A day after the lockdown was announced, it was the start of Vasanta Navaratri or Chaitra Navaratri. We never knew that Navratri came twice !! Ofcourse we knew that Navratri is celebrated twice in the north, but didn’t know that it was also celebrated twice in the south. Swapna had told me about Vyoma Labs when I mentioned to her about wanting to learn Sanskrit. I do understand many words in Sanskrit and I took Sanskrit as the third language in school but over the years, I have just not kept up with it.
I registered on Vyoma Labs’ “Sanskritfromhome” and started getting their e-mailers about new courses. One of the mailers was about a discourse on Adityahridayam, the set of 31 shlokas that Agastya Muni shares with Bhagwan Ram during his epic battle with Ravana. Krishnan and I have recited it several times and have memorised a few of the shlokas but we wanted to understand the meaning as well and learn the correct way of chanting it. We immediately registered for this course and attended the first session on March 25th. The Vyoma Sanskrit brothers Sri. Venkatasubramanian and Sri. Viswanathan who are also the co-founders of Vyoma Labs were giving the discourse.
From the word go, there were so many new learnings in every discourse. I feel the biggest dis-service that the British did to India was to wipe out Sanskrit from everyday use … I think I am ready to forgive them for everything else and they can loot some more money if they want from us, but the loss of Sanskrit as a living language was a big blow. We should make Sanskrit as the national language and the link language for India. Now that the west is teaching Sanskrit and yoga to their students, hopefully we will too.
While I plan to write all that we learnt in each of the classes, for a start, I wanted to share one slide that speaks of Bhagwan Ram’s ancestry.
There are 40 ancestors of Ram whose history is known to us through the Ramayana and other historical works and we still think of Bhagwan Ram as a mythological character ? It seems a little absurd. We can certainly debate whether he was Vishnu’s avatar or is it Valmiki’s imagination, but that he was a Suryavanshi King is indisputable !!
Both Sri. Venkatasubramanian and Sri. Viswanathan conduct the classes really well and give a fabulous discourse every day .. some of the material is very deep and its a struggle to explain it in English, but their enthusiasm, commitment and knowledge is unmatched. Some of the stories that they have shared are beautiful and explain many difficult spiritual concepts in an easy manner.
More to come ..
Jai Shri Ram.