This week we continued with the letter H that stands for Happiness. We went on a ride in our Chinmaya train happily singing,
‘We are a Chinmaya Happy Train, Happy Train, Happy Train
We are a Chinmaya Happy Train, Hari Om Hari Om’
We will take you through our pretend train journey.
The first stop was supposed to be a park where we could play and have fun. Instead, it turned out to be a doctor’s surgery and what more, the children had to have an injection. Though surprised and a little apprehensive, they all accepted with a happy feeling as happiness is within us. The second stop was their school but they were promised that there would be no lessons and that they could watch a movie. But to their dismay, the school had a lot of rubbish in the classroom and they ended up tidying up the room. They were a little disappointed but soon became happy as they knew happiness is not in the objects outside. The third stop was a party place but when they reached the stop, the place was empty and the party had been cancelled. They then thought they were returning home but alas, the teacher announced that they had been invited to the Chinmaya party. When the train stopped there, they had balloons, gifts, party horns, sweets waiting for them. They all had heaps of fun. Through this game, children realised that happiness lies in accepting what we have and what we get.
Homework: To learn the Saraswati sloka; To revise the bhajan, ‘Come hear, my dear’.
This week, we started the class by talking about the seeds that kids had taken home to take care of during the week. We observed the different pace of their sprouting (growth), maybe, because of different amounts of water provided/not provided, or, their size. Some children confessed that they had forgotten to water the seeds twice a day. We compared this to the unconditional love and care of our parents, irrespective of how we grow (our capabilities and habits). We should always be thankful for our parents, and for what we have. We talked about how we should always have an attitude of gratitude. We then listed what each one of us is grateful for – our parents/teachers, family, clean air and water, good food, earth, a car, Balavihar, our life, how God has made us. The children then heard the story of very old gardener planting walnut seeds. A king was passing by and he asked the farmer why he was planting the seeds now, when he knew full well that walnut plants take a very long time to fruit, close to 15-20 years, and he may never see the fruit of the seeds he was planting. The farmer politely answered that he was fortunate to have eaten walnuts in his lifetime since his childhood, due to his forefathers doing the same thing. And it was now his turn to give back. The moral of the story is that we leave the world a better place than how we found it. We can do this by recycling waste, not wasting water or food, speaking kind words and doing good deeds, and being grateful and content for what we have.
As a separate activity, we all took turns weighing ourselves. And a question for the children is: what do good deeds and bad deeds weigh? Do they add to our physical weight? The children are going to ponder on this thought and we will discuss this during next week’s class.
Homework: To keep rinsing the seeds in the cup twice a day, and to observe their growth. Each child will post a picture of their sprouts on the class Whatsapp group. To find an opportunity to do an act of goodness in our surroundings (school, home, car) to leave it a better place. To ponder on whether good or bad actions add to our physical weight. To sing “Bhaja gopala” and “Come here, my dear” 3 times in front of family during the week.
This week we continued with the story from last class. After the death of Kamsa, Krishna and Balarama rushed to the jail and released Ugrasena, Vasudeva, Devaki and others. Ugrasena became the king of Mathura and everyone lived happily in peace and prosperity. As promised Krishna and Balarama visited the houses of Akrura and Trivakra and were treated with great love and devotion. Nanda baba went back to Vrindavan. Vasudeva
felt that it was time for Krishna and Balarama to go to Gurukul (school) to learn from a Guru. After performing the thread ceremony (Upanayana), the boys were taken to Rishi Sandipani to study from him. Krishna and
Balarama very quickly mastered the Vedas, grammar, philosophy, economics, astronomy and all other teachings from Guru Sandipani. As is tradition, they asked Rishi Sandipani what they could offer as Guru-dakshina. Knowing their Divine nature, Rishi Sandipani did not want anything. However, on Krishna and Balarama’s insistence he requested Them to bring back his son who had drowned in the sea. Krishna and Balarama went to Lord Yama and brought back the son to their Guru. We learnt that we must remember to keep the promises we make and we must treat all our teachers with respect.
Homework: To complete all the virtue sheets and to continue thinking of Krishna all the time.
This week in class we started with discussing our sadhana which was to share our experience with overcoming our fear (in view of the techniques discussed during our previous class). Next we continued with chapter 26 of the text ‘Kindle Life’ and mainly discussed the concepts concerning ‘the fall of man’ (based on the diagram on page 151 of the text). Particularly, we focused on how shifting our mentality from a sense of ‘I’ to ‘I am not this / I am the eternal’ alone can end our ignorance, our delusions and the source of all our desires. We briefly explored the source of our desires and identified that generally they refer to our ‘wants’ opposed to what we need in order to fulfill our ambitions / goals. We then started Chapter 27 of the text, ‘Japa-Yoga’. Before reading through this chapter, we prepared a short list about what initially comes to our mind when we hear the term ‘Japa-Yoga’. This list included; (1) helps us narrow our focus / single-pointedness, (2) repetition of a mantra and (3) can be useful when we need to calm our mind.
- To continue with sadhana from last week (overcoming our fear).
- If you’re in a situation of high emotions, anger, sadness, anxiety etc, to take deep breaths and focus on your breathing for a few minutes, and then act on that situation.
week we studied verse 16 of Chapter 13. This verse is filled with
contradictions and is meant to showcase the eternal nature of the
1) “Without and within all being” – here the Supreme truth is shown as all pervading. Like radio waves that exist within the instrument of reception(radio) and also in space.
2) “the unmoving and also the moving” – the example given is a person sitting in a bus appears to be unmoving but is carried long distances by the bus.
3) “near and far away” – the example given is of space which exist here and at the extremities of the universe.
These contradictory phrases are meant to denote that the Supreme is manifest everywhere and that nothing is
possible without this force.
Chanting: To revise up to Verse 46 of Chapter 2 of the Gita.