Gita Sopanam


For last 2.5 years, every weekend I am attending Gita Sopanam classes, conducted by Samskrit Bharati. Today, let me share some glimpse about this course and some interesting facts, that I learned in the course. 

How it started. 

I came to know, about Samskrit Bharati long back. My late sister gave me its Girinagar, Bangalore address. Girinagar is very far. One day, I came to know about free evening spoken Samskrit classes, then weekend Gita Sopanam classes also announced. I just enrolled myself. 

Course Content

Gita Sopanam is a unique way to teach Samskrit. Samskrit Bharati designed this course, considering that many people have love and respect for Bhagavad Gita. Many people read it daily. They read just translation in their native language. How about teaching them Samskrit, so they can read and understand without need for translation. Dr. Viswas conceptualized this idea. Watch him, talking about Gita Sopanam course. Click here 1 Click here 2 The course divided in 4 parts. Each part is called Sopanam. Sopanam means step. So Gita Sopanam - 1 course is first step, or fist part. First 3 parts focus on grammar aspects. It is like teaching Gita using Samskrit and Samskrit using Gita. All the example, context is from Mahabharat epic and Bhagavad Gita. Gita Sopanam 4 is about Gita. We discussed grammar aspects of each Sloka / verse from Gita. We can understand Gita directly in Samskrit. Samskrit Bharati is not preaching about Gita. It is not discourse on Gita. Samskrit Bharati makes enable the people to read Gita. The organisation equipped the people with Samskrit knowledge, so let people themselves figure out what is written in Gita. 

In this process of Gita, the students introduced to great Hindu philosophy from Gita. The Students amazed with great capability of Samskrit language. Samskrit is such a rich language that one can convey many things with fewer words. The syllabus includes some inspirational incidents, some day to day life event like planning an event, some funny story like a story about Albert Einstein, some humor, some puzzles and some wisdom. 



Teaching Methodology 

The teachers make the course more interesting by some celebrations, some cultural activities, contest, Gita sloka chanting, Samskrit songs and what not. I never felt any burden of learning. It is learning with fun. I became student again. We all classmates are from different age-group, different profession and different mother tongues. Few things are common in us. Samskrit. Proud for Samskirt and proud for the great Indian culture. A desire to learn this scientific language and to keep it alive. Mutual respect in an informal learning environment. I had my last class yesterday. We just looked back and found, that we all are coming here for last 2.5 years. We did Gita Sopanam 1 from July 2011 to Dec 2011, Gita Sopanam 2 from Jan 2012 to Apr 2012, Gita Sopanam 3 from Jun 2012 to Dec 2012 and Gita Sopanam 4 from Jan 2013 to Dec 2013. We all enjoyed learning together.  

Text books

Now, let me share, during these 2.5 years some very touchy stories, wisdom, content from our text books. 

  • Gita Sopanam 1: A famous funny story. 10 friends went for a trip, crossed the river and counted themselves and found 9 only. The reason: No one count himself. Do not you think, many times we ignore ourselves? We are too busy to impress others. (page 194)

  • Gita Sopanam 2: CHATU - SLOKA. It is wit, wisdom. Not fully true, yet think over it."Many people think, dress is not important. It is only about our physical body. It is not deciding factor for eligibility for anything. However after SAMUDRA-MANTHAN event, the ocean married his daughter goddess Lakshmi to Lord Vishnu, as he wears the yellow DHOTI (PITAMBAR). The same ocean, gave poison to Lord Shiva, as he wears skin of tiger and snakes."  (page 107)

  • Gita Sopanam 2: "I am alone. I have no assistant. I am weak. I have no resources" The lion never worry, never think such way even in its dreams. (page 126)

  • Gita Sopanam 2: A group of birds are flying. One of them had food holding in his mouth. So every one chased him and the bird was flying with full speed. It just dropped the food and all birds stopped chasing and landed on ground to acquire the food item. The Ego is like food item. If you have ego then everyone fight with you. If you are natural, easy - going, cool then people cooperate with you.  (page 128)

  • Gita Sopanam 2: A long journey starts with single steps. Then continue with persistence. (page 168)

  • Gita Sopanam 3: Albert Einstein's story. He simplified his theory of relativity and with great enthusiasm he taught. The students responded with request to further simplify it. Einstein narrated a story. A handicapped man A say on shoulder of blind man B and both started bagging. Once A request B to go to a restaurant to have a cup of milk. B, being blind do not know what is milk, so A explained. 

