Learning and reciting Shlokas for children is a healthy habit that can help them to improve focus and concentration and reduce stress. Here is a list of 15 Shlokas with meaning to memorize.
Benefits of Shloka for children
The right pronunciation, using right tones, the pace of shloka speech ensures good use of brain muscles and creates new connections in our brain, facial muscles, muscles of tongue and throat, and breathing control. These are just a few benefits of reciting shlokas.
There is also interesting research by a doctor Hartzell, a specialist in Neurosciences indicating that oral recitation and repetition helps in improving memory, cognitive abilities, and decision making. There are a lot of other benefits like increased composure, calmness, energetic brain, and increased focus. The best benefit of doing Shloka recitation for children is learning new values for a humble and happy life early.
So yeah after reading quite a lot on Sanskrit Shloka history and benefits I decided to introduce some of these shlokas to my son as early as I can. I also ran an Instagram story asking my reader and followers which language should I start teaching my toddler son. Even there I got the answer Sanskrit and tips to start with Shlokas.
Shlokas for overall wellness in Children
We all are aware of the benefits of Yoga. Yoga is good for mental and physical health in all humans including children as young as 1 year old. Like breathing, Shlokas are an inseparable part of yoga. We all are aware of the widely popular use of Om in yoga. Shlokas are mainly promoted by many Indian religious sects and Gurus. We must be understanding Shlokas are linked to our well-being and brains.
Best Practices or Etiquettes while reciting Shlokas
Maintaining good hygiene, cleanliness and distance is becoming the new normal post the pandemic strike. But its best if we can make some of these our habits. These etiquettes are really important because the shloka recitation is a powerful process enabling the toddler and parent to vibrate large amount of positive energies when they concentrate and focus on it. There is also chakra healing which works alongside creating the positive field around us when we do shloka recitation.
It is of utmost importance to follow these below best practices. If for some reason you and your toddler are unable to follow each one of them I would say try again. Practice makes us all better and ensures that we real maximum benefits from this activity. Learning is a process and it is continuous. Teaching these Shlokas to children is a process and every detail in this is going to help our toddlers and kids be attentive, focused, and at comfort in any scenarios in life.
7 Etiquettes For Shloka Recitation by Children
- Always wear clean and tidy clothes. It is therefore preferred to do shloka practice for children in the morning just after a bath. Cleanliness ensures a clean mind and receptive attitude in little toddlers
- Set aside a space for shloka practice. It is best to sit on a chair or a small carpet with no distractions nearby. Keep children’s feet on the rug or carpet while doing the recitation. You might see many practicing meditative hours in the morning where they sit in a separate area for recitation and meditation in the same manner
- It is helpful to learn the correct pronunciation as it makes learning easy and reading the correct word from the scripts helps us learn the script better
- Follow a routine and stick to time for shloka practice it is very good as repetition and routine are two big favorites for toddlers. Make it everyday morning or evening circle time or satsang activity.
- Children can Practice Shlokas every day because repetition is key to get your children including toddlers to learning
- Right posture is to sit up straight, cross-legged, or on a chair. For the shlokas where we are expressing gratitude a slight bow or having both palms joined by the side(pretend looking at all the lines of our palms). Read this post on How to teach gratitude to children
- Make it a fun experience for toddlers by using books, colorful pictures, audio, and video. Singing with actions and learning tunes and pronunciation of the shloka can make it easier for little toddlers to get the correct rhythm, pronunciation, and meaning
15 Shloka with meaning children of all ages
- Om – Practice Om every day with Yoga and Pranayam with toddlers. Teaching shlokas to children is easy when we follow the right practice
- Shloka: ॐ
- Meaning- Popular as the sound of the universe, it means eternity, it means the creator, it is the most sacred symbol in yoga, in religion like Hinduism, Buddhism, in breath control and in language.
- Ganesh Shloka – The first Shloka we taught our son. We always start everything with Ganesh puja in Hinduism. It is a religious belief to start teaching Ganesh Shloka at the beginning but you can explore.
- Shloka: वक्रतुण्ड महाकाय सूर्यकोटि समप्रभ। निर्विघ्नं कुरु मे देव सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा॥
- Meaning: Dear god, you have a twisted trunk, gigantic body and you shine bright like 1000 suns. Please bestow your good wishes so all the work, studies, activities I start should be completed successfully without any troubles
- Shloka: एक दन्तो महाबुद्धि सर्वग्यो गणनायकम् । सर्व सिद्धि करो देवा गौरीपुत्र विनायकम्॥
- Meaning: Dear god Ganesha, son of goddess Gauri (Parvati) with one full tooth, amazing wisdom, you are the first of all wise lords, Please bless me with Vidya(knowledge), Dhan(prosperity), and Shakti(strength) so that all my work, studies, activities should be successful
- Guru Shloka – It is important to remember our teachers every day but this can be practiced every Thursday. Thursdays are considered auspicious to salute our teachers and gurus. It is as per choice and mood of children we should plan a routine.
