For our insightful conversations series, this month we bring a delightful and inspiring conversation with Dr. Bhawana Badhe and Mr. Sushrut Badhe on the topic: Krishna’s Butter – Taking Wisdom of Bhagavad Gita to Children and Youth. Moderated by Dr. Beloo Mehra, the conversation brings to light the inspiration behind Krishna’s Butter Project, its pedagogical approach and its unique focus. The topic gains manifold in significance when we recall Sri Aurobindo’s advice on what we must seek from our study of the Bhagavad Gita:
“Our object, then, in studying the Gita will not be a scholastic or academical scrutiny of its thought, nor to place its philosophy in the history of metaphysical speculation, nor shall we deal with it in the manner of the analytical dialectician. We approach it for help and light and our aim must be to distinguish its essential and living message, that in it on which humanity has to seize for its perfection and its highest spiritual welfare.”~ CWSA, Vol. 19, p. 11
The conversation also explores other relevant questions including: why Bhagavad Gita for children and the youth; the significance of Bhagavad Gita as a scripture for practical spirituality that helps one evolve and heal; and the resistance of formal educational institutions in introducing such valuable insights from our scriptures in the overall curriculum.
Krishna’s Butter Project
“The Gita is yoga, spiritual truth applied to the external life and action-but it may be any action and not necessarily an action resembling that of the Gita. The principle of the spiritual consciousness applied to action has to be kept-the particular example used by the Gita may be treated as a thing belonging to a past world.”~ Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol. 29, p. 443
Based out of Pondicherry, Krishna’s Butter is a thoughtfully and creatively designed learning programme, which introduces children and youth to some of the essential truths of Bhagavad Gita. With the help of meaningful examples and illustrations, the programme draws learners’ attention to practical insights from the Gita which they can begin to apply in their lives.
The project started in 2015 with a group of 8th class students at one school, Vidya Niketan, in Pondicherry. The original design of the programme included 19 sessions of about half-hour each so as to not overwhelm the children. A small selection of shlokas from the total of 700 verses of the Bhagavad Gita was carefully made for these sessions. Since that first offering the programme has now reached several hundreds of children through online offerings in the last 2 years.
Designed and conducted by Dr. Bhawana Badhe and Mr. Sushrut Badhe under the mentorship and guidance of Shri Madhusudan Damle ji, the programme is now also offered in multiple Indian languages. There is now an adult version of the programme also which runs for 29 days with each session running for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
In the past two years since the programme went online, more than 20 batches have been launched including 4 batches for adults with over 600 enrolments from participants in India, USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Dubai. Due to popularity through word of recommendation, waiting lists have been launched and parents who saw positive changes in their children have enrolled for teacher training sessions to conduct similar free sessions from their respective cities as per the Krishna’s Butter Module. Approximately 6 new batches are launched every month and more are expected once new teachers are ready.
Our conversation also touches upon the inspiration behind the books authored by our guests, “Krishna’s Butter for Champion Students” by Dr. Bhawana Badhe and “Rhythm of Krishna” by Mr. Sushrut Badhe — both of which are being used as source material for the Krishna’s Butter Project.
Watch the full conversation here:
About our guests:
Dr. Bhawana Badhe is a Senior pathologist and former HOD of Pathology at JIPMER. She is the author of ‘Krishna’s Butter for Champion Students’ – a book that came out of her experience of designing and conducting Gita classes for school children. She has since then conducted several batches of students online and offline, and has also trained volunteer teachers for these Gita classes for children.
Sushrut Badhe studied mechanical engineering, but his heart led him to go deeper into exploring the truths of Indian spiritual culture. He is a poet and has authored several books, including Bhagavad Gita: Rhythm of Krishna, and Rhythm of the Veda. In addition to managing and conducting Gita classes, he also serves as CEO of KVM Research Laboratories which manufactures and exports 100% natural ayurvedic health and beauty products.
Also read excerpts from Sushrut Badhe’s book –
Rhythm of the Veda: Know your Devas
~ Cover image: S. Bharath