śrī mahāganapate namaḥ
śrī sarasvatyai namaḥ
śrī pādavallabha narasimha sarasvati
śrī guru dattātreyāya namaḥ
Bhagavad Gita is the song sung by the Lord Himself. Hence, every chapter is referred to as ‘Yoga’. Learning these verses is Yoga. Paramatman Himself narrated this to Arjuna. ‘Arjuna’ refers to all of us. We are indeed fortunate! Those who are learning the meaning of Bhagavad Gita and the verses are freeing themselves from the bondage of this world. They can achieve their goal in this world. Everyone has some ambition or the other. Some wish to become a doctor, few others wish to become engineers or artists or athletes. Some wish to become businessmen or politicians.
There are a few others whose goal changes daily! They are fascinated by different things each day. They do not have one specific goal.
Yoga is that which enables one to reach their goal, without fail! It gives you the determination to achieve what you aimed for. It brings satisfaction. Such a sacred Gita / song by the Lord himself is Bhagavad Gita. Hence, it is said that Krishna is the Guru – kr̥ṣṇam vande jagadgurum. He is the only true Guru. The true Yogi is Shiva – Shiva Yogi – one who grants knowledge, gives Yoga and liberation and who destroys our sins. One who sustains us and grants our wishes and keeps us happy is Vishnu. Such a Lord blessed us with Gita which has been in existence since mid Dwapara Yuga. This Gita was first heard by Arjuna and secondly by Hanuman who was in the flag of the chariot. He listened to the Gita very attentively. The next one to hear this was Sanjaya – who had the ability to grasp distant sounds (Doora Shravana). It is from him that we have received this Gita with the blessings of Vyasa Bhagavan.
Bhagavad Gita grants all wishes without distinction of caste, creed or race. Even Arabs and Christians are chanting the Gita. It has been mandated in schools. The pure race of Muslims and Christians like Gita very much and are chanting and learning the meaning of Gita. Converts do not learn. Muslims and Christians in this country are not learning.
Many scientists, politicians are adopting the teachings of Gita in their lives and are considering it as a guide. Mahatma Gandhi was inspired by the Gita and the story of Satya Harishchandra. If you understand the meaning of Gita, then no other Upanishads are required. It is the essence of the Vedas and Upanishads. This is not limited to Hindus; it is for the entire humanity. This is more ancient than any religion. There are many religions that came into being 2000-3000 years ago. But Gita has been there for over 5000 years. IT is very ancient. Even in the courts, Gita is used to take oath and only then the proceedings begin. Gita is extremely sacred. This Gita is being memorized across the world today. Sri Swamiji has been propagating the Gita very extensively. NRIs in America are learning in very large numbers. Right from a 5-year-old child to an 85-year-old person, all are memorizing Gita. It increases your memory power and instils discipline. It teaches how to lead our life. It makes one very dignified and composed. The behavioural difference between children that learn the Gita and those that do not learn is very evident. It helps immensely in your studies and gives you the capability to study anything that you wish to pursue. It removes difficulties in your homes. It brings happiness to your parents. Even if you read and understand a single shloka, it has immense benefits.
The entire household of American devotees’ chant Bhagavad Gita. They have given up watching TV and going to movies. They have no time for these. The are very determined to take up the exam and earn Gold medal and certificate from Sri Swamiji. They want to participate in the Sahasragala program (1000 people chanting Gita from memory). The same determination I’m now seeing in people from Mysore and Bangalore.
Online classes are being conducted. A young child is the teacher and the students are all elderly people – over 50 years of age!! I felt very happy when I connected to these online classes and listened to small children teaching Gita. Those who learn to chant well and obtain the Gold medal automatically become teachers. No other teacher training is necessary. They can teach others at home - they are teaching their parents, siblings, uncles and aunts! This is so special! I feel very happy about this.
Many school children are now learning by heart. What you’ve presented today is a sample. If you just learn the Prarthana shlokas, you will be able to learn the rest. You now have the confidence that you can learn all the shlokas. That is the power of Gita. With some effort if you learn one chapter, the rest will automatically follow. Don’t you learn other languages like French or German? Don’t you learn to ride a cycle? Initially, you may be scared that you cannot balance. Don’t assume it is difficult to learn. How many of you can ride a cycle? How do you manage to balance between two small wheels?? How many of you can take a pillion rider? Driving a car is also similar.
Don’t ride on these bad roads though! Initially what seems difficult, becomes easy eventually. A newly married daughter-in-law wonders how to make Dosa! The fear is only until she tries and makes it once. Then on, she gains the confidence to make varieties of Dosa! If you think its difficult, it will continue to remain hard! Even swimming seems impossible initially. But once you learn, you swim like a fish! You are brilliant children. Your parents and teachers have disciplined you well. You have chosen to learn Bhagavad Gita online from Rajeshwari! You are very fortunate!
