“Because Bhagavad Gita is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one need not read any other Vedic literature. One need only attentively and regularly hear and read Bhagavad Gita.”
– Srila Prabhupada, Bhagavad Gita Introduction
Since 1994, the Bhaktivedanta Gita Academy (Mayapur) has been enriching the lives of many with the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. The Academy provides various courses, such as the Gita Study course and others, which are designed in a way that benefits everyone who partakes in them. Whether a participant is new to the faith, or has followed the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita for many years, these courses are beneficial for all. The Bhaktivedanta Gita Academy’s systematic courses meet the needs of every participant and challenge them to grow and mature, thus strengthening their Krishna consciousness.
The Bhagavad-gita is a well-known literature, and has various interpretations, many of which are misleading and pure speculation. Srila Prabhupada’s purports are not his own mental speculation, but rather the essence of the words of our previous acaryas. Around 1970, when Srila Prabhupada was in Indore, he was invited to speak at a grand Gita Jayanti festival. There were many speakers who spoke many different things, but when Srila Prabhupada spoke, many of these mental speculators were defeated.
One particular attendee of that Gita Jayanti festival, Baba Balmukund, recalled: “I’ve seen many sadhus and great saints in this Gita Bhavan. I saw Srila Prabhupada also in the same place. I was very much impressed by Srila Prabhupada and his preaching. It was because Prabhupada had revealed the reality about bhakti, because he was a pure bhakta, that he could change the people of the West and give them another dress, he could give them another diet, he could entirely change their culture and give them true bhakti. And this was the greatest thing Prabhupada has done. Let the world say as it likes, but he has done a marvelous thing regarding Lord Krishna’s bhakti. What Swami Vivekananda, Swami Ram Tirtha, and others could not do, Srila Prabhupada has done. It is a marvelous thing.” (Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita, vol 4)
Srila Prabhupada always emphasized the importance of following the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, because there are no changes or adjustments to the words of the Lord. The Bhagavad-gita As It Is has touched and changed the lives of millions, and on this day, the devotees of ISKCON Mayapur honour and worship the Bhagavad-gita by holding a grand 4 day festival leading up to the day of Gita Jayanti itself, also known as the advent of the Bhagavad-gita.
After attending mangala arati, the students of the Bhaktivedanta Gita Academy went down to the banks of the Ganga to bathe in her holy waters, followed by Ganga Puja and Go-puja or the worship of our mother the cow. Once they had completed this morning program, the students assembled in the Gita Jayanti festival pandal constructed right beside Gita Bhavan to partake in the various seminars and classes. His Holiness Bhakti Purusottama Swami gave seminars every afternoon for the duration of the festival on the Bhagavad-gita. His Holiness Bhakti Caru Swami gave a seminar on one of the days on the 9th chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, entitled “the Most Confidential Knowledge.”
Every day from the 14th of December 2018 to the 19th of December 2018, thousands of pilgrims would gather for the festivities. They also attended the seminars given and took part in very interactive Questions and Answers sessions. There was also a fun general knowledge quiz on the Bhagavad-gita. In the evenings, a wonderful cultural program would be held, showcasing many talents such as dances and dramas.
On the day of Gita Jayanti, the devotees from the Mayapur community, Brahmacari asrama and department and Sankirtana department recited the entire Bhagavad-gita along with the hundreds of visiting pilgrims. This recitation was headed by His Holiness Bhakti Caru Maharaja, His Holiness Candramauli Maharaja, His Holiness Bhakti Purusottama Maharaja, His Grace Jananivas Prabhu and His Grace Pankajanghri Prabhu, and when they got to the concluding chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, oblations were offered into a fire yajna following each sloka or verse from the 18th chapter of the Bhagavad-gita.
The experience of reciting the Bhagavad-gita alongside 3,500 other devotees was inspiring and purifying, and was most definitely felt in the surrounding atmosphere. Everyone who attended the festivities, even for one day, received so much good fortune.
The Bhagavad-gita is the literary incarnation of the Lord, and so anyone who hears or reads the Bhagavad-gita will obtain limitless good fortune and purification.