This week we continued revising the pledge, in particular the line that says, ‘Give more than we take’. We learnt that giving is offering something to someone without expecting anything in return. We discussed about things we take from everyone around us. This includes not only people like our parents, teachers, family, friends but also nature. We take air from the plants, water from the clouds and light from the sun – to name a few. On reflection, we realised that we give very little back. We learnt how if we give selflessly to others, God will ensure that we receive more. We watched two videos about the art and benefits of giving. We promised to give more to others by sharing our toys with those who do not have them; give back to nature by planting trees and growing a garden.
Homework: To keep up our promises as above and continue to revise the pledge.
This week, we explored the quality of Hanuman being the Glorious. We tried to understand what glory is and how does one get glory/become glorious. We deduced that glorious means flying high. Will attaching ourselves to a helium balloon and flying high make us glorious? Is glory a gift? To this, the children heard the story of a very famous musician (Beethoven) who performed beautifully in front of an awestruck audience. A woman from the audience said that if God had given her such talent, she would be able to perform so beautifully as well. To which the musician said that if she practised 8 hours a day everyday for 40 years, she could be just as good a musician! Glory is the by-product of constant hard work and practice, leading to perfection and achievement.
To further understand this, we heard a story related to man’s glory lying in his efforts. Four friends were playing in a field. They heard a voice from underground from a corner of the field, “Let me out and I will give you whatever you wish for.” As the boys uncovered, it was Aladdin’s magic lamp. Once out, the boys asked for their wish. One asked for his homework to be done by the lamp without putting any effort, next asked for lots of food to eat without having to work, the third asked for lots of money so that he could give to beggars as well so that there is no one begging. The fourth boy asked for something unusual. He asked the lamp to go away before granting any of their wishes. He said, “God has given us eyes, ears, hands and legs. We should use these gifts to the full to make us and others happy. Man’s greatness lies in his own efforts. Why should we become beggars before you and insult these gifts of God?” God has given us so much. So, do not beg, but work hard and achieve. We also played the darts and targets game to practise doing and getting closer to the goal, by doing it again and again. Practice makes us perfect.
We chanted and learnt these caupais:
Sahas badan tumharo yash gaave
Us kahi Shripati kanth lagaave
Lord Rama embraced Hanuman, saying, “Even Seshanaga, the thousand headed serpent king sings your glory.
Sankadik Brahmadi Muneesa
Narad Sarad sahit Aheesa
The great sages like Sanka and Narada, along with Gods Brahma and Goddess Sarada………
Yam Kuber Digpal Jahan te
Kavi kovid kahi sake kahan te
And Yama (God of death), Kuber (God of wealth) and other sages and poets sing your glories, but still inadequately.
Homework: Practise chanting of the chalisa till caupais learnt. During the week, practise working hard by repeating a task daily (like saying times table or chanting chalisa or helping mum or dad). Also, find out the significance behind the Indian ritual of pouring oil on Hanuman’s body in temples on Tuesdays/Saturdays.
The children are learning “Krsna Krsna Everywhere” and have been regularly practising values of forgiveness, sharing and being gentle/ kind (like cows). Today they heard the story of Brahmaji’s Maha Bhanga in which he wanted to test and experience Krsna’s powers himself. Brahma made all the calves and his friends – gopas disappear and hid them in a cave for 1 year. Krishna was very fond of and attached to his calves and friends and so calmed himself and meditated to discover what was wrong. The children learnt the importance of calming the mind and meditation when faced with problems! Krishna multiplied himself and assumed exact forms of the gopas and calves- same sizes, personalities, voices, movements- to the last details. The Lord who is essence of all beings received love of so many humans and animal mothers and in turn filled their hearts with the bliss from their love for him! When Brahma returned after 1 year to see how Krsna had handled the situation, he found that there were 2 sets of gopas and calves. When Krsna revealed himself behind all the gopas and calves, Brahma realised his mistake and the Lord forgave him. This story also teaches the importance of being Humble. They did an activity to understand concept of Humility- 3 boxes were filled with grains- one was filled to the brim and the others were only partly filled. On shaking the boxes, only the ones which were partly filled made noise. One should strive to be like the full box who have achieved a lot in life but never make noise or boast about their achievements. We also discussed examples of people who have been very successful in sports and other fields but are very humble.
Homework: Practice humility every day and record it in the sheet provided. Complete the ‘humble’ word search.
This week, we went through chapter 15, ‘Science and Religion’. In this chapter we learnt that the history of the evolution of human intellect passes through four distinct stages. These stages are the ‘age of perception’, ‘age of observation’, ‘age of scientific enquiry’, and ‘age of contemplation’. In the ‘age of perception’, we follow our instincts and impulses rather than using reason and knowledge. We only perceive the external world but do not react to it. In the next stage, the ‘age of observation’, we start to ponder over why things take place around us. Hence, we start hunting for causation. However, in this stage, we observe certain simultaneous occurrences and make unintelligent correlations that are beyond any scientific reason and logic. For example, in the ‘age of perception’, we would perceive and experience rainfall, but we would not be interested in finding the cause of the rainfall. In the ‘age of observation’, we would see a mango tree shaking every time it rained and hence attributed the cause of the rain to the shaking of the mango tree. In the next stage, the ‘age of scientific enquiry’, our intellect reached a higher stage of development. We sought to discover the cause of everything around and about us by collecting data and experimenting and hence reaching intelligent and rational conclusions. In this stage, we got rid of the belief that the shaking of the mango tree caused the rain. Finally, in the last stage, the ‘age of contemplation’, we start to wonder about the harmony and rhythm expressed in the various laws of nature. We start to ponder about the external law-giver due to whom all the laws of nature function in strict perfection and reverence. In this stage, our objective enquiry is elevated to a subjective contemplation upon the primeval cause for everything in the external world.
This week we listened to, read and discussed Verse 2 of Chapter 12. In this verse, Krishna begins his explanation on the path of meditation on the form. He considers those who are disciplined at all the 3 levels (mental, physical and intellectual) in the search of the Lord as the noblest. We must fix our mind on the Lord. The mind drifts towards what we love and if we develop devotion to the Lord, then we will be able
to fix the mind on the Lord. Hence, mentally we must develop devotion to the Lord. Gurudev explains that when we visit places of worship, if we are able to surrender our mind to the God at the altar, He will instantly re-adjust it and give it back to us!!! With the steadfast understanding that the world outside is nothing but the Lord in various forms, one must serve the world at the physical level, as a worship to the Lord. Intellectually we must have faith in the Lord and with the study of scriptures develop an understanding through reflection. Belief is
emotional and could come and go. But belief reinforced with understanding is faith.
Sadhana: To reflect on the words ‘belief’ and ‘faith’ and to try and spend 10 minutes each day contemplating on the Lord.
Chanting: To revise up to Verse 18 of Chapter 2 of the Gita.