On 26th February 2019, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled an 800-kg Bhagwad Gita at ISKCON temple in New Delhi. The greatest of all Holy books have been printed in a new single printing of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita; as it is dubbed by ISKON, “The Astounding Bhagavad-gita,” which measures 2.80 x 2.00 meters (9 x 6.5 ft) and weighs 800 kgs (1,763 lbs).
This day also embarks upon perfect timing of the revenge of our 14 martyrs in the form of an Air-Surgical Strike in Pakistan. PM Modi had travelled in a local metro for the unveiling of our sacred book. The ‘Astounding Bhagavad Gita’ comprises of 670 pages, covering the original 700 Sanskrit verses along with the commentary of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (ISKCON’s Founder-Acharya), for the total of one acre of printed matter. After the unveiling, the book was installed on a two-ton hydraulic stand on the ISKCON Delhi campus, where all can view it.
The Spellbinding Cover
The Bhagavad Gita is said to have been bound with a process called Japanese binding, utilizing stainless-steel screws. Its cover is made of carbon fibre, light yet extremely strong material used to build satellites. And the cover painting of the Krishna and Arjuna is surrounded by intricate laser-engraved black and gold motifs made with precious metal inserts.
It said that with an artistic touch of eighteen exquisite paintings and an innovative, elegant layout, the book had been printed in Milan, Italy on YUPO synthetic paper to make it untearable and waterproof.
Trustee and managing director Madhusevita Das clarifies that while there are bigger books on spiritual topics – such as the 5 x 8.06 meter “This is the Prophet Mohammed” in Dubai – this will be the biggest central sacred text of a major religion. For over a decade, Das has been printing large format books with the Mediterranean BBT, including Darsana, Krishna Art, and a deluxe collector’s 16kg edition of Bhagavad-gita. At the cost of a €220,000, this sacred text will be a real, useable book with turnable pages, and with the proper care and know-how it is built to last thousands of years,” says Das
The layout and conception of the Astounding Bhagavad-gita were done by devotee BBT staff such as Ali Krishna Dasi, Haladhara Dasa, and Rupa Sanatana Dasa. According to designers, “the Astounding Bhagavad-gita will be more than a book – it will be a worshipable object, or Deity, that people can admire, revere, and even perform aarti too. Occasionally, a ceremony wherein the pages are turned for all to see may be held.”
The Astounding Bhagwat Gita will help in enhancing the BBT’s prestige and reputation in India and the rest of the world, and indirectly ISKCON’s as well. And it will make Srila Prabhupada famous in India and around the world, creating more awareness of his achievements and stature as a spiritual teacher.