Chandan Yatra - Akshaya Tritiya

Hare Krsna

Please accept my humble obeisance. All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Candana yatra

Candana yatra starts on the third lunar day of the waxing moon of Vaisakha
month, and continues for twenty days. Lord Jagannatha gave direct
instructions to King Indradyumna to perform this festival at this time.
Smearing the body of the Lord with ointments is an act of devotion, and the
best of ointments is sandalwood paste. Since the month of Vaisakha is very
hot in India, the cooling effect of the sandalwood is very pleasing to the
body of the Lord.

Sandalwood paste is applied all over the body of Jagannatha leaving only his
two eyes visible. The utsava murtis (functional Deities - Vijay utsav) are
taken on procession and are placed in a boat in the temple pond. To
commemorate this festival, Lord Caitanya also carried out water sports with
his devotees.

Akshaya Tritiya

Candana yatra starts on this day, which is celebrated as well as the day on
which treta yuga began. Barley, one of the main ingredients for homa, which
is the yuga dharma of Treta Yuga, was also created on this day. Ganga devi
also descended to earth on this day. Many common people have special puja on
this day. One should bathe in a sacred river, give charity, perform japa and
offer barley in a sacred fire, and offer barley preparations to the deity.

Akshaya Tritiya day is the very auspicious day - there's no inauspiciousness
to be found today so even checking muhurthas is considered unnecessary, so
auspicious it is. Whatever one does for devotees, and for Krsna that person
will get more benefit and it is eternal benefit and never lost.
He said one story of a brahmana: there was a brahmana who had a very good
wife and was poor. Whatever little money he got would get spent somehow.
Also he did not have children. So under the strong request of his wife he
went to Vasishta muni to know the reason for his suffering. Vasishta muni
told him that in his previous life he was very rich and also had many
children. But he was very stingy, he was not even spending for his own
children. This is the reason for his being poor, also without children. Then
that brahmana asked Vasishta muni why he got a good wife. So that Muni
replied that somehow with some reason, he observed that the vrata of
Vaishaka month for the last 5 days. So he got a good wife and also the
brahmana birth. Then the muni advised him to follow at least the last 7 days
left of Vaishaka month, with devotion to Lord Krsna.

Since that brahmana observed the vrata of Vaishaka month for that at least
the left out 7 days, he got sons, he became rich, ultimately he got Love of
Godhead and went back to the spiritual world!

It is important to hear such a story/pastimes as this so that at least by
hearing this, we engage ourselves in the service of Guru, the Vaishnavas and
Krsna. Thus becoming inspired to always render service the devotee is always
the beneficiary of such interaction with the Vaishnavas, one's Guru and Lord
Sri Krishna.

Akshaya tritiiyaa: (from the Calendar of the Madhwa Vaishnavas)
The third day in the bright fortnight of vaishaakha is the day of the
incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Parashurama. The icon is decorated with an
axe, to depict Him in a heroic pose.

This coincides with the anniversary of passing of Sri Vijayadhvaja Tiirtha,
the sixth piiThaadhipati in the lineage of Sri Pejawar Mutt. He is famous
for his commentary upon the Srimad Bhaagavata epic. He lived in the 15th
century and his vrindavana (samadhi) is in Kanva Tiirtha. There is also a
pipal tree by the side of the vrindavana under which he is believed to have
written his commentary.

During the tenure of Sri Pejawar MaTha a special festival is arranged in Sri
Krishna Mutt on this day and the akshaya paatra given by Sri Madhva is
offered a special puuja. This akshaya patra is said to have been given by
the Sun god, it is the same pot that mother Draupadi used to cook in. It is
said that from the time of turning it upwards for use on a day the pot will
provide unlimited amounts of foodstuffs for the satisfaction of the Lord.
There is a story in this connection wherein the angry sage Durvasas came to
Draupadi demanding foods:

