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Gita Festival: Influencers Chat with Swami Mukundananda

#TransformYourLife / April 11, 2022

International Gita Festival features a diverse group of renowned influencers discussing the modern-day application of Bhagavad Gita principles with Swami Mukundananda. These enlightening discussions cover various fields such as literature, performing arts, administration, defence, medicine, business, and entrepreneurship, making this an inspiring, multipronged effort by JKYog to redefine Bhagavad Gita for the 21st century. The Bhagavad Gita is no longer a text to pick up when one is past youth, but a text that can reinvigorate and reboot our lives, careers, and relationships from a spiritual standpoint of service instead of a material standpoint of self-aggrandizement.

Swami Mukundananda’s latest Bhagavad Gita Commentary from Amazon has been making waves globally with celebrities from Shilpa Shetty to Kabir Bedi expressing their inspiration to read it.

All IGF conversations with renowned influencers are available on the JKYog Academy YouTube channel or .

The personalities and topics featured in conversation with Swami Mukundananda, include:

1. Leadership Lessons from the Gita with Maj. Gen. Anoop Kumar

Maj. Gen. Anoop Kumar is an alum of Sainik School, Kazhakuttam, and the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. He was commissioned in 1981 into the Maratha Light Infantry regiment of the Indian Army.

He has rich experience in counter terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern States. He commanded a Brigade in Himachal Pradesh and the Division responsible for operations on the Rajasthan borders. He was in the Eastern Command Headquarters in Kolkata before taking over as Additional Director General, NCC (Kerala & Lakshadweep). He has taken charge as Additional Director General at the NCC Directorate (Kerala and Lakshadweep). (“NCC official takes charge - The Hindu”)


2. Bhagavad Gita in Modern Era with Amish Tripathi and Bhavana Roy

Amish Tripathi is a diplomat, author, and columnist. "He has taken over as the Director of The Nehru Centre in London in October 2019." (“About - Nehru Centre London”) Amish has been listed among the fifty most powerful Indians by India Today magazine in 2019. Forbes India has consistently ranked Amish among the top one hundred most influential celebrities in India. His books have sold 5.5 million copies and have been translated into 10 Indian and ten international languages. Amish is an alum of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Kolkata. He worked for 14 years in the financial services industry before turning to writing.

Bhavna Roy was educated in Mussoorie, Pune and Mumbai. After graduating in psychology from Mumbai University, she qualified for the Indian Administrative Services. Having trained partly at the LBSNAA, she quit and then worked first as a volunteer in a school for special children in Malegaon, and then in an NGO in Nashik called SOS. She then tutored secondary and higher secondary students in software engineering in Mumbai. (“Bhavna Roy -”) She is the wife of the late Himanshu Roy IPS, senior police officer of the Maharashtra cadre.


3. Right to Equality from Indian Scriptures with Devapriya Roy and Saurav Jha

Devapriya Roy is an acclaimed Indian author, having published five books and hundreds of articles in newspapers and magazines. She also teaches writing at Ashoka University and has previously taught at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. (“SMLA: Faculty/Advisor”)

"Saurav Jha is an author and commentator on geostrategic affairs." (“Saurav Jha – The Diplomat”) Trained in economics at Presidency College, Calcutta, and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Jha has worked as an energy economist in the past, besides serving as a consultant to FICCI’s International Division.


4. The Art of Stress-Free Living with Alok Kejriwal

Alok Kejriwal is a serial digital entrepreneur and currently the CEO and Co-founder of Games2win  – one of the largest casual mobile gaming companies in the world. His previous ventures include – India’s first online contesting site and Mobile2win – acquired by Walt Disney in China and Norwest Ventures in India.


5. Science and Spirituality with Dr. Vineet Aggarwal

Dr. Vineet Aggarwal is an author and social media influencer. A doctor by qualification, a manager by profession, and an author by passion, his literary repertoire extends from politics to poetry, and travel to terrorism. "His favorite genre remains the amalgamation of science and mythology." (“Solving the Soma Mystery – Part 2”) His widely read blog Decode Hindu Mythology has clocked more than two million views from all over the globe. It is a blog to decipher the myths and legends of ancient Hindu/Indian belief systems and connect them with various scientific principles. He is also the author of three successful books on mytho-fiction published by Penguin Random House - ‘Vishwamitra – the Man who dared to challenge the Gods,’ ‘The Legend of Parshu-Raam’ and ‘Bharat – The man who built a Nation.’ His books recreate the stories of the past and make them relatable for the modern urban audience. (“A Writer Who Is Reviving Mythology for the ... - Vogue Monk”) They also hold an important message for humanity, for those who rose above the confines of physical and mental boundaries to fight the fates and take charge of their destiny. (“Dr. Vineet Aggarwal » Decode Hindu Mythology”)


