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Akshaya Tritiya

Akshyay means something that does not decay, does not perish, or in more simple words you do not suffer any loss on account of it. This day is named as Akshyay Tritiya to remind us of the fact that the acts performed on this day become perennial in nature.


So what should one do on this day?


The first thing that naturally comes to our minds is that we should replenish our stores so that we remain prosperous all the time. It is for this reason that the day has become associated with purchase of gold. It is not difficult to understand the human psychology to store the precious metal as an asset to fall back in difficult times.


Is it really a rational thought?


Whatever we stock in this material world is perishable – be it seemingly perishable items like flowers or durable things like landed property. Certain things as flowers decay fast and we throw them away the next morning. Some other things though do not decay but may be lost, like precious metals and jewels falling in the hands of thieves and thugs. Yet another class of assets like real estate may also be lost to litigation, to natural causes like flood etc.


Swami Shri Haridas writes:


Hari ko aisoie sab khel |

Mrigtrishna jag byap rahyo hai kahoon bijori na bel ||

Dhan mad joban mad raj mad jyon panchhin mein del |

Kahien shri Haridas yahi jiya jano tirath ko so mel ||


The world is just like the game of mirage. As a deer in desert keeps on chasing the illusory water and the greenery near it, so are we the human beings. We put in so much of effort to acquire the assets in the world but they all disappear as quickly as the hordes of birds on throwing a stone. Swami Haridas says we must consider our lives like a sojourn on pilgrimage.


Let us try to understand what he exactly meant by Tirath ko so mel or a meeting on pilgrimage. When we are on pilgrimage we stay in huge ashrams or tourist bungalows. We enjoy the architectural beauty of grand temples. We witness the religious celebrations generally comprising of great processions – decorated elephants, horses, chariots, brass bands, high flying flags. The presiding deity at the head of procession decorated with extremely fine and expensive clothes and exclusive jewelry. We also go around the gardens full of exotic flowers and herbs maintained by temples. We enjoy all these things during our pilgrimage – without owning any of them. At the end as we come back to our own humble tenement we do not carry any of these things back with us.


So what we gain out of such a pilgrimage? What do we carry back?


Holy places are rich source of powerful spiritual vibrations. If we can transcend ourselves beyond the physical manifestations of celebrations and meditate on the divinity of the deity there, we carry back the divine inspiration, the divine blessings. And that is the only thing – which is imperishable – worth carrying back.


So on this day, Akshyay Tritiya, look out to achieve the imperishable – the divine blessing. The ancient wisdom teaches us to give, to donate for noble cause. And these noble deeds only bring us the divine blessings which protect us during difficult times.


Our revered Lord Thakur Shri Banke Bihari ji Maharaj is extra generous on this day. He permits you the darshan of sacred lotus feet on this day. This is only on this day throughout the year that devotees get a chance to see and admire the beauty of His feet. Today you can meditate on those feet for which saint Surdas had sung:


Bandaun charan kamal hari raie |

Jaki kripa pangu giri langhe, andhe ko sab kachhu darsaie ||

Bahiro sune, mook puni bole, rank chale sir chhatra dharaie |

Surdas swami karunamaya, bar bar bandaun tehi paie ||


Such is the fame of the lotus feet of Lord!


As sung by exalted, divine devotee saint Surdas: this is by the grace of darshan and dhyan (meditation) of the lotus feet of Lord that all impossible things become possible in the world. A lame can cross high mountains, blind can see each and every thing, deaf can hear , dumb can speak and poor can become rich and powerful so as to be honored to move with Chhatra (ceremonial umbrella, generally used in grand processions). The poet says my lord is so kind, full of kindness; I bow to His Lotus Feet! Bow To His Lotus Feet! Again and again.


And the evening Darshan carries a still bigger treat for you. The Lord sheds away much of the clothing – he would be wearing only a dhoti (loincloth) around his waist. We call it the sarvang Darshan – darshan of the whole body of Shri Banke Bihari ji Maharaj. A rare opportunity indeed!

Festival Significance : Charan Darshan (morning) and Sarvang Darshan (evening)
Festival Date (Hindu Calender) : Vaishakh Shukla Tritiya
Festival Date (English Calender) : Fri, May 10, 2024

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