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Sunday 26 May 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 inauspiciousness. 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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It would be interesting to note that several historical events occurred on this day. It was on Akshaya-tritiya that

  • Sudama, a poor brahmana, went to Dwaraka and met His childhood friend, Lord Krishna.
  • Mother Ganga descended to Earth
  • Lord Parashurama (an incarnation of Lord Krishna) appeared on Earth as did the sacred grain Barley.
  • Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas also received the gift of Akshaya Patra on this day from Vivasvan, the Sun God.
  • The great sage Srila Vyasadeva began composing the Mahabharata.

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 to:

  • 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
  • Bathing in a holy river
  • One should perform sraddha ceremony on the Akshaya-trtiya day. (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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In the Mahabharata, the Pandavas lived in disguise in the palace of King Virata during their Ajnatavasa. After Bhima killed Kichaka, King Virata realised that the Pandavas were living in his palace. The king felt proud of them and made strong bonds of friendship with them. Once, the king expressed his desire to have a darshan of Lord Krishna with the Pandavas. Yudhisthira then advised the king to organise a boat journey in a lake for the amusement of Lord Krishna in summer months.

The king also organised to embalm the body of the Lord with sandalwood paste in fragrant water to comfort Him from summer heat. Satisfied with the devotion of King Virata, Lord Krishna arrived with his elder brother Balarama. The two Lords and the Pancha Pandavas enjoyed the Snana-yatra and rowing festival. Thus with the close association of Lord Krishna, the pious king fulfilled his devotional desire. To commemorate this incident, Lord Jagannatha (Krishna) enjoys Chandan Yatra with Pancha Pandava at the Narendra Sarovar. This festival is known as Chandan Mahotsava.

Lord Jagannatha gave direct instructions to King Indradyumna to perform this festival at this time.
Sandalwood paste is applied all over the body of Jagannatha leaving only his two eyes visible. The utsava murtis (functional Deities – Vijay utsav) are taken on procession and are placed in a boat in the temple pond. To commemorate this festival, Lord Caitanya also carried out water sports with his devotees.

On the day of Aksaya Tritiya in Vrindavan, all large Goswami Temple Deities are covered with chandan Paste. The festival is also celebrated in ISKCON Vrindavan temple. 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), on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. All devotees, including children and pilgrims, are offered a chance to grind chandana for the pleasure of the Deities.




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