Once again, the sacred land of Kurukshetra, the cradle of Indian culture and the birthplace of the ‘Shrimad Bhagwad Gita,’ is set to witness a divine convergence of spirituality, culture, and art. The grand event of the International Gita Mahotsav – 2023 is scheduled to take place from December 7 to December 24, where the timeless teachings of the Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta will be illuminated.
In a press conference here today, Chief Minister Sh Manohar Lal expressed that akin to the Constitution of India being regarded as the Gita of the government system, he personally perceives the Gita as a constitution that imparts guiding principles for life.
He said that this year, Assam will actively participate as a partner state in the International Gita Mahotsav.
Sh Manohar Lal highlighted that during visit to Kurukshetra in 2014, Prime Minister Sh Narendra Modi expressed the commitment to make every possible effort to recognize Kurukshetra as a significant center for the teachings of the Gita. Following the Prime Minister’s guidance, the Haryana Government has been organizing the Gita Mahotsav at the international level in Kurukshetra since 2016, which has gained tremendous success and popularity over the past seven years. In 2019, the festival expanded its reach beyond the country, celebrated in Mauritius and London. Additionally, it took place in Canada in September 2022, and this year, there are plans to organize the International Gita Mahotsav in United States of America in the month of April.
Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar will inaugurate the main program
The Chief Minister informed that the main program of the International Gita Mahotsav will commence on December 17. The Vice President, Sh Jagdeep Dhankhar, will officially inaugurate the festival with Gita Yajna and worship at Brahma Sarovar on the same day. Following this, he will also inaugurate the three-day International Gita Seminar at Kurukshetra University. The seminar, scheduled to run until December 19, will witness the participation of Gita enthusiasts, scholars, and researchers from India and abroad. They will present their research papers on the theme of world peace and harmony, inspired by the teachings of Shrimad Bhagvad Gita. The Chief Minister expressed confidence that this seminar will play a pivotal role in spreading the significance of the Gita’s message across the globe.
Fair authority will be formed to organize Gita Mahotsav
Sh Manohar Lal shared that the International Gita Mahotsav Fair is progressing towards financial self-sustainability. In a strategic move akin to the organization of the Kumbh Mela, a dedicated fair authority will be established for the International Gita Mahotsav. This autonomous body will independently organize and manage the event. The government will appoint a fair officer to oversee the arrangements, while the fair authority will take charge of planning and executing the festival.
On 23rd December at 11 am, all citizens should recite Gita together for one minute
Sh Manohar Lal has urged all the residents of the state to come together and recite the Gita shaloka collectively for one minute at 11 am on December 23rd, in honor of Gita Jayanti. During this brief session, participants are encouraged to recite three verses from the Gita. All citizens are invited to partake in this Gita lesson either from their homes or workplaces, with the option to connect through the Gieo Gita app for a shared experience.
Crafts and Saras Fair
The Chief Minister sated that the International Gita Mahotsav will kick off with a Crafts and Saras mela on the banks of the holy Brahmasarovar of Kurukshetra on December 7. This fair will showcase the talents of nationally renowned artists and craftsmen. A dedicated Haryana Pavilion, featuring folk dance, crafts, small-scale industries, and local cuisine, will be established to acquaint tourists and pilgrims with the rich culture of Haryana.
Additionally, exhibitions highlighting the development and progress of Haryana will be organized by various departments, providing valuable information about government welfare schemes and regional advancements. To maximize the visitor experience, the festival will span 18 days this year, up from the previous duration of 16 days. Gita Utsav programs will be held in every district for two days on December 22 and 23. Indian Council for Cultural Affairs (ICCR) will also participate in this Mahotasav, he added.
The statue of Lord Shri Krishna will be made from the soil of 48 Kos Kurukshetra pilgrimage sites
Sh Manohar Lal said that on December 23, a conference focusing on the pilgrimages within the 48 Kos Kurukshetra will take place at Kurukshetra University. Representatives from 164 pilgrimage committees in Kurukshetra will participate, bringing soil and water from their respective pilgrimages to later create an idol of Lord Krishna. On the same day, Gita Jayanti, a global Gita recitation will be led by 18,000 students in Kurukshetra. To commemorate Gita Jayanti, Deepotsav will be organized at all 164 pilgrimage sites in Kurukshetra on December 23.
The Chief Minister said that fun fair activities will be organized for devotees in the fair area from December 7 to 24. Students will have the opportunity to participate in various competitions, including Rangoli, clay modeling, Sanjhi, pot decoration, fancy dress, tableau, and poster making, scheduled from December 17 to 24. To engage participants further, an online Gita quiz competition has been ongoing since November 26 and will continue until December 6. Over 70000 citizens, including students, have registered for this online competition, reflecting the widespread interest in the event. In addition, a successful Gita Marathon was organized in Kurukshetra on December 3, further contributing to the festival’s vibrancy.
In today’s turbulent times, the relevance of the Gita holds greater significance – Swami Gyananand Ji Maharaj
On this occasion, Swami Gyananand Ji Maharaj said that Lord Shri Krishna delivered the holy message of the Gita to all of humanity on the sacred land of Kurukshetra around 5160 years ago. He expressed that the Gita is a source of contemplation for all living beings and, in today’s world marked by conflict and unrest, its relevance is even more significant. Swami Gyananand Ji Maharaj acknowledged the efforts of Chief Minister Sh Manohar Lal in establishing Gita Jayanti as the International Gita Mahotsav since 2016. This initiative has led to Kurukshetra being recognized not only as the land of Mahabharata but also as the birthplace of the Gita across the globe.
Member Secretary of Kurukshetra Development Board, Mr. Vikas Gupta, Additional Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and Director General of Information, Public Relations, Language and Culture Department, Dr. Amit Agrawal, Political Advisor to the Chief Minister, Mr. Bharat Bhushan Bharti, Media Secretary Mr. Praveen Attrey, Chief Media Coordinator Mr. Sudesh Kataria, Additional Director (Administration) of Information, Public Relations, Language and Culture Department Mr. Vivek Kalia and officials of Kurukshetra Development Board were also present on this occasion.