It is said that when the Lord wanted to create this world, the first word He uttered was – ‘Akshaya’. The scriptures refer to the Akshaya Tritiya day with great reverence, as is evident from the following stories from mythology.
Annapurna, the Goddess of food, was born on this day. She is a special form of Parvati who feeds the hungry. Once, Shiva disguised himself as a beggar and approached Annapurna for food. On the Akshaya Tritiya day, she fed Lord Shiva himself.
Why should Shiva beg when He is the lord of the Universe? Shiva’s begging is a symbolic act - he begs for all his beggars.
Kubera, the Banker in Heaven, received his wealth on this day by worshipping Lord Shiva in the temple at Sivapuram. It is only on this day Lord Shiva blessed Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, with all the riches. Thus, Lord Siva appointed both of them to their coveted positions as custodians of wealth and prosperity.
In the great epic Mahabharata, there was a king named Yudhisthira. He was the eldest brother among the five Pandavas, and was recognized as the son of Dharma. At Thirumanthurai temple, the Gods granted Yudhisthira with an Akshaya Patram or bowl that grants undiminishing food. He used this for the benefit of the people. He received this bowl on the Akshaya Tritiya day.
Once, Garuda, the divine vehicle of Lord Vishnu, worshipped Goddess Lakshmi. She offered an Akshaya Patram to Garuda. While worshipping the Sun God, he offered food to the deity in this golden Akshaya bowl. These incidents happened in Arasar temple in the previous Yugas.
Krishna and Kusela
On the Akshaya Tritiya day, Kusela went to meet his childhood friend Lord Krishna with the hope of solving his poverty as Krishna was a very rich king. However, he could only afford to carry along rice flakes to greet Krishna. Though he was ashamed initially to share the rice flakes with Lord Krishna, Krishna forced him to give those flakes. The moment Krishna tasted those flakes, Kusela's poverty vanished and he became rich overnight.
During the ancient times, there was a merchant who was so poverty-stricken that he found it difficult to afford even one square meal a day. However, he was intensely religious and noticing his devotion the elders explained to him the greatness of Akshaya Tritiya. The poor merchant decided to follow their advice.
On an Akshaya Tritiya day, he woke up at dawn, bathed and offered food, water, sugarcane juice, milk and money to poor Brahmins. Despite his wife's disapproval, he followed all the necessary austerities as advised by the elders. Due to his sincere efforts, he was born as Kushapathy Chakravarthy in his next birth.