According to traditional Hindu calendar, Gita Jayanti occurs in the month of Margashirsha month, during the Shukla Ekadashi Tithi, on the 11th day of the waxing moon. This is also known as Moksha/Mokshada Ekadashi.
Gita Jayanti symbolizes the birth of Srimaad Bhagawad-Gita, which is considered as the sacred manuscript of the Hindus. As per Gregorian calendar, Gita Jayanti falls during the month of November or December. Moksha Ekadasi fast on Gita Jayanti is a significant Ekadashi fast. It is believed that fasting on Moksha Ekadashi benefits to accomplish ‘moksha’. Knowingly or unknowingly people suffer from guilt, they should observe this fast to get their sins erased.
Bhagawad-Gita contains eighteen chapters and it is a resource of immense knowledge for humankind. It is believed that, Sri Krishna represented the “Bhagawad Gita” as a divine gift to Arjuna in the battleground of Kurukshetra, which is in Haryana, India at present.
This year Gita Jayanti/ Moksha Ekadashi will occur on December 21, 2015. Ekadashi Tithi begins at 03:30 on December 21, and it ends at 01:11 on December 22, 2015.
The Puja Preparation:
It is a momentous fasting day for devotees. Devotees offer prayers to Vishnu and Krishna and observe religious rituals by reading the divine chants from Bhagawad Gita. People who are observing fast/vrat must maintain clarity & purity from the day before Ekadashi, which is called Chaitra Shukla Pakshya Dashami. The person who is observing the fast should sleep on the ground, on Dashami Tithi night, before the Ekadashi day starts. The period of this vrat/fast is for one day, and the devotees follow all the rituals since Dashami itself. A devotee needs to get up early in the morning for a soil bath, and after that, the observer is supposed to perform all the rituals of the puja and worship Lord Vishnu/ Satya Narayana.
Ingredients for the Puja:
• A Picture of the Lord Vishnu/ Idol of Lord Vishnu
• One Bhagawad Gita – The sacred book
• Fruits, Flowers (white, red & yellow)
• Chowki/ Puja Platform
• Copper or Silver Kalash
• Akshata – (Unbroken Raw Rice)
• Sacred Thread (Moli), Roli, Holy Water
• Yellow clothes for Offering (Vastra)
• Special prasad offering for Lord Vishnu – Panjiri, Halva, Kheer
• Deepak/Diyas, Two Big Brass Lamps (with Wicks, Oil/Ghee)
• Incense Sticks (Agarbatti)
• Camphor (Karpoor), Kumkum, Sandal Wood Powder/Paste (Chandan), Turmeric (Haldi)
• 108 Basil Leaves & Garlands (Tulsi)
• Naivedyam, Coconut, Coconut Water
• Rice, Gold or Silver Coin, Gold Chain
• Extra Kalash (pot), Trays, Vessels
• Betel Nuts & Betel Nut Leaves (Paan)
• Banana Leaves & Banana, Mango Leaves
• Panchaamrita – (Honey, Milk, Ghee, Curd, Sugar – All in One Cup)
• Sweets & Dakshina for Bramhins
• Jaap Mala & Puja Book
Puja Vidhi/ Process:
According to the rituals, devotees take early morning bath and observe a fast/vrat on this auspicious day. Puja is performed by decorating idols of Vishnu with new clothes and jewelry. Devotee should read Moksha Ekadashi Vrat Katha and worship Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, present Gita path and perform aarti.
• One should collect all the listed things at Puja place or in the temple.
• One can also keep images or idol of Lord Vishnu.
• Place the idol of Lord Vishnu on the decorated chowki.
• Put chandan tilak on Lord Vishnu’s forehead.
• Present Holy Basil (Tulsi) to Lord Vishnu especially.
• Light the incense sticks, diyas, offer flowers, water, fruits & sweets as prasad to Lord Vishnu.
• Light up camphor (Karpoor), and offer it to the Lord Vishnu in a clockwise mode which is called Aarati, and Nirajanam.
• Pray or meditate for few minutes and perform the Aarati offering the earthen lamps, dhoop stick. After lighting the diyas sprinkle holy water, roli, kumkum, haldi, rice and panchamrita on the idol.
• Sing Vishnu Sahasranama, along with the holy texts from Bhagawad Gita, Satya Narayana Vratakatha, and Vedic chants.
The main observance of this day is the Ekadashi Vrat. The person is observing the fast cannot have any grains like-barley, wheat, rice, moong daal and consumption of salt, garlic, onion is totally prohibited. Devotees can consume fruits, curd, nuts and milk. The Vrat/fast is for 24 hours, though you can opt for a partial fast because of health problems.
Devotees observing partial fast should avoid grains, oil, and salt, and eat curd, milk, fruits as well. While observing Moksha Ekadashi, devotee should stay away from alcohol, and non-vegetarian food.
Nirjala Moksha Ekadashi Vrata is considered one of the most significant Vratas from ancient times. As Lord Vishnu holds the position of a great spiritual idol and source of divine inspirations, people follow all the rituals of this day with great enthusiasm & devotion.
The day is observed by devotees all around the world with the analysis of Bhagawad Gita. Several seminars are organized on the day. The Hindu temples conduct extraordinary pujas on this auspicious day to dedicate Lord Vishnu and Sri Krishna. One can celebrate Gita Jayanti is by reading at least one verse from the Sri Bhagawad Gita.
On this auspicious day, the temples make doorway like structures for devotees to pass through. So, you should visit temples, perform Puja and offer prasad.
Devotees should break the fast within Dwadashi Tithi, next morning of Ekadashi before the Dwadashi ends. This vrat is observed from Ekadashi morning until the Dwadashi morning on the next day after taking bath and Morning Prayer to Lord Krishna . Fast is broken on the next day after taking bath and offering prayers to Lord Vishnu. Complete self-restraint from food on Ekadashi provides blissful consequences. Give a donation to Bramhins or any deprived person.