Akṣayya-tṛtīyā

(‘the inexhaustible third day’)

Festivals and sacred days exist in all religions. They are usually the days associated with holy persons or memorable events. Akṣayya-tṛtīyā which falls on the 3rd day of śuklapakṣa (bright fortnight) of the month of Vaiśākha (April-May) is said to be the day on which the Kṛtayuga (the first of the four yugas or ages) began. Its name is derived from the fact that it falls on the third day of the lunar calendar month (tṛtīyā = the 3rd) and the religious merit acquired on this day becomes in-exhaustible (akṣaya).

Fasting, worship of Lord Vāsudeva with whole grains of rice, study of Vedic texts, recitation of mantras, performance of homa (offerings into consecrated fire), offerings to the departed manes, gifts to brāhmaṇas—these are some of the observances recommended.

Many tradesmen begin their new-year’s business on this day.

This is one of the days considered to be extremely auspicious during the year.