New Delhi, India- The Bhagavad-gita, studied throughout history as the essence of India’s spiritual wisdom by sages as diverse as Henry David Thoreau, Aldous Huxley, Carl Jung, and Mahatma Gandhi gained additional attention when a 1,750 lb. edition of the text was unveiled by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other dignitaries on Tuesday, February 26 in New Delhi. The Prime Minister highlighted that the significance of Bhagavad Gita is not only because of its size but because of its message.
The “Astounding Bhagavad Gita” edition, published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, is a one-of-a kind publication. When closed it sits six-and one-half feet by nine feet (6.5’ x 9’) in size. While there are larger secular books in existence, it will be world’s largest edition of a scriptural text.
After unveiling, the book will now remain on public display at the ISKCON Temple and Cultural Centre in East of Kailash, New Delhi, as part of an existing popular multi-media museum on ancient Indian scriptures and spiritual teachings.
“There is a growing global interest in yoga, meditation and eastern spirituality around the world today,” said Yudhistira Govinda Das, ISKCON spokesperson. “This edition of the Gita will, we hope, further interest in the great wisdom traditions of India, and the knowledge contained therein.”
The “Astounding Bhagavad Gita” is comprised of 670 pages. It includes the original 700 Sanskrit verses, 18 original full-page color illustrations, and the commentary of Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). The book was printed in Milan, Italy on YUPO synthetic paper, which is untearable and waterproof.
Swami Prabhupada’s translation and commentary, the Bhagavad-Gita-As-it-Is, is also available in hand-held sizes. Published globally in 80 languages, it is the largest selling edition of the Gita today.
“All over the world people are suffering under the pressures of stress, loneliness, family conflicts, global warming, ethnic cleansing, refuge crisis, and unending wars,” said Yudhistira Govinda. “It is our belief that these challenges can be met by a change of consciousness, learning to see the spiritual essence of all beings, and learning to care for each other as fellow children of the Divine—regardless of our race, ethnicity or religion. This is the message of the Gita, and we believe, all the world’s great religious and spiritual and traditions.”
Yudhistira Govinda concludes, “The first purpose of ISKCON, as given by Swami Prabhupada is ‘to systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large….and thus promote real unity and peace in the world.’ It’s our prayer that the ‘Astounding Gita’ will help carry forward that message of peace.”