Akshaya Tritiya, signifying ’the day of gold‘, falls on between mid-April and mid-May on the third day of the lunar month’s bright half. It is the birthday of the goddess of food – Annapurna Devi. The festival holds great importance for the Hindu and Jain communities.
The word Akshaya stands for ‘unlimited’, while Tritiya means ‘third day’. There are a lot of legends that are associated with this occasion. One famous reference is found in The Mahabharata, when the Pandavas had to go into exile for 13 years in the forest. During this exile, quite a lot of Brahmanas followed them. But Yudishthir requested the Brahmanas to turn back, since he couldn’t provide them with food or protection in the forest. However, the Brahmanas refused to return and decided to fend for themselves. Grieved over his inability to provide them with food, Yudhisthir then cried out and meditated on Surya, singing hymns in his praise. Surya then appeared before Yudisthira and gave him Akshaya Patra – the vessel of unlimited food. The entire troupe then set out to Kamyaka forest, since they now had an unlimited supply of food.
Much like the Akshaya Patra in the Mahabharata, The Akshaya Patra Foundation too aims to be an unlimited source of food for the unfed children of India. Through our school lunch programme, run alongside the Government of India, we feed the children in Government and Government-aided schools across India.
Thus for us, Akshaya Tritiya is the most auspicious occasion to encourage more donors to donate for the cause of Food for Education and join hands in feeding the children of India. Donating on Akshaya Tritiya gives you an added blessing as your charity is going for a noble purpose that completely lives up to the spirit of this occasion. As a gesture of homage on the birthday of Annapurna Devi, you can choose to provide ‘anna’ to the children by feeding them with nutritious meals through Akshaya Patra’s school meal programme.
We wouldn’t be the ‘unlimited vessel’ for the purpose of feeding the children had it not been for generous donors around the world. You may choose to make use of the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya in order to reach out to the future of our nation – our children.