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Akshaya Tritiya

Significance of Akshaya-tritiya

Today is an auspicious day known as Akshaya-tritiya. Also it is the day of Sri Jagannatha-deva’s Chandana-yatra, and the first opening of the door of Badrinarayana Temple. And on this day, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja established our Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti.

Srila Gurudeva would say this is a super excellent auspicious day because if you start any material or spiritual project, you will be successful. Gurudeva explains what Akshaya and Tritiya mean. Akshaya means not perishable, and tritiya means the third day from the new moon. For this regard, today is called Akshaya-tritiya.

According to the shastras, this tithi is very auspicious. Meaning, any new project started on this day, the third day from the new moon, will be successful. Tritiya is also called Vijaya and vijaya means victory. If you begin any journey on the day of Akshaya-tritiya, that journey will be victorious. So for this regard, today is the super excellent and auspicious day of Akshaya-tritiya.

According to shastra, Guru and Vaishnavas - and especially Gurudeva told, “Brahmaji created this brahmanda (Universe) on this day, brahmanda-srishti.” Brahma is called the creator, Vishnu is called the maintainer and Shivaji is the destroyer.

sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir ekā

chāyeva yasya bhuvanāni bibharti durgā

icchānurūpam api yasya ca ceṣṭate sā

govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

Sri Brahma-samhita (5.44)

[The external potency Maya who is of the nature of the shadow of the cit potency, is worshiped by all people as Durga, the creating, preserving and destroying agency of this mundane world. I adore the primeval Lord Govinda in accordance with whose will Durgaconducts herself.]

Lord Krishna is the Supreme, and He gives His potency to Brahmaji so he can create this material world. Brahma is known as the creator, but everything is actually created by Lord Krishna.

sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir ekā

The Brahma-samhita also explains the concept of srishti-sthiti. Srishti means creation, sthiti means to nourish and pralaya means to destroy everything. Krishna is the Supreme, but He gives His potency to create this material world to Brahmaji. This is why Brahmaji is referred to as the creator of this material world. In the form of Narayana, Krishna provides nourishment to all the living entities. Krishna also gives His potency to Lord Shiva, and only with His potency can Lord Shiva destroy everything. Our Upanishads explain that everything is created by the Lord, everything is nourished by the Lord and everything is also destroyed by the Lord.

yato vā imāni bhutāni jāyante

yena jātāni jivanti

yat prayantya-bhisamviśanti

tat vijijnāsasva tat brahmeti

Taittiriya Upanishad

[He from whom this cosmic manifestation has emanated and in whom, after annihilation, everything will merge.]

In accordance with the lilas, Lord Krishna manifests different forms to perform each pastime. Brahmaji creates the material world with maya’s guna, called rajо-guna. Rajо-guna is known as the mode of passion. With this rajо-guna, Brahmaji creates this material world. Tamо-guna is the mode of ignorance and with it, Shivaji destroys everything. In actuality, Lord Krishna Himself gives His power to Brahma and Shiva. Due to this, some think, “Brahma is the creator and Shiva is the destroyer.” But this is not true, they are just like puppets; sometimes, even Brahma and Shiva’s false egos arise. Lord Krishna is the Supreme Controller and the Supreme Maintainer.

So, today is a super excellent, auspicious day known as Akshaya-tritiya. Today, Lord Brahmaji created this material world. Once, Gurudeva very nicely explained in his lecture, “Once a year, there are four days which are super excellent auspicious days, and during these four days, you have no need to go to astrologers.” Generally, if you do anything, you should do it according to an astrological chart - what are the auspicious times, which are the auspicious days, auspicious nakshatras, constellations, etc. But, during four days of the year, there is no need to go to an astrologer. Just close your eyes and perform your duties on these days.

These four days are very important. One day is Vijaya-dashami, and this day is also the appearance of Madhvacharya, which occurs before the beginning of Kartika. The second important day is Vasanta-panchami, occurring five days from the new moon in the spring season. The third day is Rama-navami, the appearance of Lord Ramachandra, and the fourth is Akshaya-tritiya.

