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GOLD - THE SYMBOL OF PURITY IN INDIAN CULTURE : A PRESENTATION ON THE EVE OF ‘AKSHAYA TRITIYA’


(SAMYA MUKHERJEE)

The word ‘Akshaya’ means never-ending prosperity; in fact in some versions, this word has a meaning closer to the significance of ‘gold’ in particular. The never-ending aspect of gold is articulated as ‘non-corrosive’. Gold is a non-reactive metal in the periodic table, which makes it to last longer than any other metals in the purest state. ‘Akshaya Tritiya’ is the day that has an aspect of invincibility and a metal that last centuries and millennials along with the significance of prosperity with both the day and ‘Gold’ being a sign of prosperity, making it a perfect combination, showing us about the significance of this auspicious day and gold. ‘Tritiya’ means the third day of prosperity, considering it one of the most powerful days to pray for conducting the Hindu rituals of prosperity. While the rituals and prayers are the debatable subjects in today’s world but Hindu calendar’s existence for thousands of years shows that it indeed has some spiritual energy, making it an auspicious day for starting something new or better in investment. Gold is never-ending, though gold-ores are limited and that is what makes gold a great investment opportunity during ‘Akshaya Tritiya’. An ageless investment made on this particular auspicious day intended for invincible prosperity. Gold, the imperishable and non-diminishing asset is synonymous with ‘Akshaya Tritiya’, a day to meant to mark prosperity and wealth in Indian culture.

In India, gold has a great cultural and religious significance. Amongst all other precious metals, gold holds top position in the Indian culture. As per Hindu Mythology, gold is considered sacred as well as a symbol of purity. None of the Indian functions and festivals are complete without this precious metal. Indians love ravishing and beautiful gold jewelleries that adds richness to the festive- celebrations and also in all special occasions. Indian brides are adorned with alluring golden jewelleries on the day of their wedding. Along with an emotional quotient, gold is considered very auspicious in Indian culture. With indestructible nature of gold and its shine, gold is believed to have divine qualities. Hindus believe in buying gold, a metal that symbolizes wealth, purity and divinity on some of the auspicious days and festive occasions. For the entire Hindu community, gold is considered precious – Hindus believe that gold has the power to purify anything it touches. It is also considered a sign of power and wealth.


Symbolism : Gold is the symbol of reverence and devotion, also to the divine being – God. This depiction stems from its physical properties of shine, strength, malleability and rarity. Therefore, idols of worship are made of gold or adorned with golden jewellery. Walls and ceilings of places of worship are covered in lavish works of gold. In India, metal gold symbolizes wealth. Purchasing and owning gold is seen as a sign of wealth and is also a status symbol, standing for power and prosperity. This is also why gold is often considered a part of weddings with both families including it as a part of gifts to each other, celebrating the union of two families. Hindu community believe that gold has the power to purify anything it touches. Gold is also considered as a sign of power and wealth. Aside from that, it also symbolizes good health, prosperity and femininity. A completely pure gold is 91.67 % with 22 parts gold and two parts of other metals, with the remainder comprising of silver, zinc, nickel and other alloys.


Scientific and spiritual significance : Gold is significant both scientifically and spiritually. While spirituality is debatable in the era where science and Mathematics dictate our decisions, it is a scientific fact that positive energy has a positive outcome. For example, a study conducted to test the effect of music on water molecules might give us a better understanding. According to the study, water molecules are aggressive with music such as metal and rock, whereas with soft and classic music, water molecules are calmer and less active. Likewise on a day that is filled with people’s positive energy through belief regardless of the religious significance is a good day to start the story of ‘never ending prosperity’. Gold embodies the spiritual significance of undying prosperity literally and scientifically as well as through the test of time which clearly confirms it to be a good idea to invest in gold. Thus, buying gold on the auspicious occasion of ‘Akshaya Tritiya’ is considered a sign of good luck and an invitation to prosperity into the household in the age-old Hindu tradition.


