18th Feb Weekly Class Summary

18th Feb Weekly Class Summary

Please revise the 1st 12 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 children learnt about Lord Shiva and what He symbolises. They noted from a picture of Lord Shiva that he had many snakes around his neck/hip/arms/ankles. This taught them that He is Fearless and very brave. They learnt that the river Mother Ganga flows from his neck representing the flow of knowledge from this great Almighty God. They saw that He is a Three-eyed Lord (Trilochana). While His two eyes represented love and justice, His third eye represented wisdom and knowledge. They also learnt that He has a moon on his head which signifies that He is the Lord of Time. The Ash all over his body meant that He is the Destroyer of all evil.

Homework: To share Symbolism of Lord Shiva with family and friends; To complete the colouring sheet; To revise the first 2 lines of the pledge.

 

Junior Balavihar:

This week, we discussed the significance of the festival of Mahashivratri – why is it celebrated, what we chant to make the most of the high energy moon on the day, and the various names of Lord Shiva.  We then continued with our learning about our superhero Hanuman, specifically about his untainted character.  We explored how to achieve a heart that is faultless.  The children were each given a CD disk with one side printed, and were asked to look at themselves in there.  But they couldn’t.  Then, when they looked on the clear side, they could see their reflection clearly!  We used this analogy to demonstrate that, just like a clean mirror is required to see our reflection, a clean heart is required to have an untainted character like our superhero.   The children used this CD to stick a good quality to practise on, along with a picture of Hanuman, thus making a promise to our superhero to be like him.   The next question was how we achieve having a clean heart. To understand this, we did another activity – on display was a heart cutout with a lot of insects with speech marks like “I bite”, “I sting”, “I crawl all over you” etc stuck onto it.  The insects represented our bad qualities.  How does one make the heart clean?  Just like the bad qualities within us, we need to focus on removing one bad quality (insect) at a time, until all the bad qualities (insects) are gone.  Once the heart is clear, we need to start focussing on Hanuman and make him the key to make our heart pure and our character untainted just like his.  In a physical act of doing this, the children coloured the clear heart red, stuck pictures of Hanuman, including a key onto the heart cutout.

Homework: To continue saying the dhyana mantra thrice, every night before going to bed.  To practise self control whenever you are feeling angry or jealous, by thinking of Hanuman and counting to 10 in your mind.

 

Senior Balavihar:

This week children learnt about significance of the festival of Mahashivratri – the story of the Churning of the Milky Ocean by devas and asuras in order to procure the Nectar of Immortality (Amrita). However, during the process of churning lots of other objects also came out and one of them was the very toxic Halahala poison which could potentially destroy all creation. So they approached Lord Shiva to help them who readily swallowed the poison to save all living creatures. However , his loving wife Parvati stopped the poison from entering his stomach and whole body by pressing on his throat. That is why Shiva is also called Nilakantha or the One with the blue neck! However, they had to keep Shiva awake all night in order to avoid toxic effects and so all his devotees sang and danced for their beloved Lord Shiva- that is why even now we chant ‘Om Namay Shivay” all night on the occasion of Mahashivratri. The kids also reflected on fact that even when we face poisonous/bad/toxic/ unpleasant situations in our life, we should not become bitter but use the situation to become better! The concept of starting a Good chain reaction was again reinforced. They also learnt meanings of some of the 108 names of Lord Shiva (which mean Always Pure) and played a game to learn about different attributes/ qualities of Lord Shiva.

Homework: Share what you learnt in class with friends and family.  Revise names and meanings of Lord Shiva and practise being “Not bitter but better” by doing kind acts.

Junior JCs:

This week, we completed Chapter 3 on Man’s Heritage. We spoke about the importance of scriptures and how the scriptures act as our true compass. We did an activity, writing down the things we have trust in. We realised that for most of these things, we have complete trust in it and that this will not change. We then assessed whether we have this same level of trust in the scriptures and how we can develop this trust. The class discussed techniques to develop complete trust in the scriptures and how this would benefit us in the long term. To ensure that we have this trust and deal with the uncertain storms of life, we must have an ideal in life. This ideal will raise our personality from the level of petty emotions to the loftier heights of the chosen ideal.

Sadhana: To reflect on who your ideal is and why this is the case. 

Senior JCs:

This week, we started the class by discussing about our sadhana from last week – practising self-restraint and discipline. We came up with strategies that could help us with practising self-restraint such as thinking about the consequences of our actions and focusing our mind on something else at that moment. We then started reading chapter 7 on Personality Rehabilitation. It stated that every experience that we have in our lives, we contact the world through our four constituent entities – our body, mind, intellect and the Consciousness. Out of these, it is the mind and the intellect that enjoy or suffers the object that they encounter. It is when all four of these entities are perfectly tuned up, that we experience harmony and rhythm in life. Our physical body is the grossest part of the human personality and it contains five organs of perception and five organs of action. The shape and size of everyone’s physical body differs from one another, however the material composing our body and the function of our organs are same in everyone. The consciousness is the subtlest aspect and is the same in everyone. It is our composite or innate personality.

We also talked about the BMI chart. The BMI chart shows that the body (B) perceives (P) objects (O), the mind (M) feels (F) emotions (E), and the intellect (I) thinks (T) thoughts (T). But when we transcend our vasanas (V), we will realise our true selves (OM) – the supreme reality.

Sadhana: Observe how our personality changes around other people and think of strategies to remain ourselves in those situations. 

 

Adults:

This week we studied verse 29 of Chapter 11. “As moths rush hurriedly into a blazing fire to their own destruction, so also these creatures hastily rush into Your mouths for their own destruction.” Continuing from the previous verse a further analogy of the process of death is detailed in this verse.  As opposed to the previous verse the metaphor of moths rushing to their death represents the free will of individuals. It is meant to highlight to Arjuna that he is not solely responsible for the destruction around him. The nature of free will inevitably leads some people to catalyse their own demise.