Gita Mahotsav and its Significance

OV Digital Desk

Gita Jayanti is observed every year on the Shukla Ekadashi, the 11th day of the waxing moon of the Margashirsha month of the Hindu calendar.  The day is also considered as the birthday of the Bhagavad Gita. This year, the Gita Jayanti marks the 5159th anniversary of the Bhagavad Gita, the holy text of Hindus, and will be observed on 3 December 2021. On this day, “Bhagavad Gita” was revealed to Arjuna by Krishna Himself on the battlefield of Kurukshetra (in present-day Haryana, India).

The Bhagavad Gita is believed to have been revealed to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra by Krishna. It is written in the third person, as narrated by Sanjaya to King Dhritarashtra as it transpired between Krishna and Arjuna. As a result of the blessing, he received from his guru, Ved Vyasa, Sanjaya was able to remotely view the events taking place on the battlefield as they unfolded.

The Story

The Bhagavad Gita is described just before the Kurukshetra War begins in the epic Mahabharata. As a result of several failed attempts at reconciliation, war was inevitable. The Lord Krishna decided to become Arjuna’s charioteer during the battle out of pure compassion and love for his devotee and best friend. The day of the war finally came, and the armies faced off on the field of war. Just as the battle was about to start, Arjuna asked Lord Krishna to drive the chariot to the middle of the battlefield, between the armies, to look more closely at the opposing forces. Seeing his grandfather, Bhishma, who raised him with great affection since childhood, and his teacher, Dronācārya, who had trained him to become the greatest archer, Arjuna’s heart began to melt. His body started to tremble, and his mind got confused. He became unable to perform his duty as a Kshatriya (warrior). He felt weak and sickened at the thought that he would have to kill his relatives, his friends, and revered persons in this confrontation. Despondent, he told Krishna of his sudden change of heart and turned to him for advice. The conversation that ensued, Lord Krishna’s advice, messages, and teachings to Arjuna, is what is known now as the Bhagavad Gita, the ancient scripture and philosophical work.

The Gita is said to be a concise summary of the four Vedas of Hinduism.  Kaal (Kshar Brahm) described the knowledge of the Gita in 700 verses of 18 chapters after entering in Shri Krishna’s body. Gita Mahotsav is also known as Geeta Jayanti, Geeta Utsav, Mokshada Ekadashi, and Matsya Dwadashi.

Significance of the Bhagavad Gita

The holy book consists of 700 verses and is a significant part of the Indian Epic Mahabharata Bhisma Parva. The warrior Arjuna at first failed to gain the courage of the enemies who were his cousins. Therefore, to ensure Dharma and end the wrong happenings, he took an active part in the battlefield. Finally, he conquered his emotions, which resulted in a historical war, and was penned down in Bhagavad Gita.

How Gita Jayanti is celebrated

It’s mainly celebrated in Kurukshetra, Haryana. There’s something sacred about the place. At Kurukshetra, devotees and pilgrims from all over India gather during Gita Jayanti Samaroh. Everyone is supposed to bathe in the holy water of the sacred tanks – Sannihit Sarovar and Brahma Sarovar. There are so many spiritual activities organized there that the whole place becomes divine and spiritual. Festival highlights include shloka recitals, dance performances, Bhagwad Katha readings, Bhajans, Dramas, Book Exhibitions and free medical screenings. The Samaroh is organized by the Kurukshetra Development Board, Haryana Tourism, District Administration, and the Art and Cultural Affairs Department of Haryana.

Haryana Government will celebrate the ‘Krishna Utsav’ on similar lines of Gita Mahotsav at Karmayogi Dhara. “The International Gita Mahotsav (IGM)-2022 has left an indelible mark on the world stage.  Now, the tourists will get a glimpse of Lord Krishna’s leelas with the message of karma he preached at Gita Sthali in Kurukshetra,” said Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.