This programme was coordinated by the Pietermaritzburg Branch of Divine Life Society of South Africa on Tuesday, 14 December, being the sacred Gita Jayanti Day. The function was livestreamed from Sivanandashram, Northdale and the recitation was done under the leadership and tutelage of Dr Muralidhar Panda, a Sanskrit scholar who was brought to this country by Pujya Swami Sahajananda to promote the study of the Sanskrit language.Devotees from Pietermaritzburg joined Dr Panda in the recitation.
Regarding Gita Jayanti, our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda has written the following, "The Gita Jayanti (birthdate of the Bhagavad Gita) is celebrated by the admirers and lovers of this unique book on the 11th day (Ekadashi) of the bright half of the month of Margaseersha according to the Hindu Almanac. It was the day on which the scripture was revealed to the world by Sanjaya.
"Glory, glory to the Gita, Glory to Lord Krishna who placed the Gita before men of this world to attain liberation! The teachings of the Gita are broad, universal, sublime. It has a message of solace, freedom, salvation, perfection and peace for all human beings. The study of the Gita alone is sufficient for daily Swadhyaya (scriptural study). Blessed is the man who studies the Gita daily! Twice blessed is he who lives in the spirit of the Gita! Thrice blessed is he who has realised the knowledge of the Gita or attained Self Knowledge! Om Tat Sat".
The programme commenced at 8am with Ganga Arati, followed by a short invocation. The recital of the sacred verses of the entire Bhagavad Gita was conducted from 8.15am to about 11.05am.The Havan, which commenced thereafter, radiated much-needed healing energy to the immediate environment and to the world at large.
Our sincere thanks to Dr Panda and devotees from Pietermaritzburg for taking this initiative to make this offering, for the long hours spent in preparation and for promoting peace and goodwill in the country and the world at large through the recitation of these sacred verses.