The Gita And What It Does
St. John's, Newfoundland
On the eve of the Gita Jayanti, the time which strikes the anniversary of the Bhagavad Gita being spoken, Rikin had lined up a talk for me at the local Hindu Temple - a talk entitled "Kirtan Within the Gita." It was not an astounding turn out yet it's the quality that counts. Professor Patricia Dold attended and participated sharing one of her favourite verses, 9.26 reads, "If one offers to Me with love and devotion a leaf, flower, fruit or water, I will accept it." Nitin chose "whenever there is severe trouble in the world, I descend." (4.7) Jaya Kesava expressed one of his favourites, "Out of many who endeavours only one my know Me in Truth." (7.3) I offered one of my choice verses " O greatest of archers, be but an instrument in the fight."
The thrust of the talk though was to establish the reference of kirtan (giving praise) in the Gita. The word kirtan appears in Chapter 9 wherein it is said "great souls are always "satatam" engaged in kirtan." (9.14). From a broad perspective the entire seven hundred verse Gita is a kirtan in itself - a glorification
We singled out important chapters to consider such as chapters 9, 10, 11 all to do with the glory of His manifestations. We also singled out the key verses 10.8-11 which offer some rationale behind the glorification. The final chapter, a summary for the most part, underscores service in humility, love and bhakti and the great return that comes to us for doing so-- achieving moksha (freedom).
This gathering of thoughtful people brought to light the richness of the Gita's message. But the one thing that stuck out in my head for the day came from the previous evening at the Lotus Centre. A young woman came to me at the end of our Nine devotions seminar and said of the Gita and Kirtan, "You came to my high school in 2003 during the time of your cross Canada walk. It was a very low period in my life and you said some things (based on the Gita) that gave so much encouragement and hope. I really wanted to thank you for that. It got me through." That was very gratifying to hear.
Perhaps readers would like yo present their favourite verse of empowerment from the Gita. Let me know which one resonates for you.