Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a 1,750 lb. edition of the Bhagavad Gita Feb. 26 at the ISKCON temple in New Delhi. Modi highlighted at the event 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-its kind publication. When closed, it sits six-and one-half feet by nine feet in size. While there are larger secular books in existence, it will be world’s largest edition of a scriptural text, the temple stated in a press release.
The book will now remain on public display at the ISKCON Temple and Cultural Centre in East of Kailash in New Delhi, as part of an existing multi-media museum on ancient Indian scriptures and spiritual teachings.
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 and acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The book was printed in Milan, Italy on YUPO synthetic paper, which is untearable and waterproof, the temple said.
“There is a growing global interest in yoga, meditation and eastern spirituality around the world today,” said Yudhistira Govinda Das, an ISKCON spokesperson. “This edition of the Gita will, we hope, further interest in the great wisdom traditions of India, and the knowledge contained therein.”
Swami Prabhupada’s translation and commentary, “Bhagavad Gita As It Is,” is also available in hand-held sizes.
“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 Das. “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.”
“It’s our prayer that the ‘Astounding Gita’ will help carry forward that message of peace,” he added.