6. One Day at a Time with Shweta Rohira

Shweta Rohira is an expressionist, artist, actor/Instagram influencer and writer. “Chitter Chatter” is a live show that she hosts on Instagram with professionals from various fields. She has been performing two plays “That’s my Girl” - an English play directed by Bharat Dabholkar and “Blind Date”- a Hindi play with RJ Pritam Singh and Karan Sharma. She has done a couple of short films with Kanwaljit Singh, Ananth Mahadevan and Sonu Nigam. (“TEDxIIMRohtak | TED”) As an artist she does commission art and wall art - she has painted walls around India. She is also a prominent social media influencer on Instagram.


7. Inner Strength from Bhagavad Gita with Dr. Ashwin Vijay

Dr. Ashwin Vijay is a dynamic orthopedic doctor and health expert who inspires three million followers to pursue a healthier lifestyle through his social media channels. (“Inner Strength from Bhagavad Gita – Gita Festival”)

A doctor who walks the talk, and an authentic role model to the young generation, Dr. Ashwin Vijay’s life mission is to serve and help people discover their inner strength. (“Inner Strength from Bhagavad Gita – Gita Festival”) His work in physical & mental health is backed by science and delivered with heart and emotions.


8. Make Practice Perfect with Devesh Mirchandani

Devesh Mirchandani is a renowned dancer, Bollywood choreographer, dance instructor, and a part of the Indian Film Dance Directors Association. (“Beginner Level – Kathak Classes by Devesh Mirchandani ...”) He is a disciple of Guru Late Pt. Birju Maharaj.



International Gita Festival: What Is It?

International Gita Festival is a celebration of the timeless wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita as a manual for human life and a chance for the community to express their creativity in spreading its universal message through various art forms.

Since March 2022, the festival provided the opportunity to participate in over 30+plus exciting and creative contests for children and adults to apply the nectarine wisdom of the Gita in practical life. Participants get a chance to win the coveted “Gita Pandit” title. Alongside this, JKYog also started the “Har Ghar Gita” campaign to distribute Bhagavad Gita knowledge globally for the benefit of humanity.

IGF Grand Finale: Apr 11-17, 2022

The grand finale for the International Gita Festival from Apr 11-17, kicked off with lamp lighting by Swami Mukundananda and a heart touching inaugural dance on Shree Krishna’s captivating pastimes by renowned dancer/choreographer and disciple of Late Pt. Birju Maharaj, Devesh Mirchandani. The performance was executed with technical perfection and intense devotional emotion, setting the pace for the week-long event.

This was followed by Bhagavad Gita recitation by inspired volunteers who touched listeners hearts with their emotive, vocal recitations of Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2 verses and Swamiji’s corresponding commentary. A special section on Gita anecdotes featured inspiring stories related to the Bhagavad Gita dealing with developing devotional qualities.

A much-awaited conversation between Maj. Gen. Anoop Kumar and Swami Mukundananda on “Leadership Lessons from the Gita” threw light on leadership styles of various characters in the Bhagavad Gita, the importance of mentors in developing leaders, whether leaders are born or made and many other topics.

Specifically, Swami Mukundananda contrasted various characters in their approach to leadership – Duryodhan was an autocratic leader who was lead astray by negative gossip from his uncle Shakuni, whereas Dhritarashtra was the typical corner office leader, interested in amassing power for themselves, supporting those favorable to them and stepping over those unfavorable to them. Bhishma Pitamah was a bureaucratic leader, who stuck to doing things the traditional way, refusing to rock the boat which resulted in gross injustice that finally led to the Mahabharata war. However, Swamiji also clarified that Bhishma Pitamah though seemingly on the wrong side of things, was a God realized saint, just playing a part in the pastimes of Shree Krishna, as an instrument, facilitating God’s grand divine plan for humanity.

Maj Gen Anoop shared his perspective on hos leadership gets progressively defined first by courage and IQ with small teams and then increasingly by emotional and spiritual intelligence when leading larger teams. He shared a beautiful practical application of the Bhagavad Gita from his experience as a military general: when making decisions about sending troops into dangerous situations, it is natural to feel guilty when troops are affected as a result. However, in such situations, one resigns to the will of God and tries to make peace with oneself, since the outcome is not in our hands.


The day concluded with a beautiful segment where a devotee playing the part of Lord Krishna, sweetly chanted elevating Radha Govind Geet couplets composed by Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj.

Every day of the International Gita Festival will also feature special workshops on career, mind management, wellness, relationships, and goal setting. The event will conclude on Apr 17, with a grand keynote by Swami Mukundananda.


To participate in the International Gita Festival 2024, please visit