Gita Jayanti-the origin day of Bhagavad Gita
The celebration of holy Bhagavad Gita birthday is revered as Gita Jayanti. The auspicious day is marked on the Shukla Ekadashi falling on the 11th day of the waxing moon, also known as Margashirsha month as per Hindu calendar.
During the Mahabharat war in the Kurukshetra battlefield, Lord Krishna recited Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna. And Sanjaya, who had Ved Vyasa's blessings to see what ensued anywhere narrated the entire happening to Dhritarashtra. Therefore, Gita Jayanti is believed to be the day when Lord Krishna recited Gita before Arjuna. Annually, the dates vary depending upon Hindu calendar. This year, Gita Jayanti is being celebrated on December 25, coinciding with Christmas, Vaikuntha Ekadashi or Mokshada Ekadashi and Tulsi Pujan Diwas respectively.
On this day, devotees keep a day-long fast and observe the Vaikuntha Ekadashi Vrat. It is also referred to as Mokshada or Vaikuntha Ekadashi. It is said that the doors to Vaikuntha (Lord Vishnu's heavenly abode) remain open on this day. Therefore, those seeking salvation succeed in achieving their ultimate goal. It is also the day, when Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, the holy book of the Hindus, came into being. On this Ekadashi Tithi, devotees celebrate Gita Jayanti, i.e., the birth anniversary of the holy Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. Gita Jayanthi is the day when Lord Sri Krishna told the gita to Arjuna.
The Ekadashi Tithi begins at 11:17 PM on December 24 and ends at 1:54 AM on December 26.
The Gita contains 700 verses and is a part of the great Indian Epic Mahabharata's Bhishma Parva. This year, devotees will observe the 5157th anniversary of the Gita.
The Gita teaches the fundamental values, realities and duties of life. The sacred text has questions put forth by Arjuna and the corresponding answers given by none other than Shri Krishna. Arjuna, the brave Pandava warrior, couldn't initially muster the courage to face his enemies on the battlefield, as they were people who had raised him as well as those whom he grew up with. Nonetheless, to restore Dharma (goodness) and bring an end to their wrongdoings, he had to lift his weapon. And he succeeded in defeating his emotions after learning what his Dharma (duty) is. As a result, Arjuna lifted his weapon and eliminated Bhishma Pitamah (the only warrior who could have defeated the Pandavas), on the battlefield.
During a year, devotees of Lord Vishnu observe twenty-four Ekadashi vrats. Each of the Ekadashi tithis has a specific name and significance. However, the Ekadashi, Shukla Paksha of the Margashirsha month is believed to be the most important one, and it is referred to as Mokshada Ekadashi. Mokshada is derived from the word Moksha, meaning liberation or salvation. This Ekadashi is also known as Vaikuntha Ekadashi.
It is named after Lord Vishnu's heavenly abode, Vaikuntha. It is said that the doors of Vaikuntha remain open on this day. Therefore, those seeking salvation and riddance from all their sins, succeed in attaining the Lord's blessings. Many devotees begin the vrat from the evening of the Dashami Tithi. And on the Ekadashi Tithi, they perform puja of Lord Vishnu, recite the Vishnu Sahasranam, and keep chanting his name. One of the important aspects of the puja is the Vrat Katha. It is important to know the legend associated with the specific Ekadashi day.
Mokshada Ekadashi Vrat Katha
As per one of the legends associated with Mokshada Ekadashi or Vaikuntha Ekadashi, there lived a benevolent king, who was humble, generous, and loved by his subjects. He was pleased with everything he was blessed with. However, one day, he had a nightmare. He saw his late father suffering in hell. Disturbed by his dream's ugly visuals, the King sought help from the learned Brahmins in his kingdom.
After learning about the King's dream, the Brahmins suggested that he must consult Parvat Muni (a learned sage), who alone could decode the message sent through the dream.