Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Reciting the Bhagavad Gita

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Reading and reciting the Bhagavad Gita, a spiritual text, is a routine activity for many devout Hindus. Some read it a chapter at a time, while some recite a hymn or two a day and an exceptional few actually teach it to their kids one shloka (hymn) at a time.

Reciting the Bhagavad gita

That is exactly what Melbourne’s Vasanth Kuhaluri did recently – he encouraged his young daughters Jasmita and Vedankita to recite all twenty of the shlokas in Chapter 12.

“You could call it a lockdown activity,” Vasanth told Indian Link. “It was a great way to keep them occupied after they finished their remote learning.”

Yet, their perfect enunciation in Sanskrit, as much as their eagerness to learn the shlokas, left him impressed. And no doubt, quite proud.

“We learnt one shloka a day,” 12-year-old Jasmita told Indian Link. “Dad taught us – he knows them all very well.”

READ ALSO: Year 4 student wins statewide competition with her poem of hope

“Hopefully it will be a great introduction to the Gita for them like it was for me as a child,“ Vasanth said. “I must admit I had to go back and refresh myself with the Bhakti Yoga in Chapter 12 but the essence of it has always stayed with me. It guides me in my everyday life, and the girls know it too now. Of course, they don’t get the taatparya (significance) of it just yet. “

“I like reciting the shlokas,” Jasmita, revealed. “We now say them daily. I would like to recite them in front of many people one day.”

Her 6-year-old sister Vedankita is a Year 1 student. She chimed in saying, “It was not hard to learn because Dad taught us.”

She also admitted that the language was very different from her native Telugu.

Both girls are fluent Telugu speakers, and Vedankita, in particular, loves the Japanese lessons at school. Clearly, they have a knack for languages.

‘Seeing their ease with the shlokas, I’m considering taking them through another chapter or two of the Bhagavad Gita,” Vasanth divulged.

Additionally, his daughters enjoy storytime with their dad during which he introduced the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata to them. The girls also watch Telugu TV.

“At home, we celebrate all festivals, and also do puja, although our emphasis is more on social service rather than religious rituals,” Vasanth revealed.

Community service has dominated much of Vasanth’s 21 years here in Australia. As Asia-Pacific Director at Oracle, he is a software professional by day. Vasanth is also currently Vice President of the Federation of Telugu Associations in Australia and was President of the Western Australia Telugu Association in Perth when he lived there.

Watch the young girls recite the shlokas here.

READ ALSO: Traditional marriage ceremony upholds Indian heritage

Reciting the Bhagavad Gita‘s chapter 12 is a great introduction to Hinduism’s main text. The moral education it offers is one that easily resonates with developing minds. Here are some of its shlokas that are particularly noteworthy

Those devotees are very dear to Me who are free from malice toward all living beings, who are friendly, and compassionate. They are free from attachment to possessions and egotism, equipoised in happiness and distress, and ever-forgiving. They are ever-contented, steadily united with Me in devotion, self-controlled, firm in conviction, and dedicated to Me in mind and intellect.

Those who are not a source of annoyance to anyone and who in turn are not agitated by anyone, who are equal in pleasure and pain, and free from fear and anxiety, such devotees of Mine are very dear to Me.

Those who are indifferent to worldly gain, externally and internally pure, skilful, without cares, untroubled, and free from selfishness in all undertakings, such devotees of Mine are very dear to Me.

Those who neither rejoice in mundane pleasures nor despair in worldly sorrows, who neither lament for any loss nor hanker for any gain, who renounce both good and evil deeds, such persons who are full of devotion are very dear to Me.

Those, who are alike to friend and foe, equipoised in honour and dishonour, cold and heat, joy and sorrow, and are free from all unfavourable association; those who take praise and reproach alike, who are given to silent contemplation, content with what comes their way, without attachment to the place of residence, whose intellect is firmly fixed in Me, and who is full of devotion to Me, such persons are very dear to Me.

Translations obtained here.

READ ALSO: Fundraising for Foodbank: A school holiday activity

Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni is the Editor of Indian Link.

Related Articles

Saving Hindi at La Trobe

  A video message prepared by Dr Ian Woolford of La Trobe University, to save Hindi studies from being terminated due to COVID-caused financial hardships,...

Top 10: Muck up festivals of the world

From fruit to colour to poop, some festivals are simply a celebration of having a messy good time. By FARZANA AHMAD

Virtual Diwali: We’re not going to let COVID ruin our festive season!

  Thank you to those of you who have already registered for Indian Link’s Light Up Your Home Contest (brought to you by WorldRemit). You...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -


Ep8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s life

To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic...

Ep 6: The Indian LGBTQ+ community in 2020

  It’s been two years since the world’s largest democracy repealed the draconian Section 377 which used to allow discrimination against homosexual people. Only this...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

india ayurveda surgery

Indian medics condemn move allowing Ayurveda docs to perform surgery

  The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has strongly condemned the recent move by the Central government which will allow post-graduate scholars of Ayurveda to formally...
Mala Adiga policy director

Biden appoints Mala Adiga as Policy Director for next First Lady

  Joe Biden, who will become the United States' President in January, has appointed Indian-American Mala Adiga to be the Policy Director for the next...
indian farmers

Indian app to support farmers wins 2020 ‘Call for Code’ challenge

  India-based agri-tech startup AI Farm has been chosen as the Asia Pacific Regional Winner of Call for Code, a competition asked developers to create...
middle class melodies

Review: Middle Class Melodies (Amazon Prime)

  Telegu film Middle Class Melodies - don't go by the title - is not a musical, nor does it have any reference to melody....
A Simple Murder sonyliv

Review: A Simple Murder (SonyLIV)

  A Simple Murder does become contrived at times, given the willing suspension of disbelief it demands as the episodes roll, with unfailing frequency. But...