Chinmaya Mission West Gita Chanting Competition – Birth Centenary Celebrations 2015
Pujya Gurudev, Swami Chinmayanada’s vision is to encourage Balavihar children to memorize Bhagavad Geeta verses with the hope that later as adults they will be inspired to understand and live Geeta. This vision was rejuvenated with the second international Geeta chanting competition – Chant Geeta Enchant Krishna. Chinmaya Mission Chicago was honored to host the Geeta chanting competition finals of Chinmaya Mission West, USA with Swami Sharanananda as the national coordinator. The competition was held at the Badri Center on September 5 & 6, 2015. 165 children came from twenty-four centers from all across the USA to participate. The auspicious event happened to be held on Shri Krishna Janmashtami and the installation day of Shri Radha Krishna prabhavali at the Yamunotri center of Chinmaya Mission Chicago. Pujya Gurudev’s eternal guidance and presence was experienced at this event.
The finalists from local and regional competitions, the cream of Chinmaya Mission Balavihar, assembled for this historical event that was presided by Swami Ishwarananda of Los Angeles. The children were divided into four age groups. They competed within their group one at a time. There was a team of 18 judges from different centers. For two days the ashram was charged with positive energy of enthusiastic parents, participants, judges and local sevaks – altogether over 550 people. Meticulous planning provided an environment for new and renewed friendships among children and families.
Every participant was a true winner but the final rankings are:
Group A- Age Group 4 – 6 years
1. Trisha Shankar (Chinmaya Mission Twin Cities)
2. Neha Pandya (Chinmaya Mission San Jose)
3. Rasshessh Thakkar (Chinmaya Mission Ann Arbor)
Group B- (Age Group 7 – 9 years
1. Aditi Chaubal (Chinmaya Mission Houston)
2. Srinidhi Nagarajan (Chinmaya Mission San Jose)
3. Satvika Ramanathan (Chinmaya Mission Ann Arbor)
Group C – (Age Group 10 – 12 years)
- Shruthi Aiyar (Chinmaya Mission Los Angeles)
- Anjana Bharadwaj (Chinmaya Mission Chicago)
- Amrita Vinjamury (Chinmaya Mission Los Angeles)
Group D – Age Group 13 – 15 years)
- Sruthi Jayanti (Chinmaya Mission Chicago)
- Pavan Sai Datta Prabhala (Chinmaya Mission Tri-State Center)
- Deepa Kumar (Chinmaya Mission Chicago)
Prizes awarded to each group rankings were – 3rd prize $250, 2nd $500, and the 1st prize $1,000 and a trip to India to participate in the international Gita chanting finals.
At the conclusion of the event, the super charged moment was when the entire congregation of over 500 people together chanted the entire chapter XV! Before the inauguration of the competition as the families arrived Swami Ishwaranda, the presiding acharya, expounded the message of the lines – मम एव अंश: जीव लोके – mama eva aṁśaḥ jīva loke. He said that Purushottam yoga, chapter XV held a very dear place in Pujya Gurudev’s heart. We are fortunate to be associated with a Master who is called the foot soldier of Geeta, who dedicated his life sharing the message of Krishna. September 5, the start of the competition, also marked the international teachers day to honor the message of the teacher of the world – कृष्णम् वन्दे जगद्गुरुम् kṛṣṇam vande jagadgurum.