Mythology and Legend: Why is Akshaya Tritiya Celebrated?

Akshaya Tritiya is one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar and is considered ideal for new beginning and investment. One of the most important legends associated with observing Akshaya Trithiya is that of Lord Krishna and Kuchela. Another significant mythology is that of the Pandavas receiving the Akshay Patra from Krishna. Interestingly, Lord Krishna plays and important part in the stories associated with Trittiya.

In the most famous story associated Akshaya Tritiya, Kuchela, a poor Brahmin and schoolmate of Sri Krishna, visited Krishna with the intention of asking some financial favor. Kuchela, also known as Sudama, carried with him handful of poha or aval (beaten rice). On reaching, the palace of Krishna at Dwarka, Kuchela was ashamed to give the ‘poha’ to Krishna.

But the ever playful Krishna noticed the small bag in the hand of his schoolmate and soon grabbed it and ate a handful of ‘poha’. Kuchela could not believe his eyes, Krishna, the king, eating his poha.

It is said ‘Athiti Devo Bhava’ (Guest are equal to God) and Krishna treated Kuchela like a God. The poor Brahmin was so overwhelmed by the love shown by Krishna that he forgot to ask for financial help and returned home empty handed.

On reaching his village Sudama could not find his old hut. Instead his hut was replaced by a palace. His wife and children were wearing good clothes and everything that was old and worn out was replaced with new.

It didn’t take long for Kuchela to realize that all this was the ‘leela’ of the ever-smiling Sri Krishna. The day Kuchela met Sri Krishna was hence observed as Akshaya Tritiya.

Another legend happened in the Mahabharata. While the Pandavas were in exile, Sri Krishna presented them with an Akshaya Patra – a bowl which gives unlimited amount of food. It is believed that Krishna had presented it on a Trithiya day. Therefore it is believed that all investments on the day will only increase in value.

The day is also the birthday of Lord Parashuram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

According to the Puranas, the day also marks the beginning to Treta Yuga. On this day, Veda Vyasa began the composition of the Mahabharata.