Geeta Jayanti is a Hindu festival that commemorates the day when Lord Krishna revealed the divine wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. It is also known as Mokshada Ekadashi, as it is believed that reading or reciting the Gita on this day can liberate one from the cycle of birth and death. This year, Geeta Jayanti will be observed on December 22, 2023, marking the 5160th anniversary of the holy scripture.
The Bhagavad Gita, which means “the Song of God”, is a part of the epic Mahabharata, written by sage Vyasa. It consists of 18 chapters and 700 verses, in which Lord Krishna teaches Arjuna the essence of dharma, karma, yoga, bhakti, and moksha. The Gita is considered to be one of the most influential and revered texts in Hinduism, as well as a source of inspiration for many other religions and philosophies.
How is Geeta Jayanti celebrated?
Geeta Jayanti is celebrated with great devotion and enthusiasm by the followers of Lord Krishna and the Gita. The main rituals and activities include:
Fasting: Many devotees observe a strict fast on this day, abstaining from grains, beans, onion, garlic, alcohol, eggs, and meat. They break their fast after sunset or the next day, depending on their tradition.
Puja: Devotees worship Lord Krishna, the Gita, and sage Vyasa with flowers, incense, lamps, and offerings. They also recite or listen to the Gita, especially the 15th chapter, which is known as the Gita Mahatmya, or the glory of the Gita.
Satsang: Devotees gather in temples, ashrams, or homes to sing bhajans, kirtans, and aartis in praise of Lord Krishna and the Gita. They also listen to discourses and lectures by spiritual leaders and scholars on the teachings and messages of the Gita.
Charity: Devotees perform acts of charity and service on this day, such as donating food, clothes, books, or money to the needy, feeding cows, birds, or animals, or helping the poor, sick, or elderly.
Cultural programs: Devotees participate in various cultural events and competitions, such as quiz, essay, painting, or recitation, based on the theme of the Gita. They also enjoy performances of dance, drama, music, or poetry, depicting the stories and characters of the Mahabharata and the Gita.
Why is Geeta Jayanti important?
Geeta Jayanti is important for several reasons, such as:
It is a day to honor and celebrate the birth of the Bhagavad Gita, which is regarded as the essence of all the Vedas and Upanishads, and the ultimate guide for human life.
It is a day to remember and express gratitude to Lord Krishna, who imparted the supreme knowledge to Arjuna, and through him, to all of humanity.
It is a day to reflect and meditate on the teachings and messages of the Gita, which are relevant and applicable to every situation and circumstance of life.
It is a day to practice and implement the principles and values of the Gita, such as detachment, duty, action, devotion, and liberation, in one’s personal and professional life.
It is a day to seek and attain the blessings and grace of Lord Krishna and the Gita, which can help one overcome the challenges and difficulties of life, and achieve the ultimate goal of moksha, or liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
What is the history of Geeta Jayanti?
Geeta Jayanti is a Hindu festival that celebrates the day when Lord Krishna revealed the divine wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. It is also known as Mokshada Ekadashi, as it is believed that reading or reciting the Gita on this day can liberate one from the cycle of birth and death. According to the traditional Hindu calendar, Geeta Jayanti falls on the Ekadashi day of Shukla Paksha, or the bright half of the Margashirsha month (November-December) of the Hindu calendar. This year, Geeta Jayanti will be observed on December 22, 2023, marking the 5160th anniversary of the holy scripture.
How to celebrate Geeta Jayanti 2023?
If you are interested in celebrating Geeta Jayanti 2023, here are some suggestions for you:
Read or listen to the Bhagavad Gita, or at least a few verses or chapters of your choice. You can also watch or listen to online videos or podcasts on the Gita by various experts and teachers.
Visit a temple or a place of worship dedicated to Lord Krishna or the Gita, and offer your prayers and respects. You can also join the satsang or the cultural programs organized by the temple or the community.
Perform a puja or a havan at your home or office, and invite your family, friends, or colleagues to join you. You can also distribute prasad or sweets to them as a token of love and goodwill.
Donate or volunteer for a cause or an organization that is aligned with the values and vision of the Gita, such as education, health, environment, or social welfare. You can also support or sponsor a child, a student, or a project that is related to the Gita or Lord Krishna.
Share or post your thoughts, feelings, or experiences about the Gita or Lord Krishna on social media, blogs, or forums. You can also use hashtags such as #GeetaJayanti2023, #BhagavadGita, or #Krishna to spread the awareness and joy of the festival.
What are the main teachings of the Bhagavad Gita?
The Bhagavad Gita is a sacred Hindu scripture that contains the dialogue between Lord Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. It covers various topics such as dharma, karma, yoga, bhakti, and moksha, and offers spiritual guidance for human life. According to some sources12, the main teachings of the Bhagavad Gita are:
The self (atman) is eternal and distinct from the body and the mind. It is the source of consciousness and bliss, and can be realized through self-knowledge.
The supreme self (brahman) is the ultimate reality and the cause of all existence. It is identical with the self (atman) and can be experienced through devotion and meditation.
The material nature (prakriti) is the manifestation of the supreme self (brahman) and consists of three modes (gunas): sattva (goodness), rajas (passion), and tamas (ignorance). It is the source of all actions and reactions (karma) and binds the self (atman) to the cycle of birth and death (samsara).
The time (kala) is the duration of existence of the material nature (prakriti) and the measure of change and decay. It is also the agent of destruction and dissolution of the material world.
The action (karma) is the performance of one’s prescribed duty (dharma) according to one’s nature (svabhava) and stage of life (ashrama). It should be done without attachment to the results (nishkama karma) and with dedication to the supreme self (brahman).
The yoga is the means of attaining the union with the supreme self (brahman) and the liberation from the cycle of birth and death (moksha). It consists of four paths: jnana (knowledge), bhakti (devotion), karma (action), and raja (meditation).
One of the most famous verses from the Bhagavad Gita is:
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि॥
karmaṇyevādhikāraste mā phaleṣhu kadāchana mā karmaphalaheturbhūr mā te saṅgo ’stvakarmaṇi
Translation: You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction.
This verse teaches the principle of detachment and duty, which is the essence of karma yoga. It encourages one to act according to one’s dharma, without being attached to the outcome or the ego. It also warns against the laziness and indifference that may arise from the misunderstanding of the doctrine of non-attachment.
Geeta Jayanti 2023 is a golden opportunity for you to connect with the divine wisdom and grace of the Bhagavad Gita and Lord Krishna. By celebrating this auspicious day, you can enrich your life with the spiritual, moral, and practical guidance of the Gita, and experience the peace, happiness, and fulfillment that it promises. Happy Geeta Jayanti 2023!