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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Holy Days of the Year > Holy Days > Akshaya Tritiya Chandana Yatra

Title: Akshaya Tritiya - Chandana Yatra

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-04-29 20:59:54


Chandana 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 Narendra Sarovara lake in Jagannatha Puri Dhaam. To  commemorate this festival, Lord Gauranga also carried out water sports with his devotees. One can apply the candana saying:


Om gandha dvaram duradarsan nitya pustam karisinim

isvari'gum sarvabhutanam tvam ihopa hvaye shriyam  


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 Lord Gauranga-Krishna 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 Krishna. 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 Gauranga-Krishna. Thus becoming inspired to always render service the devotee is   always the beneficiary of such interaction with the Vaishnavas, one's Guru and Lord  Shri Gauranga Krishna.


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 Durvasa

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 Lord Krishna 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 Rajasuya 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   Krishna  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 Lord Krishna, and to the   amazement of  the assembly, as much 'sari' as Dussasana took from her body, as much   again  replaced it. Lord Krishna, 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, Shrimati 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 Krishna to help her. Lord Shri Krishna 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, Krishna asked for  it, Draupadi offered it  to  Lord Krishna, 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.