The history of Aksaya Tritiya.
Deena Bandhu das: I’m not sure of the history of Aksaya Tritiya. But ksaya means to diminish, so aksaya means that which never diminishes, or which goes on increasing. So this day is considered a very auspicious day to start anything from which you want the fruits never to diminish. I see that people start their businesses on this day, do grha pravesha on this day, start their journeys on this day. And there is a big festival in Nandagram on this day. But if you want to come and see it, you have to book your taxi well in advance, because on this day there are a lot of marriages and all the taxis will be booked up! The festival in Nandagram celebrates Pavana Sarovar. When Nanda Maharaj established his residence in Nandagram, he excavated this huge lake and it became know as Nanda Sarovara. He and his family and all the brijbasis used to bathe in this lake. Sometimes, he and his family would bathe at one end of the lake, and Vrsabhanu Maharaja would occasionally come and bathe with his family at the other end of the lake. The Brijbasis say that Radha and Krishna used to swim underwater to the middle of the lake and have underwater pastimes.
One day, Nandanandana saw that Mother Yashoda was making very strange type of prasadam. Not the every day rice, dal, subji and chapattis. But she was making fried dal, little fried noodles, and little fried cracker-like things we call muttry. Like that she was cooking all these fried things. So Nandalala came and asked, “Oh Meiya, oh Meiya, what kind of funny prasad are you making today? Meiya, what kind of funny prasad are you making today? Oh Meiya?”
She replied to her darling little son, “Lala, today Your Baba is going on pilgrimage, so I’m making all these fried things so they will last for several days and he will eat them along the way.” “And where’s Baba going, Meiya? where’s Baba going, Meiya? Tell me, Meiya, where’s Baba going?”
“Lala, Baba is going to Prayaga.”
“And where is that, Meiya? Where is that, Meiya? Tell me, Meiya.” “O Lala, I’m busy cooking and you ask so many questions. Go ask you ask your Baba, Lala, go ask your Baba.” So Nandanandana went to Baba and pulled on his cloth, repeatedly asking, “Where are you going, Baba? Oh Baba, where are you going? Tell me, Baba, where are you going?”
Nanda Maharaja smiled at the beautiful face of his inquisitive son and replied, “Lala, I’m going to Prayaga.” “And where is that, Baba? Oh Baba, where is that? Tell me, Baba, where is that?”
“Oh Lala, that is a very sacred place where Ganga, Jamuna, and Sarasvati join in Sangam. So I’m going there to take my bath, Lala.” “But, Baba. But, Baba, today is a very inauspicious day to start a journey. Baba, you should go tommorrow. It’s Aksaya Tritiya tommorrow and that is a very auspicious day to start your journey. Baba, you should go tommorrow.” Ok, Lala, since you are asking, I will go tommorrow. Is that ok, Lala?“ So the next morning, Nanda Maharaja got up early in the morning, like he does everyday, to go take his bath in Nanda Sarovara. When he got there, however, he saw one great big person like a king or something, rolling in the dust of Braja and laughing, “Ho, ho, ho! Ah, hah, hah!” Then he would bathe in Nanda Sarovara. Then again he would come out and roll in the Brajaraja and laugh, and again bathe in the sarovara. Nanda Maharaja had never seen a personality like this before in Nandagram, so he went over to that person. He asked, “Maharaja, who are you?” “Baba, I’m Prayaga.”
Baba, in his simple Brijbhasa, said, “Pryag? Prag? I don’t know anyone in Nandagram with that name?”
“Ahrey, Baba! I’m not from here. I’m Prayag Raja, king of all the tirthas!” “And why have you come here today, Maharaja?” O, Baba! All year long people come and put their papa on me. So one day in the year, on Aksaya Tritiya, I come here, roll in the dust of Braja, and bathe in this sarovara and become pavana.“ You know pavana? Pavana means to be purified. “Accha? Is it?” Nanda exclaimed.
Then on the other side of the lake, Nanda saw so many beautiful ladies bathing, but not like his Nandagram ladies. With beautiful silk saris with gold and silver threads. He never saw ladies like this in Nandagram. Approaching them very respectfully, Nanda asked, “Who are you, ladies?” “Baba, I’m Ganga.” Another said, “I’m Sarasvati.” And yet another said, “I’m Godavari.” They all responded with the names of different Holy Rivers, Kurujangala, Kaveri, Narmada, Brahmaputra, Mahananda, etc. Then Baba asked, “And why have you come here today? I’ve never seen you all before.”
“Ahrey, Baba! All year long people put their papa on us. One day on this Aksaya Tritiya day, we come here, roll in the dust of Braja, bathe in this sarovara and become pavana.”
“Accha? Is it?”
Then Baba took his bath and went up the hill to Nandagram. By this time Nandalala is awake. Coming before his father, he asked, “Baba, now you’re going? Oh Baba, now you’re going? Yes, Baba? Now you’re going?” “Ahrey, Lala! Now I’m not going!”
“And why is that, Baba, why is that?” “Ahrey, Lala! All the places I wanted to go, they all came here today to take bath and become pavana. So why should I the trouble to go all these places when they all came here?”
So from that day, the sarovara became known as Pavana Sarovara. Of course, it comes in the hot season, so thus the Candana Yatra festival takes place at this time. Of course, that is all nicely described in CC, so I’ll end here.
In Service of Sri Sri Krishna Balaram, Deena Bandhu dasa