Pic credit- istockphoto. Akshaya Navami 2020 today: All you need to know about it
- The Navami Tithi (ninth day) of Kartik Maas, Shukla Paksha (brighter phase of the Lunar fortnight) is referred to as Akshaya Navami
- It is believed that Sat Yuga began on this day
- On this day, devotees worship the Amla Tree
Akshaya in Sanskrit means the one that never diminishes. It also refers to auspiciousness, good luck and prosperity—any noble deed or charitable activity that is done with genuine intent results in good karma. And one can reap its benefits forever. The Navami Tithi (ninth day) of Kartik Maas, Shukla Paksha (brighter phase of the Lunar fortnight) is referred to as Akshaya Navami. And as people celebrate this auspicious day today, read on to know more about it.
As per a popular belief, Akshaya Navami marks the day when Sat Yuga or the Yuga of the Gods began. Therefore, this day is also referred to as Satya Yugadi. This festival is celebrated two days before Devutthana or Prabhodini Ekadashi, a day that closely associated with Lord Vishnu.
Interestingly, on Akshaya Navami, in some regions, devotees worship the Amla (Indian gooseberry) tree. For the unversed, Amla is hailed as a storehouse of vital nutrients and a potion for the health. Hence, the Amla tree is worshipped for giving myriad health benefits to those who consume its fruits.
Some devotees take a dip in the sacred water of holy rivers such as the Ganga, the Yamuna, the Godavari, the Nardama etc. Then, they take part in philanthropic activities. Akshaya Navami is believed to be an ideal day for doing charity works. Therefore, people perform Daan (offerings) and give away Dakshina (lending monetary help) to those in need. And those who live in the Braj region, to a parikrama (circumambulation) of the holy land of Mathura and Vrindavan, the two places associated with the early life of Shri Krishna.
Legends associated with Akshaya Navami
As per one of the stories associated with Akshaya Navami, Goddess Lakshmi, who was touring the earth one day, wanted to worship Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. And as she wondered how she would worship both of them at the same time, she was reminded of the Amla fruit, that was enriched with the qualities of basil and vine. Therefore, she worshipped the Amla tree that bore fruits with healing properties. Since then, the tradition of worshipping the Amla tree on Akshaya Navami began.
And according to another legend, a hunter was hunting in a forest. After searching for food, he landed under an amla tree and ate its fruits. However, as he climbed down, he fell and died. But the agents of Lord Yama, the God of death couldn’t lift his mortal remains. Subsequently, Lord Yama learnt from the sages that the hunter had consumed amla fruits before breathing his last. This legend establishes the age-old belief that Amla is like a divine nectar for the human body.