Bhagavad Githa Jayanthi 2009 - Collective Bhagavad Githa chanting of Githa by more than 1,00,000 devotees under the direct guidance of HH Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji at NTR Stadium Ground, Hyderabad for world peace and prevention of natural calamities. Prizes were also awarded by Sri Swamiji to the winners of the recently concluded Bhagavad Githa Chapter 1 Competitions.
Bhagavad Gita competitions concluded very succssfully. 42 school students, selected for finals, took part in Sloka Chanting / Meaning and Drawing Competitions. 40 selected students from Intermediate, Degree and PG participated in Elocution, Drawing and Quiz. The children were very happy, and Sri Swamiji was very pleased with their talents.
Bhagavad Githa Jayanthi was grandly celebrated by the complete collective chanting of Githa by more than 1,00,000 devotees under the direct guidance of HH Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji at NTR Stadium Ground, Hyderabad for world peace and prevention of natural calamities. Prizes were also awarded by Sri Swamiji to the winners of the recently concluded Bhagavad Githa Chapter 1 Competitions. Details below.
Bhagavad Githa is the divine message of Lord Krishna as revealed to Arjuna during the war of Kurukshethra in Dwapara Yuga (about 5100 years ago). This message, which was delivered by the Lord Himself, comprises of 700 Sanskrit slokas divided into 18 chapters. During the Kurukshethra war, Bhagavad Githa reached us for the first time on the first E:ka:dasi of Ma:rgasi:rsha Ma:sam. Then onwards, this day is celebrated as Githa Jayanthi every year.
This year, Githa Jayanthi was celebrated on 28th November. Sri Swamiji decided to conduct a mass chanting of Srimad Bhagavad Githa, with about a lakh of people. The motive behind this program was to pray for World Peace and pacify Mother Nature.
With the help of generous donors, a huge event was organized by Vikasatarangini; venue being NTR Grounds, Hyderabad. The program began at 9 in the morning. Thousands of devotees had already gathered at the NTR grounds by then.
The podium was graced by the Deities and Sri Swamiji. Honourable Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Sriman Rosaiah had generously accepted Vikasatarangini’s invitation and was present on the occasion. He was invited by Sriman J.Rameswara Rao, VT and JET members. HH Sri Ahobila Jeeyar Swamiji and HH Sri Vrathadhara Jeeyar Swamiji blessed the occasion and were chanting Bhagavadgita throughout the day.
To start with, Vikasatarangini President, Sriman Mahender Reddy, addressed the gathering and introduced the Chief Guests present for the grand occasion. Then, Sri Ahobila Jeeyar Swamiji gave an introduction on Githa Jayanthi. Subsequently, Sri Vrathadhara Jeeyar Swamiji continued with a message.
This was followed by Sri Swamiji’s discourse wherein He explained the purpose behind carrying out this chanting of all the 700 slokas of Srimad Bhagavad Githa. Last year, Mumbai witnessed terrorist attacks on 26th Nov and this programme of mass chanting was then first started with one lakh people in the NRI medical college grounds Praying for Eliminating Terrorism and Establishing Peace. This year, we know the disastrous floods in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka etc have caused immense damage. Hence, HH Sri Swamiji planned to chant Bhagavad Githa for the sake of World Peace and to soothe Mother Nature. Then, Sri Swamiji explained the significance of Githa Jayanthi.
Mahabharatha's Kurukshethra war began on the last day (new moon day) of Kartika month. On the 11th day of Margasira month, when King heard that Bhishmacharya fell down, King Dhrutharashtra questioned Sanjaya about the happenings at the war. In answer to that question, Sanjaya revealed this discussion between Krishna and Arjuna which is popularly called Bhagavad Githa. Since Sanjaya revealed this divine song of Lord on the first E:ka:dasi of Ma:rgasi:rsha Ma:sa, Gi:tha Jayanthi is celebrated on this day, every year.
Bhagavad Githa begins with a reference to a blind man; In this context, blindness referred to, is not in physical realm, but in terms of knowledge. Bhagavad Githa dispels this darkness in the minds of ignorant beings.
With this brief introduction, Sri Swamiji began reciting the slokas of first chapter one after another and the crowd followed in unison.
