2.2 million (22 Lacs) youths participates in Geeta Jayanti
Geeta Jayanti celebrates the anniversary of the day on which Lord Krishna told the Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta to Arjun. According to the lunar Indian calendar, that day is the 11th bright day (Shukla) of the Margshirsh month (2nd month) of the Vikram Samvat year. It falls approximately in December.
For many years, under the guidance of Pujya Dada and Pujya Didiji, the Swadhyay Pariwar's youth, from ages 16-30, has celebrated Geeta Jayanti by arranging elocution competitions on various subjects relating to the Geeta's thoughts. For children under the age of 16, there is a combined competition of reciting the Sanskrit "shlokas" (verses) and explaining and elaborating upon their meaning and application in life.
Under the guidance and inspiration of Didiji, the number of young people speaking in the elocution competition has increased exponentially. Until 2002, the number of participants was in the thousands. In 2003, about 700,000 youth participated in the competition. In 2004, the number doubled to 1.4 million. In this past year's Geeta Jayanti competition, 2.2 million youths spoke on the universality of the Geeta's philosophy and its practical applicability in life.
As a result of this competition, the youth have not only gained confidence in their public speaking abilities, but they have also developed the ability to think philosophically and put those thoughts into practical action. Consequently, due to their participation, the youth have begun understand the Bhagwad Geeta more and more. They quote the Sanskrit verses from the Geeta to emphasize their views. Their newly acquired knowledge and understanding of human life has continued to improve their individual, family, and social lives. This competition also elevates one's enthusiasm to do God's work. These youth reach out to many more youths to develop new, divine friendships and share t cultural, moral, and philosophical thoughts, leading to an improved life.
This large number of participants includes youth from both India and from all over the world, including more than 35 nations and various different religions. Many Muslim and Christian youth even win the competition in their cities and villages. The winners at village and city levels go on to compete at the district level, the state level, and finally the competition culminates at the Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta Pathshala in Bombay, India, where Dadaji regularly delivered his pravachans (discourses) for 60 years and where Didiji currently delivers discourses. These finalists include winners from the USA, UK, Africa and various other countries, as well as from India.