A report on the Bhagavad Gita Competitions held on 20th Dec and Gita Jayanti celebrations held on 21st Dec at Bangalore Shri Kashi Math.
There were 5 categories for the competition, 2 additional categories from last year
1) Age group: less than 10 years
Chanting of verses: 1 to 10 from Chapter 12 of Bhagavadgita
2) Age group: 10 to 18 years
Chanting of verses: 1 to 20 from Chapter 12 of Bhagavadgita
3) Age group: greater than 18 years
Vykhyaana/Speak-up (in Konkani, Kannada, or English)
अद्वेष्टा सर्वभूतानां मैत्रः करुण एव च | निर्ममो निरहंकारः सम-दुःख-सुख-क्षमी || (Bh.Gita 12.13)
4) Quiz competition on Lord Krishna/Mahabharata/Gita. Members: 2 in a group
5) Essay competition on ‘Gunas of a Bhakta’ as explained in 12th chapter
Sri Vasant Madhva Pai and Sri Sriram Nayak were the two judges for the competitions.
The competition started as planned at 9.30 am for the first category of participants. There were around 20 children, both boys and girls, wearing colorful attire and full of enthusiasm. Almost all the kids recited the first 10 verses of 12th chapter of Bhagavadgita with ease and with a wonderful grasp over memory and pronunciation. The youngest participant being Aniruddha Prabhu of age 3 years.
There were around 15 participants for the 2nd category for reciting the first 20 verses. Participants were judged for their memory, pronunciation and presentation.
As usual, the judges had tough time choosing the top 3 in each of the categories.
The 3rd category was for the commentary on the 13th verse of 12th chapter:
अद्वेष्टा सर्वभूतानां मैत्रः करुण एव च | निर्ममो निरहंकारः सम-दुःख-सुख-क्षमी
There were 10 participants for this category and each one was versatile in explaining the different aspects related to the verse and every participant adding a new dimension to the verse for which the meaning looks simple. The time-limit was set to 10 minutes within which the participants were required to summarize their understanding of the verse as they were judged for relevance and their style of presentation.
The 4th category was Essay competition on the ‘Gunas of the Bhakta’ and had to be limited to 4 long sheets, which was provided to the participant. There were again around 10 people who wrote very well on different attributes a devotee should be having.
There was a break for about an hour for lunch and mouth-watering delicacies were available for lunch. The next day being Ekadashi, it was time for everyone to savor as much as possible on the Dashami day.
The 5th category was Quiz competition. There were 14 teams which had to be brought down to 5 teams through elimination questionnaire to enter into the 2nd round and question papers were circulated to the teams. The best 5 were asked to sit on the stage where the next round would start.
The Quiz competition had multiple rounds including very interesting audio-visual rounds. In the ‘recognize-the-image’ category, participants were asked to identify the situation looking at an image displayed on the screen. In the ‘video round’, participants were required to identify the incident from Mahabharata by looking at the video being played.
Not just the participants, the audience and the organizers were also immersed in the quiz competition which got a very good response. The audience was also involved in answering questions.
Sri Sriram Nayak explained the special points regarding every question/answer and also explained in detail the incidents from Mahabharata/Bhagavata related to the question at hand, giving reference to Tatparya Nirnaya of Madhvacharya on Mahabharata and Bhagavata. Audience interest levels were at their peaks.
It needed a tie-breaker to decide on the winners of the quiz competition, as all the teams did well.
Post the tea session, Sri Sriram Nayak, spoke about the practical aspects of being a devotee of the Lord, about the intricacies in the verse which though appears simple has embedded messages for every attribute. He also gave examples of the devotees who had the attributes and also who developed such attributes taking them closer to God. He also corrected some of the misunderstandings about Tattvavada which had come up in the course of the debate.
Major part of the session was made available to be viewed live on youtube. Anyone from any part of the world could witness the live program.
The links are provided below:
Participation prize was given to all the participants which numbered close to 80; similarly the audience too collected handful of prizes for answering the questions right.
The first part of the session ended – only to continue with the second part planned on 21st of Dec 2015, the day of Gita Jayanti – for the prize distribution and cultural activities.
On the 21st, there was a music programme by Sri Gajanan Hegde and group; the lively program was attended by a crowd of nearly 50. After the music program, prizes were distributed to the winners by Sri VM Pai, Dr. Saraswati Rao and Sri Hegde.
The prize money was also big this year with the first prize winner getting Rs.2000, the second winner getting 1000 and the third one getting Rs.750.
Sri Mizar Shrinivas Pai, a devotee and philanthropist who lives in the US, generously sponsored for the whole program and the organizing committee is grateful Sri MS Pai for this.
Sri VM Pai spoke on the occasion about the increase in the participants compared to last year, about the interest shown by many for Gita, and about the importance of not ignoring the basics of the Dharma while man progresses towards the new era of technological improvements.
Sri Girish Prabhu who organized the programs on 20th and 21st was congratulated for the huge success of the program; he and his friends Nilesh and Ganesh were also appreciated for their passionate involvement in the Gita Jayanti programs.
Appendix to this report gives the names of the participants and of the 1st,2nd aand 3rd prize winners.
Prize winners in each category
Category 1 Recitation (Less than 10 years)
1st prize: Laxmi Pai
2nd prize: Venkatesh Pai
3rd prize: Niharika Shenoy
Category 2 Recitation (10 to 18 years)
1st prize: Shreesha Bhat
2nd prize: Shrihari Bhat
3rd prize: Arpita Shanbhag
Category 3 Speak-up (Above 18 years)
1st prize: Nilesh Pai
2nd prize: Jayalakshmi Pai
3rd prize: Suchetha Kamath
Category 4 Essay
1st prize: Jayalaxmi Pai
2nd prize: Sumana Bhat
3rd prize: Namrata Prabhu
Category 5 Quiz
1st prize: Nivedita Kamath and Sumana Bhat
2nd prize: Jayalaxmi Pai and Venkatesh Pai
3rd prize: Suchetha Kamath and Chandrakanth Kamath