Shlokaspardha 2024

Welcome to SamskritaBharati's annual Samskritam Recitation Competition (shloka-spardhā). We have conducted several recitation competitions over the last several years, selecting verses from samkShepa-rAmAyaNam, yogasUtras of patanjali, bhartRuhari's nItishatakam and others. Our primary goal for conducting a shloka recitation competition is to introduce original Samskritam literature texts to children (and their parents). What better way to instill these samskritam-shlokAs in our children (and adults) than a fun-filled event with a small dose of competition! 

This year, we introduce Adityahṛdayaṃ a devotional hymn composed by Sage Agastya, dedicated to Sun God, Lord Suryanarayana. It is part of the 107th sarga of yuddhakanda of Valmiki Ramayana. Ravana had to be whisked off the battlefield by his charioteer after falling unconscious by Rama’s arrows. After regaining consciousness, Ravana ordered his charioteer to take him back to the battlefield. At this stage, sage Agastya was eager to be of help to Rama to put an end to this war as quickly as possible. He realized that the time was right to tell the whole world about how to use the positive energy from the Sun and use it to defeat evil. So, he gave us all the Aditya Hrudayam stotram through his dialog with Rama as below. Through these shlokas, Sage Agastya reveals to Rama (and the rest of us), the eternal secret to success and the way to achieve this through Surya Upasana (Sun worship). This sacred praise of the son of Aditi is composed of 31 shlokas structured in a unique way. Shlokas 1 & 2 are introductory. Shlokas 16 to 20 form the core of the prayer, flanked on either side by shlokas describing Sun’s glories (6 to 15 and 21 to 24) and Phala shruthi (3 to 5 and 25 to 27). Shlokas 28 through 31 are the conclusion. The first 30 shlokas have 32-syllables each, set to Anushtup meter. The last shloka is set to a special 12-syllable meter called Jagati. During this year’s shloka recitation competition, students will memorize some or all the 31 shlokas of Adityahṛdayaṃ according to their age groups.

IMP: All participants need to register in order to participate in this recitation competition. Please register here, no later than 12/15/2023. There is no fee for registration. spardhā is open to all individuals (above the age of 3 years). 

Details for shloka-spardhā 2024

Date: Feb 10, 2024

Venue: Lawson Middle School, 10401 Vista Dr, Cupertino, CA 95014 

Visit out FAQ page for answers to come common questions about shloka-spardhā. Scroll below to find appropriate audio and text for your practice.

We hope you have a lot of fun learning and reciting these verily gem-among-shlokas this year!