About Akshaya Navami:
Akshaya Navami falls on the Ninth day of the ‘Shukla Paksha’ in the month of ‘Kartik. This day has similar significance as ‘Akshaya Tritiya.’ Akshaya Navami marks the beginning of Satya Yuga while Akshaya Tritiya marks the beginning of Treta Yuga. ‘Akshaya’ means immortal. Performing devotional and charitable activities on this day benefits the devotees in the present life as well as the future births. Akshaya Navami is celebrated two days before ‘Dev Uthani Ekadashi.’
Significance of Akshaya Navami:
Akshaya Navami is very significant and celebrated with great zeal. Offering prayers on Akshaya Navami with devotion and dedication is believed to be highly rewarding. Prayers offered on this day grants fulfilment of all the desires and ultimately lead the person on the path of ‘salvation. Akshay Navami is an auspicious day for charity. Akshaya Navami is also celebrated as ‘Amla Navami.’ Amla tree is worshipped as it considered being the abode of Gods and Goddesses. In West Bengal, this day is celebrated as ‘Jagaddhatri Puja’ wherein ‘Jagaddhatri,’ the Goddess of Satta is worshipped with devotion. On Akshaya Navami, performing the Parikrama of Mathura-Vrindavan is considered very auspicious.
A very nutritious fruit, Amla has much religious significance attached to it. Amla fruit is known to be very dear to Lord Vishnu. It is used on the auspicious day of Ekadashi to welcome virtues. Consuming Amla on a daily basis ensures a healthy long life.
According to the legends, it is believed that on Akshaya Navami, the era of ‘Satyug’ was started. Hence, it is also known as ‘Satya Yugadi.’
Akshaya Navami is also observed as ‘Kushmanda Navami.’ According to the legend, Lord Vishnu vanquished the demon named ‘Kushmanda’ and obstructed the spread of Adharma on this day.
Story of Amla Navami:
Once, a Chandala went hunting in the forest. He was hungry. He saw an Amla tree. He climbed the tree and ate the Amla fruits. Unfortunately, as he began to climb down, he fell and died. When Yam raj’s attendants came to take away his soul, they could not do so. It baffled Lord Yam, the God of Death. He sought help from sages who enlightened him by saying that he couldn’t approach the Chandala’s body as he had consumed Amla before he died.
Devotees get up early and take a bath in Holy rivers at the time of sunrise. After the bath, pujas and rituals are performed on the banks of the river. Thirty squares are drawn using Turmeric at the place of worship. These squares are known as ‘Kotha’ which are filled with pulses, grains, and food items. A puja is performed with Vedic mantras. This ritual on Akshaya Navami is observed for a rich harvest. Women observe fast on Akshaya Navami and involve themselves in bhajans and kirtan. Devotees worship ‘Amla’ (Indian Gooseberry) tree on this day. One should eat Amla fruit on this day for good health. It is believed that any good deeds performed on Akshaya Navami never perish.