Please revise the 1st 16 slokas of Chapter 2 of the Gita. Below are 2 links that have the verses of Chapter 2
In class we continued with Aphabet Safari and did the letter Y which stands for Yagna. Children learnt that Yagna is a fire ritual performed during Prayers to God. Yagna spirit, otherwise called Team Spirit is working together for a common cause with dedication. In class children illustrated Yagna spirit when the Balavihar pencil box accidentally fell to the ground. They all ran to help the teacher put the pencils back in the box. This was a true example of Yagna spirit as everyone worked together to get the job done. The listened to the story of the giant carrot. A farmer once planted a carrot seed that grew into a giant carrot. He tried to pull it but failed. He called his wife and they still were not able to pull it. The wife called the children and the children called the dog and the cat. When the team did not have any luck still, they called the mouse and finally they managed to pull the carrot. They all enjoyed eating it. Children learnt from this story that even the smallest can help achieve the goals of the team if we work with Yagna spirit.
Homework: To complete the colouring sheet; To revise the slokas and pledge over the holidays.
This week we revised the first 3 caupais of Hanuman Chaalisa and what we learnt about them. The children discussed why Tulsidasji wrote Hanuman Chaalisa, the story of Sam and the Ox and the importance of pure speech. We also revised that when we pray, we will be blessed with strength, wisdom and discrimination and it will help us clean our heart (which is like a mirror) i.e. remove bad thoughts and feelings and fill it with good thoughts and emotions. We learnt that Hanumanji is called Pavanakumara, the son of Wind God and like his father who is invisible, Hanumanji serves everyone invisibly. Like Hanumanji we must do our duties silently and without ego or arrogance. We listened to the story of how Hanumanji got his strength. When Hanumanji was a baby he saw the rising sun and mistaking it for a fruit flew up and swallowed it. The whole world became dark and Lord Indra deciding to release the sun, struck Hanumanji with the thunderbolt (a very powerful weapon of Indra made from the backbone of Rishi Dadhichi). Hanumanji released the sun and being very powerful himself, did not die but fell to the ground unconscious. His father, the Wind God, came to know about this, got very angry and stopped the flow of air. Everyone started choking and all the Gods prayed to Wind God to accept their apologies. The Wind God was willing to forgive them on the condition that they all bless his son Hanumanji with all the powers and good qualities they possessed. That is how Hanumanji was blessed with so much strength. We also revised what it means to be a good messenger like Hanumanji – it is to give the right message to the right person at the right time.
Homework over the holidays: To memorise the first 3 caupais of Hanuman Chaalisa and to revise the below verse from Guru Stotram:
“Gurur brahmaa gurur vishnuh, gurur devo maheshwarah,
gurureva param brahma tasmai srigurave namah”
The night Krishna was born, it rained heavily and it was very stormy- everyone was asleep including the guards in Devaki and Vasudeva’s prison. Vasudeva carefully carried Baby Krishna in a covered basket and started crossing the flooded river Yamuna. The water quickly rose to his head but he kept chanting “Om Namoh Narayana!” and then the 100-hooded serpent Seshanaga also protected Krishna and Vasudeva from the rains. Krishna realised Yamuna just wanted to prostate to him so he stuck his little foot out and then the Yamuna river magically parted to enable Vasudeva to take Krishna to Yasodaha’s home where he swapped the babies. When Kamsa realised the 8th child was born, he was petrified and angry and wanted to kill the child right away and did not listen to his sister’s plea for mercy-but when he tried to kill her she slipped from his hands as it was really Goddess Durga who again warned him that his death was imminent. Now as all bullies, Kamsa also get really scared and asked for his sister’s forgiveness, but again changed his ways when he met his friends who convinced him that he should kill all babies born on and around 5 days before Krishna- that way Kamsa would kill so many innocent children- the kids discussed how even today so many innocent children get killed in wars around the world. The main lessons learnt today were (1) we should always avoid bad company and not let others poison our mind, (2) there is always Evil and Good in the world but we should always contribute to the good!!
Homework: Continue to start good chain reactions and note how it makes you and others feel happier.
This week, we did Chapter 6 on the Harmony of Existence. Before we began, we summarised the previous two lessons on short term happiness and stressed the importance of giving as much as we can to the world and taking only what we need without indulging. We then began Chapter 6 and discussed the three essential factors of experience. This involves the object, the experience and the relationship between the two. The key point was the relationship between the two which is called the experiencing. If we successfully avoid dependence on the object and attachment to it, we will form a healthy relationship with the world of objects. We then learnt that there are four personalities that make up the experiencer. These include the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual personalities.
Sadhana: Deconstruct one experience that you have had during the week and how the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual personalities apply.
Firstly, we reviewed the Sadhana from last week about not letting emotions dictate our actions. Deep breaths, thinking of consequences & walking away from a situation were strategies used to help control emotion. We used an analogy where the switch was our emotion and the light bulb is our action. If we act impulsively off the emotion then we don’t take the time to wire the circuit properly the light bulb will fuse & our action will be regrettable. If we use emotion to stimulate rationale thinking the wiring will be done correctly and the light bulb will shine light as the action will be positive. We watched some ‘March for Our Lives’ speeches as examples of children using their emotion of grief and anger and using rationale thought to use that emotion to make a real difference. Emotion is necessary for action; it’s about us using our emotion for positive change rather than impulsive action.
We started reading chapter 9 about the path to perfection and we asked each person what their definition of perfection was. Many came to conclusion it was not making the same mistake twice. We spoke about how knowledge and religion are like the friendly policemen who help keep you on that path of perfection. Religion and culture also shape our personalities as they help give us our moral foundation from which we can build on and commence the path of perfection.
Sadhana: continue trying to use emotion for positive in our life e.g. anger about playing a sporting match poorly – use that match to fuel improved play rather than let the anger consume you and worsen your play.
This week we studied verses 40, 41 and 42 of Chapter 11. In verse 40 , Arjuna repeats the concepts learnt in prior verses, describing the Lord as “Infinite in Power, and Infinite in Prowess, You pervade all”. The idea of the All-powerful and Pervading Lord in reinforced in this verse. In verses 41 and 42, Arjuna suddenly realises that in his previous dealings with Krishna he may have been disrespectful, “regarding You merely as a friend unknowing of this greatness of Yours”. He pleads for mercy “In whatever way I may have insulted You for the sake of fun, while at play…I implore You to forgive.” The two verses are more personal in nature and reflect the warmth and intimacy of their relationship.