पद्य-धारण-व्रतं: Memorize a Poem Per Week

Do you want to experience the fun aspect of Indian Culture?

Do you want to improve your vocabulary in Sanskrit or your mother tongue?

Are you eager to impart Indian culture to the next generation in a fun and engaging manner?

Then take up the padya dhaaraNa vratam (पद्य-धारण-व्रतं, పద్య ధారణ వ్రతం) today!
To sign up, please leave a comment below, and post your progress periodically.

What is पद्य-धारण-व्रतं, పద్య ధారణ వ్రతం?
Memorize two new poems every week: one in Sanskrit, and one in your mother tongue.

Here is how:
  • Every Sunday, pick two new padyams - one from Sanskrit literature and one from famous literature in your mother tongue, preferably from a kaavyam, itihaasam or puraaNam. 
    • Avoid picking them from popular stotras or bhagavad gita for starters. The padyam should be set to a rhythmic metre (chhandas), not free form poetry.
    • Pick only poems you don't know. Don't cheat yourself. 
    • Spread out your selection from diverse literary sources.
    • The poem should have some unique charm or చమత్కారం.
    • This blog will have poems worth memorizing in Sanskrit and Telugu on this website to help you.
  • Write the padyams on a board in your home in big letters at a prominent place in the living room visible to guests, and where you spend much time.
  • Read the poem aloud every day and challenge yourself to memorize it
    • Recite the poem from memory throughout the day (while cooking, driving, in the bathroom etc.), especially after waking up and before sleeping.
  • Involve your family to help you in your vratam!
    • If you are a couple, seek help from spouse to check you while you recite the poem from memory.
    • If you have kids, recite the poem to them and ask them to check for correctness.
  • If you fail to meet the one-week deadline, skip a meal until you memorize the poems.
  • Secondary priority: Try to understand the meaning of the week's poems during the week itself.
  • Challenge yourself to remember previous weeks' poems the following weeks.
Arrange a padya-dhaaraNa-spardhaa (पद्य-धारणा-स्पर्धा, పద్య ధారణ స్పర్ధ)- competition - with other vratis after every two months of व्रताचरणं. Whoever can correctly recite the most poems from memory gets the title, 'स्मृति विशारद, స్మృతి విశారద' or something high-sounding like that.

What is a Vratam?
  • Vratam means a sacred resolve you take with an oath (by touching sacred water).
  • It is sacrilegious to violate the vrata niyamam. 
  • It is accompanied by a praayashchittam (penitentiary measure) - what punishment you will give to yourself if you missed the vratam - skip a meal, not sleep until you finish the task, etc.

Why padya dhaaraNa?
  • Awakens your innate memory power and enhances it.
  • Drastically improves your vocabulary in your mother tongue as well as Sanskrit.
  • Poetry talks straight to the heart. Hence it fascinates kids as well as inspires them into high qualities much more naturally than moral classes and intellectual arguments.
  • Makes you adept at expressing emotions and conveying feelings.
  • Puts you in touch with your root culture, i.e., आर्य संस्कृति:, ఆర్య సంస్కృతి, which is the best in the world.
  • Opens the door to a whole new world of rich Ananda through रसास्वादनं that you didn't even know exists. Your need for baser forms of entertainment (TV serials) will naturally fall away.
Benefits to Children
To inculcate culture into kids, you need to bring culture to your home and live it. Padya dhaaraNa is a step to bring culture home. It is a much more effective way to inculcate culture into kids than sending them off to some culture classes and washing off your hands.


SanDJ Gold said...

I agree with your feelings.
We lost our soul of vaidik culture due to lost connection with sanskrit.
So nowdays world value us as Asanskrit.

I will like to learn each and every aspect of sanskrit.And give my small tribute to this greatest and richest language.Which is well nourished by its great sons like Panini,Vararuchi and Patanjali.

Its very right vrata.
I will do it.

Can you please send sanskrit lessons.

I will like to get giudelines from learned people like you.

Sandesh Sankhe

SanDJ Gold said...

I will like to get guidelines to learn sanskrit from learned people like you.
Waiting for your sanskrit lessons eagerly.