Devotees in the Czech Republic read the entireity of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is online during a nonstop 27-hour live broadcast on the sacred occasion of Gita Jayanti, December 25th.
The idea was originated by Loka Saranga Das and moderated by Madhu Pandit Das, while Priya-kirti Das advertised the livestream. The reading, conducted via Zoom and broadcast on Youtube, was also inspired by Vaisesika Das’s Live to Give Campaign.
More than thirty devotees read from their homes around the Czech Republic on the day which also commemorated Moksada Ekadasi, with shifts divided into thirty minutes or one hour, while some read for several hours.
Devotees read all eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad-gita, including translations, purports, and Sanskrit verses for those who were comfortable reading Sanskrit.
“During the reading, the Bhagavad-gita text was scrolling on the screen so that viewers could follow along, while the reader was shown in the corner window,” says Priya-kirti Das, who lives near the Czech farm “Krisnuv Dvur” for which he serves as communications director. “It was very nice.”
Priya-kirti was one of the readers, along with devotees all over the country, including Loka Saranga Das’s teenage daughter Sarasvati, other young devotees, and Nama Hatta congregation members. Meanwhile Czech devotees living abroad in the U.S. and Mayapur, such as Hamsa Avatar Das and his family, covered the late night or early morning hours, as the time difference in their locations allowed.
“We were surprised at how quickly the time table filled up,” says Priya-kirti. “We were encouraged to see that devotees liked the idea.”
As well as those reading from their homes, the Harinama Mandir in Prague was assigned several hours, and some devotees at the Krsnuv Dvur farm read only the Sanskrit as a separate endeavor. Devotees were compliant with the local Czech requirements for social distancing during the event.
At Krsnuv Dvurr, the altar featured a backdrop painted by a local devotee depicting a shelf of Srila Prabhupada’s books, while above Prabhupada’s murti hung a large Bhagavad-gita.
Devotees in Czech Republic also distributed 500 Bhagavad-gitas during the Gita Jayanti Live to Give Campaign. Notably, the edition distributed was a brand new Czech edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is from the BBT, with a beautifully designed new cover and improved translation.
The Bhagavad-gita livestreamed reading drew enthusiastic feedback from Czech devotees, who now wish to do similar online readings every Ekadasi. Other books by Srila Prabhupada, such as Sri Isopanisad and Nectar of Devotion, are next on the list.
“Readers said it was very nice for them because they were conscious that ‘Not only am I reading in my room, but everybody can listen,’” Priya-kirti says. “So they were praying to Krishna to ‘please help me read nicely, so that others can benefit.’”
“It was like a yajna for the appearance day of Bhagavad-gita,” he adds. “It worked out so nicely, and we all felt so connected.”
Devotees at the Krisnuv Dvur farm read the Bhagavad-gita on Gita Jayanti day (following Czech Republic requirements for social distancing)[ bhagavad-gita ] [ czech-republic ] [ gita-jayanti ] [ virtual ] [ zoom ]