IGNIFICANCE OF AKSHADAI
An integral part of any auspicious Hindu function is the ‘Akshadhai‘ – yes, that refers to the yellow colored grains of rice that are used as a form of blessing by the elders. Rice symbolizes prosperity & fertility and is given a place of supreme importance in most ancient cultures.
According to Shinto belief in Japan Rice is considered second only to the Emperor. Considered as the Deva Dhaanya in Indian Culture, Rice also stands for dedication, steadfastness, abundance and wealth.
The word originates from the sanskrit word Akshaya that refers to growth. ‘Akshadai’ is a combination of unbroken grains of rice + turmeric powder + ghee mixed together, where in turmeric represents health aspectsand ghee signifies prosperity.
When this mixture is showered as a blessing by the elders at any auspicious occasion it is said believed that person at the receiving end is being blessed to receive all of the above – Abundance of health, wealth and fertility.
This custom of showering rice is also prevalent in Northern Europe and America wherein handful of Rice is tossed on newly wedded couple.