The entire program was also transmitted live over internet, facilitating more people interested in this noble mission, to participate in chanting. About 1100 points from allover the world witnessed this great event through the live telecast over internet using the ustream. The whole video that was telecast is available through the link on web.
After completion of the first chapter, a ‘book release ceremony’ was held. Vikasatarangini’s diary 2010 was released by the Honourable Chief Minister, Sriman Rosaiah. Sriman Ramakrishna Reddy (senior Congress member), welcomed Sriman Rosaiah with an introductory speech. And then, Sriman Rosaiah shared his experience of attending Sri Swamiji’s programs in the past. Both the speakers recollected the incident of the theft of Sri Swamiji’s deity and how these deities were retrieved in less than two days time. At that time, Sriman Rosaiah had instructed the Police Officials to conduct a thorough search and enquiry into this matter. Subsequently, the deities were found and returned to Sri Swamiji. When Sriman Ramakrishna Reddy expressed his gratitude for Sriman Rosaiah’s concern, the Chief Minister said – “I don’t come into picture here at all. He (Swamiji) got His deities back on His own.”
Chief Minister expressed concern about the increasing violence especially among the youth. He said that this type of devotional programmes throw a light on the realities, increase spiritual strength and reduce such violent attitudes. He expressed happiness for the wonderful social services being conducted by Vikasatarangini under the guidance of HH Sri Swamiji.
After going through every chapter, an offering is done to Lord followed by Harathi Mangalasasanams. Thus it continued with the successive chapter. At the end of each chapter, before proceeding with the next chapter, Sri Swamiji beautifully portrayed the quintessence of that chapter in a very short address.
Since the chanting of all 18 Chapters was a day-long program, Sri Swamiji announced a small break now and then. He suggested people to help themselves with the Prasadam; specially arranged by Vikasatarangini on this E:ka:dasi day. As per HH Sri Swamiji’s strict instructions, prasadam was available to all at any time during the program. Vikasatarangini team made mammoth arrangements for public convenience. To continually sit in the same posture for hours together is not an easy task. Hence, people were taking short refreshment breaks now and then. Nevertheless, Sri Swamiji did not budge from His original position, right from morning till the end of entire Bhagavad Githa chanting in the evening, almost 12 hours at a stretch !!
The chanting was logically divided across 3 sessions, each comprising of 6 chapters. A set of 6 chapters is called a ‘Shatkam’. Bhagavad Githa is a collection of 3 Shatkas.
The six initial chapters of Bhagavad Githa concentrate on the visualization of self. How to achieve this knowledge of self – is explained by these. The subsequent set of six chapters talk about the bliss in serving the Lord Supreme. The ecstasy of self-realization is a small droplet whereas the experience of serving Lord is an ocean of bliss. This is the message in the second set. The last six chapters summarize the essence of the two former Shatkas.
At the end of every Shatkam, wonderful programs were presented by kids of various schools running under Jeeyar Educational Trust.
Blind students from Vijayanagaram Nethra Vidyalaya staged a beautiful dance performance. These visually challenged children portrayed the story of Mother Yasoda and Little Krishna. This was followed by a song composed by the students of Nethra Vidyalaya Junior College , Samshabad. The composition was an amazing one, triggering the desire of learning Bhagavad Githa, in one and all. It also summarized the benefits of learning Bhagavad Githa. To dispel the darkness, lighting a lamp is enough. Similarly, to eradicate the ignorance within us, learning Bhagavad Githa is the key. This performance by 4 blind children (3 singers, 1 drummer) received a huge applause from the crowd. Other team of Junior College students performed a dance describing the beauty of Lord Krishna, explaining the happiness and joy of meeting with Lord Krishna.
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Recently, a small boy N.Parameswara Rao studying 3rd class from the Vijayanagaram Nethra Vidyalaya School for the blind, had won a prize amount of Rs. 50,000/- in a state level songs competition "BLACK" telecast on ETV channel. The boy presented a wonderful song on this occasion. The solo performance of this small visually challenged boy received a huge appreciation from one and all present in the grounds. The boy whole-heartedly presented a sum of Rs. 10,000 (from his prize money) to Sri Swamiji for service activities. HH Sri Swamiji greatly appreciated his generosity at such an young age and lovingly returned it with an addition of Rs. 10,000/- in the form of a Fixed Deposit for the boy.