Gold in Indian History (over periods) : Gold has a deep rooted significance in Indian History, alluring people from different parts of the world with its beauty and charm. Its golden glow was visible across seas and borders, evoking emotions from millions of hearts. Over the years, India’s infatuation with gold has grown stronger and stronger, with Indians accounting for most of the gold, are consumed globally. Gold, in Indian history is more than an investment, it is a culturally significant metal which has found a place in Indian hearts and homes alike. It is true that a vast majority of the Indian population survives on meagre resources, but despite this they find ways to buy gold and make it an integral part of their lives, irrespective of gold rates in their city or town. Gold has takers across the length and breadth of our nation, right from Delhi to Chennai and Ahmedabad to Kolkata. There are some valid reasons, which propelled gold to a pedestal in India, a spot which it is likely to hold on to for a long time :

1) Religious connotations - Gold is an integral part of religious ceremonies in India, regardless of religion. Be it Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism or Christianity; gold is a prominent asset across all major religions in the country. Rising gold rates do not deter devotees from donating extravagant gold ornaments to temple funds, a prime example being the Tirumala temple of Andhra Pradesh, which witnesses donations to the tune of tonnes on a yearly basis, regardless of gold rates in Andhra Pradesh. It is common for people to purchase gold at different religious gatherings and for different occasions.

2) Family heirloom - Gold is part of every Indian household and is considered a family heirloom by most Indians. Golden jewellery and ornaments are passed on from generation to generation, in a bid to keep the legacy of family alive. It is common for most households to pass on jewellery from a mother to a bride in the weddings, irrespective of facts like change in design trends or value. Gold is an extremely sentimental part of certain traditions and continues to remain a cherished heirloom. Passing gold from one generation to another also helps people to save money and gold, avoiding ever rising gold prices.

3) Status symbol - There is no bigger status symbol than gold in India and Indians are not shy to flaunt it. In a social setting with billions of people, gold is one element which can help people to stand out, literally shine in the crowd. Politicians, businessmen, actors, officials – all love to show their gold to the world, giving them new highs. Gold has been a status symbol in India since ages, right from the time of kings and queens to the British and independent India has imbibed this into its blood. The more gold one has the more power he or she has, an indication of their ability to purchase gold inspite of rising gold rates.

4) Investment - Gold has been considered the safest investment, a sentiment which Indians live by. It is this property of gold as a protector against bad times which have pushed Indians to buy it as investments. Owning gold is considered an extremely smart choice, and is reflected in the amount of gold, that Indians own. With gold prices fluctuating everyday, it makes sense to invest in gold for a secure future.

Thus, Indians consider gold as a super-metal, which can provide a solution to multiple problems. Not everything that glitters might be gold but for Indians gold is their knight in shining armour.


Gold in Indian Mythology : In India, gold derives its power from fascinating Mythologies, which are often the confluence of opposing symbolisms. As in ‘Mahabharata’, the vanquisher of the demon Tarakasura emerged from Lord Shiva’s golden seed. The fiery energy of that golden seed made the Ganga-water to boil, and even fire was no true vessel to contain it. Only the eventual unity of powerful entities could cool it down and create the gold-skinned warrior called Shanmukha (the six-headed Murugan). Gold represents the radiance of Lord Shiva, the sage untethered to worldly affairs. Gold is the symbol of Hindu goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity as well as the features prominently. The daughter of Asuras lived in the golden city of Hiranyapura – the symbol of all that is desired and cherished with joy, peace and wealth. Gold’s divine roots ensure its lasting presence in material aspects of life like wedding rituals, festivals, money and investments.


The very own soul of human beings are believed to be golden-hued and eternal. The cycle of gold is continued by the belief of sharing the wealth. One of gold’s most admirable qualities is its unchanging nature. Not only does it retain shape and characteristics, more importantly, it also preserves value over long term. Let gold be bestowed. While we, the Indians love gold, it is time to evolve from amateur consumers of gold to intelligent investors in the yellow metal. One should adopt a staggered approach for purchasing gold in order to enjoy the benefit of lower average costs. A 10 percent allocation to it all times also makes an investor’s portfolio well diversified. However, on gold buying occasions such as ‘Akshaya Tritiya’, investors are often confronted with the question – “Should I make just a token to purchase, or should I buy more towards building my allocation in the yellow metal?” Macro-economic backdrop being favourable, this ‘Akshaya Tritiya’ seems like a good time to load up on the yellow metal as the risk-reward dynamics favour the yellow metal while the downside appears limited as after a decade of providing stimulus, some liquidity from the markets are removed.

