The Birth of the Gita and Ori­gin of Gita Jayanti

A TO Z INDIA - - Inside - Indira Srivatsa, Ed­i­tor | ed­i­[email protected]­dia­

The Bha­gavad Gita is con­sid­ered the most im­por­tant and in­flu­en­tial Hindu scrip­ture for its philo­soph­i­cal, prac­ti­cal, po­lit­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal and spir­i­tual value. Bha­gavad Gita Jayanti, or sim­ply Gita Jayanti, marks the birth of this holy book. Ac­cord­ing to the tra­di­tional Hindu cal­en­dar, Gita Jayan­thi falls on the Ekadashi day of Shukla Pak­sha or the bright half of the Mar­gashir­sha month (Novem­ber-De­cem­ber).

Gita Jayanti is an an­nual cel­e­bra­tion to com­mem­o­rate the day when Lord Kr­ishna ren­dered his philo­soph­i­cal teach­ings - im­mor­tal­ized in the epic Ma­hab­harata to prince Ar­juna on the first day of the 18-day bat­tle of Ku­ruk­shetra. When prince Ar­juna re­fused to fight against his cousins, the Kau­ravas in the bat­tle, Lord Kr­ishna ex­pounded the truth of life and the phi­los­o­phy of Karma and Dharma to him, thereby giv­ing birth to one of the world's great­est scrip­tures, the Gita. The Last­ing In­flu­ence of the Gita The Bha­gavad Gita is not just an an­cient scrip­ture but also serves as an es­sen­tial guide to bet­ter liv­ing and life and con­duct­ing busi­ness and com­mu­ni­ca­tion to the mod­ern world.

The great­est qual­ity of Bha­gavad Gita is that it prompts an in­di­vid­ual to think, to take a fair and right de­ci­sion, to look at life dif­fer­ently and re­fresh­ingly with­out sur­ren­der­ing one's iden­tity. The Gita has been ad­dress­ing con­tem­po­rary is­sues and solv­ing for ev­ery­day prob­lems of hu­man­ity for mil­len­nia. Ku­ruk­shetra, the Birth­place of the Gita

This Hindu hol­i­day is cel­e­brated with great de­vo­tion and ded­i­ca­tion, across the coun­try and around the world, es­pe­cially in the city of Ku­ruk­shetra, in the north­ern In­dian state of Ut­tar Pradesh (UP), where the fa­mous epic bat­tle of the Ma­hab­harata took place. This place is sa­cred not only for the bat­tle and the birth­place of the Gita but also be­cause it is the place where the fa­mous sage Manu wrote the Manusm­riti, and the Rig and Sama Vedas were com­posed. Di­vine per­son­al­i­ties like Lord Kr­ishna, Gau­tama Bud­dha, and the Sikh Gu­rus' visit also con­se­crated this place.

Gita Jayanti Cel­e­bra­tions in Ku­ruk­shetra

The day is ob­served with the read­ing of the Bha­gavad Gita, fol­lowed by dis­cus­sions and sem­i­nars by em­i­nent schol­ars and Hindu priests to throw light upon the var­i­ous facets of the holy book and its peren­nial in­flu­ence on hu­mankind for gen­er­a­tions. Hindu tem­ples, es­pe­cially those ded­i­cated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Kr­ishna, con­duct spe­cial prayers and pu­jas on this day. Devo­tees and pil­grims from all over In­dia gather in Ku­ruk­shetra to take part in the rit­ual bath in the hal­lowed wa­ter of the sa­cred ponds - San­ni­hit Sarovar and Brahm Sarovar. A fair is also or­ga­nized that lasts for about a week and the peo­ple par­tic­i­pate in prayer recitals, Gita read­ing, bha­jans, aar­tis, dance, dra­mas, etc. Over the years, the fair known as Gita Jayanti Sa­maroh has gained im­mense pop­u­lar­ity and a large num­ber of tourists visit Ku­ruk­shetra dur­ing the event to par­tic­i­pate in this sa­cred gath­er­ing.

Gita Jayanti Cel­e­bra­tions by ISKCON

At the tem­ples of ISKCON (In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety for Kr­ishna Con­scious­ness) across the globe, Geeta Jayan­thi is cel­e­brated with spe­cial of­fer­ings to Lord Kr­ishna. Mass recital of the Bha­gavad Gita is per­formed through­out the day. Gita Jayanti is also cel­e­brated as Mok­shada Ekadashi. On this day, devo­tees ob­serve fast and on Dwadashi (or 12th Day) fast is bro­ken by tak­ing a rit­ual bath and per­form­ing Kr­ishna Puja.

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