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21. 02. 2018
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AKSHYA TRITEEYA AND PARASHURAM JAYANTI

Akshya Triteeya is observed on the third day of the bright half of Vaisakha. "Akshya" literally means undecayable or beyond decay. The piety and devotion done on this day never decay and secure permanency. This is also believed to be the first day of Sat yuga (the First Age). On this day fast is observed and Vishnu along with his consort Lakshmi is worshipped with holy Ganga water, tulsi (basil leaves), incense, flowers, lamps and new raiments and other naivedya (offerings). The brahmins are given foodgrains ar.d other foodstuffs in charity.

Bathing in the holy Ganga, or in some other waters on this day is also considered of bestowing high religious merit. It is on this day that the portals of Sree Badrinarain, in the Himalayas, open after long snowy winter. Devotees worship Lord Badri on this day with food offerings etc. in their houses and temples.

Akshya Triteeya is also celebrated as Parashuram Jayanti. On this day, the 6th Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Parashuram - the Ram with Axe - is believed to ha^ e taken place. He is particularly revered because once he had tried to pacify his angry father 'Jam- dagni's wrath on his mother by offering him the hacked off head of his mother but also revived her to life by seeking from his father a boon to this effect. He is reputed to have destroyed the evil kings of the Kshatriye class as many as 21 times including Sahastrabahu (the thousand armed) Haihaya king (also called Sahastra Arjuna) who had forcibly taken away the holy cow of his father lamdagni out of arrogance.

He earned great merit by observing very rigorous penance. Since he had grown rather hot headed, he was cut to size by Lakshman and Ram, the 7th Incarnation of Lord Vishnu's behest when he objected to his chosen Lord Shiv's Bow broken by Ram. However, he is also a great example of filial obedience, austerity, power and brahmanic ideal. It is said that the Malabar region on the Western Ghat was founded by him by recovering the ground from the sea. On this day, fasting, austerities, prayer and worship of Lord Vishnu are common highlights

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