Gita Jayanti – “the Gita the manual for life”
Category : Religious
What is Gita Jayanti?
In present days, the word “jayanti” is loosely used for someone’s birthday. However, this word is not meant for mortal beings. What most people don’t know about Gita jayanti is, when Lord Krishna spoke the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna, it was not the first time that He spoke it. Gita jayanti is not the birthday of Bhagavad Gita. It is the day when Bhagavad Gita was spoken the first time on this planet during this particular yuga cycle.
The most auspicious constellation of stars takes place during the
the appearance of the Lord in this material world, and it is specifically
called Jayanti, a word not to be abused for any other purposes.
>> Ref. VedaBase => SB 1.12.12
The traditional significance:
The first is the traditional and religious context of this day. It is believed, that on the Vaikunta Ekadashi day, which falls once in a year in the month of Margashirsha (called Margazhi masam in Tamil), in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Lord Krishna delivered the sermon called the Bhagavad Gita, the Song of God, to Arjuna. On this Vaikunta Ekadashi day, people undertake an important fast and worship Lord Vishnu. The Bhagavad Gita was born on the Vaikuntha Ekadashi day – that is the religious significance of the day.
The Gita as the manual for life:
Now let us try to look at the significance of the day from the perspective of everyday life. If you look at the Bhagavad Gita as a body of knowledge, it has a lot of insights to address the multitudinous problems and challenges that a human being faces in his life. And if you look at it from the context of the Mahabharata, there is this very well-prepared, extraordinarily capable, highly intelligent person by name Arjuna, who is facing the most difficult situation in his lifetime. He is losing his self-confidence and in that hour of crisis, the knowledge of the Gita is imparted to him by the Lord Himself. So in that way, the Gita has a very direct implication as a manual to face challenges and crises of life. These challenges and crises were not just unique to Arjuna, but are being faced by any human being in his lifetime. Therefore, the relevance is not lost just because the Gita is old. It is relevant even today because if you take a couple of shlokas from the Gita, you will see that all the gems of wisdom, that are needed by a person to live his life happily and successfully, are contained in it. There are a lot of important insights and pointers in the Gita, that address various aspects of life, such as – why it is important to be emotionally intelligent, why it is important not to lose one’s patience, what happens if one does not practice what is called delayed gratification, in modern terminology. Now a lot of people are talking about delayed gratification. What is meant by delayed gratification? All of us are human beings with sense organs and there are many sensory pleasures around. It is being found that individuals who are able to withhold themselves and delay the gratification of sensual pleasures seem to do well in their life. This was found through research by modern psychologists. Even management studies have found that great leaders practice this quality of delayed gratification. So why it this important? Why one should not get carried away by sensory pleasures and what happens if one indulges himself solely in the enjoyment of sensual pleasures? To all these, the Gita provides answers and powerful remedial actions to enrich one’s experience of life. The Gita is very powerful, as one can get a lot of insights for using them in day-to-day living situations.
Rituals of the Festival:
1) Lord Krishna temples celebrate this day with lots of enthusiasm and energy, pujas are performed with special prayers on Gita Jayanti.
2) Devotees from all over India and the world visit Kurukshetra on Gita Jayanti day, they take a holy bath in sacred ponds.
3) Other than the holy bath, Lord Krishna is worshipped with aarti at the end of Gita Jayanti.
4) As Gita Jayanti is celebrated on Ekadashi, devotees are required to fast on this day and do not consume grains like rice, wheat, and barley, from sunrise till sunset.
5) Also, during Gita Jayanti, organized celebrations are carried out, wherein the value of Dharma is taught to the youth through the explanation of Gita
Gita, The Crux Of Indian Spiritual Wisdom:
However, it is said that the Vedas are vast and not very direct in the import of their message. Several scholars believe that Bhagavad Gita is the crux of Vedic wisdom and the summary of Indian Spiritual Knowledge. In fact, Bhagavad Gita contains an ocean of wisdom, which has influenced Indian tradition for the last several millennia. Thus, reading Gita is like knowing a lot about Indian spiritual and philosophical wisdom
Bhagavad Gita – How to align with the present moment?
When we accept the present moment for what it is, without labeling it as, “Yech! This is bad”, “this is terrible” and so on, it helps us settle down within ourselves and be at ease. This is a very important and beautiful insight because of what it is the only reality. The past and the future is not real. It is only the present that is real. If we are able to accept that, then we have lived that moment completely. That is why it gives us a sense of being able to feel at ease. That is the deeper truth behind it because what is, is only the now. Now is the only Reality. The past and the future is not real, because even if we are talking or thinking about the past or the future, it is only in the now, therefore that is the beauty of that Reality. So, if we are able to be completely available to now, it gives us a lot of strength, it gives us a lot of inner space, which keeps us calm and composed. In another deeper sense, when there is alignment with the moment, the “me” the fictitious entity, the self can never operate. It can never operate in the now. And therefore, the Cosmic Intelligence can operate, so to put it very colloquially,” you” shut up for That to act. That is why we see people who have understood and who are living this Truth, they are all the time able to remain very peaceful. Even in the face of the so-called crisis, they are very composed, because they know that this little ego can’t really respond to the challenge, and that allows the Higher Intelligence to operate through the body and mind complex. And that is why their response, and not reaction, to the situation, is very different from the normal people. This insight is very important, it is something very powerful and fantastic. I would say that it is the greatest and most precious gift that a person can have.
How we celebrate Geeta Jayanti at the Gujrat Hindu Society?
We celebrate Gita Jayanti every year and this year we have religious programs scheduled on 07th December. The program will start at 7 PM with Aarti followed by Bhajan and prasad.
All are invited to be a part of this celebration. Please encourage your children to be part of the celebration. Jay Shree Krishna. May lord Krishna bless you.