During any of these four days, you can perform any material or spiritual endeavours and you will attain perfection and be successful. This is one hundred percent guaranteed. Gurudeva told, “Today is ideal to start your business, buy land, buy a house or buy gold, etc.” Many people especially buy gold on the day of Akshaya-tritiya, suvarna kraya. Our shastras also explain, on the day of Akshaya-tritiya you should buy gold. Actually, people do not understand the real meaning behind the Vedas stating, today, on Akshaya-tritiya, you should purchase gold. But what gold is being referred to here? The external meaning is actual gold, suvarna. This is true. But the deeper and true meaning of purchasing gold today means, today you should receive diksha-mantras from Guru.

Many years ago in Mathura, on the day of Akshaya-tritiya, Gurudeva once told why people are very enthusiastic to buy gold today. He said, “Because people do not know what the actual meaning, the perfect meaning, of gold is. The perfect meaning of gold is receiving diksha-mantras from Guru.” For this regard, in his lecture, Gurudeva explained, “If you receive diksha-mantras from Guru today, then one hundred percent guaranteed, you will be successful in your spiritual life and achieve perfection.”

Meaning of ‘Akshara’

Two things are explained in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita - kshara and akshara. Krishna spoke to Arjuna about these two things. Kshara means perishable. In this material world, everything is perishable, changeable, and everything is kshaya, subject to destruction. Anything we see will one day be destroyed, and some day, even every day, it will change. On the other hand, there is akshara, meaning something that is eternal, not changeable. For example, Bhagavan and bhagavata-nama are known as akshara.

In the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna tells Arjuna, “Aksharam. I am the first syllable of the alphabet.” According to Sanskrit, there is akara asmina. Krishna says, “According to the Sanskrit alphabet, the first letter is called ‘A’.

a-kāreṇocyate kṛṣṇaḥ sarva-lokaika-nāyakaḥ

u-kāreṇocyate rādhā ma-kāro jīva-vācakaḥ

The Upanishads state, “a-kāreṇocyate kṛṣṇaḥ” meaning- ‘A’ is the first letter revealed by Krishna. He, Himself, manifested this letter, so it is called self-manifested. Akara means Krishna Himself is the Supreme Controller over all living entities. ‘U-kāreṇocyate rādhā’— Ukara means prakriti Srimati Radhika. ‘Ma-kāro jīva-vācakaḥ’.

Actually the first sound manifested from the mouth of Brahma was “Aum, aum.” What is aum? Aum is known as the aksharam-brahma, also mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita. In this word aum there are three syllables. A-U-M. A- means Krishna, U- means Srimati Radhika, the internal potency of Krishna, and M- means ma-kāro jīva-vācakaḥ, all the living entities. This means all the living entities serve the Divine Couple, Radha and Krishna. So the first word in the Vedas and the first word in gayatri-mantras is aum. ‘Aum bhur bhuva…’

This word aum was manifested by Brahmaji. He only realised the word aum by the causeless mercy of Lord Narayana and by performing hard austerities, called tapasya. When Brahmaji manifested in this material world, he saw everywhere was completely full of water. Brahmaji thought, “Why has the Lord manifested me? What are my duties and responsibilities? And where have I come from?” Then, Brahmaji held the stem of the lotus from which he manifested and began climbing down, but he could not reach the end of the stem. Actually, the stem of the lotus manifested from the lotus navel of Lord Vishnu.

Brahmaji was drowning in the water of the ocean as he descended; yet, he could not reach the end of the stem, so he returned back to the lotus. For this regard, one of Brahmaji’s names is Kamala Jani, meaning - Brahmaji manifested from a lotus stemming from the navel of Lord.

So Brahmaji was first thinking, “What do I do now?” Then a sound came from the water, ‘ta-’ and ‘pa-’. Brahmaji realised, “Oh, this means I have to perform austerities.” After performing hard austerities, Lord Vishnu manifested, that is, Lord Krishna manifested in front of him. Then Lord Vishnu said, “O Brahmaji! You have to create this world.” Brahmaji asked, “How will I create this material world?” The Lord said, “Don’t worry, I will give you all the ingredients and with these ingredients, you can create everything. I will give you all of My energy, shakti, and intelligence so you can create everything.” Through His flute, the Lord Himself manifested the gopala-mantra and kama-gayatri-mantras in the heart of Brahmaji. These things are also explained in the Brahma-samhita. Then Brahmaji said, “O, You have given me these gopala-mantra and kama-gayatri-mantras, now I have to perform bhajana and sadhana.” At that time, Lord Vishnu, Krishna, said, “O Brahmaji! You have rajo-guna in your heart. With this rajo-guna, you have to create this material world.”

