A personal crisis more than a decade ago prompted me to turn to the divine. While I was fighting a long drawn out personal battle, and found myself not being satisfied with my professional life – I kept changing jobs, stayed at home, took breaks – because I didn’t like working, did justice to none, never knew what I loved doing but experienced immense happiness from learning shlokas. I started reciting the Mantra Raaja Pada Stotram , Hanuman Chalisa and Madhurastakam which I learnt growing up. When I found solace through reciting shlokas, I went back to my mother and started scouring the internet for ones I could learn. Chanting shlokas was my ultimate resort – it helped me get rid of my frustration, anxiety, despair and got me out of difficult situations. It even changed the way I look at life. I felt so much more positive and hence decided to take up something that I had learnt as a teenager.
During this period, I would often feel that I should put this knowledge to good use by teaching kids and tap an area left untapped and thus decided to start a mobile shloka school. When we have music schools, dance schools, yoga schools etc, why not a shloka school that basically aims at keeping traditional roots in place for future generation kids?
I started off a fast track program in my apartment for 10 days with six children and that turned out to be super successful. I realised that parents were keen on sending their kids for these classes. I slowly started putting up advertisements in small shops, boutiques, sweet shops and the response was amazing. Today I teach close to 50 kids in different apartments, preschools, dance schools , studios and through Skype. I personally believe that it’s very important for any of us to give back to society in equal or more measure, so I have decided to extend these classes to blind schools and government schools more as a service activity.
I slowly rebuilt my life, and today, I run GURUKULAM -The Shloka School, a passion transformed into a profession. For kids having to deal with an aggressive world, shloka learning and chanting could be a way to soothe them.
‘The Science Behind Mantra Chanting by Jonathan Goldman,’ which is an interview of sound healer, musician and author Jonathan Goldman by Vandana Mohata, explains chanting both through hard science as well as spirituality. Regular chanting helps you come out of different challenges that you face on a day to day basis. It takes away mental pressure, thereby improving consciousness and bringing about steadiness in the mind.
Eventually, as the mind becomes calm, the body relaxes and the breath becomes slower, negative thoughts are driven away, releasing more energy, strength and focus. Regular chanting of mantras acts as a brain stabiliser, which is, in turn, an energy medicine for stress.
Regular chanting helps you heal from high blood pressure, anxiety and depressive disorders, including epilepsy, as has been proven through clinical practice.
Apart from this, my own experience of chanting, both from doing it myself and teaching children, have taught me much about it. Especially in kids, I have found that it:
1. Improves concentration:
Regular chanting will cause profound changes in the mind-body physiology and psychology, thereby bringing out more focus on a particular task and increasing concentration.
2. Reduces violence and anger:
Letting go is a very powerful technique, but it’s very difficult to expect kids to let go of anger and frustration, so there are a few shlokas that help children them. Regular practice of these shlokas will bring the desired change in kids. You’ll see the difference once they start.
3. Creates values among children:
Prayer for peace and healing for all beings. Prayer time should be a period of joy, devotion and piety and never of boredom or force. This they will develop over time.
To know more about Gurukulam, contact Divyaa at firstname.lastname@example.org.