India is a land of festivals and spirituality. One of the main scriptures of the Hindus that has been translated into numerous languages and has been read across religions, cultures and even professions is the Bhagwath Geeta. In this article we discuss a festival known as the ‘Geeta Jayanthi’ celebrated to mark the birth of this holy scripture.
Geeta Jayanthi is also known as Bhagwath Geeta Jayanthi. It marks the day when Lord Krishna gave the Bhagvad Gita to Arjuna. Lord Krishna shared the philosophy of Karma and Dharma which led to evolution of one of the greatest scripture of the world.
The Bhagwath Geeta is more than five thousand years old. The day it was revealed falls on the Ekadasi day of Shukla Paksha which is the brighter half of the Margashirsha month (November – December) in the traditional Hindu calendar. This was the first day of the 18 day of Mahabharata war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas in Kurukshetra.
The story behind the Bhagwath Geeta
The war was the result of failure of attempts of reconciliation between the two parties. Lord Krishna had acceded to the request of Arjuna, to accompany him as his charioteer in war out of love and affection for his ardent follower and friend. On the day of the war armies of both sides gathered on the battle field opposite each other.
Arjuna requested Lord Krishna to drive his chariot to the middle of the battle field so that he could take a look at the army of the Kauravas. Arjuna’s heart starts to melt when he sees his great grandfather Bhishma and his teacher Drona. With a confused mind and trembling knees he feels he feels own brothers and revered persons. Arjuna shares his dilemma with his friend Krishna and asks him to advise whether it is worth killing his relatives.
Lord Krishna tells Arjuna not to worry about the results and concentrate on doing his karma. Sanjay, the charioteer of the blind King Drithrashtra had a unique power, he could see things that were taking place even at a great distance. While Lord Krishna spoke to Arjuna, Sanjay narrated the happenings to the King. Arjuna was finally convinced to do his karma and he lifted arms against the opposite army.
The philosophy that Lord Krishna gives at this juncture is regarded as the Bhagvad Geeta, the most sacred text for the Hindus. Extremely philosophical it is believed to have answers to all questions. Geeta Jayanti is celebrated to mark the day when the Lord himself spoke the verses for mankind. It is a compilation of seven hundred verses that can chanted at any time through the day. Inspirational and powerful, the Bhagwad Geeta is resorted to by people even in their everyday lives.
On reading some of the quotes the magnanimity the reasons why it is such a revered scripture become clear by themselves. Sharing some random quotes –
“Fear Not. What is not real, never was and never will be. What is real, always was and cannot be destroyed”
“Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is”
“Death is as sure for that which is born, as birth is for that which is dead. Therefore grieve not for what is inevitable.”
“When the senses contact sense objects, a person experiences cold or heat, pleasure or pain. These experiences are fleeting they come and go. Bear them patiently”
“Neither in this world nor elsewhere is there any happiness in store for him who always doubts”
Celebrating Geeta Jayanti
Geeta Jayanthi is not only specially observed in Kurukshetra but throughout the country. It is an important place for the Hindus not just because of Mahabharta but also for it is the place where Manusmriti, Samveda and the Rigveda were written.
Celebrating Geeta Jayanti is celebration of a philosophy that helps us in our everyday life. People tend to fast on this day avoiding grains and lentils. The Bhagwat Geeta is read and discussed in seminars, bhajans sung, prayers chanted and aartis conducted throughout the temples in the country. Special prayers are conducted in temples and people gather at Kurukshetra for a dip in the holy pond.
We would also like to add that you should celebrate Gita Jayanti in the spirit apart from the letter and implement all the teachings in your own life.