NEW DELHI: Kurukshetra, the battlefield, is a grand metaphor. It’s the supreme reminder of the battle of Mahabharata that pitted brothers against brothers and shishyas against their gurus. It was from this blood-soaked battlefield, also the womb and fountain-bed of the Bhagwad Gita and Lord Krishna’s message to Arjuna, that the warriors were led to the path of spiritual wisdom.
For some, “battlefield” is more than a metaphor. Palestinian Ambassador Adnan Abu Alhaijaa, knows the relevance of “war” and “peace” for decades. The word “battlefield” leaves his eyes moist. It’s harsher than Delhi’s ‘winter’-sun that pierced Alhaijaa’s eyes for three hours at the Red Fort in New Delhi, where he was present to participate at the celebrations marking the culmination of the Bhagwad Gita Prerna Utsav on December 7. “The people of Palestine look for peace. They want peace. We have suffered for long,” he said.
Alhaijaa was among the several diplomats who were presented copies of the Bhagwad Gita on the occasion. The Palestinian Ambassador wants to turn a page to spiritual wisdom through the Gita.
“I have read a bit on the principles of the Gita. We want peace. We want people from across the world to know that the Palestinian people want peace,” he said. His wife Fajila carried a copy of the Bhagwad Gita in her hand as they walked away from the crowded dais.
The weeklong celebrations of the 5151 years of the scripture, inaugurated on December 2, ended with Mahamandaleshwar Swami Gyananand and Global Inspiration Enlightenment Organisation dedicating the “book of universal language” with 700 verses to the world.
“The message of Gita is a remedy to the various problems in our country, world and society today. Our motive is to create more awareness on the Gita and its universal relevance in the fields of politics, education, business and many other fields,” Swami Gyananand said.
The celebration was attended by thousands of people from all walks of life, including Jain, Sikh, Muslim, Christian leaders, and representatives from various communities, sadhus, sants and sadhavis, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, VHP Supremo Ashok Singhal, Swami Divyanand Tirth and others. The dignitaries were welcomed with a tilak on the forehead and the playing of the conch at the venue associated with national pride, political power, and the seat of the Tiranga. Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev electrified the mass rendition of Vande Matram dedicated to the National Flag as he poured a high pitch into the microphone. “Dikhao Gita ka gyan hai ki nahin, (show whether you have the knowledge of Gita),” he said, urging all to join him in the reciting of the verses.
Philosophy is one of the off-springs of the battlefield. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj believes that life oscillates between Krishna’s divine grace (Krishna Kripa) and his wish (Krishna Ichcha). In her address, Swaraj urged the Centre to declare the Bhagwad Gita the national holy book. “Bhagwad Gita should be declared the national holy book. Only a formal announcement remains,” she said. Swaraj mentioned PM Narendra Modi gifting a copy of Bhagwad Gita to Barack Obama as a “samman.”