Axaya-Tritiya – 24th April 2012
The Sanskrit conception of time is an elaborate framework which cyclically relates the bygone with the upcoming, and past efforts with the future momentum, through the momentous ‘present’ and as the inevitable kāla, or the eater of all. The concepts are further amplified by the nuances of the Vedic soli-lunar calendar wherein complicated rhythms of the heavenly bodies are mapped, with respect to both the sun and the moon, onto our biorhythms and daily routines. There is this traditional leaning on the ‘auspiciousness’ of periods and days which is captured in a unit of ‘proper time’ by what is known as a muhurta or two units of 24 minutes each. Sometimes an entire day is considered favourable depending upon the chores and ceremonies that define the range of activities. While personal meditation practices or mental affirmations are rarely constricted by the dynamic components of the calendar, professional and ceremonial activities related to work and service are brought under a purview of ‘right time’ of starting momentum.
There are also the special days based on immensely significant events deemed as divine and awe inspiring thereby evoking reverence and enumeration by devotees who adore such happenings. One such immortalized day in the Vedic soli-lunar calendar is known as Axaya-tritiyā or the imperishable third! This auspicious day is celebrated in most parts of the world on Tuesday, 24th April 2012, while it can be observed a day early along the West coast of the United States and especially in Hawaii and Alaska.
This ascending phase of the moon since the last new moon, known in Sanskrit as the Vaishākha-shukla-paxa, is considered very auspicious due to the glorified history of spiritual happenings related to divine descents. Axaya-tritiyā or the third day of the ascending moon is the birthday of Shukrāchārya (Lord Venus) as well as the highly learned warrior Lord Parashurāma. This day is more significant to those who are interested in Jyotisha (science of light and heavenly bodies) as the day when great sage Bhrigu completed his compendium on Jyotisha known as Bhrigu-samhitā. Every noble act is said to be at least tripled in results on this day and traditionally this day has been revered as one with immortal virtuosity.
This is the day when most holy sites and temples of worship reopen in the Himalayan Mountains after being closed during the long winter. Pilgrims arrive in time for the reopening as the darshan (seeing to be!) of the Altars on this day is considered very auspicious. Blessings are deemed to be abounding on Axaya-tritiyā by devotees who reserve this day of the calendar for coinciding spiritually meaningful moments of their lives.
A closer look at the divine legacy of this day reveals to us that all three events ascribed to this day are related to sage Bhrigu. While Venus (yes! the ruling Lord of planet Venus) is hailed to be the son of sage Bhrigu, Lord Parashurāma also took birth in the familial lineage of sage Bhrigu. In essence the day is a divine remembrance of sage Bhrigu who is hailed in the Sanskritic lore as the one with sārupya-moxa or the great seer (rishi) who can imitate and look like the merciful overlord of our solar system! In the spiritual philosophy classic of Bhagavad-Gitā, Lord Krishna declares that among the sages he is as if Bhrigu thus conferring the highest seer status on Bhrigu.
Besides the imperishable measure of this day, this bright fortnight is also among the most auspicious time of the year for devotees because birth anniversaries of five divine descents or avatars of the merciful Lord are celebrated during this period. In addition this fortnight heralds the descent of two erudite and luminous monks of the monastic tradition, Adi-Shankara and Shri-Ramanuja, the two spiritual adepts who systematized the monastic orders and their respective monastic lineages.
This waxing fortnight also includes Ganga-saptami on the seventh day, whence Ganga descended with mighty force and was captured by Lord Shiva’s matted locks. Ganga was released more than a month later (on Ganga-dashami) upon further meditative penance by sage Bhagirathi. The entire classical Sanskrit tradition is related to the Ganga river, just like the Vedic Sanskrit tradition is connected with the much eloped Saraswati river. The deep metaphorical teachings attributed to the Ganga ethos inspire earnest seekers to trek the headwaters of Ganga which encapsulate mighty Himalayan mountains spanning three major glacier systems. Herein, indigenous knowledge, mountain path, divine descents, mountains as lineage heads and the river of knowing are all bound together with subtle teachings of spiritual philosophy that verily defy the kāla as if immortalized by frozen time.
On this time honoured spirit of Axaya-tritiyā, and as being directly part of the sage Bhrigu lineage, I offer my choicest blessings upon all ardent seekers. May this bright fortnight bring forth courage, strength and enlighten seekers through meditation and spiritual practices.
With abounding holy blessings,