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Akshaya Tritiya is an important Hindu festival and I have seen people buying jewellery and other items on this "auspicious day".

How is Akshaya Tritiya celebrated in the world? To be more specific, I am concerned with celebrations inside India as well as outside India (Bali or in the United States or any other regions with significant population)

2 Answers 2

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The current question seems to be opinion based. If it were to change to how Akshaya Tritiya is to be celebrated as per scriptures then below are some references

From Skanda Purana, Pursotama-kshetra-Mahatmya, Section 2

  1. Henceforth I shall describe a Yātrā that will yield everlasting salvation without strain to (even) the dull-witted whose mind is tied to the imprints of previous Karmas.
  1. (The holy rite is to be performed) at midnight on the second day in the bright half of the month of Vaiśākha. The pavilion should be square-shaped. It should be plastered and provided with an altar.

3-4. There should be made a screen all round with a well-washed cloth. The pavilion must have a splendid flight of stairs. It must have a beautiful awning.

In the middle of the pavilion the devotee should place an extremely excellent seat. It should be covered with a cloth. A gold vessel should be placed upon it.

5-8. To the west of the gold vessel a Brāhmaṇa should be comfortably seated. He must be pure and clean. He should take the following articles in anoṃer vessel: twenty-five paìas of sandal-paste, black aloe-wood more than a pala, saffron half the quantity of aloe-wood, incense half the quantify of saffron, musk and camphor together equal to the incense. All these should be ground into paste with the juice of trumpet flowers. Two palas of excellent black aloe-wood oil should be mixed with them. All these should be stirred together and poured into the first vessel.

  1. He should cover it up with the leaves of Ketaka plant and wrap it with a silk cloth. Repeating the Mantra “gandhas te somam” etc. he should protect it with Garuḍamudrā.
  1. Thus all these things should be consecrated and placed in the pavilion. At the time of dawn it should be taken to the presence of Kṛṣṇa.
  1. With chowries, umbrellas and (the blowing of) conch-shell etc. the shrine should be circumambulated. The replica is then placed in front of the Lord. He should then worship Puruṣottama.
  1. Then the covering cloth should be taken away and (the materials) should be looked at with the divine (?) vision. He should then sprinkle it with water while reciting the Mantrarāja and stir it by beating etc.
  1. The Lord should be worshipped with fragrant flowers and raw rice-grains. Repeating Śrī Sūkta he should smear the idol (with the paste). The entire body of the Lord of Śrī should be so smeared with gentle touches.
  1. Devotees of Viṣṇu shout the slogan of “Be victorious” and praise Hari. Learned men eulogize him with different hymns and passages from the Upaniṣads.

15-20. He should propitiate the Lord of the universe with flutes, lutes etc., various dances, songs and (playing of) musical instruments, fans, chowries, umbrellas and other kinds of offerings and services.

On the third day also the Lord should be smeared (with the paste) at the outset. Merely by thinking about the Lord the embodied ones get all their distresses destroyed. The same Lord, O Brāhmaṇas, destroys (all distresses) on being seen. The greatness of Viṣṇu cannot be comprehended (perfectly) by saying that it is like this or that.

Robes of fine texture, wreaths, different kinds of foodstuffs and beverages, tasty milk-products and other materials should be repeatedly offered. Then the devotee should worship the Lord with well-prepared betel-leaves.

Also from Skana Purana, Chp 23, Sec 7

43-45. There too in the bright half of this month (the third day) named Akṣaya (is the most favourite). If anyone performs holy bath, charitable gift, etc. with faith, thousands of his sins do perish. There is no doubt about it. His prosperity will be free from blemishes. He will acquire strength and courage.

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The procedure to celebrate/perform the vow of Akshaya-Tritiya is explained in the Matsya Purana briefly, and a story is given, along with a brief procedure too, in the Bhavishya Purana also, among other texts.


