An Article for the Book Distribution Conference
Here's an article you can post on your conference, not from me, but as a contribution from Premanjana dasa, president of a center in Holland, who is traveling with Lokanath Swami in India.
This is a newspaper article that appeared in The Times of India from Saturday 1-January-2000 about Gita Jayanti Celebrations.
(Reporter: Parmarthi Raina)
GITA JAYANTI CELEBRATIONS
On December 19, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple in Noida celebrated Gita Jayanti, in commemoration of the day Bhagavan Sri Krishna recited the Bhagavad Gita on the battlefield of Kurukshetra over 5.000 years ago, in traditional style. Starting at four in the afternoon with Shobha Yatra where two young boys acting as Lord Krishna and Arjuna, seated on a Ratha drawn by two horses, were taken in a colorful procession along a four-kilometer route from the temple in Sector 56 to the Jawahar Lal Nehru Yuva Kendra in Sector 11.
Head of the procession were several devotees chanting "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare", to the accompaniment of kartals and mridangas.
The programme at the Kendra started off with ISKCON devotees from the temple at Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi, enthralling the visitors and spectators with spiritually vibrant Krishna bhajans and kirtans. This was followed by aarti and later by a pravachan by Lokanath Swami Maharaja on the Bhagavad Gita and the applicability of its message in the coming millennium. A drama, directed by Shri Uma Shankar Sharma, was enacted by the local residents of Noida, depicting recital of the divine message of Bhagavan Sri Krishna to His friend and devotee, Arjuna.
The programme was concluded by a prasadam dinner for about 2.000 persons.
The Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Bachchi Singh Rawat, was the chief guest. In his address, the minister congratulated the worldwide organization, ISKCON, for preaching the divine message of the Bhagavad Gita and promoting Krishna-consciousness for the benefit of all mankinds. He extolled all those who were helping in this stupendous task. He called upon everyone to apply the pure, transcendental teachings of the Gita in their everyday lives. On his persuasive appeal about 40 persons from among the spectators pledged to procure 1,500 Gitas and distribute them.
Among the other prominent invitees were former UP State Minister, Puran Sharma, the city magistrate, Vimal Kumar Sharma, and the DSP, Ajay Joshi.
In his pravachan, Lokanath Maharaja gave an overview of the Bhagavad Gita and its importance. He said that its message was perennial and was all the more important for mankind in this age of Kali Yuga where spiritual values were being eroded by the day. He said people were looking for happiness in materialistic life, where it was not possible because they were under the illusion of maya, but this illusion could be overcome through the study and implementation of the precepts of the Gita.
ISKCON devotees the world over distribute copies of "Bhagavad Gita As It Is" by Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder-Acharya of ISKCON, at very nominal prices so that it's message reaches as many people as possible. The translation of this particular rendition of the Gita is true to the original meaning of the verses, and the purport is very informative and convincing and that is what sets it apart from, and way ahead of, so many other translations of the Gita. Devotees of ISKCON, Noida, have already distributed over 3,000 Gitas during December and hope to reach their target of 5,000 by end of the month.