Gītā Jayanti International

A Platform For Intra-Faith Global Networking............www.gitajayanti.org


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Hare Kṛṣṇa!  Singing the Gītā in our simple bhajan style (just like singing a-b-c-d-e-f-g ....) needs no training or special skills. 

 

Let me narrate a story, a real life incident, that illustrates it.  I particularly remember that first grand Gītā singing event that we did in the first time in Auckland (perhaps 7 or 8 years ago)... I was there for 2 or maybe even 3 months.. and i kept mentioning it to our friends, esp HG Rasaparāyaṇa prabhu and his son Roneel prabhu, that I'd like to gather people together from all the Hindu temples and sing the entire Gītā.. they really thought it was too far out an idea to be possible.. finally it was organized on a Sunday just a day or two before my departure....

 

(We invited about 200+ members of the public through various Hindu temples in Auckland.  The program was hosted by Iskcon in the temple of Their Lordships Śrī Śrī Rādhā Giridhārī.  As we were halfway through, we paused for the regular Sunday worship program.  The Swāmījī who was delievering the Sunday noon discourse, HH Mukunda Mahārāja, was sharing his memories of how Śrīla Prabhupāda had miraculously installed these very deities and established Their temple within a short space of about 2 weeks, on a side-trip from Australia.  As he spoke he suddenly remembered that the installation had taken place exactly 30 years ago on the very same date!  So in an unplanned way, our program to sing the gītā was a celebration of an important day that had been forgotten!)

 

I started singing the first chapter very slowly with the usual, simple tune, but with no variation even between the first half of the śloka and the second half.  This was to give encouragement to the audience who were all obviously unfamiliar with the Gītā.  But, miracle of miracles, by the 3rd chapter, the whole crowd was singing and the entire temple was vibrating with the loud singing, mṛdaṅga, kartals and harmonium, and everyone felt very enlivened.  By the 18th chapter, everyone was fully into it, and i requested them to stand and sing, and i remember some were holding copies of the Gītā ślokas book in one hand with the other hand raised and were singing and dancing!  And when we reached the crescendo, singing BG 18:66  "sarva dharmān parityajya....."  ("Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me.  I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.") it so happend (unplanned) at that very moment the arati lamp was being offered to the lord.  The pujari was obviously ecstatic with tear filled eyes, and the vibrations were so sublime and unforgettable.

 

I distinctly recall on the next day, my last day in Auckland, HG Rāsaparāyaṇa prabhu told me, "Prabhu, right up till the moment you started singing chapter one, i simply did not believe that you were going to get that crowd to actually sing the gita along with you."  In fact he liked it so much that he insisted that i should immediately record the entire Gītā then and there in his house and he requested his son Roneel prabhu to make the recording and play mṛdanga for me, and he invited HG Śrīpati prabhu to come over with his lovely harmonium and accompany the singing.  That is the story of how the recording, now freely downloadable at the bottom of the main page of the www.gitajayanti.org website came about.   I do not mean to boast, but the format of the book (and same concept is used in the slideshows) of using large, bold fonts plus big RED SLASHES after every looooong syllable simply works, when combined with our simple tune that perfectly matches the chandha, and every syllable follows the beat - you can't get more basic music than that - it's pure nursery-rhyme technology in action.

 

So with that story, I'd like to convince everyone out there that we need not learn anything at all about sanskṛt pronunciation in order to start singing the Gītā ślokas.  (If you still haven't tried it yet, pls try singing along (and clap your hands too if you can coordinate that, but don't worry if you can't) for just five minutes wth this video www.tiny.cc/gitasingalongvid02

 

Having said that, I do teach Sanskṛt pronunciation in a fun and easy way for beginners, and if anyone is interested to attend such a course, or better still to learn how to share and teach it with others, I would be absolutely thrilled to share my skills with you.  Do write to me at this email address

 

dina 'at' gitajayanti.org  (replace 'at' with @)

 

And we can keep in touch, and find a suitable opportunity when we might be able to collarborate and organze such classes.  I repeat, it is not necessary to learn how to pronounce very properly - what is important is to sing the verses of the Gītā with love for Kṛṣṇa (God).  But still, for those who have an interest, when you do learn the little tricks and tips (see some of them in this nz tv interview www.tiny.cc/dina-gj and in this extract from the book i published in Simplified Romanized Sanskṛt format, Vraja Rīti Cintāmaṇi - www.tiny.cc/srs-tips  Although I have not (yet) formally learnt sanskṛt, several professors have kindly encouraged me ( http://tinyurl.com/certific ) and my dear friend HG Padma Sambhava Dās (Peter Ho) has shared with me many amazing skills for Accelerated Learning that have made my sanskṛt pronunciation courses very effective and enjoyable too!

