Akshaya Tritiya, considered an auspicious day in the Hindu calendar, reminds one instantly of gold.
After conducting pujas, people queue up at jewellery stores in the belief that buying gold on this day brings good fortune. In contrast, there’s a section of the society that observes the day in contemplation and ending what’s called an year-long fast.
Surprised? It’s true nevertheless.
Some of the Shwetamber Jains in the city and across the country voluntarily go without food or rather with the barest minimum throughout the year walking in the footsteps of Lord Rishabdeva.
For them, Akshaya Tritiya is auspicious as Lord Rishabdeva is believed to have broken his yearlong fast on this p a r t i c u l a r day.
Hence, t h o s e among the Shwetambar Jains , who sustain themselves on water and a few morsels of food throughout the year as penance or austerity, break the fast with a cup of sugarcane juice on Akshaya Tritiya.
A b u s i - nessman in the city, Pankaj Shah, who had been fasting for a year, says, “it was a very good experience.
Now, I understand how difficult it was for Lord Rishabhdeva to stand without food and water for such a long time.” Most of the Shwetamber Jains go to Palitana, a holy place in Rajasthan, for their PARANA (breaking the fast).
For them, Akshaya Tritiya is not about hoarding gold but about renunciation and an occasion to take stock of their spiritual journey thus far.
For the youngsters too, it is a time to learn more about their religion.
Virti, a 17-year-old girl, says, “I feel more devoted and close to my religion after this year-long fast.
Now, I can proudly say I am a true Jain because I have been able to gain control over my senses and complete the fast.”