(iskconnews.org) – ISKCON News | “Sanskrit Sense” Sharing the Ancient Art of Chanting Shlokas & Mantras
Nityananda Dasa (Artyom Hvans) offers exceptional courses on the art of chanting shlokas and mantras through his online learning platform, “Sanskrit Sense.” He has tutored more than 3,000 students from 90 countries and has also created a special course on the pronunciation of all ISKCON standard chants and prayers.
Last year, Nityananda Dasa released a music album – “Augury of Innocence,” a collection of songs in Sanskrit and English. Some of the songs are experiments on blending spiritual messages with powerful music styles, such as rock, jazz, and country/blues.
In the field of Sanskrit, he is concentrating on developing his micro-content series – Sixty Second Sanskrit Supertips. One episode every Saturday is released on “Sanskrit Sense” social media platforms. In addition, he is also regularly publishing chanting of different mantras, along with his two daughters, who have learned the art so well.
Nityananda came to Krishna Consciousness in 1999 in his home country, Latvia, where he was a high school student exploring various spiritual traditions and searching for the meaning of life. He joined the ashram in Riga (the capital of Latvia). After one year, when he turned eighteen, he bought a one-way ticket to South India. Little did he know that he would stay in India for the next 23 years.
From the beginning, he was attracted to Sanskrit. He spontaneously started learning mantras and the script. He exclaimed, “The sound of Sanskrit was a connection to a transcendental dimension for me, and it felt so satisfying. It eventually led me to the proper study of Sanskrit under the guidance of Gopiparanadhana Prabhu in Govardhana, which further matured into my service of translating and editing Sanskrit texts for the devotees.”
Nityananda added, “Sanskrit is such an integral part of our Vaishnava tradition, and there is so little systematic material on it. I ventured to develop online Sanskrit courses, which have been received very well and helped so many devotees and Sanskrit learners worldwide. Later, I blended my passion for Sanskrit with my musical inclination and started composing music for many Sanskrit prayers and ashtakas, which I recorded and are available online.”
He added that apart from his Sanskrit music, he is reaching out to a broader audience by creating his “Soul Tonics,” weekly inspirational spiritual short songs released on his music pages.
However, there were many hurdles and challenges faced in executing this service. Nityananda shared, “The usual challenge of these days for any creator is to make your materials or music known and heard in an ocean of information and social media. I have learned a lot in the process of doing that. I am continuing, no matter what – to keep sharing the knowledge of Sanskrit. I was blessed with the spiritual music that is the climax of my soul’s aspiration to serve the Lord in this world. Deep awareness that something is your life’s mission in the service of your spiritual masters is essential in maintaining one’s enthusiasm despite external tribulations.”
You can learn more about his courses and music by visiting his website, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube links. Nityananda Dasa also has a Patreon page where people who appreciate the music he creates opt for small monthly contributions that help him to keep on creating more content.