Akshaya Trutiya – Traditionally A good day to Start New Possibilities #AkshayaTrutiya – Article By Bikash Ranjan Ojha
Akshaya Trutiya popularly known as Akshi Trutiya commemorates the rare occasion of social, religious and agricultural festival in one day. Though celebrated throughout India, this day holds a special significance in Odisha. The celebration here differs from other states of India, as there are elements of distinct culture of the state.
#First and foremost the festival is an agricultural festival. Traditionally it marks the day of starting of new agricultural year by start sowing of the seeds. Farmers take seeds, normally paddy, in a purified basket along with other fruits like palm, coconut etc. to the farm and the worships the land traditionally. Then the seeds are sown, sometimes after ploughing the land, and prayer is made for good cultivation during the coming monsoon.
But apart from agricultural significance it also marks two important events for Lord Jagannath at Puri. First Lord starts his Chapa (the boat riding ceremony ) from this day. As Lord Madanmohan, he is taken to Narendra Puskarini (The Narendra Tank) situated at south-west corner of Lord Jagannath temple. Along with five Shiva Linga accompany. The deities are placed on beautifully decorated boats and are taken for an evening cruise of the tank. The festival lasts for twenty one days. Various rituals are held on this occasion.
The second important significance of Akshaya Trutiya is that, from this day construction of Chariots begin for the Car Festival or Rath Yatra which is held on second day of bright fortnight of Asadha month. A place is designated on the Grand Road or Bada Danda known as Ratha Khala, where carpenters begin the work of constructing the chariots after traditional rituals. Construction of chariots for Rath Yatra begins and so does, Chandan Yatra of Lord Jagannath .
#AkshayaTrutiya From this auspicious day the carpenters start building the chariots (Ratha) of Jagannatha. #Odisha
Chandana-Lagi Besha –
The triad will be dressed in the Chandana-Lagi Besha for 42 days, starting today,
#AkshayaTrutiya . The word ‘Candana’ means sandal wood, the sweet-scented paste of which is applied to the body of the deities in the months of Vaisakha and Jyestha, for long 42 days of Candana Yatra.
If Akshaya Trutiya also has further significance for Jagannath Cult it is that this is the Birth Day a great poet of Vaishnavism, Shri Jayadeba. Shri Jayadeba is well known as the author of the great work Geeta Govinda in Sanskrit. Geeta Govinda describes in poetic beauty the divine love between Krishna and Radha. Considered as one of the foremost literature of Vaishnavism it has a special significance in the Temple Cult of Puri. It is said that this poem is utmost dear to Lord Jagannath and therefore it’s recited in many occasions and festivals related to the temple. The work Geeta Govinda (Song of Govinda) is lyrical and depicts a developed musical system of the period when it was composed.
Akshaya Trutiya marks the day when River Ganga descended to earth from Heavens. Padma Purana mentions another event on this day. A small river known as Prachi flows nearby from Bhubaneswar-Cuttack through Khurda and Puri district. This river’s mythological name is Prachi Saraswati or the Eastward flowing Saraswati. 21 chapters of Padma Purana dedicated towards the description of glory of the Holy Prachi river. It is believed that Prachi is older than the Ganga and is flowing much before it. Padma Purana describes this river as holiest of all rivers. It is mentioned there that on Akshaya Trutiya the River Ganga comes in shape of a Holy Cow to have bath in Prachi Saraswati. Therefore it’s considered as an auspicious day for taking bath in Prachi Saraswati.
Though it may seem distinguished, but the all the event of Akshaya Trutiya are related to each other. While Prachi river valley holds a distinguished and mixed cultural history of Vaishnava, Sakta, Shaiva, Boudha and Jaina traditions, it is also famous for the Goddess Mangala Temple at Kakatpur. In the Navakalevar the role of Mangala Temple is principal. The birth place of Poet Jayadeva, Kenduvilwa, presently known as Kenduli is situated near the Prachi River.