Draupadī and Pāṇdavā-s were forced into exile due to the deceit of the Kauravā-s and Śakuni. Queen mother Kuntī stayed back in Hastināpura during this trying period. The Pāṇdavā-s and their spouse reached the forest and setup their dwelling. Cousin Kṛṣnā came to the aid of the five brothers by offering them solace. Draupadī was very close to Kṛṣnā and he had saved her honor in the court of the blind Dhṛtarāṣtra.
The Lord decided to offer the best to the royal family in exile. He gave the Akṣaya Pātra to Draupadī on an auspicious day. This day has been come to be known as Akṣaya Tṛtiyā (14/05/2021). Lord Kṛṣnā informs Draupadī that food will unendingly flow out of the Akṣaya Pātra. Millions can be fed at any given point of time. The Akṣaya Pātra can offer all the delicacies until such time Draupadī completes her meal. Once the Akṣaya Pātra gets cleaned up after the meal of Draupadī, it will stop giving food for the rest of the day. It will once again begin to repeat its performance from its very next day. Therefore, Draupadī would be the last to eat for the day. The Pāṇdavā-s thus lived happily in the forest and wise individuals like Dhaumya used to regale them with stories. These stories and good deeds done by the Pāṇdavā-s added to the quality of their life and also Karmā-s.
Time went by and Duryodhana continued to enjoy the ill-gotten kingdom which once belonged to the Pāṇdavā-s. One day, the short-tempered Sage, Durvāsā paid a visit to the court of Dhṛtarāṣtra. Crown Prince Duryodhana treated him with utmost respect and a pleased Durvāsā offered a boon to the evil-minded host. A happy Duryodhana told the Sage that he should bless his cousin Yudhiṣṭira by undertaking a similar visit along with a thousand disciples. The wise sage understood the evil intent of the Kaurava Prince but still decided to test Yudhiṣṭira and his brothers – Bīmā, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. Duryodhana requested the sage to visit the hermitage of the Pāṇdavā-s only after Draupadī had completed her meal for the day.
Yudhiṣṭira was both surprised and happy to receive Sage Durvāsā and his thousand hungry disciples. He requests Durvāsā to perform ablutions at the nearby water body and bless him by partaking a meal in his hermitage. A pleased Durvāsā agrees to do so and proceeds along with his disciples. Meanwhile Yudhiṣṭira requests Draupadī to get a sumptuous meal organized through the Akṣaya Pātra. As Draupadī had completed her meal, the Akṣaya Pātra was not able to offer anything. She gets worried and begins to think of Kṛṣnā. Was it not Kṛṣnā who saved her from the evil grasp of Duśāsana? She had yelled out – “Śaṅkha Cakra Gadā Pāṇe Dvārakā Nilayācyutā...” and her saree had begun to infinitely extend itself due to the grace of Kṛṣnā. Therefore, she understood that Kṛṣnā would answer her call and Lo, Kṛṣnā manifested right in front of her.
Kṛṣnā appeared to be in a hurry and hungry too. He tells Draupadī to serve him something but Draupadī tells him that the Akṣaya Pātra will not be able to give food for that day. Kṛṣnā asks her to give the vessel of plenty to him but she refuses to do so. Thereafter, the Lord goes to the rack and siezes the Akṣaya Pātra with his divine hands. He finds one morsel of rice stuck to the Dhal and ghee in the corner of the vessel. Kṛṣnā shows it to Draupadī and she feels bad for not having washed the vessel properly. Kṛṣnā takes that Dhal and Rice morsel along with the drop of ghee and consumes it happily. He tells Draupadī he is happy for his hunger had been addressed. A huge burp follows and since Lord Kṛṣnā is the sustainer of the world everybody feels satiated in their stomach. This included Durvāsā and his thousand disciples. Each of them feels that they had eaten for the day at that very moment and Durvāsā feels the same.
Meanwhile Kṛṣnā ordered Bīmā to fetch Durvāsā and his thousand disciples in order to serve them a tasty meal. A puzzled Bīmā goes over to Durvāsā and invites him to join them at the hermitage. However, the Sage and his disciples were in no position to have a meal and therefore they tell Bīmā that they would honor the Pāṇdavā-s on another day by paying a visit. Yudhiṣṭira got amused on learning about all this from Bīmā and understood that it was due to the grace of Vāsudeva Kṛṣnā. Immediately the Pāṇdavā-s and their consort Draupadī offered their prayers and gratitude to their dearest Kṛṣnā. No wonder the highest form of service and devotion to Kṛṣnā is known as Pāṇḍava Sevā.
The significance and the auspiciousness of Akṣaya Tṛtiyā also lies on the various other facts associated with the day. According to Sanātana Dharmā, Akṣaya Tṛtiyā is the day when Bhagavān Parasurāmā was born, Ādi Śaṅkarācāryā composed the famous ‘Kanakadhārā Stotraṃ’, and the beginning of Tretā Yuga. Devi is said to have manifested in the form of Annapūrṇā Mātā on this day. It is also the day when Kucelā had met Lord Kṛṣnā, Bhagavān Vyāsa commenced writing the Mahābhārata, Lord Kubera reclaimed his lost wealth, and River Gaṅgā first touched Mother Earth.
The Akṣaya Tṛtiyā is celebrated as a day of plenty and the day when the Lord makes everybody happy and content. People have continued to accumulate good deeds and other forms of wealth including the purchase of gold on this auspicious day. They are known to celebrate this day by also having a sumptuous meal with their near and dear on Akṣaya Tṛtiyā. This festival can be known as the Svarṇamukhī amongst the one’s which offers prosperity and contentment.
Let us remember the significances and celebrate Akṣaya Tṛtiyā by offering Naivedyaṁ to the Lord and by partaking the same in the company of Bhagavatā-s!
Let the good Karmā accrued on this day take us closer to the company of Lord Lakṣmī Nārāyaṇā!
We at the Verandah Club wish all of you a happy and a joyful Akṣaya Tṛtiyā!
Join our subscribers list to get the latest articles, updates delivered directly in your inbox.
We hate spam as much as you do