1. Matsya Purana

अक्षयतृतीयाव्रतकथनं सरस्वतीव्रतकथनञ्च।

Chapter 65, Matsya Purana

ईश्वर उवाच।

अथान्यामपि वक्ष्यामि तृतीयां सर्वकामदाम्। यस्यां दत्तं हुतं जप्तं सर्वं भवति चाक्षयम्।। ६५.१ ।। वैशाखशुक्लपक्षे तु तृतीया यै रुपोषिता। अक्षयं फलमाप्नोति सर्वस्य सुकृतस्य च।। ६५.२ ।। सा तथा कृत्तिकोपेता विशेषेण सुपूजिता। तत्र दत्तं हुतं जप्तं सर्वमक्षयमुच्यते।। ६५.३ ।। अक्षयासन्ततिस्तस्यास्तस्यां सुकृतमक्षयम्। अक्षतैस्तु नराः स्नाता विष्णोर्दत्त्वा तथाक्षतान्।। ६५.४ ।। विप्रेषु दत्त्वा तानेव तथा सक्तून् सुसंस्कृतान्। यथान्नभुक् महाभागः फलमक्षयमश्नुते।। ६५.५ ।। एकामप्युक्तवत् कृत्त्वा तृतीयां विधिवन्नरः। एतासामपि सर्वासां तृतीयानां फलं भवेत्।। ६५.६ ।। तृतीयायां समभ्यर्च्य सोपवासो जनार्दनम्। राजसूयफलं प्राप्य गतिमग्र्याञ्च विन्दति।। ६५.७ ।।

God Shiva explained to Narada -

Procedure:

  • If this tṛtīyā falls in Kṛttikā nakṣatra then it is regarded as more sacred.
  • Since on this day, God Vishnu is worshipped using 'Akshata'1, hence it is known as Akshaya Tritiya.
  • One who is willing to observe this vrata should take bath in water mixed with akshata (unhusked rice) and offer akshata to Lord Vishnu's idol
  • Akshata or well-made barley meal (saktu) should be offered to the brāhmaṇas as well as should be taken by the devotee himself.

As per the footnote in Gita Press version, In general, although worshipping Vishnu using Akshata is prohibited, vide. Padma Purana 6.96.20



Benefits.

  • This vrata bestows inexhaustible benefits to the performer of charity, sacrifice, or japa. One who observes a vrata on this auspicious day begets inexhaustible fruit of all his good deeds.
  • The progeny of the devotee will be unlimited and the good deeds of the person will never come to an end.
  • Whosoever performs this vow with a fast, duly worshipping Vishnu, gets a benefit equivalent to a Rajasuya Yajna and attains the best outcomes in the end.

Summarized English Translation of the Gita Press's Hindi Translation by Self.




2. Bhavishya Purana:

  • This is mentioned in Chapter 30, Uttara Parva of the Purana.

