We continued with the alphabet safari for letter C. C stands for cleanliness. We revised what we learnt in the previous class – regarding the 3 types of cleanliness. Brainstorming was done regarding:1. Instruments used to clean our surroundings and body. Children said things like- brush, vacuum cleaner, duster, shampoo, soap. 2. What is a clean mind- examples of what behaviour/ character they liked in their friend- some qualities they said were- Kindness, Funny, beautiful, clean. Then we learnt that that our instruments to clean our mind were our – eyes, mouth and ears. We discussed the 3 monkeys story which teaches us that the way to keep our mind clean is by practising “Hear no evil, See no evil and Talk no evil.” We started our colouring-in activity of the three monkeys picture. We practised the first 2 lines of Ganesha Sloka.
Homework: To complete the colouring in activity.
Our Ramayana story took an exciting turn this week. For the first time, the arrogant Ravana, on losing the day’s battle to his enemy Rama and the vanara sena, admitted to himself that he had really made a mistake in kidnapping Sita. As his last resort, he ordered to wake up his giant brother Kumbhakarna from his deep slumber. Loud noise of trumpets and drums, and elephants trodding on Kumbhakarna did not have any effect on the snoring giant. The constant noise eventually woke up Kumbhakarna, As soon as he was up, he started devouring all that was around him. Then, he got angry for being disturbed. One of Ravana’s ministers showed him a picture of the war and told him about all the events and how all the bravest of generals of Lanka had been destroyed. Hearing all this, Kumbhakarna went to visit his brother. He heard the story about how the war had ensued and told Ravana that he had done a very wrong thing by kidnapping Sita, and that, he was so powerful that he should have fought the war first in order to win her. Not only that, his ministers were full of flattery and did not give Ravana the right advice. Nonetheless, he was ready to fight and even die for the sake of his brother Ravana. The giant fought bravely and decimated the vanaras. He pushed Laksmana aside to fight only with Rama, as if he knew his end was coming near. Rama used his divine astras (weapons) and severed the head of Kumbhakarna and it flung right in the middle of city of Lanka. Ravana was inconsolable now and his sons surrounded him and reminded him that they were still alive and also that he himself was so powerful. They went to battle never to return. Ravana now openly admitted of his folly of kidnapping Sita, thus getting awakened, But losing as he was, he kept his courage to continue fighting.
Homework: To retell story to family. To write down 2 qualities of Kumbhakarna and Ravana that they learnt from this part of the story. To write down one of Ravana’s sons’ names in their books. To practise first five lines of Chinmaya pledge.
Today’s teacher was the snake which is quiet and lives alone. The snake teaches us to only talk when necessary- Silence is golden. One should mind one’s own business- not gossip and make small talk which does not benefit anyone including yourself. The man who is always talking a lot about what he is going to do never really does anything-‘empty vessels make the most noise!!’. We also defined procrastination as putting off doing something out of habitual laziness or carelessness and discussed examples of how we tend to procrastinate in our lives and how it hinders our progress. Do not just talk, but act! Using a matrix of letters and numbers, the children decoded the following message of Gurudev:“ Let us not forget that the greatest forces in nature are all ever silent. Electricity has no noise, heat is dumb.”
Homework: To discuss what they learnt from snakes and to not procrastinate!
We continued our discussion on the Atman or the consciousness and elaborated on our example from last week of the car and its components being akin the 5 sheaths and the fuel/electricity required to run the car being akin to the consciousness/Atman. Cars may differ from one another based on the capacity of the components but the fuels that we put in them are one and the same. In the same manner, all living things have different capabilities based on the nature of the 5 external sheaths for eg: a doctor has different capacities compared to an athlete. However, these differences are only external. The Atman/energy source that drives both the doctor and the athlete as well as all other living things on earth is the same and is also called God.
Sadhana: When going to bed, spend 5 minutes bringing your awareness to the various parts of your body starting at your toes and working your way up to the crown of your head.
In the adult class, we revised stanza 1 to 6. We learnt that everything arises from “Him” and He is the source of all the Devas and the Rishis. Further, in stanza 6 we understood that the seven great rishis are our Ego, Intellect and the Five Sense Organs through which we experience the world around us.