Gita Jayanti celebrations in Amritapuri carried the theme of Utishtha Bharata—Rise Up, O Bharata. Brahmacharinis led the chanting of the 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita while 78 artists, young and old alike, each created a painting based on a verse.
As Amma arrived in the hall for the evening program, she blessed every picture, delighting in the expressions of surrender of the ego and pure devotion to the Divine. As well, Ashram children gave talks on what they are learning from their Gita studies. Each one expressed a wish to fulfill Amma’s vision to love and serve all of humanity and Mother Nature.
Jivan, 11 years old, was one of the Ashram children to share what he has learned in his studies of the Gita. He chose sthita prajna as his topic, which means steady wisdom, especially being able to stay calm and composed in the face of adversity.
“A sthita-prajna has no desires and is happy by himself. Such a person doesn’t need external things to be happy,” explained Jivan.
“We all seek happiness. Why do we rely on external things for happiness? Why can’t we be happy by ourselves? We are unhappy because deep inside, we feel incomplete. Due to our ignorance, we mistakenly believe that happiness comes from external objects, fame or wealth. The more desires we have, the more unhappiness we invite.
“Amma has all the qualities of a sthita-prajna, but did you know she also has a desire? Then how can she be a sthita-prajna? Her desire is not like ours! Not selfish!
“She often shares her prayer that everyone in the world should be able to sleep without fear, eat to their fill and that there should be one day when there is no violence, no one is injured, no one is harmed. See how Amma’s one desire is so selfless!”
Today marks 5,160 years since the day the Bhagavad Gita dialogue occurred between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, Prince of the Pandavas—an epic event in the tradition of the Hindu faith. With Arjuna ready to collapse on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Sri Krishna counsels him to fulfill his duty for the upholding of dharma or righteousness. The Gita covers a broad range of spiritual topics, moral dilemmas, and philosophical issues that are an allegory for the struggles of human life.