Something to share with our GJI friends...
Dear GJI devotees/members,
Today, I was updating my vimeo.com account. There was a box to be filled in for my Gita channel (www.vimeo.com/channels/gita/) and the guide for filling up that box said.... "Tell the story behind your Channel."
So I began telling the story and reminiscing.. and it became quite long..... thought I'd share it with our friends here on GJI, for posterity! Have a good read, and I hope it might inspire you to do your part in singing the Gita at home every day, and in promoting Gita Jayanti observances once a year! Gita Jayanti Ki.. jaya! NOTE: 109 days left before GJ this year, and it's falling on a Sunday this year! (www.tiny.cc/gjdate)
What follows is copied from:
www.vimeo.com/channels/gita/ "Tell the story behind your Channel."
Singing the Gita. The story starts back in the late 1990's........
By the incredible mercy of my beloved Guru Maharaj, Śrīla Bhaktisvarūpa Dāmodara Swāmī Śrīpād Mahārāj (who is also known as Dr T D Singh in the academic world for his work on Science & Spirituality and in the interfaith world), I discovered a highly simplified way of getting people of all different backgrounds & languages to read and pronounce Romanized Sanskrit accurtely as well as a highly simplified way of singing the Bhagavad Gita with a nursery-rhyme-type, basic, simple tune.
Along with that, I found that if we displayed the fonts on a very large screen and marked out all the looooong vowels (dīrghas) with a big red slash, it immensely helped even the novice to know which sounds to draaaag. The field testing results in Auckland were amazing, by Lord Krishna's incredible mercy! ....
With the help of HG Padma Sambhava Prabhu and Rasaparayana Prabhu, we gathered about 200 hindus from the various local Indian / Hindu organizations in Auckland, NZ. They all came to the Hare Krishna temple of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Giridhari on a Sunday morning to join us in singing the entire Bhagavad Gīta. No one there had ever sung the Gīta before.
Later, HG Rasaprayana Prabhu (who organized this event) told me that up till the time we started, he was sure no one would sing along with me!! But with the help of the simple tune, slow speed and big screen with bright red slashes, we had the entire audience singing along in full volume by the 3rd chapter!
We did all 18 chapters that memorable day (with a break in the middle for the regular Sunday sat sang and feast program) and the whole temple was reverberating with the lovely sound of devotees singing the entire Gita in unison. It was like a dream-come-true for me, and it was proof that anyone could easily sing the Bhagavad Gita. HG Rāsaparāyaṇa prabhu liked it so much, that, a few days later, he arranged for this memorable recording to be done (at one sitting) at his home: www.tiny.cc/gitabydina !
It was my beloved Guru Maharaj's vision that the holy day of Gita Jayanti (Birthday of the Gita) should be promoted as a common platform for Intra-Faith unity and cooperation amongst the various branches of Sanātana Dharma (loosely called 'Hinduism', a misnomer).
The first time we held such a program in the name of Hindu unity and cooperation was in 1998, Singapore, Śrīla Gurudev personally invited HH Swami Harihar ji Maharaj, the founder of 700 Gita Ashrams all over the world, to join Gurudev for the first Gita Jayanti singalong program. The program was a big success and it has continued as a grand annual event, growing from strength to strength each year. It has now become the biggest platform for Hindu cooperation and interaction between 36 temples and Indian/Hindu organizations in tiny Singapore. (Their website is www.gitajayanti.org.sg)
If you like this video, and if you love the Gīta, then my humble appeal to you is this: please PUT YOUR PRECIOUS FAITH INTO ACTION.... HOW? By mastering this art of singing the Gita and actually singing it in your home every day - it takes ONLY 5 MINS to sing Chapter 12 or 15. Please make this scripture-singing a part of your home's Daily Spiritual Routine (sādhana). Even if you can't get the tune, you can play the recording (download from www.tiny.cc/gitabydina)
If you do start singing the Gita daily at home, it will become your family tradition, an heirloom to be passed on to the future generations. Thus the sacred teachings of the Gīta will be propagated to your children and your grandchildren... If this is not done, the Gīta will be forgotten within a generation or two and the great Bharatiya Samskṛti (Vedic Culture of India) will be wiped out within our own families within the next two generations, because all younger generation Indians are intoxicated with aping the Western culture and languages.
How to get that skill of singing the Gita? Just keep hearing the tune daily or while you work. The mp3 recordings of all these tracks can be freely downloaded or played online via www.tiny.cc/gitabydina and the quick links to find the SIMPLIFIED ROMANIZED text via www.tiny.cc/gitatext and www.tiny.cc/gitatext2 (All these links can be found on this easy-to-remember page www.tiny.cc/gitasinging.)
And kindly do your best to arrange for grand or simple celebrations of Mother Gita's birthday on Gīta Jayanti day - check the date here: www.tiny.cc/gjdate Join our international network to promote the event - www.gitajayanti.ning.com
And if you want to get into the details of how to improve your pronunciation, or to understand the diacritics (the little dots and lines used in Romanized Sanskrt such as ā, ṛ, ś, ṣ, ñ etc, then beginners guides can be found on this page www.tiny.cc/sanskrit
Singing the Gita is fun, simple, highly purifying and absolutely & divinely blissful. Please make it your Personal Daily Offering to Lord Krishna for His spiritual pleasure that you loudly SING His lovely Bhagavad Gita in your home every day and make your home a place of pilgrimage.. for it is said in the Gīta Māhatmyaṁ:
“Wherever the Bhagavad Gītā book is kept or wherever the Gītā is studied, that placebecomes the dwelling place of all the sacred places such as Prayaāg. At that place reside all the Devas, Ṛṣis, Yogīs, divine serpents, the Gopas, the Gopīs, Nārada, Uddhava and the whole host of their associates.”
Gītā mātā kī……. Jaya!
That was a long story, wasn't it? Anyway, now we have our own GJI Gita Channel on Vimeo and this channel can be reached directly by clicking on the tab Gita On Vimeo from anywhere within our GJI site.
I do hope that in the near future our volunteers will complete the entire Gita text in video format - so far we have only Chapter 2 in that format.
Of course we already have all 18 Chapters in Karaoke Format which kids love. However that requires one to download the special Karafun software to use. Plain and simple ordinary video format (as we see Chapter two already on that channel) will be much more accessible and could even be saved on our mobile phones and tablets so one could have the text and the singing in a very portable, shareable format. Please pray for this (and many other formats) of Mother Gītā to manifest soon! Hare Kṛṣṇa! Śrīmad Bhagavad Gītā kī.... jaya!
(Currenly in Singapore)
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