Kurukshetra: The Land of Kuri Dynasty


"You have a right to perform your duty but you do not have the right to the fruit of the action. You should not consider yourself the cause for results of your activities and you should never get attached to inaction." (Bhagavad Gita 2.47)

      Kurukshetra literally means The land of the Kuru Dynasty and it has been named after King Kuru. It is associated with the famous 18-day epic war, the Mahabharata, between the Pandavas and their cousins, the Kauravas, for the throne of Hastinapura.

      The Mahabharata war is considered to be the battle that was fought for upholding dharma (righteousness), the battle between good and evil in which the Pandavas, aided by Lord Krishna emerged victorious. The war was fought in Kurukshetra, which is in the northeastern part of the modern state of Haryana. It is about 160 km from New Delhi.

      People consider Kurukshetra to be one of the holiest places in India, since, this is the land where Lord Krishna preached the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna and also showed him His Cosmic Form (Vishwa Roopa). The general perception is that this place became a famous religious place because of the Mahabharata. However, there are many who consider that it is the other way around. They believe that Kurukshetra is one of the most ancient places of pilgrimage in the world and that it finds a mention even in the Rig Veda, much before Dwapara Yuga, when the Mahabharata war was fought. They believe that the Pandavas and the Kauravas decided to fight at Kurukshetra because it was one of the holiest places in the subcontinent. It is the sacred place where Sage Manu composed Manusmriti. It is also the place where the Rig Veda and the Sam Veda were compiled. In the Bhagavad Gita, Kurukshetra is described as a Dharmakshetra (place of righteousness).

      It is a tourist's delight with numerous temples, tanks, and ghats. It is believed that if anyone dies in Kurukshetra, he attains moksha (liberation from the repeated cycle of births and deaths). Since thousands of soldiers were destined to die during the war, what better place than Kurukshetra to host this war?

      It is believed, according to the religious scriptures, that the ancient Kurukshetra covered not only the present district of Kurukshetra, but also the present day Panipat and Jind districts in the south and eastern parts of Patiala district in the west. However, the present day Kurukshetra is only a small district in the modern state of Haryana.

      Gita Jayanti is celebrated during the last week of November and the first week of December. Bhagavad Gita recitals, aartis and Deep Daan events are organised. The festival commemorates the preaching of the Bhagavad Gita by Lord Krishna to Arjuna at the start of the Kurukshetra war.

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