- Shloka: गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णु र्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः । गुरु साक्षात परब्रह्मा तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः ॥
- Meaning: Our teachers have a very critical role to play in our lives. In this Shloka, we are giving the teacher or guru the highest credit he is called the Creator (Brahma), the Preserver(Vishnu), and the Destroyer(Shiva or Maheshwara). I bow and salute my teacher or Guru who is the one and only true God for me. He has the supreme power to create, preserve, and set us on the right path of enlightenment.
- Gayatri Mantra – All Schools and universities in India are using this to start the prayer of the day. If you are in India you might even have started singing or teaching this to your little kids.
- Shloka: ॐ भूर् भुवः स्वः तत् सवितुर्वरेण्यं भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥
- Meaning: This interesting mantra is about meditation and consciousness. and it is often called Mahamantra.
- Om Namah Shivay – The Shloka Om Namah Shivay is a bow to the god Shiva. It’s a wonderful activity to pour water, milk, flowers, and leaves on Shiv ling for little toddlers. This mantra can be sung by toddlers on Mondays or every day while you are performing Rudrabhishek
- Shloka: ॐ नमः शिवाय
- Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra – Once again child can sing this right after Rudrabhishek or every day. This shloka is very famous among all politicians, actors, celebrities, cricket teams. It is supposed to keep us safe from evils.
- Shloka: ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम् । उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात् ॥
- Meaning: This mantra for victory over death. It is mainly for wellness in the realms of human presence and usually chanted for good health. It says dear three-eyed god, supreme god, we worship and sacrifice for you to bestow on our good health, immense wealth, and ward off any evils or cause of early or untimely death.
- Nav Grah Shanthi Shloka – A Shloka that is widely popular only for warding off evil effects of planets in astrology But this can be recited every day also towards the end of Shloka practice.
- Shloka: ब्रह्मा मुरारिस्त्रिपुरान्तकारी भानुः शशी भूमिसुतो बुधश्च गुरुश्च शुक्रः शनिराहुकेतवः कुर्वन्तु सर्वे मम सुप्रभातम् ॥१॥
- Meaning: This mantra is usually popular among pandits who are giving remedies for some issues for our doshas. We will get deeper into astrology in some other post. As a practice to keep all the planets happy in our daily charts we have been practicing this mantra for a long time. You can make it interesting by telling children about planets and astrology.
- Navkar Mantra – Navkar Mantra is from Jainism to salute all the learned scholars, teachers, etc so it is mainly to promote gratitude in a child. This can be practiced every day in the night before sleep or just after waking up also.
- Shloka: णमो अरिहंताणं, णमो सिद्धाणं , णमो आयरियाणं , णमो उवज्झायाणं , णमो लोए सव्व साहूणं, एसोपंचणमोक्कारो सव्वपावप्पणासणो, मंगला णं च सव्वेसिं पडमम हवई मंगलं
- Meaning: This mantra is a bow to Panch Parmesthi or five supreme souls. As kids our Naniji, my maternal grandmother always made us start our day by reciting Navkar Mantra 7 times and seeing the Chand or semi-circle formed in the palm by joining our hands. I always felt this mantra was secular as it never praises any of the 24 Teerthankars or gurus. Rather it is a bow to all the sages, teachers, attuned, and free souls.
- Ek Onkar Gurbani – Very popular Sikh Gurbani. It is the Mool Mantra. This is not in Sanskrit but it definitely makes its way to our list. This is a very calming mantra. It tells about the one true god. The main motto is to promote brotherhood amongst all. There is no specific time and best to include with all Shloka every day. The Mantra helps children to calm and relieves fear, anxiety, and stress
- Shloka: Ik onkar Sattnam Karta Purakh Nirbhauv Nirbair Akaal Moorat Ajooni Saibhang Gurparsad Jap Aad Sach Jugaad Sach Hai Bhi Sach Nanak Hosi Bhi Sach
- Meaning: Again this mantra also is very simple and no religious naming. God is one and only true creator and he is present everywhere and he is what will remain forever. This mantra has been very close to me as I studied in the NCR region of India and it was a must to visit gurudwara with friends every Christmas. Gurbani somehow fills us with calm and keeps us composed. I decided to keep the essence of this Gurbani in my child to help him learn to love and show compassion to the community.