A:"Milk is White colored drink". 
B: "I drink water, so I know what is drink, but what is white?" 
A: "It is like color of feather of Swan"
B:" Feather I know, but what is Swan?"
A: "It is a bird whose neck is curved"
B: "I hear daily birds sing in the morning. I have neck. but what is curved?"
A just hold B's hand, make it curved and explained him this is curved, not straight. 
B: "Oh now, I know this is milk"

Einstein concluded, "my dear disciples, I cannot simplify further." (page 47)

  • Gita Sopanam 3: The famous incident of sage Vyas. The sage Vyas even after eating a lot, he was observing a fast.  He ate with Bhraman consciousness. He offered all his action to the lord. So the river Yamuna gave way to Gopis. (page 101)

  • Gita Sopanam 3: Importance of Satsang, presence of the divine people, Guru, Mahatma is much more compare to power, money, strength, height etc. A nice story about dialogues among all the fingers+thumb. You can watch it here. (Page 113)

  • Gita Sopanam 3: Rameshwar has different meaning. As per Lord Rama, 'Rameshwar is lord of Rama'. As per Lord Shiva, 'Rameshwar is the one, whose lord is Rama'. As per Bhrama, Rameshwar means 'Lord Rama is the God.' (page 119)

  • Gita Sopanam 3: After Mahabharat Arjun and Krishna both were roaming around different cities. In one city A, all people were very bad and all misbehaved with Arjun and Krishna. Yet, Lord Krishna blessed that city A. Another City B, all welcomed and offer all kinds of comfort, food, shelter, hospitality to Arjun and Krishna. Yet, Lord Krishan cursed the city B with all kinds of natural calamity. Lord Krishna explained reason to Arjuna, that if people of city B spread across the globe then whole world can become beautiful place to leave. People of city A, should remain there only, they should not be spread. (page 140)

  • Gita Sopanam 1 or 2: There was a great sage. When he meditate, he meditate so deeply and become still, so surrounding birds feels, he is dead and they sit on his shoulders and play. By seeing that, few youngsters requested the sage to catch few birds for them. The sage agreed. He mediated. However, that days, his meditation was not so deep. Somehow, the birds realize that, it is dangerous to sit on the shoulder of the sage. 

  • Gita Sopanam 1 or 2: People give so much importance to behavior, dos and don'ts compare to knowledge and philosophy. If a Bhraman declares that tomorrow is Ekadashi, so everyone should observe fast, people happily observe fast. If the same Bhraman declares that "TVAM BHRAM ASHI" "AHAM BHRAM ASHMI" etc. People doubt it. 

  • Gita Sopanam 4: The whole book is grammar explanation of Gita, the lord Krishan's message to the world, with opinion from great scholars like Ramanujacharya and Madhavacharya. 


Conclusion 

So, yes I enjoyed this course. Last 2.5 years VASOOL. i strongly recommend everyone to attend it. Samskrit Bharati is an International non-profit making NGO. You can find out nearest center (Gita-Kendra) and enroll yourself. These may be free class or with very nominal fee. How strange it is. 

Many of us proud to be Hindu, supporters of BJP, RSS, ShivSena, Narendra Modi and with great proud for our Vaidic culture, heritage etc. There is nothing wrong in it. However, more important is regular reading Gita. We often visit Facebook to know, updates and messages from friends. Gita is message from the God. How often we read it? Bath is necessary for cleanliness of body. Gita-Study is necessary for cleanliness of mind. 

I wish, let's all be proud of human being. Let's study this wonderful book Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. Gita does not belong only to Hindu religion. It is a universal truth. Let's study this wonderful, scientific, sweet language Samskrita. Samskrit is no where related to Hindu or any religion. It is just a language. The best language. 


p.s. I got these 2 scanned pages about some error correction etc for Gita Sopanam - 1 book. Just for ready reference for the readers. 


3 comments:

Nayan Modi said...

Manish bhai, very nicely written experience. Seems Samskrit Bharti doing excellent job of teaching Sanskrit. I see even young kids learning it.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm interested in learning Sanskrit. Please let me know where can I buy the books Geeta Sopanam. Are they available to buy online?

Thanks

Atul Narang said...

Yes, they are available online at http://samskritabharati.in/store.

Alternatively, you can go to sanskritabharati.in and click the 'BookStore' link in the header.

Along with Gita Sopanam, a lot of other books are available and video material as well.

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