On the Pandavas return to Hastinapur they resided in the palace created for
them by the demon Maya Danava. Mayasura built this palace out of gratitude
to Krsna for saving him in the forest fire in the Khandava Forest where he
was hiding when Agni devoured it. He also presented Bhima with a magnificent
fighting club. After the Rajasurya sacrifice was performed, Duryodhana,
being always envious of the Pandavas, came to the mansion created by Maya
Danava's illusions. Bewildered by illusions of many kinds, Duryodhana
mistook the solid floor for water and lifted the end of his garment to walk
forward on what he thought was shallow water but it was solid floor, and
after a few more steps he fell into waist deep water mistaking it for a
solid floor. Proud Duryodhana, who was wearing his crown and a costly
necklace was very angry, but when he fell into the water everyone laughed,
especially Draupadi and Bhima. Yudhisthira tried to check the laughing of
all the women in the palace, by raising his hand and his glances. Lord Krsna
however, encouraged it by the suggestive gestures of His eyebrows.
Humiliated and swearing revenge, Duryodhana turned his face downwards and
went back to Hastinapura.
The Kurus then made a conspiracy to trick Yudhisthira into a gambling match
by which the Kauravas (Kurus) could cheat the Pandavas out of everything
with the dice made from Sakuni's bones. During the match Yudhisthira lost
his kingdom, wealth, jewelry, clothing and finally even gambled and lost his
wife. When Dussasana went to fetch the chaste Draupadi, she said she
couldn't come to the assembly as she was undergoing her monthly period, and
was only dressed in one piece of cloth (a simple 'sari'). Draupadi had a
beautiful bunch of hair which was sanctified at the ceremonial Rajasurya
Yajna, but Dussasana defiled that sacred lady and grabbed her by her hair
just to insult her. When he started to pull off her sari just to make her
naked, Draupadi, realizing that she had no hope of help from her husbands as
they too had been lost, by Yudhisthira being tricked into upholding mundane
moralistic codes and now had no free will to act (though Bhima was
transcendentally situated from such sentimental codes his brothers tried to
make him restrained to follow Yudhisthira's mood and etiquette). Draupadi
then cent per cent, completely surrendered to Krsna, and to the amazement of
the assembly, as much 'sari' as Dussasana took from her body, as much again
replaced it. Lord Krsna, though protecting his surrendered devotee, decided
that for their sinful behaviour the Kurus would be inevitably killed at the
Battle of Kuruksetra and all of their wives would too loosen their hair in
public, but this time as widows.
When the Pandavas were exiled to the forest for twelve years after a second
gambling match, the Kurus made a clause, that after the completion of twelve
years the Pandavas had then to spend one year incognito, thus making
thirteen years all told. If, during the final year the Pandavas's
whereabouts were discovered, they again had to spend another twelve years in
the forest.
Because the Pandavas were concerned how to feed the 'brahmanas' who
accompanied them to the forest, Srimati Draupadi Devi was given a pot by the
sun god called by Aksayapatra. This pot would never be empty until Draupadi
had taken her meal and turned the pot upside down. Then it would produce no
more for that day. Once Draupadi had finished cooking and had just taken her
meal when the Muni Durvasas arrived with many of his disciples. The angry
sage Durvasas and his disciples had secretly been asked to go there by the
Kauravas who knew that by this time Draupadi would have taken her meal, and
if she was unable to offer them anything to eat, she would incur the wrath
of Durvasa. Durvasas and his disciples went to the river to bathe and
freshen up before taking their meal. Draupadi, full of anxiety, prayed to
Lord Krsna to help her. Lord Sri Krsna then told Draupadi that if there was
a morsel of food left He would be satisfied if that were offered by
Draupadi, His pure devotee with love to Him. Seeing a fragment of spinach
stuck to the side of the pot, Krsna asked for it, Draupadi offered it to
Krsna, and simply by eating that morsel of foodstuffs, all of Durvasas' men
and Durvasa himself became completely full and satisfied, and out of
embarrassment slipped away and didn't come to demand a meal from Draupadi as
the sinful Duryodhana had arranged for them to do.

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