Time for an auspicious start - Residents look forward to Akshay Tritiya celebrations
|(Clockwise from top) Devotees bring out deities from a temple at Chandan Pokhari for chandan yatra, logs of wood are chopped in Puri to make Lord Jagannath’s chariot and farmers sow seeds on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya in an Odisha village. File pictures|
Bhubaneswar, April 23: People in the state are all set to observe the auspicious occasion of Akshay Tritiya on Tuesday, celebrating the holy event in a number of ways. From farmers to businessmen, shoppers to devotees, the propitious day has something in store for each.
Observed on the third day of the fortnight of the Baisakh month, Akshay Tritiya is believed to be auspicious in many ways because of its mythological significance. “This is the day when Satya Yug had started. It is also the birth anniversary of Lord Parshuram,” said Jagannath culture expert Suryanarayan Rath Sharma.
In fact, it is believed that during the entire day, one does not need to look into the almanac for the best time to start a new business project or for marriage ceremony or any other significant ritual since anytime between sunrise and sunset is favourable on Akshay Tritiya, said Rath Sharma.
The occasion is significant for farmers since they celebrate the mutthi chhuan or mutthi anukula — the sowing of paddy seeds — on Akshay Tritiya, to get a good harvest. They wear new clothes, worship Mother Earth, Goddess Laxmi and Lord Balabhadra, who symbolises the importance of agriculture. The farming community also arranges devotional programmes and a feast of vegetarian dishes.
At Lord’s door
This is the day for the carpenters of the chariots of rath yatra to start work. The ceremony of Ratha anukula, meaning the beginning of sculpting the chariots, begins after the “garland of permission” or aagyan mal’ is brought from Lord Jagannath to start the chariot making process. Religious rituals such as yagnyas and kirtan follow this. The three main carpenters of the three chariots vow to complete the work in the next 60 days.
On the other hand, the chandan yatra of Lord Jagannath also begins on this day at the Puri Temple. The 42-day religious fair is unique, for it brings out the human nature of the chief deity of the temple. To beat the sweltering temperatures, a thick paste of sandalwood is applied on Lord Jagannath, known as the chandana lagi besa. Also, twice a day, the representative deities, namely Madana Mohana, Bhudevi, Sridevi, Ramakrushna and Pancha Pandavas are carried in a procession to the Narendra pond of the temple where two decorated boats or chapa await them.
The deities, seated in red boat Sunanda and white boat Bairatika take a round in the pond while plunging into the water at times. “This ritual is held once in the morning hours and then late in the evening everyday during the Jatra,” said Rath Sharma.
Following the popular belief that any investment on Akshay Tritiya brings immense profits, many buy property or start a new business on the lucky day.
But above all, it is gold that people rush to buy on this occasion.
Jewellery stores and brands are also offering special deals for customers who are ready to spend lavishly on the yellow metal on this special occasion.
The iconic Odia poet, creator of the legendary compilation Gita Govinda, Jayadev’s birth anniversary is celebrated by poets and artists on Akshay Tritiya every year. The Odisha Lalit Kala Akademi will showcase an exhibition at the city-based Bhanja Kala Mandap as a tribute to the poet.
Various other cultural programmes are organised to celebrate his birthday.