BhagvadGita, or ‘Song of God’, is part of the scripture Mahabharata which is the longest poem ever written. It was composed by Ved Vyasa who lived on the haloed banks of Ganga in Haridwar.
Sanskrit / mother-tongue: Most Indians can easily recall a shloka or two from BhagvadGita. Many would have read books inspired with Gita and about Gita. And these are largely in English language. Many would have also listened to, watched, or come across a variety of multimedia content relating to Gita. Yet, only a few would have actually sat down and read the complete original Gita in Sanskrit or their mother-tongues.
Understanding: While doing a first complete reading is a challenge, understanding it requires even more commitment.
Applying to life: Based upon an individual’s circumstances, a variety of lessons can be gleaned and applied to practical life.
The movement ‘Lets Read The BhagvadGita’ aims to meet the above mentioned needs. In more specific terms, the aims are –
- Appreciation: To encourage and support the first time readers of the BhagvadGita and others to do a complete reading of the original text in Sanskrit or authentic translations in Hindi, or any other Indian language.
- Understanding: To enhance the appreciation of the BhagvadGita and develop a better understanding by reviewing and discussing commentaries, interpretations, transliterations, versions and a variety of multi-media content in any language or medium.
- Mploy: To employ the understandings and teachings of the BhagvadGita in human life for the betterment of human-kind, all sentient beings, the plant-kingdom, inanimates, elements, nature, and all existence.
The above mentioned aims are being achieved through a set of projects.
International Day of Yoga: The Longest Poem on the Longest Day
21 June 2020 is celebrated as the International Day of Yoga inscribed as an intangible cultural asset of the entire humanity by UNESCO of the United Nations.
‘Let’s Read The BhagvadGita’ celebrated the day by collaborative writing of Sanskrit text of Gita in Devnagari script. Two dozen persons from New Delhi, Gurgaon, NOIDA, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Dehradun, UAE, Lucknow, and Haridwar collectively wrote over half of the 700 shlokas.
The word ‘Yoga’ appears for as many, if not more, number of times in BhagvadGita as in Patanjali’s treatise ‘Yogasutra’ which is considered to be the bible of Yoga the world over. BhagvadGita can be also called as the foundational text of Yoga. More information is available here.
This is being coordinated through a WhatsApp group named ‘Lets Read The BhagvadGita’. To join follow the link given below.
We are using one single version of BhagvadGita. It is the ‘Srimadbhagvadgita Tattva Vivechani’ by Gita Press. Gita Press has several publications on Gita. The following pdf file (6589 kb) can be downloaded.
GUIDELINES TO WRITE
The most important point is that the shlokas should be written accurately and should be clearly visible. The writing should be sharp and bold with large characters.
- Colour: Other than black, any colour can be used. Green colour generally is not amenable to photocopying, thus may be used with low priority. More than one colours can be used.
- Pen: Any writing instruments — pencil, pen, paint-brush, gel pen, ball point pen, etc. can be used. Thin nibbed permanent marker pens have better archival value.
- Paper: The paper should be of white or off-white or light colour. Writing is not clearly visible if darker coloured papers are used. Paper of any size or kind can be used. One can use loose sheets or diaries that are already in use or new ones. Avoid paper with ruled lines. Instead, lines could be made with pencil and can be erased after writing.
- Size: One may write in landscape as well as portrait format. A shloka needs to be written in the centre of the paper. Any font-size appropriate to the paper chosen can be used. At least an inch above the shloka, one should write, in smaller font, the Adhyay number. The name of the chapter should not be written. At least an inch below the shloka, one should write her/his name/ city/ state.
- There will be 5 lines as described below.
- Line 1: Number of chapter, number of shloka. In the example below, it is ‘Adhyay 1 Shloka 2.
- Line 2: This is not relevant for all shlokas. These words will be like — Dhritrashtra said, Sanjaya said etc.
- Line 3 & 4: These are the first and second line of a shloka. Please do not split them to become 4 lines from 2. These should be of the largest font size on the entire sheet.
- Line 5: Name of the person / city / state.
6. Nothing more than these three kinds of texts should be written. All writing should be at least an inch away/inside on all 4 sides of the page.
7. Digital: Digital writings are not within the scope of this project.
An example is given below.
PARTICIPATE BY WRITING ONE SHLOKA
Everyone can participate with this project remotely. The process is explained below.
- Identify which shloka do you wish to write. If you already know your shloka well and know its number and chapter number, then skip to step number 8.
- Choose any number from 1 to 18. For example, you chose 7. This becomes your chapter number.
- Click here https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/ to see the chapter-list. Click on your number. For example, you click on 7.
- Now you will see English translation of all of the shlokas (verses) of the chosen chapter. These translations are referred to as ‘Text’. In the present example of chapter 7, you will see 30 texts. Each text is a shloka.
- Read all of the texts and choose the one you like. For example, you like the following text. “Text 29: Intelligent persons who are endeavoring for liberation from old age and death take refuge in Me in devotional service. They are actually Brahman because they entirely know everything about transcendental activities.”
- In the present example, your shloka number is – 7.29
- Click on ‘Text 29’. The page that opens up shows your shloka written in Sanskrit / Devanagari and English.
- Follow the ‘GUIDELINES TO WRITE’ given above and write your shloka in Sanskrit.
- Take a picture of the shloka written by you.
UPLOAD YOUR SHLOKA
Upload the picture with your particulars here.
This facility is available only till all 700 shlokas get written, which is likely to happen very soon.