 

If millions of people are out there today who do believe in the Gītā (according to statistics, there are more than 1 billion Hindus on the planet!) and if many millions of them do not know how to sing it or chant it's verses.... how will they ever beneift from it's teachings?   Answer: when we have at least a few thousand enthusiastic, dedicated teachers... and i foresee that pool of teachers coming from the retired grandparents of today!  I am only one person, who, by the blessings of my guru mahārāj, (truly mūkam karoti vācālam) am teaching a few people here and there, how on earth would i be able to share these discveries which God has so kindly made available for all of us...  So Stand Up and Be Counted... If you 'd like to learn how to first master these skills, then how to teach them, or if you have ideas/resources for creating online training resources, so that people can log in to this site and start getting training through videos and perhaps other gadgets and applications, your volunteering spirit would be most welcome.

 

Gītā Revolution kī... jaya!!  I hope and pray that by the mercy of Śrīla Gurudev, and for the pure spiritual pleasure of our Lord Śri Radha-Govinda, that the singing of Gītā and the mass observances of GJ will spread far and wide, and prove true the words of the Hon'ble Vice Chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyalaya university, Shri Prof. Hare Krishna Satapathy who kindly said "Now you will conquer the world with Bhagavad Gita." ( 2nd para of www.tiny.cc/cert-tripathi refers.)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~


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feedback from Meera mataji (Kuala Lumpur) re. the new Devanāgarī version with long vowels in red (www.tiny.cc/gitadevnag) :-

 




Eg.:-

 

  (meter changes to 11 vowels per line)                          2.22     #068

vaSaa&iSa Jaq<aaRiNa YaQaa ivhaYa

NavaiNa Ga*õaiTa Narae _Parai<a

TaQaa Xarqrai<a ivhaYa Jaq<aaRNYa(

ANYaaiNa Sa&YaaiTa NavaiNa dehq

 

On 29/12/2010, Meera Subramaniam a href="http://m....@....com" target="_blank">m....@....com> wrote:
> Sairam
>
> Amazing stuff! Very very good. I read devanagari quite painstakingly, but
> this
> seems to make it a lot easier to catch the long stuff which hides so much
> easier
> in devanagari
> Meera
>
>

feedback from Kumar Prabhu (Singapore) re. new Devanagari version of Gita in 4 lines, with long vowels marked in red: -

 

2011/1/6 Kumar S a href="http://ma.......@......com" target="_blank">ma.......@......com>

Dearest Dina Prabhu,
 
pamho, AGTSP!
 
This is wonderful! Very easy to chant..
 
Wishing you success,
 
Your humble servant,
 
kumar

Hare Kṛṣṇa prabhu

pamho agtsp!

 

The first home program was good today. One of the devotees wanted to know when your next SRS course is planned for Brisbane?  Will follow up with an email.

 

thanks

 

your servant

Logie

Dear Dīna prabhu

Hare Kṛṣṇa pamho agtsp! On Sunday 22/05/2011, with your permission, I was blessed to serve Mother Gītā by teaching a basic SRS pronunciation class to some of my enthusiastic friends. My references were your Gītā śloka book, pages 416 to 426 (GJI members can download from here) and the course notes from last year's course in Brisbane.

We discussed diacritics, pronunciation of vowels and consonants, simple exercise of inserting 7's, balloons and curves to the catur ślokī and we concluded by singing the catur ślokī.

The pronunciation of the vowels was easy except distinguishing between the short and long 'ṛ' and 'ḷ' vowels. Tamal Patra prabhu explained the short and long vowels using the arm exercises!

Pronunciation of the consonants was a funny exercise as I explained the need to become conscious of the tongue positions (picture on the back of the gītā śloka book). The nasal sounds (ṅa, ña) proved to be a tongue twister! Given that TP prabhu and Fei mātājī speak Malay they found the pronunciations a bit easier.

The fun filled class was followed by a 'steamboat/hotpot' prasādam.

 

I included a simple clip (http://player.vimeo.com/video/24370109) of some photos and us singing along the catur ślokī. I noted that it is important for a group to start singing really slowly so that there is participation from everyone at the beginning. Once everyone is comfortable we continue singing in tune. Regular practice is important too...so watch this space as we continue updates of our experiences!

Haribol!

your servant

Logie

hare krishna!  how wonderful!!!   all glories to your sincere service for Mother Gītā!   May the art of singing sanskṛt verses spread everywhere in Brisbane!  Haribol!

 

your humble servant

in service of śriī guru and śrī gaurāṅga and śrīmad bhagavad gītā,

 

 

dīna

One more little link - you mentioned you had used the same course notes from the last course I did there - i believe they are downloadable from here - http://tinyurl.com/srsworkbook - for the benefit of other members of GJI who might be curious to take a look.  But i must say, these notes won't be very understandable except for those who have already experienced this interactive course.  Hare Krishna!

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