If your mail box was flooded with "Buy Gold Coins", Gold ETF and Gold Funds investments related emails, pouring in from the likes of Reliance, Tanishq, Birla, ICICI and HDFC and many more banks and business groups for the last 20 days, you sure knew Akshaya Trithiya for this year was round the corner.
Yes, the D-Day has arrived and it is today, April 24, 2012 and what a start it has been for the day, one opens the newspaper and finds page after page decked up with advertisements of gold and diamond jewellery, gold coins, gold bars, biscuits and cookies, what not. About 60% of the newspaper print today carries these ads. The percentage of these ads has only increased since last week mimicking the transition from a gentle reminder to a mandatory guideline to buy gold. Heavily misconstrued, I must state, is the importance imparted to this yellow metal and in matters like this India stands united. Class no bar, religion no bar, money no bar; beg, borrow but buy gold today, that is the norm.
Even a casual search about this day will yield results that Akshaya Trithiya or Akha Teej is an important and auspicious day for Hindus and Jains. For Hindus, it is believed to be the birthday of Parashuram; an incarnation on Lord Vishnu, the day when Lord Ganesha and Veda Vyasa began writing the Mahabharata, the day when Ganga descended onto Earth from heaven; simply a day when prayers can bestow upon one infinite good times, luck and success. A small gesture of charity performed today is expected to bestow unlimited good luck, health and good will. But people have grossly misunderstood it all; they utter by rote, like machines- Charity begins at jeweller's shop.
As for Jains, this is the day when their Tirthankara Rishabadeva, renouncing all his riches, meditating for an year, broke his fast and penance. Even when one uses a magnifying glass and puts all effort to read between lines or within lines of any description of this holy day, there is no vague mention of buying gold and diamond and platinum.
However, from retail outlets to online portals, there is complete frenzy on gold, gold and gold. It is proven that many traditions and practices get distorted over time when handed over from one generation to another. Blind faith creeps in at times, horrific rituals dominate at other times, heavy misinterpretations usually mar an original idea.
In case of Akshaya Trithiya, we do not know who started to spread the wrong word around, the day's notion is so heavily misconstrued that to question "Does buying gold on Akshaya Trithiya day augur prosperity?" seems to invite wrath from many quarters, not definitely from the gods but from humans.