According to Vedic tradition, there are certain special days of the year which can provide a sort of “wind behind the sails” for those who seek growth and upliftment. The basis for these auspicious occasions is a five-limbed calendrical system called the “Pañchāṅga” (in Sanskrit, pañcha means ‘five’ and aṅga means ‘limb’).
The Pañchāṅga is based solely on astrological considerations, and more specifically one can say it is based on the cosmic dance between the Sun and the Moon. Its purpose is to help us understand a way in which we can align the microcosm of our lives with the greater cosmic influences.
One of the most important limbs of the Pañchāṅga is the Lunar Phase, or Tithi. Simply put, each Lunar month from New Moon to New Moon is divided into 30 parts – 15 tithis of the bright (waxing) fortnight, and 15 of the dark (waning) fortnight. Each Tithi has a name, and each can generally be considered favorable or unfavorable for various activities.
The third Tithi is called “Tritiya” (the prefix “tri-“ is Sanskrit means the same as it does in English.) It just so happens that once every year around April or May, during the bright Lunar fortnight, Tritiya coincides with something very special: the Exaltation of both the Sun and the Moon.* This means that both of these planets become very powerful in how they exert their influence upon our world.
The Sun lights up our day, and the Moon our night. Therefor they both represent light, luminosity and what we call Sattva in Sanskrit. They are the King and Queen of our ‘cosmic real estate’. The ancients understood the significance of both of the luminaries being in their exaltation on this one day each year, and bestowed upon this day the name “Akshaya Tritiya”, “Akshaya” meaning indestructible, undying or eternal.
So how to catch the “wind behind our sails” on this special day? Connect to the Divine in whatever way, shape or form is meaningful to you. This may include prayer, meditation, and/or yoga practice. On this day, it is auspicious to donate what you can to a worthy cause – be it your time or a monetary contribution. Help out where you can, and let the light of this day lift you up and propel you forward on this wondrous journey through Life.
*A planet becomes exalted when it is passing through its exaltation constellation. For the Sun, this is Aries, while for the Moon it is Taurus. Note this is according to the Sidereal Zodiac used in Vedic Astrology, rather than the Tropical Zodiac commonly used in Western Astrology.
As always, I am available for readings, workshops and/or tutoring in Jyotisha (Vedic Astrology). Feel free to contact me if I can be of some usefulness.