If you are interested in joining or collaborating to organize Gītā singing events, whether weekly, monthly, or annually at GJ gatherings, then this is the place to enquire about or suggest common service opportunities for people living in the same locality.
[ We can reach this GJI Forum directly with this easy-to-remember shortcut URL: - www.tiny.cc/gjiforum ]
I was inspired by this news article - http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2760280.ece which mentions Shri Rajan Zed's strong statements in support of the Bhagavad Gita. Shri Zed is described therein as the President of the Universal Society of Hinduism. I located his website (through Google, of course!) http://rajanzed.com/rajan/index.php/2010/05/24/universal-society-of... and I sent him the below message. A copy of my message to him appears below. I do hope he may respond positively and actually promote the singing of the Gita & observance of GJ Events. I would like to share this message with all GJI Network members.
======== Copy of my message to Shri Rajan Zed, President of the Universal Society of Hinduism =======
Namaste. I read with great interest this article http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2760280.ece in which you rightly praised the Bhagavad Gita.
Sir, I am an insignificant and foolish jiva. Yet by the mercy of my Gurudev the late His Holiness Srila Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami Sripad Maharaj (also known as Dr T D Singh of Manipur, Int'l Director of Bhaktivedanta Institute & Life Trustee of the United Religions Initiative), I have discovered a way of getting masses of people to easily sing along the entire Gita - by using a simplified romanized text and a very basic, simple tune.
This humble soul has been promoting the Gita as a platform for Hindu unity since 1997 when I organized a Gita Jayanti event in my home country, Singapore. I had got the help of the Ramakrishna Mission preident there, Swami Jagadatmanandaji, to bring all the Hindu leaders together for a meeting in Jan 1998. At that meeting I proposed to them that we Hindus have much diversity but little unity. Citing the example of Christmas Day as a Holy Day that was common to all the many denominations of Christianity, I asked them to propose a common holy day that all Hindus could share, but no one could come up with any. So I proposed that Gita Jayanti should be such a day.
They all agreed but were doubtful about how to observe it. I proposed singing the entire Gita, as I had done the year before on a small scale with a good number of university students. They felt sanskrit was too difficult… So I then told them about my discovery of Simplified Romanized Sanskrit and the bhajan style singing which slowed down the chanting to a reasonable speed. Traditional chanting of the Gita by brahmins can be completed in about 1.5 hours, but people un-schooled in Sanskrit cannot read it that fast. But singing it bhajan style (ple see my Gita Jayanti International network www.gitajayanti.ning.com for a sample and free downloads) slows it down to about 4.5 hours. It is very enjoyable and usually by the 3rd chapter we are able to get the entire crowd to sing along.
So all the Hindu organizations agreed to jointly sing the entire Gita for GJ, and in 1998, the first grand GJ event was held under the auspices of the Hindu Endowments Board Singapore. I gladly handed over this important project to the Singapore HEB, for its scope i much greater than I am. (Kindly see the magazine published for that event - I was the Hon. Secretary for organizing it - http://www.tiny.cc/gj98sg-magazine )
Since that great start, it has grown to be a mega event with related competitions, lectures, etc over two months each year. The Hindu Endowments Board coordinates the event and appoints a different Indian/Hindu/Spiritual organization to take the lead each year. So the chairman of the organizing committee will be from that leading organization, but the organizing team members will be from all the participating organizations. It gives them a real chance to work hard together! Their official website is www.gitajayanti.org.sg
Sir, I have had the fortune to introduce the singing of the GIta for Gita Jayanti in Auckland NZ, Cambodia, Chennai (Ashta Lakshmi Temple), Malaysia & Australia (Perth, Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney).
The potential for this unifying INTRA-Faith project is unlimited. I humbly beg you, as a sincere Hindu leader, to kindly contemplate deeply the significance and importance of these discoveries and I humbly beg you to take a leading role to promote GJ and the singing of Simplified Romanized Sanskrit. All resources needed for such observances are freely downloadable from our sites www.gitajayanti.ning.com and www.gitajayanti.org
We long to see Gita Jayanti declared a public holiday in India and later on, in all countries of the world. It is universal and can really bring world peace. For this purpose, I have set up an online social network www.gitajayanti.ning.com which can facilitate networking and the sharing of resources for promoting GJ as a platform for Intra-Faith Networking. The Mission & Vision of our GJI Network is here: www.tinyurl.com/gji-mission
We should train up as many retired persons (esp. school teachers) as soon as possible in the art of singing the Gita with kartals accompaniment and proper Sanskrit pronunciation. In this regard, I have developed a simple and effective method of teaching Sanskrit pronunciation to people of any background within just 4 lessons of 2 hours each. You can read scholars review of my Sanskrit course and supporting letters for Gita Jayanti here - http://tinyurl.com/certific
Please give us your kind blessings for this noble work, and should you take up the cause of promoting Gita Jayanti as a common event (like a ‘Christmas Day’) for Hindus, I would be ready to share and assist in any way. Thank you for hearing this message, which is far more important than my foolish self. Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.
In service of Sri Guru,
Founder, GJI Network
============= End of Dina's message to Shri Rajan Zed =============
Here is a flyer that can be distributed to participants by organizers of any Gita event: www.tinyurl.com/gji-mission
It is for sharing the resources and promoting Gīta Jayanti to one and all as a spiritual event to unite mankind!
GJ Flyer for Participants