Here at the Geeta Ashram, we have a children’s class every Sunday, commencing at 11:15 am. Our teachers are Mr. Chandru Binwani and Mrs. Asha Devi, but the children of the Ashram fondly call them Uncle Chandru and Aunty Asha.
We begin our classes with morning prayers and the 12th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. The 12th chapter is a very important chapter and it’s excellent that everyone recites this every week. The class is then split into two groups. One group will have the younger children as well as new children starting the class. Note to parents: most of the new children who join the class start from a very young age (5 or 6, just like primary school! Some children start at 3 or 4), so do send your children at an early age! The children in this group are taught to pronounce the words and accents used for morning prayers and all the verses in the 12th chapter. These children are encouraged to speak loudly and clearly. As time goes on, they will be able to memorize the 12th chapter.
The other group will consist of the older children. Here, the children will learn new verses and consider the meaning of each verse. After understanding the meaning, the children consider how to apply these ideas to their life. It really is a lesson in life. It enables the world to be looked at in a different perspective and challenges any beliefs that may hold us back. Everyone here is encouraged to share their ideas and opinions and just open up themselves to these new ideas. The classes prepare us for our future as we head into university and then our working lives. The children are then given homework based on what has been going on during the class.
At around 12:30 pm – 12:45 pm, the class will be heading towards an end. This is where the two groups re-join and sing the food prayer, with our teachers distributing treats at the end. But wait! The children’s participation does not end here! Children are encouraged to go to the front and sing along to bhajans. During the Aarti, a couple of children will lead from the microphone. This is a way to boost confidence for them. Another way to boost their confidence as well as make them independent is having them prepare a speech on any verse of their choice and speak in front of everyone at the Ashram. Working on a verse on your own is very helpful as you learn new ideas every time you work on a speech.
The children also play a big role during Janmashtami, where everyone is involved whether it’s in acting, designing, dancing or writing scripts. Here, the older children can guide the younger children act and organise as well as helping each other where necessary. It creates good teamwork skills and a sense of leadership. There is more on Janmashtmi as you scroll down.
When festivals are around the corner, more time is spent listening to the beautiful stories that started these festivals. These stories have beautiful messages for us to pick up and learn from. Occasionally, one of our previous teachers, Aunty Datin (Datin Menon) would come to tell more stories, quizzing the older students to see if they still remember stories previously told.
Other areas of participation include reciting the 12th chapter during Geeta Jayanti and lighting the diyas during Guruji’s birthday.
The lessons learnt from these classes always live on in our minds and hearts, no matter where we are. We also make really good friends from these classes! We encourage more children to join, there is no reason not to!
Our classes for 2015 have begun! But it isn’t too late for though – For those who would like to sign up or sign their children up for the classes, feel free to drop us an email at email@example.com. We look forward to more joining us! 🙂
At Geeta Ashram Malaysia, we celebrate Shri Krishna Janmashtmi which is an annual commemoration of the birth of the Hindu deity Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu. On the eve of Shri Krishna Janmashtmi, devotees gather at the Ashram to engage in devotional singing and praises of the lord as we near midnight.
Every year, the Youth of the Ashram will present a series of skits either from the Mahabharata or from one of the many advents of the Lord. The Youth present excellent plays from the Mahabharata but we also incorporate real life scenarios with the teachings of the Bhagavad Geeta through our various skits and plays. The purpose of this is to disseminate the thoughts of the Bhagavad Geeta through skits and plays and to illustrate how applicable the lessons of the Geeta are to our daily lives.
During our Shri Krishna Janmashtmi celebrations this year, we performed a famous scene from the Mahabharata. We performed the dice game (gambling) which was between King Yuddishthira and Shakuni. King Yudishtra had gambled away everything and lost his kingdom. He even lost his siblings and wife through this terrible deed of gambling. Eventually, the Lord becomes their saviour.
One of our many teenage skits this year included a skit entitled ‘Conversations with God’. This skit depicts a few scenarios where we are continuously asking the Lord for more and more things and chasing after material desires that we forget to take a moment and pause, to listen to what the Lord has to say. We forget our main focus in life, which is to attain perfection with Him.Every year, the children of the class also get together for a dance glorifying Lord Krishna.
Youth of the Ashram perform many different skits every year! Please do join us at the Geeta Ashram Malaysia in Petaling Jaya.
See more photos on Janmashtmi 2013 here.
Radha Krishna Bhajan Yatra
A Bhajan Yatra is held annually in Geeta Ashram. On this day, bhajan groups from various temples and spiritual centres from around the Klang Valley join us in glorifying Radha Krishna by singing continuous bhajans of the Lord.
The GA Youth participate every year by helping out with the decorations and packing of prasadam, as well as singing bhajans during this auspicious night!
Geeta Ashram Art Competition
Every year, we have an art competition for all our children and youth who are in our class. They are given the freedom to draw anything they would like – from the past times of the Lord, or from the Mahabharata, Ramayana etc. etc.
Once they have drawn their art piece, we share the story depicted in their work with the rest of the class.
All their art pieces are then compiled and judged. All the drawings will then be made into a calendar for the next year – with the top twelve drawings representing every month of the year.
This year, we were overwhelmed with the beautiful paintings and illustrations our talented children shared with us!
Check out Calendar 2014 here!