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Thursday 19 September 2019
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Akshaya Tritiya and Chandan Yatra

Akshaya means ‘that which does not diminish or perish’. Every year, Akshaya Tritiya is celebrated on the 3rd day of bright half of lunar month of Vaishakha. This year it is falling on 07 May 2019.

Akshaya Tritiya, according to the Vedic calendar, is a day considered to be conducive to success in any significant endeavour. Those aware of Akshaya tritiya’s benefits schedule major life events like marriages, initiations, business ventures, establishing a new place of residence on this day.It is a day bereft of all in auspiciousness. So even checking muhurthas is considered unnecessary.

It is auspicious because Akshaya Tritiya day is the birthday of 6th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Parashurama. According to description in Puranas, performing Shri Maha Vishnu Pooja on Akshaya Tritiya removes sin and helps in attaining salvation.

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This day is marked by several important historical events as indicated below, which directly illustrate the greatness of Akshaya Tritiya:

(1)          Srila Prabhupada incorporated the League of Devotees, at Jhansi on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya in the year 1953.

(2)          This day marks the beginning of the 21-day Chandan-yatra festival wherein due to the summer season, the Deities are covered with a sandalwood paste to cool Their bodies.

(3)          Lord Parashurama appeared on this day.

(4)          Mother Ganga descended to Earth on this day.

(5)          This day marks the beginning of Treta-yuga.

(6)          The great sage Srila Vyasadeva began composing the Mahabharata (Lord Ganesha start writing it) on this day.

(7)          In Simhachalam, Lord Narsimha gives His darshan once a year on this day. The rest of the days He is fully covered with sandalwood paste.

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(8)          The construction of new chariots for RathaYatra in JagannathPuri begins on this day.

(9)          In Badrinath, the temples of Gangotri and Yamunotri are closed during winter. On the day of Akshaya Tritiya the shrines re-open for the pilgrims.

(10)        On this day, Shri Vallabhacarya started his worship of Shreenath ji.

(11)        Goddess Annapoorna Devi appeared on this day.

(12)        Sudama visited Lord Krishna at Dwaraka on this day.

(13)        The Pandavas received the Akshaya Patra (the magic pot which had an inexhaustible supply of food) from the Sun-God on this day.

(14)        Kubera received his wealth and position as custodian of wealth on this day.

(15)        Garuda-VahanaSeva is held in Kumbakonam on this day.

Devotees consider this day as a reminder to surrender whatever they have in the service of the Krishna. Somethings that devotees can particularly do on this day are:-

  • Offer Prasadam (Annadan) to family, friends or the people in general
  • Recite from spiritual scriptures such as Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavat Purana)
  •  Offer charity
  • Bath in a holy river
  • Perform shraddha ceremony. (Recommended in Srimad Bhagavatam 7.14.21)
  •  Begin a higher commitment to practice spiritual life by adding Japa, Kirtan and worship of the Lord to your daily life.
  • Visiting the temple to present an offering to Lord Krishna with devotion.

Akshaya-tritiya is an important day in Vedic culture as any donation performed for the right cause is declared to yield inexhaustible results.

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Whatever services are offered to the Supreme Lord Krishna or His devotees on this day receives manifold eternal benefits. You can also take advantage of this festival and contribute to the historic project of Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir by clicking on this link http://www.vcm.org.in/join-hands-in-this-historic-endeavour

In this link you can choose any sevas that are most appealing to you like temple construction, Gauseva, or Annadan to Sadhus of Braj or general Public.

Chandana-Yatra

This day also marks the beginning of 21 day Chandana-yatra festival wherein the deities are covered with a sandalwood paste to cool their bodies in the hot summer season.

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On the day of Akshaya Tritiya in Vrindavan, all large Goswami Temple Deities are covered with chandan Paste. At Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir only the kautuka(small) Deities of Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga and Sri Sri Radha Vrindavanchandra are smeared completely with chandan (sandalwood paste). All devotees, including children and pilgrims, are offered a chance to grind chandana for the pleasure of the Deities.

Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga at Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir

Sri Sri Nitai Gauranga at Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir

Sri Sri Radha Vrindavanchandra at Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir

Sri Sri Radha Vrindavanchandra at Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir

The tradition of smearing chandan on the deities originated in Jagannath Puri and was brought to Braj by Shri Madhavendra Puri in the 14th century. Gopal ji of Govardhan appeared in Madhavendra Puri’s dream and asked for some sandalwood paste. Despite his advanced age, Madhavendra Puri made the long journey to the Malaya province to collect the sandal wood. On the way back, Gopal ji appeared in Madhavendra Puri’s dream and told him to apply the sandalwood paste on Kshirachora Gopinath in Remuna, Odisha. Gopal ji told Madhavendra Puri that by doing so He would feel the benefit of seva.

Below are pictures of some famous deities in Chandanalankar :

Sri Srinivasa Govinda of ISKCON, Bengaluru

Sri Srinivasa Govinda of ISKCON, Bengaluru

Sri Prahlada Narasimha of ISKCON, Bengaluru

Sri Prahlada Narasimha of ISKCON, Bengaluru

Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar, Vrindavan

Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar, Vrindavan

Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda, Vrindavan

Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda, Vrindavan

Sri Radharaman, Vrindavan

Sri Radharaman, Vrindavan

Sri Sri Radha Damodar, Vrindavan

Sri Sri Radha Damodar, Vrindavan

Sri Sri Radha Vallabh Chandan Yatra and Vivah Utsav, Vrindavan

Sri Sri Radha Vallabh Chandan Yatra and Vivah Utsav, Vrindavan




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