“Anyway, print books, distribute profusely, and that will be the best preaching work. What will your three minutes’ preaching do? —but if they buy one book, it may turn their life. So, make this your important task, to print our books…and distribute widely, and that will please my Guru Maharaja. Never mind it takes little time to make progress, our process is slow but sure, and we are confident that if we continue in this way, we shall go one day back to home, back to Godhead.”
– Srila Prabhupada in a letter to Bhagavan das, Vrindaban, 5 November, 1972
Couple of days ago we celebrated the Gita Jayanti Festival, pandals were set up in Vamsi Bhavan area, and in Prabhupad Samadhi area within the campus during the auspicious celebration of Gita Jayanti and to crown it all, we had the opportunity to have HH Jayapataka Swami with us as well as many of his godbrothers and other senior devotees. The festival lasted for 3 days, hosting over thousands of guests and visiting devotees from around the world that recited and participated in the festival, it made the occasion very blissful. During this time, many copies of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita As It Is were distributed to the visiting pilgrims. This distribution is a combined effort of many of the Mayapur community devotees, as well as some visiting devotees from around the world.
Jayapatākā Swami: Since other co-directors spoke, His Grace Hṛdaya Caitanya, would he like to say something?
So, today is the day of the advent of Bhagavad-gītā, Bhagavad-gītā jayantī. On this tithi 5,000 years ago Śrī Kṛṣṇa, on the battlefield of Kurukṣetra spoke the Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā was most appropriate 5,000 years ago and it is still appropriate today. The subject matter, the truth that is given there is eternal. In the 6th chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā, the yoga process is given. Today’s class reading from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is on the yoga system. But Arjuna had said that it is not possible for me to perform this aṣṭāṅga-yoga. Then Lord Kṛṣṇa said, alright, you are already practicing bhakti-yoga, that is the best yoga.
Every Bhagavad-gītā chapter has a particular glory. In the first chapter there is a story there was a bullock, he was overloaded, by his master, and not given water. So, he fainted, and foam came from his mouth. Seeing this situation, one woman gave half of the result of her piety, her good activities to the bullock. Then the bullock died and in the next birth took birth as a brāhmaṇa. So, he somehow knew that this lady gave him half of her good karma. So, he went to her house and knocked on her door. She answered the door and saw this 9-year-old boy standing and she said, “Yes?” The child said, “You don’t recognize me, but I am that bullock for whom you gave half of the results your good karma. So, I wanted to talk with you”. “Please come in, please come in”, she said. He said, “Normally people don’t give their good karma away, why did you give your good karma to me? What were you thinking? You have so much good karma, where do you get them from?” The lady said, “that every day I read the first chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā. So, with that I have a lot of good karma.” So, reading Bhagavad-gītā gives good karma and gives kṛṣṇa-bhakti. Kṛṣṇa-bhakti is invaluable. Through the Bhagavad-gītā we can get kṛṣṇa-bhakti, it cannot be got ordinarily. By reading the Bhagavad-gītā, and avoiding doing any forbidden things, one can get pure bhakti.
So today is the day Bhagavad-gītā was spoken. Therefore, we especially worship the Bhagavad-gītā today. Actually, Bhagavad-gītā is not different from Kṛṣṇa because it was spoken by Kṛṣṇa. This way, if we read Bhagavad-gītā every day – yesterday I gave Bhakti-śāstrī degrees to so many devotees who had nicely studied the Bhagavad-gītā. I am very grateful that in this way Bhagavad-gītā is being taught. Śrīla Prabhupāda’s, Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, commentary is a direct instruction, and I hope that everyone will read and get a copy of the Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Śrīla Prabhupāda in his lectures, he would frequently quote Bhagavad-gītā. So, we hope that we will have many paṇḍitas on Bhagavad-gītā. Any questions?
Premāñjana dāsa: Generally, Gītā-jayantī takes place on Ekādaśī day, but this year we see that it is on Daśamī, is there any reason? I would like to know.
Jayapatākā Swami: I was thinking that normally on Ekādaśī we have Śrīla Prabhupāda lecture. This year, the Gītā-jayantī, maybe it was on Daśamī, so that I could give a lecture! But I also don’t know the particular answer to why. We know that the Gītā was spoken on Ekādaśī. I don’t know, the astrologers, and astronomers can say why it happened today. Maybe because today is Ekādaśī and tomorrow is Mahā-dvādaśī, maybe that is why.
Kesavi devī dāsī: Tomorrow we are celebrating Bhakti-śāstrī certificates’ giving ceremony for Japanese devotees. Please give your blessings for the devotees in Japan. Last time you said you want to facilitate those who cannot read, they can also do Bhakti-śāstrī. My question is, there is one devotee who cannot hear or speak. He is also your disciple. But he can read. If that is pleasing to you, can he be facilitated to do Bhakti-śāstrī? He is willing to take the Bhakti-śāstrī. But the śloka test how to do that? If you can suggest?
Jayapatākā Swami: Sure. This is ultimately up to the Board of Examination. But I would think if he can write some ślokas down that would be alright. But also, you can ask the Board of Examination what to do in his case.
So, His Holiness Bhakti Vijaya Bhāgavata Swami asked me to finish early because some of the people who have bought or sponsored must receive Caitanya-caritāmṛta.
Braja Vilāsa dāsa: Thank you so very much for the wonderful class. I am asking this que for all those devotees who are assembled here and who forgot to bring the Bhagavad-gītā and have the Bhagavad-gītā. I have a question on behalf of them. My question is how auspicious is it today to get the new Bhagavad-gītā from saṅkīrtana department and read here? Our His Holiness Bhakti Vijaya Bhāgavata Mahārāja and Gaura Dhāma Prabhu are here ready to give the Bhagavad-gītās. I wanted to hear from you, your opinion.
Jayapatākā Swami: Bhagavad-gītā, to receive the Bhagavad-gītā on the Gītā-jayantī day is very, very auspicious.
We also want to thank Lakṣmī Govinda for the Gītā Study Course and spreading the Gītā-jñāna around. Śrīla Prabhupāda also wrote the Bhagavad-gītā in Bengali poetry as Gītār-gān. While you are reading the āhutis here, someone can be singing the Gītār-gān in the temple. Just as in Hindi they sing the Rāmacarita-manas, in Bengali they can sing the Gītār-gān. Haribol! – HH Jayapataka Swami 03 Dec 2022
In the Sri Mayapur International School, there is also a Gita Jayanti festival, where all the students and teachers gather and recite the Bhagavad Gita. Students from the Bhaktivendanta Gita Academy also organized a huge Gita Jayanti festival. They go for mangala arati, then bathe in the Ganga before going to the festival pandal. A beautifully decorated yajna kunda is set up, and oblations are offered into the fire during the recitation of the Sanskrit verses of the Bhagavad Gita. On average, over 7000 thousand devotees gather in one place to recite the Bhagavad Gita in unison. The atmosphere is surcharged. After the recitation of the Gita, a delicious feast was served.