Srimad Bhagwad Gita as Rashtriya Granth

Posted on: December 8, 2014


In September this year when the prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi was on a visit to Japan, he had gifted the Bhagwad Gita to the Japanese Emperor. He had chosen to do so because he firmly believes that there’s no other valuable gift in the world to give than the Bhagwad Gita. He was well aware of the fact that this seemingly innocent move could earn him the wrath of the so-called secular brigade back home and there would be usual debates and panel discussions in the tv studios to criticise this symbolic move.

Nearly after three months this prediction of the PM Narendra Modi has come true. The Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has triggered a controversy by declaring that the Srimad Bhagwad Gita should be declared as Rashtriya Granth. The occasion was to celebrate Gita Prerana Mahotsav to mark the 5,151 years of this religious book at the Red Fort Maidan in the Capital yesterday.

Sushma Swaraj is a devout Gita reader. She finds the teachings of the Bhagwad Gita useful in dealing with the day to day challenges as External Affairs Minister. While addressing the gathering that was attended by the VHP President Ashok Singhal, she urged the people to recite 2 shlokas of the Bhagwad Gita every day. The Holy Book has as many as 700 shlokas and if one recites two shlokas everyday, in one year the recitation of the entire Bhagwad Gita can be completed.

The recitation of the Bhagwad Gita provides an opportunity to be in perfect sync with one’s inner self. This is precisely why the psychiatric illness like depression will never bother those who recite the Bhagwad Gita every day without fail. All she said was declaring the Bhagwad Gita as the national book was only a formality especially after the prime minister Narendra Modi gave the Bhagwad Gita to the U.S. President Barack Obama as a gift.

Needless to say that the utterances of the poor minister have drawn widespread flak from the secularists. As it is nowadays customary to accuse the NDA ministers of pushing the RSS agenda when they do or say something that threatens to challenge the status quo, there was no dearth of intellectuals from the secular brigade to attack Sushma Swaraj without wasting a moment.

Soon Twitter was abuzz with tweets criticising Swaraj for upholding and promoting the time tested teachings of the Bhagwad Gita. Here are a few samples of the kind of diatribe she invited from the left liberals.






This type of fear mongering finds very few takers. The Modi-led NDA has completed six months in power. The way Narendra Modi has kicked the lethargic bureaucracy into action has won him many admirers who have now realised Modi means business. As was feared in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections March-April this year that if Modi came to power, the minorities would not feel both comfortable and safe under him.

But all these claims have proved to be bogus. People of India have got an active government at the Centre that is busy round the clock. People’s faith in governance in particular and political leaders in general is restored after the prime minister Modi’s large hearted approach to address his countrymen on regular occasions has touched all the right chords. Oblivious of the Opposition’s criticism, the Government has been busy fulfilling pre-poll promises.

But when his cabinet ministers speak in public, their statements come under harsh scrutiny. Attempts are made to create controversies by twisting those statements around to suit particular agendas. Last week Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti was under attack for her statement for which the PM Modi has censured her while urging the Opposition to allow the parliament to function. This week the guns are trained on Sushma Swaraj for praising the Bhagwad Gita even though she has made no controversial statements.

The Bhagwad Gita’s teachings are relevant in today’s stress-filled and cut-throat world. If the recitation of the Bhagwad Gita can help people fight modern ailments and provide inner peace, what’s the harm in suggesting that more and more people should recite the Gita? The Congress leader Manish Tewari claims that essence of the Gita lies in its substance and not in its symbolism. This is exactly what Sushma Swaraj has tried to articulate while holding forth on the ever relevant messages that the Srimad Bhagwad Gita contains.

Be that as it may, the fact remains that the PM Narendra Modi holds the Bhagwad Gita close to his heart as the most valuable gift in the world. That Mahatma Gandhi famously referred the Bhagwad Gita as his “spiritual dictionary”. When such great men hold the Bhagwad Gita in high esteem because they’ve deeply studied the essence of the teachings of the Gita, it makes little sense to oppose the Bhagwad Gita as our Rashtriya Granth. The sooner the Bhagwad Gita’s importance is realised and its recitation is encouraged, the better. The chase after materialism is alright as long as the nourishment to souls is taken care of. The Bhagwad Gita can provide that perfect balance.


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