In class we learnt the alphabet C which stands for Cleanliness. It means ‘to be free from dirt’. We discussed what it means to keep our body and surroundings clean. Children brainstormed and came up with several ideas. Then we looked at how we clean our minds (which is the place where we feel our emotions).
We learnt that we can keep our mind or our inside clean by doing good things. We need to live by Gandhiji’s favourite mythical monkeys which stand for 1. Hear no evil 2. See no evil 3. Speak no evil.
We then performed an experiment to demonstrate how we always like clean things. We took 3 glasses and placed them on a table. We applied dirt on the outside of the first; children did not want to drink from this; this symbolises a person who is dirty on the outside. We then poured dirt into the second glass; children did not like this one either; this symbolises a person who is dirty inside with a bad mind with nasty thoughts. In the third glass we put sugar; children loved to drink from this; this symbolises a good person with nice thoughts.
We will continue with cleanliness next week and also look at other values C stands for.
Homework: To complete colouring; to revise the Bhajan learnt on Gurudev and also teach it to their parents.
This week at first class of new term, we revised our Bala Bhagavatam learning from last term. As a mental exercise, and to practise Ajaadyam (alertness) and Balam (self-discipline), each of the children shared what they remembered followed by something exciting that happened during school holidays. We talked about avatar parachute we made, what is an avatar, avatar names, mnemonics trick to memorise avatar names and spellings, Narasimha story, why avatar comes down (to destroy evil, to save the good and to teach a lesson to the baddies). We then heard the story of Narada, the Vishnu Bhakta, and how he was instrumental in making Ved Vyasa commence writing the Bhagavatam, a book of 18000 verses singing the glories of Lord Vishnu, and His ten avatars. We revised the avatar names by recollecting the linked mnemonics for each of them. We also played the game of Chinese whispers to practise these names. The motto of the Bala Bhagavatam text and our class this year is to “always be happy”, no matter what. We will explore this concept further in future lessons. We also learnt and practised a new bhajan in preparation for upcoming Gurudev Jayanti celebrations.
Homework: To use mnemonics to write your own name. To remember at least five names of avatars written in our book. To say The Chinmaya Pledge on way to school daily, so as to memorise it. To sing the bhajan learnt on way home from school daily. Stickers for each line properly recited at next week’s class J
This week we started by revising the chanting of the Maha Mrtyunjaya Mantra and the children did extremely well with the chanting. We then briefly revised what we learnt last class about Mother Earth’s distress and the Lord’s promise to be born to Devaki and Vasudeva to get rid of all the sins and sinners on Earth. We then continued with the story of the birth of Lord Krishna. The king of Mathura had a powerful but wicked son named Kamsa. Devaki, a princess in Mathura was set to marry a young man named Vasudeva. After the celebrations, Kamsa, who was very fond of Devaki decided to take Vasudeva and Devaki to their new home. As Kamsa happily drove their chariot, there was a sudden flask in the sky and a voice said “Kamsa, you fool-you are so gladly moving now but the 8th child of this girl will be the cause of your death”. On hearing this Kamsa was so angry that he drew his sword to kill Devaki. Vasudeva stopped Kamsa and said in a gentle tone “you are very fond of Devaki-how can you kill her? Besides she is only a woman and it is not her but her 8th child who is a danger to you. If you let us go now I promise to hand over all our children to you as soon as they are born”. Kamsa was pacified and he let Devaki and Vasudeva go. In due course when the first child was born, Vasudeva handed the baby to Kamsa. Kamsa was pleased with Vasudeva’s honesty and feeling generous gave the baby back saying it is only the 8th child who he is after. However, Sage Narada came to visit Kamsa and said “Be careful Kamsa, all Devaki’s children are a danger to you”. Kamsa was once again agitated and ordered Devaki and Vasudeva to be imprisoned and killed each of the babies born. He killed 7 of them. Finally the 8th child was born to Devaki and Vasudeva at midnight. As they prayed for the safety of the baby, there was a sudden light and the Lord was in front of them. We shall continue with the what happened after, next week. We then discussed what we learnt from the story. In times of danger or difficulties we must not panic but think calmly like Vasudeva and first get out of the dangerous situation. We also learnt that we must be honest and if our intentions are good we must not let others have a negative influence on them.
Homework: Continue chanting the Maha Mrtyunjaya Mantra and to practice (and note) the quality of forgiveness throughout the week.
Summary: This week in class, we continued with discussion on chapter 25 of Kindle Life. We began by furthering our understanding of the differences in science and religion. We (the subjects) are the experiencer and the objects around us are the experienced. The relationship between the subject and object is the experiencing. Science aims to alter what is experienced while religion aims to shape the experiencer. We then moved on to discussing the four aspects of our personality including our physical, psychological, intellectual and spiritual components. We talked about different examples as to how these play a role in our experiences.
Sadhana: To write down an example of an experience and how the components of our personality play a role.
Chapter 13: Verse 1 & 2.
Verse 1: Prakrti (Matter) and Purusha (Spirit), also the Ksetra (the field), and Ksetrajna (the knower-of-the-Field), Knowledge and that which ought to be known – these I wish to learn, O kesava
Verse 2: This body, O Kaunteya (Son of Kunti) is called the Ksetra (Field) and he who knows it is called Ksetrajna (the knower-of-the-Field) by those who know them (Ksetra and Ksetrajna)
The leaders of the Sankhyan philosophy have used Prakrti to indicate the inert equipment and Purusa to indicate the vital sentient Truth that sets the entire assemblage of matter in action. In short prakrti means matter and Purusa means the Spirit.
The Ksetrajna (Principle of knowing) functioning in the Ksetra (Field) is the enjoyer of the field, “the knower”. It is this “Knower” that is commonly known as Ego. The difference between Ksetra and Ksetrajna is that body is known as “ksetra (field)” and the principle that knows the body as Ksetrajna (knower of the field). Ksetra is the field of matter, which is constituted of the various equipments of perception and the vast fields of the perceived. Ksetrajna is the subject that enjoys the activities of the instruments of perception and the world perceived by them.
Chanting: To revise up to Verse 35 of Chapter 2 of the Gita.