Gita Jayanti

Geeta Jayanti Festival,is an unique festival dedicated to the birth of Shrimad Bhagvad Gita,the holy book of Hindus.The Gita is the most beautiful and the only truly philosophical song. It contains sublime lessons on wisdom and philosophy. It is the "Song Celestial". It is the universal gospel. It contains the message of life that appeals to all, irrespective of race, creed, age or religion.Bhagvad Gita is a source of power and wisdom,which strengthens when weak,and inspires when one feels defeated.It teaches to follow the path of virtue and righteousness.

The festival is celebrated mainly in Kurukshetra at Haryana,India.The festival is highly sacred to Hindus and is celebrated with immense devotion and dedication.Jayanti in Hindi means the 'Date Of Birth'.In India the birthdays of great leaders are celebrated in a big way,such as Gandhi Jayanti,Mahaveer Jayanti etc.Also public holidays are announced in some cases.Accordingly, to commemorate the day of Lord Shri.Krishna's Speech on the battlefield of 'Kurukshetra',during the epic 'Mahabharata' annirversary of Bhagvad Gita is celebrated.The Gita Jayanti is considered as one of the greatest days in the history of mankind.

This is the day,nearly 5200 years ago.It occurred during the epic war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas at Kurukshetra.Two armies had taken a stance by facing each other and ready for the war to begin.On one side the big army of Kauravas was standing and on the opposite side the Pandavas. This is the time where Arjuna asks Lord Krishna to drive the chariot to the middle of the battlefield between both armies to have a look at the opponent.

On seeing his Grandsire,Bheeshma Pitamah, who raised him since childhood and his teacher,Dronacharya, who had taught him the skill of archery,Arjuna got disheartened.He started trembling and his mind got confused,deviating him from his duties of Kshatriya.He could not accept the thought that he would have to kill his own people in the battle.Arjuna explained his problem to his friend Krishna and requested for his advice.The advice that was given by Krishna to Arjuna is what is known now as the "Bhagavad Gita", the most sacred philosophical non-sectarian text of the Hindus.

On the eve of the war,sage Vyasa visited the palace of his son,Dhritarastra,and warned him about the decision of the fate,that all his sons and the kings will be killed soon.It is destined now,however I shall grant you eyesight,so that you may witness the entire war.Dhritarastra was terrified by the words of Vyasmuni and he told him that he did not want to see his sons dying in the battlefield.

However,Dhritarashtra further requested that,he would be grateful if someone can give him the result of the progress and happenings of the war. Vyasamini agreed saying that,Sanjay would get the 'Divyadrishti' ( power to see everything that happens in the war). He will be able to see during the day as well as in the night.And also.

Sanjay will be in position to read the thoughts of the persons fighting in the war and Sanjay will at no time get exausted.However,the omens are not in favour of the Kauravas. Later,the entire progress of the war was related by Sanjay to the blind king Dhritarastra.It was on this day that Sanjaya narrated to King Dhritarashtrathe,discussion between Shri Krishna and Arjuna and thus made the glorious teachings of the Lord available to all of us.

Gita provides the brief inferance of the millions of verses from all the Vedic scriptures.Here,Shri Krishna has answered all the questions about the duty of the living entity,in just eighteen chapters having seven hundred verses.The Lord Shiva has mentioned in the Gita Mahatmya (Padma Purana) that,reading of Gita can lead one to liberation.

Celebration

According to the Hindu almanac,Gita Jayanti is to be celeberated on the eleventh day (Ekadashi) of the bright half (Shukla Paksha),of the month of Margashirsha (Dec-Jan).As per the tradition,the devotees come to Dharmakshetra and recite 'Bhagavad Gita' from early morning till the next morning,also perform the 'Arati' to Bhagavad Gita and to Krishna-Arjuna on the chariot.Devotees who cannot come to 'Jyotisar Tirtha', remember the blessed event by reciting Bhagavad Gita.

On Gita Jayanti day,everyone takes bath in the holy water of the sacred tanks - Sannihit Sarovar and Brahma Sarovar.Gita Jayanthi is celebrated worldwide by all the devotees of Krishna,who respect the Bhagavad Gita.Mass recital of the 701 verses from all 18 chapters are chanted throughout the day.Devotees fast on this day as it is the day of Ekadashi.In places where this festival is celebrated in a big way,stage plays and recitation rallies are held for kids to show their talents and to boost their interest in reading Gita.

Bhajans are also sung in groups.Yogis and Gurus give preeching about this holy scripture. Leaflets, pamphlets and books containing the essence of Gita are distributed in the public.The Swadhyay Parivar organise speech programme on Gita,for the youngsters from 16 - 30 years of age.In the last year's programme,more than 3 millions of youths gave speech on Gita.People roam from house to house spreading the importance of the Gita.

In Singapore,this festival is held every year at the Shri Shrinivasa Perumal Temple,whereas in Malaysia,the Gita Jayanti group annually celebrates this festival,with the support of various Hindu organisations,in order to create self realisation among all Hindus.

Several youth from India and from more than 35 nations and various different religions participate in the competition on Gita.Many Muslims and Christians also win the competition in their regions.The winning progresses from village levels and go on to the higher levels up to the stat and finally the competition culminates at the Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta Pathshala in Bombay, India.These finalists include winners from all over the world,such as,UK, USA,Africa,as well as from India.