1) Please note that the Chinmaya Mission Brisbane Annual Family Retreat will be held from 16th – 18th Sept 2016.
2) Attached to the email is a pdf document of the slokas of Chapter 15 of the Geeta. Please learn verses 1 to 3 by-heart for class next Sunday.
3) On the evening of 5th November (Saturday), the Tamil Association of Queensland is organising a Diwali function and our Balavihar and Junior CHYK children have been invited to perform on stage. Please keep the day free. Please text Aarti on 0434617615 to confirm if your child is able to perform. Aarti will add you to the “Performance Practice Group” messages.
Kindy and Junior Balavihar:
In continuing our Ramayana story, the children heard about the meeting of Hanuman and Rama & Lakshmana, and how monkey-king brothers Bali and Sugriva had become estranged. As Rama and Lakshmana travelled on the banks of River Pampa at the foot of the Rsyamukha mountain, Sugriva spotted them from the top of the mountain and panicked at the thought that they might have been sent by his brother Bali. His wise minister Hanuman calmed him down and went down to find out why the brothers were there. Approaching the brothers with Pranams, Hanuman found out that they were in search of Sita and were indeed looking for Sugriva’s assistance. Hanuman carried them to the top to meet Sugriva. They all gelled together easily. Sugriva narrated how a simple misunderstanding between him and his brother Bali, king of Kishkindha, had caused so much grief. The two brothers were chasing away a dangerous demon and demon went inside a cave. Bali asked younger brother Sugriva to wait outside for 3 days while he went inside the cave to finish off the demon. On day 2, Sugriva heard a loud scream and saw blood flowing out of the cave. On day 3, Bali still didn’t come out. Assuming his brother was dead and to trap the demon, Sugriva closed the mouth of the cave with a boulder and came back to Kishkindha. He told everyone what had happened and became the king. After a few days, to everyone’s surprise, Bali returned! Bali was angry that not only had Sugriva left him to die by closing the cave, but also the little brother had become king. He banished Sugriva from the kingdom. The children compared and contrasted how Rama’s brothers had love, respect and care for each other, while Bali and Sugriva portrayed greed, anger and jealousy.
Their homework is: To find out the ancient name of India, and also the story behind why Hanuman is red in colour.
In class we continued to learn about our teacher – the Sun. We revised what we learnt in our previous lesson about what the sun gives us & children discussed the process of photosynthesis. We then did an experiment wherein we looked at the image of our face on shiny stainless steel utensils. Children talked about about how funny they looked – thin / fat depending on the shape of the utensil. They understood how although we are only one person (or Aatmaa), the images are varied. Similarly, the same sun (one Aatmaa) reflects us differently during the various times of the day – for e.g. our shadow is short / long / unseen etc. when we stand under the sun at various times of the day. Like the various shadows are an expression of the sun, we are all expressions of one Aatmaa who is Bhagavan (God). We ignore this truth and fight / quarrel / dislike others who are none other than our own Self. So, is there really any other? The answer is ‘No’ as it is only Bhagavan who is reflected in each one of us. Children learnt the significance of saying Namaste – we put our palms together meaning that the Self in me is bowing down to the Self in you with love; we bend down with respect and say Namaste with humility as Na-ma literally means ‘Not mine’.
Their homework is: To discuss with family what they learnt in class.
In class we explored the four stages of development of the human intellect. The first stage, known as the Age of Perception, is where man perceives his surroundings and the phenomena occurring around him. In the next stage, known as the Age of Observation, he begins to question the cause of various phenomena that he perceived. Following this, in the Age of Scientific Inquiry, he begins to experiment with the external phenomena to answer his questions. Finally, in the Age of Contemplation he critically analyses the results of the experiments in order understand what he has observed. We discussed that it is possible that during the Age of Contemplation, also known as the Age of Religion and Philosophy, man might have attributed the phenomena he could not explain as caused by a higher power, also known as God. Religious masters are those who contemplate further on the nature of this Supreme Power and bring us this knowledge in the form of religion.
Sadhana for the holidays: Identify an activity or task you would like to take up on a daily basis and apply the four stages of development to achieve this.
This week, each person shared with the class, the most inspiring and thought provoking verse for them in Chapter 9. We also deliberated on the queries that were raised regarding the Chapter and had a dynamic and valuable discussion about them.
Sadhana for the holidays: To reflect on the quote, “There is no limit to the good a man can do, if he doesn’t care who gets the credit.” To revise and reflect on Chapter 9 and to come prepared to start Chapter 10 next term.