Buying Gold? Most Auspicious Days Are Akshaya Tritiya And Dhanteras
May 15, 2008
India is the largest consumer of gold. Indian customs and traditions require them to buy gold in the form of coins or jewelry on certain auspicious days in a year. The two most popular and significant days are on Akshaya Tritiya (April-May) and Dhanteras (October-November). It is believed that these days provide good fortune in abundance to those who follow the rituals correctly. There are many legends behind each these days. Let us understand the significance individually.
Akshaya Tritiya: In the famous epic of Mahabharata, when the Pandavas were in exile, Lord Krishna gave Draupadi a bowl called Akshaya Pathram. The word Akshaya means “never diminishes.” Pathram means bowl/vessel/utensil. Every time they were hungry, all they had to do was to turn the bowl upwards to the sky and they would get food. This supply of food was endless. With this in mind, people buy gold, silver or platinum so that their valuables are replenished endlessly.
Dhanteras: Dhanteras is the first day of Diwali. It is also known as Dhantrayodashi or Dhanwantari Triodasi. The word “Dhan” denotes wealth. Goddess Laxmi is the goddess of wealth and is worshiped to provide prosperity and well being. Purchasing gold on this day denotes that we are inviting the goddess in our house and lives. Prayers are performed to appease the goddesses so that she provides wealth in abundance.
There is an interesting legend behind this celebration. King Hima had a sixteen-year-old son who was destined to die on the fourth day of his marriage by a fatal snake bite. His young wife refused to give up on her newly wedded bliss and laid all her ornaments, pots of gold and silver coins in a big heap at the entrance of their room. Then she lighted innumerable oil lamps all over the place.
Next, she kept her husband awake by telling stories and singing songs. Lord of Death, Yama soon arrived in the guise of a serpent. His eyes were blinded by the dazzle of all the glittering gold and brilliant lamps. He could proceed no further. Instead he climbed on top of the heap of the ornaments and sat all night listening to the melodious songs. In the morning, he returned empty handed. Thus the young wife saved her husband from the clutches of death. Since then Dhanteras came to be known as the day of “Yamadeepdaan.” Oil lamps are kept burning throughout the night in reverential adoration to Lord Yama.
According to another popular legend, when the gods and demons churned the ocean for Amrit or nectar, Goddess Dhanavantri (the physician of the gods and an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) emerged carrying a jar of nectar on this day.
Thus buying gold on these two days -Akshaya Tritiya and Dhanteras are considered extremely auspicious and a part of Hindu tradition.
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