Recently, Gita was the talk of the town. Somebody said ‘send Gita to school’ and some advocated to ‘give national status to Gita’. What would be the fate of Gita, I don’t have a clue!
Here, I am not talking about Gita, the girl but ‘The Gita’, a sacred Hindu scripture. Also known as Bhagavad Gita or the Song of the Lord, The Gita is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata and a 700-verse scripture in Sanskrit language.
The sacred scripture contains invaluable advises of Lord Krishna that he offered to Arjuna, the third Pandava, in the battlefield of Kurukshetra, on the first day of the famous 18-day battle in the Mahabharata.
- The Gita is set in a narrative framework of a dialogue between Arjuna and his guide and charioteer Lord Krishna. Facing the duty as a warrior to fight the Dharma Yudhha or righteous war with his cousin brothers Kauravas, Arjuna is counselled by Lord Krishna to “fulfill his Kshatriya (warrior) duty as a warrior and establish Dharma.
- TheBhagavad Gita was exposed to the world through Sanjaya, who senses and cognizes all the events of the battlefield. Sanjaya is the advisor and also charioteer of Dhritarashtra, the blind king and father of Kauravas.
- The chronology of Mahabharata and the Bhagavata Purana puts the date of Bhagavad Gita around 3132 BCE. Hindu traditionalists assert that the Gitacame into existence in the third or fourth millennium BC, around the ending of Dwapara Yuga.
- TheBhagavad Gita has been highly praised, not only by prominent Indians including Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, but also by Aldous Huxley, Henry David Thoreau, Robert Oppenheimer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Carl Jung, Herman Hesse,Bulent Ecevit and others.
- The Gita ’s emphasis on selfless service was a prime source of inspiration for Gandhi, who said:
When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-Gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. My life has been full of external tragedies and if they have not left any visible or invisible effect on me, I owe it to the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita.
- Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, commented on theGita:
The Bhagavad-Gita deals essentially with the spiritual foundation of human existence. It is a call of action to meet the obligations and duties of life; yet keeping in view the spiritual nature and grander purpose of the universe.
- APJ. Abdul Kalam, 11th President of India, despite being a Muslim, used to read Bhagavad Gita and recite mantras.
- Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist and director of the ‘Manhattan Project’, learned Sanskrit in 1933 and read the Bhagavad Gita in the original form, citing it later as one of the most influential books to shape his philosophy of life. Upon witnessing the world’s first nuclear test in 1945, he later said he had thought of the quotation “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”, verse 32 from chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita.
Now coming to the point
Do you know it’s the birth month of The Gita?
Well, well. I just wanted to inform that the birthday celebration ‘Gita Jayanti Samaroh’ is about to start on 17th Dec and will continue till 21st Dec in Kurukshetra, a holy city in north Haryana, India.
It is celebrated every year in the month of November or December, at the magnificent ‘Braham Sarovar’. The Sarovar comes to vibrant life for more than a week with attractive lighting, enthusiastic crowd and talented artists. Craftsmen from all over INDIA assemble here with unique artifacts. Various types of religious and cultural events are organized and the celebration ends with unforgettable vista of Deep daan and Aarti.
I will be posting pictures when and where possible.