**********************************************


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GOLD - THE SYMBOL OF PURITY IN INDIAN CULTURE : A PRESENTATION ON THE EVE OF ‘AKSHAYA TRITIYA’


(SAMYA MUKHERJEE)

The word ‘Akshaya’ means never-ending prosperity; in fact in some versions, this word has a meaning closer to the significance of ‘gold’ in particular. The never-ending aspect of gold is articulated as ‘non-corrosive’. Gold is a non-reactive metal in the periodic table, which makes it to last longer than any other metals in the purest state. ‘Akshaya Tritiya’ is the day that has an aspect of invincibility and a metal that last centuries and millennials along with the significance of prosperity with both the day and ‘Gold’ being a sign of prosperity, making it a perfect combination, showing us about the significance of this auspicious day and gold. ‘Tritiya’ means the third day of prosperity, considering it one of the most powerful days to pray for conducting the Hindu rituals of prosperity. While the rituals and prayers are the debatable subjects in today’s world but Hindu calendar’s existence for thousands of years shows that it indeed has some spiritual energy, making it an auspicious day for starting something new or better in investment. Gold is never-ending, though gold-ores are limited and that is what makes gold a great investment opportunity during ‘Akshaya Tritiya’. An ageless investment made on this particular auspicious day intended for invincible prosperity. Gold, the imperishable and non-diminishing asset is synonymous with ‘Akshaya Tritiya’, a day to meant to mark prosperity and wealth in Indian culture.

In India, gold has a great cultural and religious significance. Amongst all other precious metals, gold holds top position in the Indian culture. As per Hindu Mythology, gold is considered sacred as well as a symbol of purity. None of the Indian functions and festivals are complete without this precious metal. Indians love ravishing and beautiful gold jewelleries that adds richness to the festive- celebrations and also in all special occasions. Indian brides are adorned with alluring golden jewelleries on the day of their wedding. Along with an emotional quotient, gold is considered very auspicious in Indian culture. With indestructible nature of gold and its shine, gold is believed to have divine qualities. Hindus believe in buying gold, a metal that symbolizes wealth, purity and divinity on some of the auspicious days and festive occasions. For the entire Hindu community, gold is considered precious – Hindus believe that gold has the power to purify anything it touches. It is also considered a sign of power and wealth.


Symbolism : Gold is the symbol of reverence and devotion, also to the divine being – God. This depiction stems from its physical properties of shine, strength, malleability and rarity. Therefore, idols of worship are made of gold or adorned with golden jewellery. Walls and ceilings of places of worship are covered in lavish works of gold. In India, metal gold symbolizes wealth. Purchasing and owning gold is seen as a sign of wealth and is also a status symbol, standing for power and prosperity. This is also why gold is often considered a part of weddings with both families including it as a part of gifts to each other, celebrating the union of two families. Hindu community believe that gold has the power to purify anything it touches. Gold is also considered as a sign of power and wealth. Aside from that, it also symbolizes good health, prosperity and femininity. A completely pure gold is 91.67 % with 22 parts gold and two parts of other metals, with the remainder comprising of silver, zinc, nickel and other alloys.


Scientific and spiritual significance : Gold is significant both scientifically and spiritually. While spirituality is debatable in the era where science and Mathematics dictate our decisions, it is a scientific fact that positive energy has a positive outcome. For example, a study conducted to test the effect of music on water molecules might give us a better understanding. According to the study, water molecules are aggressive with music such as metal and rock, whereas with soft and classic music, water molecules are calmer and less active. Likewise on a day that is filled with people’s positive energy through belief regardless of the religious significance is a good day to start the story of ‘never ending prosperity’. Gold embodies the spiritual significance of undying prosperity literally and scientifically as well as through the test of time which clearly confirms it to be a good idea to invest in gold. Thus, buying gold on the auspicious occasion of ‘Akshaya Tritiya’ is considered a sign of good luck and an invitation to prosperity into the household in the age-old Hindu tradition.


