GitaWise – is a Bhakti Vrksha program in Cumming, Georgia, U.S.A. that involves many families in devotional activities and learning experiences through the teachings of Bhagavad Gita As It Is and Srimad Bhagavatam. Part of the education is to learn to contribute to worthy causes. They have donated previously to the TOVP, and recently they sponsored a Chakra abhisheka for Sri Sri Radha Madhava at the Chakra installation ceremony on February 7th, 2018.
Please read more below about this inspiring group of devotees and what they are doing to make a difference in the world by learning and teaching the principles of Krishna consciousness from Bhagavad Gita.
Written by Amrta Gaurangi devi dasi
Motivate and Inspire, Inc. is a non-profit organization registered in the state of Georgia, U.S.A.. Started over 3 years ago in Atlanta, Georgia by Anirudh Bikmal (current Sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania), and Anish Bikmal (current Junior at South Forsyth High School), the non-profit organization aims at involving youth in giving back to the community through Krishna conscious activities by harnessing their talents. One such activity is the Motivate and Inspire Educational Academy, an Academy that provides quality academic help to students in all grades while raising funds to serve those in need. So far close to $30,000 has been raised which has been donated to various projects such as Govardhan EcoVillage, BhaktiVedanta Hospital, Food for Life Global and the TOVP. Inspired by his visit to the TOVP in Mayapur last summer, Anish donated his prize money of $1000 from winning an event at the Future Business Leaders of America’s national conference to the TOVP (https://tovp.org/fundraising/15-year-old-anish-bikmal-donates-1000-tovp/).
More information about Motivate and Inspire Educational Academy can be found at www.mieduacademy.weebly.com.
GitaWise-Kids and GitaWise-Teens (part of Motivate and Inspire, Inc.) are programs that motivate young kids and teenagers to learn Bhagavad Gita verses with their translations in English as given by Srila Prabhupada. Started over three years ago during the summer as a six week program, it eventually became a yearlong weekly program. There are close to thirty enthusiastic elementary and middle school students that come together every Sunday for two hours. In addition to memorizing and reciting a verse every week, the children also play fun Krishna conscious games, learn dances and perform dramas from the messages of Bhagavad Gita. During a recent Janmastami celebration, we showcased our kids’ shloka recitation skills, dances, and dramas.
Bhagavad Gita is the supreme knowledge source that will guide kids and teens to lead a life based on virtue. Young kids learning Bhagavad Gita is not as emphasized as kids learning academic subjects because we have not deciphered the values hidden in this supreme treasure. GitaWise attempts to make Bhagavad Gita part of children’s life from a young age so they can first memorize, then understand, and eventually apply these values in their life. Simple but essential values like respecting time by not wasting it, being loving and polite to others, and being grateful by counting our blessings are re-enforced through these sessions. For middle school children, the GitaWise-Teens program aims to give them an opportunity to learn the Bhagavad Gita in its entirety before graduating high school and also read inspiring stories from Srimad Bhagavatam. Initially it might seem like a daunting task to memorize Sanskrit verses, but young students have wonderful learning capabilities that just by spending ten devoted minutes each day they are able to memorize verses. Thus far students have memorized verses in chapter 12, chapter 13 and close to 75 verses from various other chapters of Bhagavad Gita.
This program is free of cost; however, upon the recommendation of several parents to charge a fee, we decided to raise funds instead in this context. Each student contributes $10 per month towards Motivate and Inspire which will be donated for a social cause. Funds have been raised since November, 2016. So far, we have raised $2,250, $1,000 of which has been donated to Food for Life Global and $1,250 to the TOVP – Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.
GitaWise programs are run by Subal Sakha Das (Suresh Bikmal) and Amrta Gaurangi Devi Dasi (Aruna Bikmal) – disciples of HH Gopala Krishna Goswami. They are the parents of Anirudh and Anish – founders of Motivate and Inspire, Inc.. In addition to teaching Bhagavad Gita to children (via GitaWise-Kids and GitaWise-Teens), they also host Bhakti Vrksha programs, GitaWise-Ladies and GitaWise-Families on Thursday and Friday evenings respectively. They have been inspired by their siksha gurus, Gita Govinda Das and Gita Devi Dasi, to do these various programs and are immensely thankful to them.
Watch this short video compilation of aratis from the month of Damodar: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QT65LOrlbm4&feature=youtu.be
GitaWise Families – Students
Pankaj and Archana
Vijay and Manisha
Viren and Ami
Ritesh and Preethi
Yogesh and Rasika
Nanda and Hema
Amol and Jui
Subal Sakha Das and Amrta Gaurangi Devi Dasi
GitaWise Kids – Students
Varshini Reddy Gundla
GitaWise Teens – Students
To sponsor a Chakra abhisheka for Sri Sri Radha Madhava and/or Lord Nrsimhadeva please go here: https://tovp.org/donate/once-in-a-lifetime-chakra-abhisheka-seva-opportunity/