Wednesday, January 7, 2015


NATIONAL BOOK, TRIGGERS DEBATE India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has asked the Indian government to declare the scripture Bhagavad Gita, India's "Rashtriya Granth" or national book, triggering a debate among media and intellectuals. Swaraj was speaking at the" Gita Prerna Mahotsav" at the Red Fort in New Delhi, organized to celebrate the book. She said that the declaration would only be a formality since a large number of Indians already saw the scripture as a national book. 
Swaraj said that her role as External Affairs Minister brought many challenges, which she had faced only because of the teachings of Bhagavad Gita. “Everyone should read two shlokas of Gita everyday ... it is a scripture of 700 shlokas and it can be finished in a year,” she said, addressing the audience at the event.

“Read it again and continue this till the end. After reading it three to four times, you will discover a path to lead a life, the way I discovered,” Swara added. The Gita has been in the limelight since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India in May 2014, as he gifted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the book during his visit to Japan, and also to Barack Obama during his visit to the US. The Bhagavad Gita in its extant form is a part of the ancient Indian epic Mahabharat, and records the conversation of Krishna with Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. 
The book is only one of many Hindu scriptures, and declaring it the national book in secular India with its multiple faiths and belief systems may not become a reality soon, according to several media pundits.

External Affairs Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj, recently said that the Bhagavad Gita should be made the national scripture, adding that the Hindu sacred writ should be read for guidance throughout one's life. "The Bhagavad Gita teaches us the way to lead life in a happy and stress free manner. It shouldn't be left for old age; it is something that one should read for guidance throughout your life," Swaraj said, while addressing the Gita Prerna Utsav, held in the national capital. "I have said in Parliament that the Bhagavad Gita should be declared as our 'Rashtriya Granth'. No official announcement has been made in this regard. However, by offering the 'Bhagavad Gita' as a gift to US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already given that honour to Bhagavad Gita," she added. In spite of her good and laudable intentions, Swaraj's claims that the Bhagavad Gita should be recognised as India's national scripture, has triggered a massive row in India. For example, under the headline "Why ‘Gita’ as Rashtriya Granth is problematic" The Hindu newspaper says that "in a secular polity ... any attempt to declare the ‘Gita’ a ‘Rashtriya Granth’ ... needlessly ruffle the feathers of Hinduism’s closer cousins like Sikhism for which the teachings of its first five Gurus constitute its principal ‘Guru Granth’." Our spiritual masters have taught us that beyond the opinions and beliefs, we must be respectful of the different holy religious scriptures, but no other scripture is necessary if one take shelter of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita because it was directly spoken by Sri Krishna and it is one with Him. (Editor's note).

Sree Geeta is not a material sound. In material sound, you will find that the thing referred to by a sound is different from the sound itself. If you utter: 'water, water, water,' the water word is not the water-thing. The word 'water' refers to a thing understood to be water. In this world you will find a difference between the word 'water' and the object referred to by the word 'water.' But Krishna and the Name of Krishna are one and the same. Sri Geeta and Sri Krishna are identical. So, by taking shelter of the Geeta we can come in contact with Sri Krishna. We have gone through the contents of the Geeta, we have read the Geeta, but despite this, we still have no devotion to Sri Krishna. This is not actual reading. If we actually read the Geeta, we will obtain devotion to Sri Krishna.

Śrīla Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Mahārāja :
"How to Read Sri Gita"
Speaking Tree - Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaj's Blogs
Sree Chaitanya Gaudiya Math (SCGM)

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

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