According to the Hindu calendar, The Gita Jayanti is celebrated every year on the Ekadashi of Shukla paksha of the month of Margashirsha. It is said that it was on this day that the Gita sermons came out from Lord Krishna.
The Bhagavad Gita is a small part of India's great epic Mahabharata. Mahabharata is a saga of the history of ancient India in which important aspects of human life are described in great detail. With about 110,000 verses, Mahabharata is seven times larger than the world's epic texts, Iliad and Odyssey combined and three times larger than the Bible. It is a complete library of many sagas.
The plot of Bhagavad Gita is just before the commencement of the great battle between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. Lord Krishna, who became Arjuna's charioteer on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, saw him trapped in temptation and apprised him of his karma and duty and confronted him with the reality of life.
Bhagavad Gita is a source of inspiration for millions of people worldwide. Originally written in Sanskrit, the Gita has 700 shlokas and is still a guidebook for the people to decide how to understand the difference between right and wrong and live life properly. According to scriptural beliefs and scholarly chronology, Lord Krishna gave Arjuna knowledge of the Geeta on the day of Margashirsha Shukla Paksha Ekadashi 5159 years ago.
How "Bhagavad Gita" changed the life of scientists, philosophers, musicians, social activists and politicians the world over
Bhagavad Gita is one of the most widely respected Hindu scriptures and has been a source of inspiration for many people. Written in Sanskrit, its 700 verses are often quoted by many great personalities who believe that Gita has been a guiding force in their lives. It's no surprise that the wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita has inspired countless people throughout history and has been the most famous story in India for countless generations.
The scripture is often referred to as a way of life and is more than just a religious text. Bhagavad Gita is translated into more than 80 languages; its influence spans across boundaries, countries and has become a staple in philosophical discussions and the like.
What's interesting is seeing the people it touches because sometimes it can affect others in ways you never even thought possible. Many famous personalities around the world said the book transformed their life!
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the "theory of relativity", one of the two pillars of modern physics. His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He is best known to the general public for his mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc2, dubbed as the world's most famous equation. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his services to theoretical physics and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect, a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.
He was pretty impressed by the teachings of Lord Krishna and quoted, "When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe, everything else seems so superfluous." We cannot even imagine up to which level this book has inspired him to work harder. Einstein was one of many personalities who found answers to their questions while reading this book. We recommend you to read it and witness the changes it unleashes upon your life.
Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau was an American naturalist, essayist, poet, philosopher and a leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay 'Civil Disobedience' (originally published as 'Resistance to Civil Government'), an argument for disobedience to an unjust state. Thoreau's books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry are more than 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions are his writings on natural history and philosophy. He anticipated ecology and environmental history methods and findings, two sources of modern-day environmentalism.
The American poet was deeply influenced by Indian philosophy and spiritual thought. In his noted book titled Walden, he referenced the Bhagavad Gita in many instances. In the first chapter of the book, he writes: 'How much more admirable is the Bhagavad Gita than all the ruins of the East.'
Merton was an American monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion. He was ordained to the priesthood and given the name 'Father Louis' on May 26, 1949. Merton wrote more than 50 books in 27 years, mostly on spirituality, social justice, quiet pacifism, essays and reviews.
Merton's most enduring works is his bestselling autobiography 'The Seven Story Mountain'. His account of his spiritual journey inspired scores of World War II veterans, students, and teenagers to explore offerings of monasteries across the US.
Merton became a keen proponent of interfaith understanding, exploring Eastern religions through his study of mystic practice. He was particularly known for having pioneered dialogue with prominent Asian spiritual figures, including the Dalai Lama, Japanese writer D. T. Suzuki, Thai Buddhist monk Buddhadasa, and Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh. He travelled extensively to meet them and attend international conferences on religion.
He wrote about Gita; the word Gita means "song." Just in the Bible, the Song of Solomon has traditionally been known as "The Song of Songs" because it was interpreted to symbolize the ultimate union of Israel with God (in terms of human married love). So for Hinduism, the Bhagavad Gita is the great and unsurpassed song that finds the secret of human life in the unquestioning surrender to and awareness of Krishna. The Bhagavad Gita is a great treatise on the "active life." It is something more, for it tends to fuse worship, action and contemplation in a fulfilment of daily duty that transcends all three by a higher consciousness: a consciousness of acting passively, of being an obedient instrument of a transcendent will.
Sunita Lyn was an American astronaut and the United States Navy officer who formerly held the records for most spacewalks by a woman and most spacewalk time for a woman (50 hours, 40 minutes). Williams was assigned to the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 14 and Expedition 15. In 2012, she served as a flight engineer on Expedition 32 and then commander of Expedition 33.
The American astronaut, with Indian roots, holds the record for longest spacewalk time for a woman. When she was heading out on her expedition as a member of the International Space Station (ISS), she carried a Ganesha idol and a copy of the Bhagavad Gita with her in the space. In her words:
'Those are spiritual things to reflect upon yourself, life, the world around you and see things the other way. I thought it was quite appropriate." She added that book also enlightened her about what she was doing and the reason for doing it and helped her clear thoughts about her life's purpose. Further, she said that the book has helped her to keep grounded.
Annie Besant was a British socialist, theosophist, women's rights activist, writer, orator, educationist, and philanthropist. Regarded as a champion of human freedom, she was an ardent supporter of Irish and Indian self-rule. She was a prolific author with over three hundred books and pamphlets. As an educationist, her contributions included being one of the founders of the Banaras Hindu University and was interested in reading about Indian philosophy. Her translated work of the Bhagavad Gita is titled 'The Lord's Song'.
The text from her book reads: 'That the spiritual man need not be a recluse, that union with the divine life may be achieved and maintained in the midst of worldly affairs, that the obstacles to that union lie not outside us but within us such is the central lesson of the Bhagvad Gita.'