A personal achievement :
Dhanurmasam started on Dec 16th.
Dec 17th was Mukkoti Ekadasi also known as Gita Jayanthi. And I was in Gita Mandir at Somnath, Gujarat.
This temple is on the banks of the Hiran River and is the place where Sri Krishna’s ascent took place and he cast off his mortal frame. (See Beautiful Somnath, Gujarat)
I read two or three chapters of the Gita off the pillars in the Gita Mandir. After I returned home, I have been chanting a few chapters every day. And I completed the last 3 chapters today. I fel rather happy and pleased with myself. (I also tried reading a chapter in the railway waiting room, but the galaxy tab generated too much interest in co-passengers and it wasn’t like quietly reading from a tiny book).
Sri Krishna’s Gita and I :
My first association with the Gita was chanting “aham vaishvanaro bhutva praninaam dehamasritah …” sloka at nursery school before lunch. Then of course a few slokas were added to my brain through childhood at school and through movies.
I started seriously reading the Gita translation while a Lower Sixth student at S.A.G.H.S. at Trinidad, in the school library … and was very impressed by “sangaat sanjaayate kamah…” sloka as well as “na tvevaham jaatu na tvam…” and learned them by heart.
When I touched thirtyish, I got hold of slokas plus translation both by Ramakrishna Mission and by ISKCON, and loved the translation by Ramakrishna mission. I read that translation again and again till I was in my mid-thirties I think. I taught my son, the essence of the Gita and about Bhagavat Sakhsatkara.
Around that time was when I had I my first experiences of Bhagavat Sakshatkara or God-Realisation as it may be loosely called in English, through meditation and pilgrimages and other spiritual sadhanas.
Around 40, I created a course on Bhagavad Gita for virtual university, explaining the Gita as I understood it, dedicating it to my son. I think some people really liked that course. And subsequently made a book out of it. It was selected by project sanatana dharma of Cincinnati temple. They called it a “simplified explanation”. You can find it at Pothis or scribd and on oldthoughts.wordpress.com.
Last year, I learned from my Veda Guru, how to correctly pronounce and chant the Gita and have been teaching that to a few students at my eGurukula, Ancient Indians University. I have also been teaching them meanings and having discussions with them. It has been very enjoyable.
And this year, for the first time in my life I have completed my entire Gita Parayanam in Sanskrit, in Dhanur Masam, thanks to the prerana of my Veda Guru.
Next? Again with meanings and then with Sankara Bhashya as well as Ramanuja Bhashya of the same. And I am re-editing my book (see the progress at oldthoughts.wordpress.com). Age, experience and adhyayana or study bring new ideas and new understanding. I may also get around to making some recordings available in time.. but at present have no access to studio etc… and there will sounds of trains and goats etc in the background.
My view is that everyone needs to learn the sanskrit Gita and mull over the words in their own mind to see what special and personal meaning it has for them. And I think the right age to start is when you learn to speak!
Jai Sri Krishna!
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