BHAGAVADGITA COMPETITION 2016
The 17th Chapter of Srimad Bhagavadgita talks about the modes of existence Raajasica (associated with passion and energy), Taamasica (associated with darkness and inactivity) and Saatvica (associated with goodness and righteousness). The ultimate goal of a person should be to aim towards a Saatvica mode of existence. This chapter was chosen for our competition this year because it aligns with the food concept carried over from our previous activities and camps; this year being the International Year of Pulses.
The competition was held on the 27th of August (Saturday) at Glenwood Public School, Glenfield and was attended by parents and students of our three locations, Liverpool, Glenfield, and Wentworthville. The students were divided into give groups according to their abilities and the duration they have been a student at Sydney Sanskrit School. Level zero had beginners and children aged 5 and under, these children had to recite three shlokas. Level 1 children had to recite five, level 2, seven and level 3, ten shlokas. Level 4 children were our senior students and they were given an activity incorporating the shlokas.
The judges for the Level 0-3 competitions were Dev Babu mahodaya and Swamini Radhikananda – two very learned and qualified people – and our own Principal, Dr. Meena ji. The external judges were truly astounded at the enthusiasm and dedication of the children, young and old. They could not believe how clearly and completely the youngsters enunciated the shlokas. A great effort by our kids.
As for the senior category, it involved a presentation that effectively blended the students’ ability to chant a Bhagavadgita sloka with clarity, diction and confidence as well as their ability to create a poster which would successfully portray their profound understanding of a given sloka in the Bhagavadgita. As they were split up into two teams of four senior students each, the presentation was primarily judged on skills such as teamwork, coordination and assertiveness as well as the overall effect of the presentation on the audience. The judges were indeed impressed by the way in which both teams went about the daunting task, as it was all to be done in just an hour. They commented that this task gave the contestants an enhanced comprehension of the sloka because incorporating graphical representations always allow the audience to connect with the subject topic. The senior category was deemed to be the toughest category to judge due to its various elements which were included in the marking criterion. Our special thanks to Sri Ramachandra Atreya mahodaya.
We also had our very own little Krishna (Ishan) come up on the state and recite a few lines in Sanskrit. Children like Ishan, who is not even four years old, give us hope for a better future for the school.
Sydney Sanskrit School was eagerly waiting to introduce and inaugurate its Youth Group wing – made up of our senior-most students and headed by our teacher Saumya Raman. Saumya was also a student of Sydney Sanskrit School. The youth group have already started taking initiatives towards the various activities associated with the school and we expect them to carry forward the flag of Sydney Sanskrit School proudly in the coming years.
Comparing was expertly handled by our ex-student-turned-teacher Sumukha Jagadeesh. The programme concluded with distribution of participation certificates to all students by the judges and pundit Ramachadra Athreya said a few words of encouragement to the students. Shrimati Dr Vasundhara Kaushik and Pundit Varkand Dave also expressed their views and experiences and encouraged the students to pursue the learning of our culture and scriptures.
As always, the programme would not have been successful without the involvement of the parents and volunteers who, once again, came through with their support and provided delicious food for the lunch.
By Ranjani Rao, and Skanda Jagadeesh