Gold in Indian History (over periods) : Gold has a deep rooted significance in Indian History, alluring people from different parts of the world with its beauty and charm. Its golden glow was visible across seas and borders, evoking emotions from millions of hearts. Over the years, India’s infatuation with gold has grown stronger and stronger, with Indians accounting for most of the gold, are consumed globally. Gold, in Indian history is more than an investment, it is a culturally significant metal which has found a place in Indian hearts and homes alike. It is true that a vast majority of the Indian population survives on meagre resources, but despite this they find ways to buy gold and make it an integral part of their lives, irrespective of gold rates in their city or town. Gold has takers across the length and breadth of our nation, right from Delhi to Chennai and Ahmedabad to Kolkata. There are some valid reasons, which propelled gold to a pedestal in India, a spot which it is likely to hold on to for a long time :

1) Religious connotations - Gold is an integral part of religious ceremonies in India, regardless of religion. Be it Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism or Christianity; gold is a prominent asset across all major religions in the country. Rising gold rates do not deter devotees from donating extravagant gold ornaments to temple funds, a prime example being the Tirumala temple of Andhra Pradesh, which witnesses donations to the tune of tonnes on a yearly basis, regardless of gold rates in Andhra Pradesh. It is common for people to purchase gold at different religious gatherings and for different occasions.

2) Family heirloom - Gold is part of every Indian household and is considered a family heirloom by most Indians. Golden jewellery and ornaments are passed on from generation to generation, in a bid to keep the legacy of family alive. It is common for most households to pass on jewellery from a mother to a bride in the weddings, irrespective of facts like change in design trends or value. Gold is an extremely sentimental part of certain traditions and continues to remain a cherished heirloom. Passing gold from one generation to another also helps people to save money and gold, avoiding ever rising gold prices.

3) Status symbol - There is no bigger status symbol than gold in India and Indians are not shy to flaunt it. In a social setting with billions of people, gold is one element which can help people to stand out, literally shine in the crowd. Politicians, businessmen, actors, officials – all love to show their gold to the world, giving them new highs. Gold has been a status symbol in India since ages, right from the time of kings and queens to the British and independent India has imbibed this into its blood. The more gold one has the more power he or she has, an indication of their ability to purchase gold inspite of rising gold rates.

4) Investment - Gold has been considered the safest investment, a sentiment which Indians live by. It is this property of gold as a protector against bad times which have pushed Indians to buy it as investments. Owning gold is considered an extremely smart choice, and is reflected in the amount of gold, that Indians own. With gold prices fluctuating everyday, it makes sense to invest in gold for a secure future.

Thus, Indians consider gold as a super-metal, which can provide a solution to multiple problems. Not everything that glitters might be gold but for Indians gold is their knight in shining armour.


Gold in Indian Mythology : In India, gold derives its power from fascinating Mythologies, which are often the confluence of opposing symbolisms. As in ‘Mahabharata’, the vanquisher of the demon Tarakasura emerged from Lord Shiva’s golden seed. The fiery energy of that golden seed made the Ganga-water to boil, and even fire was no true vessel to contain it. Only the eventual unity of powerful entities could cool it down and create the gold-skinned warrior called Shanmukha (the six-headed Murugan). Gold represents the radiance of Lord Shiva, the sage untethered to worldly affairs. Gold is the symbol of Hindu goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity as well as the features prominently. The daughter of Asuras lived in the golden city of Hiranyapura – the symbol of all that is desired and cherished with joy, peace and wealth. Gold’s divine roots ensure its lasting presence in material aspects of life like wedding rituals, festivals, money and investments.


The very own soul of human beings are believed to be golden-hued and eternal. The cycle of gold is continued by the belief of sharing the wealth. One of gold’s most admirable qualities is its unchanging nature. Not only does it retain shape and characteristics, more importantly, it also preserves value over long term. Let gold be bestowed. While we, the Indians love gold, it is time to evolve from amateur consumers of gold to intelligent investors in the yellow metal. One should adopt a staggered approach for purchasing gold in order to enjoy the benefit of lower average costs. A 10 percent allocation to it all times also makes an investor’s portfolio well diversified. However, on gold buying occasions such as ‘Akshaya Tritiya’, investors are often confronted with the question – “Should I make just a token to purchase, or should I buy more towards building my allocation in the yellow metal?” Macro-economic backdrop being favourable, this ‘Akshaya Tritiya’ seems like a good time to load up on the yellow metal as the risk-reward dynamics favour the yellow metal while the downside appears limited as after a decade of providing stimulus, some liquidity from the markets are removed.

**********************************************


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