- Prarthna – Our rich Indian heritage has a mantra for everything. Another very famous mantra is Prarthna. It became quite popular with the movie Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham
- Shloka: त्वमेव माता च पिता त्वमेव । त्वमेव बन्धुश्च सखा त्वमेव । त्वमेव विद्या द्रविणम् त्वमेव । त्वमेव सर्वम् मम देव देव ॥
- Meaning: This mantra is to increase our focus and dedication. It is widely used to respect Guru or teachers telling us that they are our mother, father, family, relatives and they are the knowledge and they are the god. it is important to understand that knowledge was considered the most precious gift in our culture and hence the respect teachers received many times was similar to gods. it is a great mantra to teach children about the value of respect.
- Vishnu Stuti – This mantra is believed to help ease our hardships and remove obstacles in our venture from all walks of life – travel, work, marriage, etc. I have chanted it every time my mother put a red Bindi on my forehead while starting our trip for vacations.
- Shloka: ॐ नामों भगवते वासुदेवाय।
- Meaning: It’s a salutation to Lord Vishnu the god who lives everywhere in all our hearts. It is also famous as it saved little boy Prahlad from his cruel demon father Hiranyakashyap(A story from Holika Dahan). All kids up to age 3 or 4 can easily recite it every day and morning while doing morning circle or puja
- Shloka: शान्ताकारं भुजगशयनं पद्मनाभं सुरेशं । विश्वाधारं गगनसदृशं मेघवर्णं शुभाङ्गम् ॥ लक्ष्मीकान्तं कमलनयनं योगिभिर्ध्यानगम्यं । वन्दे विष्णुं भवभयहरं सर्वलोकैकनाथम् ॥
- Meaning: An important shloka in Hindu mythology is the Vishnu mantra. It is believed to restore harmony and happiness. a wonderful shloka for elder children to learn new words of this language. This mantra is for awakening the conciousness and awareness.
- Hanuman Stuti – Every kid once in his lifetime a fan of Hanuman. So, It could be the Gada, appeal of being naughty, looks of a friendly monkey, or the stories from Ramayan. This Shloka is to be recited every day or when you feel scared or alone.
- Shloka – मनोजवं मारुततुल्यवेगम् जितेन्द्रियं बुद्धिमतां वरिष्ठम् । वातात्मजं वानरयूथमुख्यं श्रीरामदूतं शरणं प्रपद्ये ।।
- Meaning – This mantra is a prayer for Hanuman, praising him for his strength, swiftness, and sharp mind. It is a prayer to feel safe and takes refuge from all evil thoughts, fear, ghosts, etc. Sometimes Hanuman Chalisa can feel longer to learn so this is the perfect way to start teaching the origin of our dearest Bal Hanuman character from cartoons.
- Vidya Prarthna – Every day for a student starts with Saraswati Pooja. A prayer to the goddess of knowledge to shower her blessings. The Shloka is tough but aonther shloka with same essence from durga argala stotra is better for children. With an intent to pray and learn in heart this mantra can be practiced.
- Shloka – विद्यावन्तं यशस्वन्तं लक्ष्मीवन्तं जनं कुरू। रूपं देहि जयं देहि यशो देहि द्विषोजहि॥
- Meaning – This mantra is a combination of two. The second part of this shloka is for victory or success in our studies or tasks, eliminating our enemies outside and within us. Dear Ma, Please bless me with knowledge, recognition, health, and money
- Sarv Mangal – Practicing this mantra towards the end of morning prayers by children. Wishing for success and prosperity in life for everyone.
- Shloka – सर्वमङ्गलमाङ्गल्ये शिवे सर्वार्थसाधिके । शरण्ये त्र्यम्बके गौरि नारायणि नमोऽस्तु ते ॥
- Meaning – This short prayer is to the goddess Narayani praying for the success and fulfillment of our intents and endeavors.
- Natya Shastra – This mantra which explains the beauty and the core of any performing art. the essence is just wonderful and best for kids to learn at a young age.
- Shloka – यथो हस्त तथो दृष्टि, यथो दृष्टि तथो मनः, यथो मनः तथो भाव, यथो भाव तथो रस ॥
- Meaning – The translation word by word is – Wherever your hands go, your eyes will follow, Wherever your eyes go, your mind will follow, Wherever your mind goes, there will be an expression of inner feeling, and Where there is expression shown, there will be sentiment evoked. It explains the importance of active learning, learning by Doing, and remembering it for a longer time because we feel everything.
References used for my research
Children are excellent learners. If you think we can add more to this list I am waiting for your inputs. Please share your thoughts below.