1) Please note that the Chinmaya Mission Brisbane Annual Family Retreat will be held from 16th – 18th Sept 2016.
2) A gentle reminder for payment of term fees if you haven’t already. Term fees are due by the second week of term.
Kindy and Junior Balavihar:
We continued with the Ramayana story. Laksmana went to the aid of Rama, when both discovered that they had been tricked by the demon Marica in the form of the golden deer. They now really got worried about the welfare of Sita. Quickly they returned to Chitrakut only to find their fears confirmed. The plants and animals looked sad and were very quiet. Both brothers kept calling out for Sita, when they heard Rama’s name being called. They found the heavily wounded Jatayu who let Rama know what had happened to Sita and that Ravana had headed with her in the southern direction, before he breathed his last. The children learnt from Jatayu to be faithful. With two big sporting / fun events happening around us (Ekka in Brisbane and the Olympics in Rio), we had different challenging activities where children got to have fun, and practise good team work and all the values learnt in previous Balavihar lessons. It was interesting to watch them problem-solving.
Their homework is: To repeat at home the activity we did with a small empty plastic cup and ball. Why does the cup fall over? What happens when the cup is half-filled with water, and why?
‘I am brilliant. I have many colours. I can do lot of good but if not used properly, I can destroy. You cannot come too close to me!” Our fourth teacher is FIRE! Fire teaches us to be bright and brilliant – even when other things (paper, wood, etc) come in contact with it, it does not lose its brighness. It teaches us to not be dull / lazy, be positive, smart and always spread brightness / happiness to all who come in contact with us. Fire accepts all that comes in contact with it and treats all equally. Then we heard the story of Gurudev – a drunken, stinky man once walked into one of his yagnas in USA. When the other devotees were surprised, Gurudev told them, “He needs me more than you do!!” Thus Gurudev accepted all who came to him! Similarly, we should accept everyone and everything in life with a positive attitude. Then we did an experiment – first, oil was poured into a beaker, then water, juice, coke were added to the oil. After a few seconds, the oil rose above all other liquids and shone brilliantly at the top of the beaker! This experiment taught us that just like oil, fire does not get contaminated by things added to it. In life, we can mix with all types of people, use all sense objects, but we should always uphold our noble values and principles – then we can rise to the top and be brilliant, inspiring and spread happiness in the world!
Their homework is: To share with friends and family what ‘Fire teaches us; write a recount of the experiment conducted in class.
In continuation of the topic ‘Religion’, we asked the JCs a series of scenarios and they discussed whether it could be classified as a practice of religion e.g. playing a sport with total focus and concentration. We then continued on the topic about how we can learn to fully believe and have trust in God. We used a small flow chart to demonstrate this to the JCs. It highlighted that we all start with belief in an idea and through thinking and reflection it progresses to faith and via our direct and indirect experiences we can convert that faith into trust. We used the example of parents. We spoke about how we have belief that our parents want the best for us and via reflection we can understand why they instruct us to do certain things such as study, and through experience, e.g. getting a good grade, we can learn to trust that what they are saying is for our benefit. Similarly, we translated this process into how it can help us to build a relationship with God.
Sadhana for the week: For one activity this week, try and question why you are doing it and whether you are practising it in the spirit of religion i.e. with full focus and concentration.
One family from Brisbane represented Australia to the 23rd Gurudev Mahasamadhi Aradhana Camp that was conducted at Dallas from 30th July – 3rd August. This Sunday, the adult study group heard a detailed account of the camp experiences of the attendees. Below is a summary by the camp attendee:
“The Chinmaya family of USA came together and the Aradhana camp was the culmination of Gurudev’s centenary celebrations. We were truly blessed to be in the midst of Guruji, Swamiji and many Acharyas. ‘Vande Guru Paramparam’ was the topic and the lectures were on Sri Dakshina Moorthy Stotram, Maha Mrityunjaya Mantram and Chapter 12 of the Bhagavad Geeta. There was Satsangs, Q&A sessions and cultural activities. The overwhelming sense of bliss was well and truly secondary to the blessings and love of all our Gurus.
Asmad Acharya Paryantham
Vande Guru Paramparam”
Sadhana for the week: To meditate upon our Gurus and seek their grace for our spiritual pursuit.