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After this short refreshment break, Bhagavad Githa chanting began. Sri Swamiji led the crowd with His perfect pronunciation and melodious voice.
At the end of second Shatkam (12 cantos), once again, there were a few cultural programs presented by the Tribal School children of Jeeyar Gurukulam Allampalli & Beersaipeta. Those Tribal children performed classical dance in Kuchipudi style with lamps in their hands and dance on the pots portraying many wonderful postures like Kurma, matsya etc. During their initial days, when these children were just admitted to Allampalli school, they were even unable to speak Telugu, as they speak some local scriptless language in the forests. Today, as the Tribal boys anchored the program, their fluency and clarity in Telugu language amazed everyone. People were surprised at their performance. Sri Swamiji’s training has molded those Tribal Children to this state of perfection.
At the end of 17th Chapter, volunteers distributed lamps (with the wicks) to be lit at the end of 18 th Chapter. As the chanting came to fulfilment, a new vigour was seen in the crowd of about One Lakh devotees who had gathered at NTR stadium for a noble cause.
As soon as the 18th chapter was over, HH Sri Swamiji explained the gist of this chapter, followed by recitation of the Santhi Manthram and lighting of lamps by the crowd of a lakh people. When all the lamps were raised in unison along with the recitation of Santhi Manthram, that moment was worth an experience. The beautifully decorated Pandal glew with thousands of lamps raised at the same time waving with the global prayer for Peace and Prosperity.
Throughout the day, Vedic homam was performed with all austerities by the JET Veda Agama scholars. Offerings were made along with the Manthra for each sloka of Bhagavadgita chanted. HH Sri Swamiji performed Purnahuthi marking the completion of the fire ritual.
One of the devotee Sriman Jairam prepared an audio CD with the chanting of Jaisrimannarayana in Sindhu Bhairavi Raga and offered it to Sri Swamiji. The CD was released by the divine grace of HH Sri Swamiji.
Many people listen to the discourses and read the books but only few will go deep into their essence. Listening to Srimad Bhagavatam, Sriman T.K.Rao from Bangalore got a wonderful idea struck in his mind. The source of the problem itself is the remedy for curing it, however, one have to know the process of how to make it a remedy. Many times Oil is the root cause of many maladies for human health. When Sriman Rao himself was suffering for which doctors also could not guarantee any treatment and at last gave up their efforts, he went deeper to research about and discovered a mechanism called "Oil pulling". He applied on himself and found amazing relief and cure. Then he applied on his wife and found successful. He published in a magazine and people responded very well with this system. The system became famous all over the world. Even today, Dr.T.K.Rao in his young 90's is doing well and he published a book on this mechanism and experiences.
HH Sri Swamiji graciously released the book that explained ‘Oil-pulling’. This is a very useful practice in keeping oneself healthy. HH Sri Swamiji said that he is a Rishi. His inspiration to bring out this mechanism was Srimad Bhagawatham. Sri Swamiji introduced Dr. Rao to the gathering and then Sriman Rao expressed his gratitude to Sri Swamiji whom he treats as God.
The day-long celebrations came to an end with the prize distribution ceremony to the talented children whose performance was outstanding in the Bhagavad Githa competitions.
During the past couple of months, Vikasatarangini had arranged several competitions on the Arjuna Vishada Yoga (first chapter of Srimad Bhagavad Githa). More than 3000 students participated in the competitions. A prize money of One Lakh Seventy Three Thousand was distributed amongst the winners and runners-up in the Quiz, Elocution, Chanting, Drawing, Essay writing at junior school, senior school, college and post-graduation levels.
HH Sri Chinnajeeyar Swamiji announced that this year onwards, these competitions will be a regular practice. All the material for the competitions will be available with the VT centres and also on the web at www.bhagavadgita4me.org and www.srikaryam.org. Next year, the scope of these competitions will be the second chapter of Bhagavad Githa.
Sri Swamiji also felicitated the donors who generously donated towards this great event. The teams which worked hard to make this Githa Jayanthi event a mega-celebration, were felicitated by Sri Swamiji.
The media did an extensive coverage of this program and helped us in spreading the noble mission amongst the people.