It is well known that Indians believe passionately in the theory of muhurts or auspicious times to perform sacraments, to make major purchases or to begin new ventures. Inspite of modern technology and changing life views, this dedication to auspicious time is a prominent feature of Indian life. Akshaya Tritiya, the third day of the bright half of Vaishakh, is considered one of the four most sacred days of the year.
The word Akshaya means that which never diminishes - hence beginnings made or valuables bought on this day are considered certain to bring luck and success. All over India people celebrate weddings, plan new business ventures, long journeys and other events on this day. Like Diwali, Dussera and Gudi Padva, Akshaya Tritiya is reserved for buying gold, silver and other assets. On this day jewelers keep their shops open well into twilight time to entertain their buyers.
Akshaya Tritiya or Akha Teej is traditionally the birthday of Parshurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu. The Puranas tell how he reclaimed land from the sea along the west coast of India by his valour. Even today Goa and the Konkan are called Parshurama Kshetra. He then settled 96 selected families there, called Shahanavkuli Brahmins, who are said to have created the cultural heritage of this part of India.
This day, Baisakh Shuki Tritya, is in recognition of the belief that Sateye Yuga and Treta Yuga commenced on this day. Fast, worship, austerities, knowledge and charity, done on this day, are very fruitful. It is still more lucky, if this day falls on a Monday or under Rohini planet. A dip in the Ganges on this day has great importance. In charity, fan, rice, salt, ghee, sugar, vegetables, tamarind, fruit, clothes, should be given. Vishnu (Narayan) is invoked on this day, by enthroning his image or his picture, by oblations of water soaked grams, gram pulse and crystallized sugar and by sprinkling Tulsi water while performing Aarti.
On Yudhistra's asking SriK'rsna, the latter replied, "This day is utmost pious. It is called 'Yugaadi Trity' because Sateye Yuga commenced on this day. The invocation is very fruitful. This is imperishable, destructible and perennial." Laying stress on the importance of the day, Krishna narrated the story of a poor godly Brahmin, who, in spite of his poverty and having a big family to support, never shirked his religious duties and good actions. He observed this day every year and as a result, in his rebirth, he became the king of Kushavati.