Bhajans Over Beyblades
BY: VANDANA KALRA
Photo by Sanzen
Dec 05, PUNE, INDIA (NEWSLINE) Pray, what’s making these children opt for bhajans over beyblades? Catching them young: Meditation, yoga, discourses find a new audience in the city school children.
Twelve year-old Shraddha Pisal has Bhagwat Gita on her fingertips while 10-year-old Karan Singh can give you a tip or two on how to beat stress with meditation and asanas. If you thought Gen X was all about Play Stations and Pizza Huts, well, it’s time to do a rethink.
A student of Bharati School, Shraddha has been attending the Bhagwad Gita lectures at International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) for three years now. The Art of Living (AoL) foundation too has a specially designed programme for children. Called the Art EXCEL programme (All Round Training in Excellence), it is meant for children between eight and 15 years of age. At Chinmaya Mission, Karve Nagar, where Balvihar classes are held for children between five and 15 years of age, the focus is on value education through a year-long programme.
The common factor that binds all these classes is their huge popularity amongst parents and children. Reasons can range from better concentration amongst children to overall personality development. ‘‘After attending the discourses, I feel relaxed. It also helps me concentrate better on my studies,’’ says Shraddha, as father Ajit Pisal adds, ‘‘The results are evident on her mark sheet and overall performance.’’
Seshan Ramkrishna, who conducts lectures at ISKCON explains their child module is ‘‘in a manner that is receptive to the child. Striving to impart knowledge about religious text and shlokas, these also help de-stress children and help them cope with difficult situations.’’
Drama and sketches are often used to help children understand. ‘‘Interactive sessions are always better than boring lectures. We stage skits and organise quizzes to make things more interesting,’’ says Rupal Pandya, who conducts Krishna classes.
At the Chinmaya Mission, ‘‘bhajans are taught and we celebrate festivals like Janmashtami, Diwali and Holi,’’ says Karuna Chaitanya, who has been conducting children’s classes for seven years.
The AoL classes aim at holistic development, covering physical, mental, and spiritual aspects, says Archana Chaudhari, member of the foundation. The six-day workshops, conducted throughout the year in different areas of the city, include lessons on meditation, yoga and memory games. Chaudhari adds, ‘‘While yogasanas help eliminate fear, anxiety, depression and other undesirable emotions, meditation acts as an important tool to tap the their hidden potential.’’
Health is another reason why parents enroll their children for AoL sessions. For instance, Aparna Singh says that her twelve-year-old son Karan, who was suffering from cyclic vomiting at the age of eight, has been cured after a six-day at AoL.
Whatever be the reasons, takers for these classes are plenty, as Chaudhari informs, ‘‘We take 25 students in one batch and it’s usually full.’’ It’s the same scene at ISKCON and Chinmaya, as they are always packed and record full attendance.