Gita Jayanti is the advent of the Bhagavad Gita, one of the sacred texts in Hinduism. It is celebrated on the Shukla Ekadashi (Mokshada Ekadashi), 11th day of waxing moon of Margashirsha month (December) of the Sanatan Hindu calendar. It is believed that Bhagavad Gita was revealed to Arjuna by Krishna Himself in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. The text was narrated by Sanjaya to the blind King Dhritarashtra as it transpired between Sri Krishna and Arjuna.
Lord Krishna gave the secret knowledge of devotional service in the form of Bhagavad Gita to his dearest devotee Arjuna 5000 years ago (3138B.C.). In the fourth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita (4.1–4.3) Lord Krishna says:
imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha manur ikṣhvākave ’bravīt
evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣhayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha mahatā yogo naṣhṭaḥ parantapa
sa evāyaṁ mayā te ’dya yogaḥ proktaḥ purātanaḥ
bhakto ’si me sakhā cheti rahasyaṁ hyetad uttamam
Here, Lord Krishna informed Arjuna that the philosophy of Bhagavad Gita was first spoken to the sun-god, and the sun-god narrated it to Manu, and Manu explained it to Ikṣhvāku, and in that way, by Guru-Shishya succession, one speaker after another, this philosophy had been coming down. But in the course of time it had become lost. Consequently, He (Lord Krishna) had to speak it again, this time to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukṣhetra.
The divinity of the Bhagavad Gita was imparted by Lord Krishna so that mankind could understand the real purpose of life and move forward on the path of surrender at His feet. The purpose of the Bhagavad Gita is to save mankind from material worldly ignorance. Just as Arjuna was in trouble in the battle of Kurukshetra, so each of us is in trouble in various ways due to our worldly existence. Arjuna completely surrendered to Lord Krishna and as a result gained knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita and became free from Maya. Each of us is full of anxiety because of worldly existence. So by listening to the Bhagavad Gita we can be saved in the same way.
Gita Jayanti is an annual celebration commemorating the first day of the battle of Kurukshetra, the day on which Lord Krishna imparted his philosophical teachings to Arjuna. When Arjuna hesitated to fight against his relatives on behalf of Kaurava in battle, Lord Krishna explained to him the truth of life and the philosophy of action, knowledge, meditation and devotion, which led to the publication of one of the world’s greatest scriptures, the Bhagavad Gita.
Gita Jayanti is celebrated in many temples, epecially ISKCON (international Society for Krishna Consciousness) temples around the world, where devotees recite the entire Bhagavad Gita. Besides, Vaishnava devotees distribute the Bhagavad Gita to everyone irrespective of religion, caste, tribe etc. on the occasion of Gita Jayanti.
Talker: Krishna Das