Forget grooving to angst-filled rock anthems, a group of youngsters in the city are finding solace in religious keertans now. Meet the members of the ‘Babosa Commando Force’— a group of Hanuman bhakths who are conducting special keertan sessions every sunday at different venues in the city. These young devotees — all college students — hope to initiate other youngsters into spiritualism through their endeavour.
Pankaj Bothra, a student of Aurora Degree College, who organises these keertans, says “Sometimes people ask us to do keertans at their houses on certain occasion like birthdays, anniversaries. After the keertans session, we share our spiritual experiences and tell people how we have benefitted from our faith in Lord Hanuman. And this service is completely free,” says Pankaj Bothra,
And spiritual inclination is just one of the many reasons. Many of these youngsters swear by these soothing keertans to de-stress themselves. Sumit Goenka, a MBA graduate from IIPM and a member of the Babosa Commando Force, says, “Singing these keertans emanate a sense of well-being puts all the uncertainties and doubts in the mind to rest. Every Sunday from 5 to 6.30 pm, my mind is completely devoid of all worries or tensions of any kind,” he says.
“Moreover, I don’t go to temples regularly so I try to appease the Lord by singing these
keertans,” quips Sumit.
A need to “connect to his roots” drew Vicky Golecha, a student, to the group. “It’s sad youngsters today completely shun their roots. Praying or visiting temples is not ‘hip’ enough for them. They should not forget to seek blessings of the Lord in every venture that they take up. I have benefitted from doing this and I want everyone else to do it too,” says Vicky.
Teaming up with Vicky is Paras Kothari, a student of SVG Degree College, who grew up watching his parents worship Hanuman. “After certain incidents in my life, my faith only got stronger. And by singing keertans, I hope to increase interest in spirituality among youngsters,” he says.
Chiranjeevi of Praja Rajyam , an ardent devotee of Lord Hanuman .
God is present in every atom .
I am an ardent devotee of Lord Hanuman. When I was in the 8th standard, I was taught the Hanuman Chalisa by a local priest of a Hanuman temple. Since then I have been in the habit of reciting it to seek solace from the problems of this material world.
When I was trying to get a break in films in Chennai, I used to visit all Hanuman temples to seek the Almighty’s blessings.
My original name is Shiva Shankara Vara Prasad. It was changed to Chiranjeevi, which is another name of Lord Hanuman, for my entry into the Telugu film industry.
My belief is that God observes all our deeds and judges us after we die.
My day starts with a prayer to Lord Hanuman. In fact, my mother, Anjani Devi, whose name is taken from the name of Lord Hanuman’s mother, nurtured fear of God in me. Every year I visit Tirumala with my family members to seek the blessings of Lord Venkateswara. For me God is present in every person and in every atom of the universe. I admire nature and believe that divinity is everywhere.
Some people do not believe in God, even though we are witnesses of the Almighty’s holy manifestations on earth. I do not find fault with them. But if God doesn’t exist, then who created this astonishing world?
All religions speak of universal love and compassion. However, some people try to interpret religion for their own sake, which causes problems.
— Chiranjeevi is an actor-turned-politician