December 19, 2015

Children’s Program Highlights:

Maharaj Jee’s discourse on Gita Jayanti

Purpose of Gita: The first shloka in Gita is narrated by Dhritarashtra and is as follows
Dhrutarashtra Uvacha

dharmakshetre kurukshetre samaveda yuyutsava:
mamaka pandavaschaiva kimakurvata sanjaya 1/1

and the last shloka in Bhagvad Gita as recited by Sanjay is

yatra yogesvarah krsno ,yatra partho dhanur-dharah
tatra srir vijayo bhutir, dhruva nitir matir mama (18/78)

The 700 Gita shlokas can be summarized in the first and the last words of Gita which is “Dharma Mama” which means “My duty”. Therefore ; Gita is a treatise to help us understand our dharma.

Gita Jayanti is celebrated to mark the occasion of the narration of Gita by Bhagvan Krishna to Arjun. Gita was delivered for the benefit of all souls, over 5000 years ago. It was delivered in the auspicious land of Kurukshetra on the Ekadashi of the month of Margasheesha .
“Margasheesha” is composed of two words “Marga” meaning “Road” and “Sheesha” meaning “head”; therefore “Margasheesha” means the main road. A road which leads us to our destination. In chapter 10, amongst his various Vibhutis, Bhagvan Krishna mentions that amongst all the months, he is the month of “Margasheesha”.Within this month, in the waxing half of the moon, known as shuklapaksha, on the eleventh day known as Ekadashi, Gita was delivered to Arjun. There are 12 pairs of bright and dark halves of lunar fortnights ; thereby comprising of 24 ekadashis. Each Ekadashi has its own name and significance and has a certain objective associated with it. This particular Ekadashi when Gita was delivered is known as the Mokshada Ekadashi which is the Ekadashi which when performed provides Moksha or liberation.

The word Moksha is also comprised of two words which are “moh” (desires) + “kshay” (destruction) which brings the meaning of Moksha as something which destroys desires. Since desires arise out of ‘knowledge-less-ness’, moksha eradicates this state of knowledge-less-ness’

Maharaj jee explains this with an interesting anecdote which is as follows:
A blind man is once invited to a dinner and is offered ‘kheer’ (rice pudding in milk). The blind man has never tasted the kheer so he asks someone to describe it. People explain to him that the kheer is made out of milk. The blind man had incidentally not tasted milk either, so asks people to describe milk. People describe milk to be of white color. Since the person who is asking the questions is blind, he does not understand what white color is, so people explain that white is the color of a swan. Since the blind person does not know how a swan is, he asks people to describe a swan. People try to imitate a swan’s neck by forming shapes by bending their arm etc. When the blind person hears, this, he refuses to eat the kheer as he thinks that the kheer which now to him sounds something like the swan may get stuck in his throat due to its awkward size and shape.

This simple story explains, how lack of knowledge about even simple things can lead to baseless and foolish conclusions. Similarly lack of spiritual knowledge or knowledge of one’s duty can lead to illogical conclusions about one’s duty. Maharaj jee quotes the story to explain the meaning of moksha as a commonly (mis)understood notion is that liberation or moksha implies death. He explains that Gita spreads the light of knowledge within the “Antah Karan” which is essentially a sum of four parts (Man (mind), Buddhi (intellect), Chittah (consciousness) and Ahankar(ego). Just like to maintain the body, we need food to be consumed everyday; similarly to maintain the soul, we need the light of knowledge everyday.

After explaining, the significance of Ekadashi (specifically mokshada Ekadashi) and the significance of Margasheesha, Maharaj jee explains the significance of Kurukshetra. Kurukshetra was an auspicious land where lot of yagyas were conducted. The land was considered to be illuminated with the light of knowledge. It is said, that when earth was being formed, the first mass of land that appeared was that of Kurukshetra. There is a spot known as “Suryakunda” also known as “Amritkunda’ which literally means a reservoir of nectar. This is one reason, that when there is a solar eclipse, millions of people take bath in this spot .

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