The Bhagavad Gita is considered to be the most sacred and important Hindu scripture. The Bhagavad Gita is of immense importance as a philosophical, political, psychological and spiritual discourse in Hindu religion.
It is believed that the Bhagavad Gita was revealed to Arjuna by Bhagwan Sri Krishna, when Arjuna was suffering from depression and wanted to give up the war.
The entire conversation and the rendering were related by Sanjaya, who was blessed to relay everything to the blind King Dhritarashtra. Thus Gita Jayanti marks the anniversary of the day when the Bhagavad Gita was recited by Lord Krishna in the Kurukshetra.
It falls on the shukla paksha ekadashi in the month of Margashirsha as per the traditional Hindu calendar. According to the Gregorian calendar Gita Jayanti is observed in the month of November December during the waxing phase of the moon.
- Legend behind Gita Jayanti
As mentioned earlier, the great discourse of the Bhagwad Gita took place inKurukshetra, just before the great battle between the Pandavas and the Kshatriyas was about to start. It was the situation where war was inevitable, after numerous efforts at reconciliation from the end of the Pandavas and all the other well wishers had failed. War had meant choosing sides. Thus just before the Great War was about to begin, Arjuna asked Lord Krishna, who was driving his chariot to take the chariot through the center of the battlefield. Lord Krishna had volunteered out of love for his closest friend and compassion too for Arjuna to drive his chariot. While driving by, Arjun saw Bheesma at the Kaurava side. Bheesma was their grandfather who had raised the fatherless Pandavas with extreme affection since childhood. Then Arjun saw Dronacharya, who was their tutor and mentor in the subject of warfare. It was under his tutelage that Arjun had become one of the greatect archers. Arjun began to feel weak seeing all these loved and respected ones in the opponent team with whom not only he would have had to fight, but may be would have to kill too. He confessed to Krishna about his change of heart about the urge to give up this warfare. Lord Krishna then told Arjuna certain things. The things or the enlightenment that he provided is what is called the BHagwad Gita. Perhaps one of the most pertinent enlightenment that he said was –
Karmanye vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana,
Ma Karmaphalaheturbhurma Te Sangostvakarmani,
Which means –
You can only have the right to work, but never to its fruits. Don’t let the fruit of action be your motive, and attachment be to inaction. Thus, it was Lord Krishna who expounded the concept of karma and dharma and the innate truth of life.
- Celebration of Gita Jayanti
- Gita Jayanti is celebrated all over the world by the devotees of Lord Krishna, as they consider Bhagwad Gita as their divine mother, as it teaches us to re-establish our relationship with the God- Almighty, who is considered to be our Divine Father. Devootees generally keep a fast on this day as it happens to be ekadashi too. All the 700 verses of the Gita is chanted throughout the day. Various discourses on the philosophy and spirituality of the Gita is held on this day and bhajans and pujas are held too to commemorate this auspicious occasion. Temples specially dedicated to Lord Krishna and Vishnu hold special pujas on this day.
- In Kurukshetra, where the Gita came into being, special pujas are held and eminent academicians speak on various aspect of the Gita on this day. Devotees from all over the world come to have a dip in the sacred ponds of Sannihit Sarovar and Brahm Sarovar in Kurukshetra. A fair lasting for a week is also organized. This fair is known as the Gita Jayanti Samaroh.
- All over the world in the temples of Iskcon, Gita Jayanti is celebrated by mass recital of the Bhagwad Gita.
- In countries such as Malaysia and Singapore too, Gita Jayanti is celebrated with devotion.
- Bhagwad Gita is not only a scripture, but an essential guideline of life, of communication of doing business. Thus it is of extreme importance and relevance till today as it throws light on various issues and teaches humanity to approach their issues differently.