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Akshaya Tritiya 2017: Here is Why it is of significance in Hinduism and reason behind people buying Gold on this day!

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A ritual in Hinduism, Pixabay
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April 28, 2017: Also known as Akha Teej, Akshaya Tritiya is considered highly auspicious and holy day for people belonging to Hindu communities. According to Hindu Calander, it falls during Shukla Paksha Tritiya in the month of Vaishakha.

It is said that when Akshaya Tritiya falls on a Rohini Nakshatra day and on Wednesday, it is considered very auspicious. The term Akshaya (अक्षय) means never diminishing. Therefore, the benefits of doing rituals like any Japa, Yajna, Pitra-Tarpan, Dan-Punya on this day never diminish and remain with the person forever.

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Akshaya Tritiya is synonymous with good luck and success. There is a tradition of buying gold on this day as it is believed that buying Gold on on this occasion brings prosperity and more wealth in future. Being Akshaya day it is believed that Gold, bought on this day, will never diminish and would continue to grow or appreciate.

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu is believed to be the preserver God in the Hindu Trinity and it is believed that Akshaya Tritiya is a day is ruled by God Vishnu. It is said that Treta Yuga began on Akshaya Tritiya day.

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Usually, Akshaya Tritiya and Parashurama Jayanti is the birth anniversary of 6th incarnation of Lord Vishnu and falls on the same day but depending on starting time of Tritiya Tithi, Parashurama Jayanti might fall one day before Akshaya Tritiya day.

Vedic astrologers also consider Askshay Tritiya an auspicious day free from all malefic effects. As per Hindu Electional Astrology three lunar days, Yugadi, Akshaya Tritiya and Vijay Dashami don’t need any Muhurta to start or perform any auspicious work as these three days are free from all malefic effects.

– by Staff writer at NewsGram

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Buddhist Monk Losang Samten Uses Colors to Spread Message of Peace

Samten was born in Tibet. When he was a young boy, his family escaped to Nepal fleeing Chinese Communist control of his homeland. They lived in a refugee camp for years.

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Samten
Former Buddhist monk and Tibetan scholar Losang Samten uses colored sand to build mandalas, circular images filled with complex iconography, which have great meaning in Hinduism and Buddhism. VOA

According to one estimate, there are a 5 quintillion, 5 hundred quadrillion grains of sand on earth, a number so large it must be approaching infinity. This makes sand an appropriate medium for the construction of spiritual images of the universe.

Former Buddhist monk and Tibetan scholar Losang Samten does just that, using colored sand to build mandalas, circular images filled with complex iconography, which have great meaning in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Tibetan monks have created mandalas over the centuries from a variety of materials. Before sand, they used crushed colored stone. Now Samten travels around the world to find sand in various colors. He also dyes sand in watercolors.

Now Samten travels around the world to find sand in various colors. He also dyes sand in watercolors.
Tibetan monks have created mandalas over the centuries from a variety of materials. Before sand, they used crushed colored stone. VOA

Decades of mandalas

Samten, in his mid-60s, learned the craft at the feet of the Dalai Lama.

“When I was a teenager, age of 17,” he told VOA, “I had a privilege to enter His Holiness Dalai Lama’s monastery … in India. I have been studying sand mandalas ever since then. So it’s a long time.”

VOA found Samten painstakingly layering grains of colored sand at the gallery of the Philadelphia Folklore Project. The particular mandala he was working on was the mandala of compassion, or unconditional love.

Far from random designs, mandalas have been perfected over centuries.

“These are uniquely designed many, many, many, many, many years passing to an artist to another artist to another artist to another artist,” Samten said. “The color has a meaning, the shape has different meanings. Not my design; it didn’t come out of my own idea.”

When Samten created a sand mandala at the American Museum of History in New York in 1988 at the request of the Dalai Lama, it was the first time the 2,600-years-old ancient ritual art was seen outside of monasteries. Since then, Samten has made sand mandalas in museums, galleries and universities across the U.S. and many parts of the world.

“They are used to enhance the spiritual practice through image and meditation, to overcome suffering. Mandalas represent enlightened qualities and methods which explain this path, making them very important for the spiritual journey,” Samten wrote on his web site.

Nothing is permanent

Samten was born in Tibet. When he was a young boy, his family escaped to Nepal fleeing Chinese Communist control of his homeland. They lived in a refugee camp for years.

Now Samten travels around the world to find sand in various colors. He also dyes sand in watercolors.
Samten, in his mid-60s, learned the craft at the feet of the Dalai Lama. VOA

“In the winter of 1959, [we] crossed Mount Everest, it took us two months to cross,” he told VOA. “You cannot travel during the day and so scared and not enough food not enough clothes. I was age of 5. I saw, I mean unbelievable dead bodies, people dying without food. I became a monk at age 11 when I was in school, refugee school.”

Samten left monastic life in 1995 and became the spiritual director at the Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia. He says the patience of the creative process, can lead observers to find calm determination within themselves.

“When I am doing this mandala at universities and schools, many kids came to me, (saying) ‘when I saw you doing the sand mandala, that help me so much to finish my education, patience …’ I have a lot of stories,” he said.

Monk Samten
Samten was born in Tibet. When he was a young boy, his family escaped to Nepal fleeing Chinese Communist control of his homeland. VOA

Beauty comes and goes

After a sand mandala is completed, it is dismantled ceremoniously.

“Dismantle has many different reasons,” Samten said. “… One thing is, dismantle is a beauty, whatever we see as a beauty on the earth, never be everlasting as a beauty and impermanent, impermanent, comes and goes. It’s like a season.”

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Or like sand, ever changing in the wind.

Samten often invites children to participate in the ceremony.

To gallery visitor Traci Chiodress that was part of the charm of the event.

“I think it’s powerful to see something so beautiful created, and then taken apart, and to be done in a community with a group of people of different ages,” she said. “I just think it’s an important type of practice.” (VOA)