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The Gita Jayanti, or the birthday of the Bhagavad Gita, is celebrated throughout India and other parts of the world by all the admirers and lovers of this most sacred scripture on the eleventh day (Ekadashi) of the bright half (Shukla Paksha) of the month of Margaseersha (December-January), according to the Hindu almanac. It was on this day that Sanjaya narrated to King Dhritarashtra the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, and thus made the glorious teachings of the Lord available to us, and to people of the world, for all time.
The Gita Jayanti marks one of the greatest days in the history of mankind. Nearly six thousand years ago on that day a dazzling flash of brilliant light lit up the firmament of human civilization. That flash, that marvellous spiritual effulgence, was the message of the Bhagavad Gita, given by the Lord Himself on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Unlike ordinary flashes of light which die away after a split-second, this brilliant flash of that memorable day has continued to shine through the centuries, and even now illumines the path of humanity on its onward march to perfection.
The discourse of Bhagavad Gita took place at the middle of the Kurushektra war. After several attempts of reconciliation failed, the war becomes inevitable. As per requested, out of pure compassion and sincere love to His devotee Arjuna, Krishna decided to become the charioteer for His best friend. The day of the war finally came and both of the armies gathered on the battlefield face to face. This is the time where Arjuna asks Lord Krishna to drive the chariot to the middle of the battlefield between both armies to have a look at the opponent. Seeing his Grandsire Bhishma who raised him since child and his teacher Drona who have thought him to be a great archer, Arjuna's heart begin to melt. His body started to tremble and his mind get confused which makes him deviate from his duty as a Kshatriya. He felt weak and sickened on the thought that he would have to kill his relatives, his friends and revered persons in this confrontation. Being very despondent, he told his friend Krishna of his problem and turn to Him to seek for advice. The advice that was given by Krishna to Arjuna is what is known now as the Bhagavad Gita, the most sacred philosophical non-sectarian text of the Hindu.
Gita Jayanthi is celebrated worldwide by all those who revere Bhagavad Gita as Mother and respect her, especially devotees of Krishna. Mass recital of the 701 verses from all 18 chapters chanted throughout the day. Devotees also fast on this day as it is also Ekadashi. Bhajans and Poojas are held on this day. In places where this festival is celebrated grandly, stage play and recitation rally are held for kids to show their talents as a way to encourage their interest in reading Gita. Yogis, Sanyasins and learned scholar gives talks and held forums of this holy scripture. Leaflets, pamphlets and books containing the essence of Gita is distributed to the public.
For this festival, the Swadhyay Parivar encourage youth from 16–30 years of age, of many religions and cultures, to speak on a certain topics about Gita. Last year from around the world 3.5 million youth spoke on the Gita. This year, youth spoke on the topic Bhagvad Gita: The Destroyer of Kalyug and the divine song of Unity. People have gone from house to house spreading the thoughts of the Gita.
1. Hindu Fast and Festivals By Swami Sivananda