Srishti-Tattva - Creation Principle

With this rajo-guna Brahmaji then created the material world. But all the ingredients came from Lord Krishna, Vishnu - mahat-tattva and prakriti. Then comes ahankara and from this comes karmendriya, jnanendriya, pancha-tanmatra and maha-bhuta. How many ingredients came for creation? First, I will explain twenty types of ingredients - pancha-karmendriya, pancha-jnanendriya, pancha-tanmatra and pancha-maha-bhuta. Five material ingredients are called earth, fire, ether, air and water, also known as pancha-maha-bhuta, then pancha-karmendriya and pancha-jnanendriya. Pancha-karmendriya refers to the five working senses and pancha-jnanendriya refers to the five knowledge-acquiring senses.

Subsequently came pancha-tanmatra, which means the five ingredients of the objects of the senses - rupa, rasa, shabda, gandha and sparsha. Rupa means form, rasa means liquids - referring to mellows [or taste], shabda is sound, gandha means fragrance and sparsha means touch. So, we have pancha-karmendriya, pancha-jnanendriya, pancha-tanmatra and pancha-maha-bhuta, each containing five elements, in total four groups with five ingredients equaling twenty ingredients. Then Brahmaji also manifested the four divisions of sukshma sharira (the subtle body) - mana, buddhi, ahankara, and chittа. So, in total, 24 ingredients. Still, the creation was not complete.

Then came the jivatma and Paramatma, the soul and Supersoul. With 26 ingredients the creation was still not complete, not until purusha and prakriti manifested would it be finished. When purusha and prakriti arrived, the ingredients went from 26 to 28. The creation of this material world was complete only when all 28 ingredients were combined together.

In his Siddhanta-darpana grantha, Baladeva Vidhyabhushana Prabhu very nicely explained the creation according to prakriti. Sthavara jangama; all moving and non-moving entities, in this way, are created by Brahma. As already told, Brahma is not the creator; the Lord manifests all of these energies in the heart of Brahma, sometimes causing his false ego to arise. Conditioned souls, with so many kinds of false egos, are thinking, “I am the doer.” These false egos are coming from rajo-guna, ‘rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ’. In the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna also explains that creation is manifested when rajo-guna comes. Lord Vishnu gave everything to Brahma. So our scriptures explain, it is actually Krishna who is the Supreme Creator. With their false egos, everyone is also thinking, “I am the creator.”

In this way, the material world was created on Akshaya-tritiya, but there is not just one material world. ‘Kewal ek brahmand nahi hai’ – there are innumerable (ananta) Brahmas and innumerable brahmandas that are created. The Lord creates countless universes, and inspires the hearts of all living entities. When there is no more need for the existence of the material world, He destroys it. Just like a farmer who cultivates the field, he plants wheat seeds, provides water and nourishment to the wheat plants. When the wheat grows, completely matures and ripens, the farmer cuts it and returns back to his home. Similarly, the Lord is the creator, maintainer and destroyer of this material world.


The Brahma-samhita also explains this tattva in a similar fashion - Lord Krishna, with His own potency, shakti, creates, nourishes and destroys. Actually, this is the accepted Vaishnava philosophy on how creation takes place. Prakriti has no power of her own, she has no individual power, svatantra, to create anything. In the Chaitanya-charitamrita, Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami also elaborated on this topic.

Chandana-Yatra - Applying Sandalwood on Deity

I have only briefly discussed how today, on Akshaya-tritiya, Brahma created the universe. Also according to our Vedic culture, today is Chandana-yatra. Chandana-yatra means, devotees of Lord Jagannatha put sandalwood paste on His body today. In India, this is the hottest season, temperatures are at their highest. For this regard, with so much love and affection for Lord Jagannatha, devotees put chandana, sandalwood paste on His entire body. This does not only take place in Jagannatha Puri, but people are also putting chandana on the body of Lord in Vrindavana and all over the world. The Lord as Gopala, especially gave this instruction to Madhavendra Puripada. In our guru-parampara, Madhavendra Puripada is the sprout of the highest prema, called prema-ankura. Gopala directly instructed Madhavendra Puripada, “You have to bring chandana from the south and put it over My entire body. Because for many years I have been buried under ground.” The Lord indicated He was found in His deity form, Gopala, buried under the earth.

