Please revise the 1st 13 slokas of Chapter 2 of the Gita. Below are 2 links that have the verses of Chapter 2
In class we did the letter V which stands for Victory. Children were enthusiastic as they had to run a race during class time. The goal of the race was to touch an orange object.. When asked who the winner was they pointed to the person who came back first. But they had a surprise as they learnt that everyone had been a winner which is what the word Victory is all about. Victory is when we reach our goal and as all of them had reached their goal they were all winners. To be victorious we need to speak the truth always. They heard the story of the boy who cried Wolf once again this week which taught them the importance of being truthful. They were given a picture of the national emblem of India that has the inscription ‘Satyameva Jayate’. They learnt this slogan which means ‘Truth alone wins’.
Homework: To learn their allocated prayer ‘Om Shuklaam…’ or ‘Om Sahanaa…’ and revise the first 2 lines of the pledge; To complete the colouring sheet.
This week, we revised the faultless nature of Hanuman. We did an activity to narrate an incident from Hanuman’s life, and thought of and shared which of the eight Hanuman qualities was displayed. We then explored what Seva means – the action of devoting one’s life in thought and action to help others just like Hanuman did to Rama. For us, Seva actions could be brushing our teeth on time, doing our homework instead of watching TV or playing on the iPad, cheerfully eating and finishing whatever is on our plate of food. To be able to do our duties and help people around us, who may be in need, we must first be aware of our surroundings. For example, our first gurus, our mums and dads may be rushing out the door to drive us to school, but may not have time to sit down and eat breakfast themselves. So, what are the little things we can do to help them in the mornings, without being told or asked to do so? The children also recited and learnt the first verse of Hanuman Chalisa:
“Shri Guru Charan Saroj Raj Nij mane mukure sudhar
Varnao Raghuvar Vimal Jasu Jo dayaku phal char”
The meaning of this verse is: After cleansing the mirror of my mind with the pollen dust of holy Guru’s Lotus feet, I Profess the pure, untainted glory of Shri Raghuvar (Rama’s son or Hanuman) which bestows the four-fold fruits of life (Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha).
Homework: To continue saying the dhyana mantra and this first verse thrice each, every night before going to bed. To practise being self-aware by being aware of things that happen on a school day morning, and think of ways to help family members with little things.
The children shared how they have been trying to start good chain reactions by smiling, helping others, being kind, compassionate, etc. As discussed in earlier classes, Kind Parikshit was cursed to die within a week and so was seeking ways in which he could best prepare for his death. He was advised to hear stories about Dashaavatar (10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu) from the Bala Bhagvatam. God takes an avatar (which means ‘coming down’) to destroy evil, protect the good people and/or to teach us something. The first avatar was as a fish- Matsya Avatar to destroy the demon Hayagriva who had stolen the Vedas (scriptures which provide guidance on how to lead a happy life) and hidden them at the bottom of the ocean. Lord Vishnu in the form of Matsya avatar saved the Vedas for all humans. The second avatar is the Kurma avatar- he took the form of a giant tortoise to support Mount Manduka which started sinking during the Churning of the Milky Ocean by devas and asuras. The symbolism and relevance of this avatar to our everyday life is as follows: The Ocean symbolises our Consciousness or Life, the devas and asuras symbolise the good and bad within each one of us, while the Mount Manduka (rod) symbolises our Efforts in life. Hence, whenever we feel dejected or sad despite our best efforts, we need to think about Kurma avatar and Have Faith in God that he will raise us and take care of us.
Homework: Share what you learnt in class with friends and family; Continue to start good chain reactions and also to remember to have Faith in God when we are feeling a bit dejected.
This week we discussed our sadhanas from the previous week. The sadhana for Junior JC from last week was to reflect upon who their ideal is and why that is the case. Everybody in class discussed who their ideal was and shared one quality that they share with their ideal, and one quality that they aspire to create within themselves. We then discussed last week’s sadhanas for JCs. Their sadhana was to observe how our personality changes around other people and think of strategies to remain ourselves in those situations. Everybody listed five influential people in their lives or the people they spend most of their time with. They then reflected on one positive and negative quality in all five of the people and reflected how these qualities have an effect on their overall personality. We then came up with a few strategies to avoid getting influenced by these negative qualities and how to acquire the good qualities. We then went on to watch a Ted Talk video called “Why Believe In Others” by Victor Frankl. The video talked about idealism and how we should set high aims. We should aim towards being a role model.
Sadhana: Reflect on five people who have a negative influence on you and think of strategies to block out the negative influence from your life.
This week we studied verses 30, 31 and 32 of Chapter 11. Verse 30 continues with the terrifying imagery of
death that all must face. Death is part of the trinity of creation, sustenance and destruction. This constructive destruction enables the continuity of existence in the world. This principle not only applies to our world but the whole universe. In verse 31, Arjuna seeing the destructive force of this form of the Lord, is once again mesmerised by the Lord’s power and reveals a burning aspiration to understand the Lord. “I desire to know You, O Primeval One, I know not indeed your Purpose.” From Verse 32, the Lord reveals himself to Arjuna. In verse 32, the Lord reveals himself as “world destroying Time”. Time is part of the trinity of creation and destruction and the Lord says to Arjuna that even without the great war taking place, all his warriors will stare at death in the shadow of time.