, business, buy gold and other assets, perform religious rituals and ceremonies on this propitious day. Moreover, this day is believed to nullify the negative effects of your horoscope.
Goddess Lakshmi (source: fineartamerica.com)
This highly auspicious day falls in the month of Chitra, usually between April and May, during the waxing lunar cycle or shukla paksha. 'Akshaya' means eternal, everlasting, ever-growing, and inexhaustible while 'Tritiya' refers to the third tithi or lunar day.
Although shukla paksha tritiya comes every month, Akshaya Tritiya holds immense importance as both the Sun and Moon are exalted on this day in Aries and Taurus, respectively. The Sun and Moon are the luminaries - the Sun created earth while the Moon created life conditions on it. They are the significators of father and mother, Shiva and Parvati, male and female, day and night, in essence representing the duality that pervades the universe.
Origin of Akshaya Tritiya
Its origin dates back to the mythological story of the Akshaya Patra, a vessel that provides eternal abundance to its possessor. According to legend, the Akshaya Patra emerged during the churning of the Samudra Mandan, a cosmic event to obtain the nectar of immortality (Amrita). Later in the epic tale of Mahabharata, Lord Surya gifted the Akshaya Patra to the Pandavas on this very day when they were in dire need, ensuring they would never go hungry and would always have food to offer to others in abundance. Thus the day was given the name, Akshaya Tritiya.
Akshaya Tritiya is associated with many stories from different Puranas:
Lord Parashurama, the 6th avatar of Lord Vishnu, was born on this day.
It was on this day that the epic Mahabharata was narrated by Rishi Ved Vyasa to Lord Ganesha to write.
Lord Krishna bestowed an endless supply of food to his childhood friend Sudama on this day.
Lord Kubera became the treasurer of wealth on this day.
Goddess Annapoorna Devi, the goddess of food, was born on this day.
Goddess Ganga, pleased by King Bhagiratha’s austere penance, agreed to descend on earth as river Ganges on this day.
Adi Shankaracharya recited the Kanakadhara Stotram towards Goddess Lakshmi on this day.
Treta Yuga (when Lord Ram was born) started on this day.
The construction of the annual Rath Yatra chariot of Puri Jagannath temple begins on this day.
Special Activities on Akshaya Tritiya
Various dharmic activities can be performed on this day for greater benefits. These include pujas, homas such as Ganapati homa, Lakshmi Kubera homa, and Lakshmi Narayana homa. Charitable acts, services, group prayers, group meditations, feeding animals (especially cows), planting trees, and all those mentioned in the first para are also recommended. It is important to maintain a positive attitude and resonate with the auspiciousness of the day.