Gita Jayanti is the anniversary of Lord Krishna speaking Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna and this year it fell on December 19. This day marks the speaking of the Bhagavad Gita by Lord Krishna to Arjuna 5,245 years ago on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Bhagavad Gita, also called the ‘holy
song of the Lord’, is a gift given to the human society from Lord Sri Krishna to direct them towards seeking the higher goals of life. Athato Brahma Jijnasa, the Vedanta sutra states, “Now you have got this human form of life, inquire about self-realisation.” Bhagavad Gita is the perfect book for reaching that goal.
Bhagavad Gita can be compared to an intelligence agency. The word ‘intelligence’ means ‘inside information’. Any agency which has inside information about certain facts is an intelligence agency. Every country in this world has some intelligence agencies such as Intelligence Bureau in India, Central Intelligence Agency in the US, Secret Intelligence Service in the UK etc. All these agencies have access to information which common people do not have.
Similarly, Bhagavad Gita gives us access to a range of inside information: how this material nature works, how one should conduct the self, what should be the ultimate goal of a soul, where we have come from and where we will go after death, what is karma and how it works, why we see good people suffering at times and why we see bad people enjoying, what is the relation of soul with the creator etc. Hence, anyone who reads Bhagavad Gita gets enlightened.
When Bhagavad Gita was spoken, the five Pandavas were practically the most skilled, intelligent, cultured and refined people in this world. Arjuna was a prince warrior, a householder with wife and children, having responsibilities of ruling the kingdom. However, Lord Krishna chose Arjuna to speak Bhagavad Gita proving that its knowledge is meant for all classes of people and not just the renunciants. Moreover, Bhagavad Gita was spoken in the midst of the most gruesome impending war. Lord Krishna, however, chose to speak Bhagavad Gita in that situation by postponing the war, which proves the significance of the knowledge in all situations of life and especially during difficult situations.
Notably, a great warrior like Arjuna couldn’t tolerate even the insinuation of desertion and the cowardice it implied. A warrior like Arjuna, who would have never put aside his bow in normal situation due to any external assault, was forced to do so by inner assault of discouragement.
Discouragement and internal state of mind had the power to take such a great hero to such a terrible state. Whether it is depression, dejection, or disheartenment—discouragement is one of our extremely dangerous enemies. For Arjuna even the thought of deserting and leaving the war was unconscionable—it was to be considered a prospect worse than death.
Bhagavad Gita is a book which is evergreen in its relevance. Any book written by a person of this world may stay for a few years but afterwards it loses its charm. However, Bhagavad Gita being spoken by the Supreme Krishna Himself 5,000 years ago is eternally fresh like He Himself. As Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad Gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.”
The day of Gita Jayanti is celebrated very enthusiastically in all the ISKCON temples all over the world. It is a day to especially remind ourselves of the great heritage we have received in the form of the divine knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita and our responsibility to reciprocate by reading, studying and implementing in our lives. This act itself is an act of devotion to Lord Krishna as the Lord explains in the Bhagavad Gita 18.70: “And I declare that he who studied this sacred conversation of ours, worships Me by his intelligence.”
Gita is filled with optimism, positivity, love, inspiration and wisdom acts as beacon light for the entire world. The author is the spiritual leader of International Society for Krishna Consciousness