According to the instruction of Gopala, Sri Madhavendra Puripada went to the south, travelling first from Govardhana to Remuna. Then he took darshana of Gopinatha, where Gopinatha enacted His lila of stealing the kshira. Because of this lila, Thakuraji is known there as Kshira-chora Gopinatha.

As instructed, Madhavendra Puripada went south and brought sandalwood. But when Madhavendra Puripada returned, Kshira-chora Gopinatha was very old. At that time, Gopinatha told him, “Put this sandalwood paste over My whole body, then My Gopala form will appear.” The Chaitanya-charitamrita explains Madhavendra Puripada smeared the sandalwood paste over the whole body of Gopinatha, and in Govardhana they now do the same, the tradition is ongoing. Lord Jagannatha-deva is non-different from Gopinatha and He is non-different from Gopala. His body is one, He just performs various lilas with His different manifested forms.

So, today is also called Chandana-yatra. In India, today is very hot and in Vrindavana and Mathura this is the hottest month. Because of this, every temple with a Thakuraji follows this tradition and they also apply sandalwood paste on His whole body. This is especially done in Vrindavana, in the Banke Bihari temple, where today, they still decorate and very nicely smear sandalwood paste on the entire body of Thakuraji. Even in our Sri Rupa Sanatana Gaudiya Matha and Sri Mathura Gaudiya Matha, they remove Thakuraji’s cloth and ornaments, and they put sandalwood paste over His body and decorate Him very nicely.

You cannot recognise Thakuraji on this day. He is very beautiful. For this reason, people are going to the temple to take darshana of Thakuraji in this beautiful form. Every temple has to apply sandalwood paste for Thakuraji on this day. According to the traditions in our vaishnava-parampara, today, you also have to apply sandalwood paste on the forehead of the Vaishnavas. Actually this stems from our guru-parampara and it is proper Vaishnava etiquette. I remember in Mathura how Gurudeva would engage and show us the correct way to offer proper respect to every Vaishnava. This sweet lila, Chandana-yatra is performed by Lord Jagannatha today.

Today is also Badri-narayana-dvara-udghatana. Badri-narayana-dvara-udghatana means – in Badri, Badri-narayana is there and today is the first day they open the doors for His temple. For six or seven months, from around November until now, so much ice has been falling there. After the ice melts, on the first day, they open the door to the temple of Lord Badri-narayana. If you cannot go to Badri-narayana, then you may also go see Him in Vraja, the original Badri-narayana is there. We used to visit Badri-narayana in Vraja with Srila Gurudeva. Badri, Kedar, in India can be a very dangerous place, you should be careful not to go. But if you have time, you can take darshana of Badri-narayana in Vraja. Lord Krishna Himself took all the Vrajavasis to this Badri-narayana, who is still there.

Establishing Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti

Today is also super excellent and auspicious, because on this day Srila Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja first established our Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti along with three prominent Vaishnavas. First was Srila Nrisimha Maharaja, the god brother of Srila Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja and the disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Praphupada. Second was Srila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and third was Abhaya Charana Babu. Gurudeva would say that actually our Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti was established by Abhaya Charana Babu. Do you understand who Abhaya Charana Babu is? Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. Srila Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami was the fourth. So today our Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti was established by these four great personalities, pratishtha devas. Jaya Srila Gurudeva ki jaya!

Today you can chant more holy names and read more shastras and listen to more hari-katha, this is best. If you recall, I just mentioned what akshara and kshara are. In this material world everything is destroyable; the only thing akshara (meaning - eternal and transcendental) is bhagavad-nama.

So today you can chant more and more holy names.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Gaura Premanande! Hari Hari Bol!

Srila Gurudeva ki jaya!

Date: 29 April 2017 Location: Skype


Transcriber: Chandrika dasi (UK), Shyamapriya dasi (India) Editor: Damodara das (UK), Sanatana dasa (USA) Proofreader: Chandrika dasi (UK) Integrity check: Divya-premamayi dasi (Slovakia) Image: Navina-krishna dasa (Holland)

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