On Tuesday, 24 March 2020 SSIOAU ACT Region undertook it’s first online Vedam class with six students joining in for the one hour session through Skype. With face to face classes cancelled due to COVID-19, an online forum was the only method for Vedam students to continue their learning. This was the first major activity to be undertaken online in the ACT region since the onset of COVID-19.
The online class, which was taught by Chandra Balivada, was a firm success with students being able to learn their lessons in a more focused manner. The class was structured in leader-follower manner such that Chandra would chant a verse and the students would repeat the verse. Only two students repeated the verse at any one time, with other students muting their mic’s, in order to maintain clarity in the chanting.
Participants observed a number of benefits of conducting the lessons through an online forum including each student being provided with greater individual attention as a result of participants having to chant in groups of two. Participants also noted that the focus on the sounds of the chanting was greater when the lesson was undertaken online. In addition to this, students saved significant time by not having to travel to a venue for the class and were able to experience the spiritual benefits of Vedam chanting from their own home.
The success of the first online Vedam class opens up possibilities to undertake future classes online even after the current COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and creates opportunities for people in distant areas to benefit from learning Vedam.