WEEKLY SUMMARY FOR 12TH NOVEMBER 2017

WEEKLY SUMMARY FOR 12TH NOVEMBER 2017

Please revise the 1st 8 slokas of Chapter 2 of the Gita. Below are 2 links that have the verses of Chapter 2

http://www.hinduliterature.org/english/scriptures/srimad_bhagawad_gita_chapter_2.php

http://www.sanskritweb.net/sansdocs/gita-big.pdf

 

Introductory Balavihar:

In class we continued with Alphabet Safari and did the letter P which stands for ‘Not to be Proud’ and ‘Be Patient’. Children learnt the story of the deer who taught them what happens when we are proud. Once upon a time, a deer came across a pond in the forest and was pleased to see his reflection. He noticed his beautiful horns and thought to himself that he was the most beautiful animal in the forest. At the same time, he saw his skinny legs and wished he had better ones. As he walked away frowning, he heard hunters coming into the forest with dogs. He began to run but suddenly his horns got caught in a bush. He was stuck and panicked as to what would happen next. He could hear the dogs nearby and with one vigorous pull he freed himself and started running again. Once he was at a safe distance, he stopped. He realised how his skinny legs had rescued him from the hunters while he might have died due to the horns that he was too proud of. Children learnt that God has made us all equal and so we should be grateful for what we have but never be proud. Children also reflected on what they gain in life by being patient. They learnt to colour their sheet patiently in class so they could have a beautiful picture at the end.

Homework: To continue learning the pledge.

 

Junior Balavihar:

This week, we revised the quality of Arogata (good health or free from disease, both physical and mental).  Disease is the absence of ease or comfort, and physical dis-ease leads to mental discomfort, limiting us from living a normal life. We then explored the quality of Ajaadyam (Alertness).  We did an activity to concentrate and hear 5 different sounds with our eyes closed.  We were allowed to move and make noise ourselves.  On sharing with each other the various sounds we had heard, we inferred that those who focussed on quiet listening, completed their activity sooner than the ones with divided attention who were trying to make noise themselves. To be alert, we need to know what is the right thing to do and do it.  To understand what is the right thing to do, we need to know the rules in our life – that make us safe and allow us to have a routine.  Simple acts of less talking and active listening help us in being alert, and doing more to achieve more. We then heard the story of lazy Misty who wished things happened automatically without her having to lift a finger.  So, one day she dreamt that God kindly granted her wish.  Her teeth got automatically brushed (with the toothpaste that her parents used!), the shower turned on automatically (with really hot water), her grey dress came on automatically (although she wanted to wear her favourite pink dress), her not-so-favourite breakfast automatically got spooned down her throat before she could even finish chewing the previous morsel, so much so that she choked and threw up.  She had enough and wasn’t quite enjoying the things happening automatically!  She realised that to be able to make choices in life, one must act, be alert and not be lazy.  Moral: “Be lazy to lose, be alert to win.”  We will explore this quality further next week.

Homework: To chant the dhyana mantra thrice daily before going to bed.  To talk less and to practise alert listening during the week.

 

Senior Balavihar

We discussed further about some well-known people who have done charity and mentioned people from different fields and eras- such as Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Swami Chinmayananda, Bill Gates, many pop-stars such as Justin Beiber. Then we heard a story about Oprah Winfrey- a famous and influential Black woman in the world who once felt that the school she was opening in South Africa for young girls would be her legacy as it would change so many lives- but she was cut short by her mentor Maya Angelou who said that she has no idea what her legacy will be- it will be every life she has touched or transformed directly or indirectly not just the big things such as building a school! The take-home message being that we do not need to wait to do big things to do charity – we have an opportunity to make a difference with every small action that we do right now! The children had all done their homework and came up with an act of charity they would like to do or already do on a regular basis! They has answered each of the questions related to why, for whom, when, what and how to do their act of charity. The charity actions included providing clothes, food, education, knowledge, time, etc to provide definite benefits to persons who needed it and was to be done with attitude of gratitude that they are in a position to be able to help another, which made them feel happier and increased their sense of self-worth and self-confidence further enabling them to do more good- a positive cycle!

Homework: to continue with their acts of kindness and maybe try to do it as a ‘secret act of kindness’ for the next week.

 

Junior JCs:

In class, we continued with chapter 10 on the mechanism of action. To begin we talked about dynamic vasanas. Dynamic vasanas are the positive beneficial vasanas that contribute to our duty. We can use these to not only achieve our goals but remove our negative habits and desires holding us back. We then talked about how to make changes to these innate desires. We need to focus on changing our processes and not worry about the results. For example, we might aim to get an A in a maths test. This is our dynamic vasana but can only be achieved if we work hard in the process. If we end up getting a B, we should not be disappointed as we did our best. Hence, it comes down to focussing on the task rather than expecting results.

Sadhana: Write a summary of what you think karma is. 

 

Senior JCs:

In life we interact with three things – people (all living things), objects (inanimate things) and experiences/situations. To improve our relationship with these three things it is important to understand their nature. Although people might have different capabilities and view points (just like how cars have different features), the life force that drives each person is the same which is God/Atman/Brahman. Next, we understood that objects are temporary and will one day fall apart. Objects are meant for a certain purpose and becoming emotionally attached to them will only increase our sorrows when they cease to exist or perform their function efficiently. With this knowledge we are better equipped to keep under control the emotions, both positive and negative, that we feel for the objects in our life. And finally experiences too, like objects, are fleeting and last for a limited time. When this understanding of the nature of the materialistic world is applied to daily life where we are compassionate to living creatures, are not emotionally attached to objects such that they create extreme emotions in us and can deal with every experience with a level-head then such a lifestyle will lead to true happiness and success.

Sadhana: Practice this understanding while doing homework, especially the kinds that we don’t always enjoy.

 

Adults:

This week, we listened to Gurudev’s explanation of Verses 9 to 14 (the Lord’s revelation of His Cosmic Form to Arjuna), once again. We then continued on to study Verses 15 and 16. Here begins Arjuna’s outburst of emotion and words of wonderment on experiencing His Cosmic Form. It is indicated through these verses that from Brahmaji in the Heavens, to the serpents in the holes of the earth, all are represented in the Lord’s Cosmic Form. These verses indicate that the Self is One and the same in all forms; the Lord is the common factor in all the forms of the universe. He holds them all intact as a cord holds the pearls in a necklace. The world is constituted of an infinite variety of names and forms which are all held together by the Spiritual Truth into a complete whole.

Sadhana : Whenever any thought of ‘differences’ comes up in the mind, try and substitute it with thoughts of ‘oneness’.

 

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