I always used to think that there are many learning Bhagavad Gita in Chennai, Hyderabad. But there are very few in Karnataka from Bangalore and Mysore. I was feeling sad about this. I used to wonder why people don’t understand the importance of this! How did people from Andhra/Tamil Nadu/Europe/America/West Indies/Malaysia understand the significance? People from Malaysia find pronunciation very difficult! But even they won Gold medals and certificates! Many have gone to Shringeri and appeared for the Bhagavad Gita exam conducted there. They won cash awards and have contributed that amount towards Annadana here. The moment the people in Shringeri found out that the participants are from Datta Peetham, they would declare that these students would definitely win the prize! Such is the standard set by Datta Peetham! Everyone who has appeared from Datta Peetham has won an award. The managers in Shringeri would count the number of people from Ashrama and set aside the cash awards even before the exams were conducted. Such is the reputation of Datta Peetham students! The exams here are very stringent. There are 4-5 children from Andhra who appeared for the exam here 6 times – until they got the gold medal. They initially cleared the exams and got the certificate but did not get the distinction to be awarded Gold medal. Relentlessly they worked harder each time until they won gold medal 6th time. There is a lady in ashrama who sweeps the streets. She has never been to a school. She can barely read and sign. Such a person obtained Gold medal! She gave the exam in Shringeri as well. There is another person in Dubai named Sharada. She can barely read and understand. She also won gold medal.
How is this possible? Is it Maya – no! Is it a miracle – may be!! But this is the dedication towards the subject. The determination to learn is a must. If you set yourself a target to learn 10 shlokas by heart in a day, you must do it, come what may! The power of intent is important. You should reduce time spent on games and TV. Once you can learn, you can even chant while playing games! Stop other distractions for some time – playing carrom, chess, roaming around on cycle. You must carefully save time! Spend less time with friends. Try to finish homework at school or soon after you come back. Our ashrama children did the same.
Recently in Bangalore, about 300 people chanted Bhagavad Gita from memory. Of them, about 100 were from Karnataka and the rest from other states. There are many who can read from book fluently. That is one separate section but not very important. They have a dress code. This event happens annually as a conference in different cities. We plan to do in Udupi as well. This is not an ordinary event! Just participating in such events is a great fortune! Swamiji chants along with you.
I learnt Bhagavad Gita with great difficulty in childhood. Sometimes even I have to look into a book – I forget sometimes! It needs immense dedication to learn. If you learn this, the Upanishads can be learned easily. Such is the energy and power of Bhagavad Gita. My aunt was my Guru. She was very strict and would punish me very severely for any mistakes. She would brandish me with an iron rod. I almost lost my voice and could not speak for 3 months. I was punished very severely, and I stopped learning Bhagavad Gita after that. I was very angry that it put me through so much pain.
Many years later Sri Chinmayananda Swami sent for me at Kesare. He said, “You have a large following of Datta devotees. You sing so well. It would be wonderful if you propagate Bhagavad Gita. All will learn as they respect your words. They listen to you.” He told me twice. Another time, I visited him at a hospital where he was undergoing treatment for heart ailment. I had taken Vibhuti for him. The then manager, Krishnamurthi, used to take Idly for him from ashrama. Even there, he enquired if I had started propagating Bhagavad Gita. I told him I’m starting, and avoided the question.
When it was the right time, I recorded all the important shlokas of Bhagavad Gita from each chapter and released an audio. Today, the message of Bhagavad Gita is being spread far and wide.
Children, make the best use of this opportunity to learn Bhagavad Gita here in Mysore. I also urge parents to take up this task. People from other cities and countries are taking interest and are coming here to learn. There are school representatives and parents from Mysore. I strongly urge you to make use of these facilities. I want to feel proud that there are so many children from Mysore who have learned Bhagavad Gita! I will be so happy and also arrogant that Mysore is leading in learning Bhagavad Gita. Promise me that you will bring laurels to Mysore! It will certainly happen. You are all very sincere. I trust that all of you here will learn Bhagavad Gita entirely. I was already thinking in my mind that I must arrange for Gold medals for all of you very soon. If you were chanting Bhagavad Gita, I was thinking of the expensive medals! I’m happy that you’ve already learnt 5 chapters. Parents should encourage the children. Don’t stop them with the excuse of exams or other things. This will help them for their exams as well.
Saturdays and Sundays, don’t spare them for a minute! Parents must also learn with the children. Teachers should also dedicate their time. Stop other activities- stop cooking, stop watching TV serials. Assume there is a power cut. If you skip 2 episodes you will lose interest in the serial since you would not be able to follow the story anymore! You must work hard! You will certainly learn.
We will provide all the support you need from here. Our teachers will come to your schools and teach you. They will also teach Bhajans.
We are beginning a new revolution called Namarchana of Bhajans, across the country. There is a telugu program called Paaduta Teeyaga. They are organizing this event. You also participate. You will be seen on TV. Your family will be extremely happy that their child is singing bhajans on TV!
Very soon learn all the 700 shlokas. 700 Shlokas seems scary! We will instead say 18 chapters. 18 is a small number! 18 stands for victory. We will give you Bhagavad Gita books also. After you memorize, you can then learn the meaning.
We are also performing Anagha Vrata. 3 crores is the target! It was 1 crore! When did it become 3 crore? You must also participate. This vrata is much more auspicious than Ananta Padmanabha Vrata, Santoshi vrata, Satyanarayana Vrata etc. It only takes 8 minutes to perform this. Whenever you have time, come here and perform the Vrata. When the vrata is performed in Goshala (cowshed), the benefit multiples a 100-fold. Similar benefits are derived when the vrata is performed along a river side, on a mountain, in the areas of waterfalls, at a seashore, at a naturally formed lake, in spiritual centres/temples consecrated by Maharshis, at Ashtadasha Phakti peethas, Jyotirlinga kshetras, Brindavana and near an Audumbara tree. It is a great fortune to be able to perform the vrata.
Jaya Guru Datta
kr̥ṣṇam vande jagadgurum
nārāyaṇa nārāyaṇa nārāyaṇa