अथ त्रिंशोऽध्यायः अक्षयतृतीयद्रतवर्णनम्

श्रीकृष्ण उवाच

बहुनात्र किमुक्तेन किं बह्वक्षरमालया । वैशाखस्य तितामेकां तृतीयां शृणु पाण्डव ॥१॥ स्नानं दानं जपो होमः स्वाध्यायः पितृतर्पणम् । यदस्यां क्रियते किञ्चित्सर्वं स्यात्तदिहाक्षयम् ॥२॥ आदौ कृतयुगस्येयं युगादिस्तेन कथ्यते । सर्वपापप्रशमनी सर्वसौख्यप्रदायिनी ॥३॥ शाकले नगरे कश्चिद्धर्मनामाभवद्वणिक् । प्रियंवदः सत्यरतो देवब्राह्मणपूजकः ॥४॥ तेन श्रुतं वाच्यमानं तृतीया रोहिणी पुरा । यदा स्यादुधसंयुक्ता तदा सा च महाफला ॥५॥ तस्यां यद्दीयते किंश्चित्तत्सर्वं चाक्षयं भवेत् । इति श्रुत्वा स गङ्गायां सन्तर्प्य पितृदेवताः ॥६॥ गहमागत्य करकान्सान्नानुदकसंयुतान् । अम्पूर्णान्गहे कन्भान्क्रमान्निःशेषतस्तदा ॥७॥ वगोधूमचणकसक्तुदध्यौदनं तथा । इक्षुक्षीरविकारांश्च सहिरण्यांश्च शक्तितः ॥८॥ शचिः शुद्धेन मनसा ब्राह्मणेभ्यो ददौ वणिक् । भार्यया वार्यमाणोऽपि कुटुम्बासक्तचिन्तया ॥९॥ तावत्स द स्थितः सत्त्वे मत्वा सर्वं विनश्वरम् । धर्मार्थकाम शक्तस्तु कालेन बहुना ततः ॥१०॥ जगाम पञ्चत्वमसौ वासुदेवं स्मरन्मुहुः । ततः स क्षत्रियो जातः कुशावत्यां नरेश्वरः ॥११॥ बभूव चाक्षया तस्य समृद्धिधर्मनिजिता । इयाज स महायज्ञैः समाप्तवरदक्षिणैः ॥१२॥ ददौ गोभूहिरण्यादि दानान्यस्यामहनिशम् । बुभुजे कामतो भोगान्दीनास्तिर्पयञ्जनान् ॥१३॥ तथाप्यक्षयमेवास्य क्षयं याति न तद्धनम् । श्रद्धापूर्वं तृतीयायां यद्दत्तं विभवं विना ॥१४॥ एतद्वतं मयाख्यातं श्रूयतामत्र यो विधिः । उदकुम्भान्सफरकान्स्नादसर्वरतैर्युतान् ॥१५॥ प्रैमिष्कं सर्वमेवात्र सस्यदानं प्रशस्यते । छत्रोपान प्रदानं च गोभूकाञ्चनवाससाम् ॥१६॥ यद्यदिष्टतमं चान्यन्नद्देयमविशंकया । एतत्ते सर्वमाख्यातं किमन्यच्छ्रोतुमिच्छसि ॥१७॥ अनाख्येयं न मे किञ्चिदस्ति स्वस्त्यस्तु तेऽनघ ॥१८ अस्यां तिथौ क्षयमुपैति हुतं न दत्तं तेनाक्षया च मुदिभिः कथिता तृतीया। उद्दिश्य यत्सुरपितृन्क्रियते मनुष्यैस्तच्चाक्षयं भवति भारत सर्वमेव ॥१९॥


Sri Krishna Explained to Yuddhisthira -

Significance:

  • Whatever be done on this day, like bath, charity, japa, sacrifice, self-study, libations, etc, all these acts bestows inexhaustible fruits on the devotee.
  • The age of Krta (Sata-yuga) began on this day, and hence it's also known as the 'kṛtayugādi tṛtīyā'.
  • This vow is the bestower of all desires and burns all the sins of the performer of this vow.



The Story:

  • In the town of Shakala there used to live a pious Vaishya. Having heard from a Brahmina about the significance of performing the Akshaya-Tritiya vow coinciding with a Wednesday falling in the Rohini Nakshatra, the Vaishya performed the rituals related to the vrata on the Tritya day, and having offered libations to pitris, in the Ganges, he returned back home, and gifted various items like a pot filled with water and akshat, satku, wheat, jaggery, sugarcane, clarified butter, and gold, as per the best of his capacity.
  • His deluded wife used to nudge him against the idea of donation, yet to no avail, the Vaishya would perform the vow year after year. After some time, remembering the glorious Vishnu, the Vaishya died. In the next birth, he was born as a king in the Kushavati town of Dwarka. It was the inexhaustible fruits of his charitable work done on the Akshaya Tritya that resulted in him reaping unending opulence and prosperity.



4. Procedure:

  • The devotee must observe this vow as per the injunction laid. Having taken the ritual bath, therefore, he must, to the best of his capacity to make sufficient gifts of water-filled pots, pots filled with various juices, food, Honey, etc. He may also include various fruits, shoes/sandals, items as per the season like an umbrella, etc., and gold and land, to the best of his capacity.
  • The fruits of the sacrifice and charitable work done on this day never get exhausted, thus it is known as Akshaya-Tritiya, especially the libations offered in reference to the pitris are known to yield inexhaustible fruits.

Summarized Translation of the Hindi text by Self.

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