Chinmaya Mission Students Offer Gita Chanting with Devotion


By Sree Gundamaraju

It starts in early February every year. On the crisp chilly Sunday mornings, a group of excited children, their parents, and equally enthusiastic teachers gather at Chinmaya Mission Houston, an hour before the regular session starts. They go into their respective class rooms and begin learning to chant the selected chapter of Bhagavad-Gita for that year. They carefully pronounce every single syllable, word and phrase in the Sanskrit sloka, join the composite words according to correct grammar, and chant the verses meticulously and melodiously. This industrious practice continues till early May, and culminates in a grand celebration of Gurudeva Swami Chinmayananda’s birthday.


Every year, children of Chinmaya Mission centers all over the world celebrate Gurudev’s birthday by participating in Gita Chanting Competitions. This year, the children of Chinmaya Mission Houston studied Chapter 12, Bhakti Yoga, for the competition.

More than 140 children, ages 5 to 18, participated in the Gita Chanting event conducted on May 10th 2014.  Leading into the competition, Acarya Sri Gaurang Nanavaty congratulated the participants and reiterated that every single one of them was a winner, as long as they strive to better themselves from within. Shortly afterwards, Chinmaya Smriti reverberated with the divine chanting of the Bhakti Yoga by young sweet voices. The children were divided into several groups by their grades, and the challenge increased as the age group increased. Participants of Group 3 and 4, belonging to grades six and higher had an additional challenge – to explain the gist of the chapter 12 and its verses, and present a practical, contemporary interpretation.  Every single participant chanted beautifully and offered their best as a birthday present to Gurudeva Swami Chinmayananda.

The winners of this year’s competition are:  Sreeharshini Ambatipudi, Srilalita Trisha Madasu and Soumya Upadhye from group 1A (kindergarten); Aditi Chaubal, Veda Suresh, Shikhar Sahay, Anika Chock and Harshit Arja from Group 1B (grades 1 &2); Meghana Prabhakaran, Raghav Rau and Rajasi Kolhatkar from Group 2A (grade3); Ayush Manoj, Krishnendu Sainath, Yashwant Arra and Disha Udatha from Group 2B (grades 4 & 5); Bhavya Kethireddipalli, Niharika Pakala and Mythreyan Ganesh from Group 3 (grades 6-8); and Sumedha Rao, Amogh Pandey and Harinandan Sainath from group 4 (grades 9-12).

Gurudeva’s Janma Jayanti festivities continued into the afternoon with the rendering of an inspiring and melodious Gita Parayana by the adults. The Smriti Hall was filled with the Lord’s Song sung as a harmonious offering to Lord Krishna and Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda. The CMH chanting group recited all the18 chapters of The Bhagavad-Gita in front of the beautifully decorated images of Lord Krishna and Gurudeva. The divine, melodious Gita Parayana concluded with Gita Arati offered with reverence by everyone present.  The day ended with Prasad distributed to all.

The next day, May 11th, when awards were presented to the winners, was coincidentally, Mother’s Day. All mothers and the rest of the audience were treated to a special recital of the Gita slokas by the little children from Pre-K. Several four- to five-year-olds went up on the stage and chanted the Gita Slokas in the presence of over five hundred people.  Pranav Sriram, Eesha Vullanki, Komal Kallur, Rohan Byali, Srilakshminath Satyasai Madasu, Gayatri Konduri, Nithalaakshaya Raja, Shivani Mukkamala, and Varnika Pavirala, sang the Lord’s song with great confidence and precision, as our Acaryas, Pujya Gaurang Uncle and Pujya Darshana Aunty proudly looked on. Acarya Gaurang Nanavaty said that most of the adults in the audience may not have had this kind of exposure to the sacred Gita at the tender age of 4 and 5, even in India. He congratulated the parents for inspiring the children to tread this trail from such a young age.

Chinmaya Mission Houston celebrates Swami Chinmayananda’s birthday every year with a grand event in Gita Chanting.  This year was Gurudeva’s 98th Birthday. All the members of Chinmaya family cherish this event, participate in it enthusiastically, and are inspired to discover the self and serve.

For more information about Chinmaya Mission Houston, please visit or contact Bharati Sutaria at 281-933-0233.