Thursday, May 16, 2013

Learning by rote?

Srimate ramanujaya nama:
Priya arangan adiyar,

We usually ask the question “what is the use of mindlessly by hearting something and vomiting the same when asked?” “ One should understand a thing. There is no necessity to have things in rote memory”.

Well, while it is true that mere by hearting is of little use, when it comes to learning Spiritual works, understanding the texts and committing it to memory, both hold equal importance. The shlokas from Aagamas or the verses from the Vedas carry two effects, one by the meaning they convey and by their mere recitation. Hence, our ancestors have made it mandatory to remember as well as understand these works. What about the works of the Azhwars? They do not carry any Vedic mantras in them. Why should they be memorized? Well, filling the heart with the lovely and pure Bhakthi laden words of the Azhwars cleanses the soul. By committing to memory the words of the Azhwars, we can befool Emperuman into thinking we are like the Azhwars! And what will He not give someone like the Azhwars (even if an imposter)?  

The Gurukulam children are learning the Aagamas, Vedas, divya prabandhams, English, Sanskrit, Tamizh, Science, Math, Geography, Mridangam,Veena and very many subjects. To test the level of learning and the knowledge retained by the children, a series of exams were held for the children.

Sri Krishnan swamy from Vanamamalai graced “Iramanusan Ponnadi” (Gurukulam) and conducted the exam with great fervour. Sri Krishnan swamy is a great veteran in the field of divya prabandham. He, along with his elder brother  have participated in various kainkaryams and have themselves taken up kainkaryams in many divya desams.

The gurukulam children are in different phases of learning (as per their age and group). Hence it took some time to assess the learning of the children. At the end of the tests, Sri Krishnan swamy was very satisfied with the performance of the children. To share his experience, he insisted the children never to forgo reiteration of the past learning. Half an hour a day must be devoted to reciting what has been learnt. But swamy was very impressed with the devotion and love of the children for anything sampradayam. This, he feels, will make them true and long lasting persons in the kainkaryam of Emperuman. Sri Krishnan swamy conducted the exam for Vedas too.

Snaps of Divya Prabhandha and Veda Exam :

Aagama exam was conducted by the Srirangam Koil Narasimhan Bhattar, one who has the privilege of touching and doing kainkaryam for the Lord of Srirangam. The children learning aagama have a penchant for it. Anything they see, they see with the eyes of the aagama student. Hence, their learning and knowledge base gets greatly enriched. And what they learn, they immediately try it on their “Kasturi Rangan” (gurukulam deity)!.

Snaps of Aagamam Exam :

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