Please revise the 1st 5 slokas of Chapter 2 of the Gita. Below are 2 links that have the verses of Chapter 2
This week in alphabet safari children learnt about the word S which stands for Smile 🙂 Children brainstormed what things brought them a smile. Then we did laughter yoga wherein children laughed out loud & as we recorded this, the laughter became louder & more intense. They learnt that they were smiling and laughing even in the absence of the things that usually brought a smile – we really do not need anything to make us smile, laugh and be happy. Children then discussed what a smile can do – it makes them healthy, happy, pretty, spread happiness among others around, make parents and teachers happy and bring in new friends. They vowed in class to wear a smile when they woke up every morning (like they wear their dress, shoes, earrings and hairband) and to keep their smile on until they went to sleep. They listened to a story wherein a little girl called Lucy met a sad man in the park and gave him a smile. It was a million dollar smile and although the man tried to smile back he could not. Later that day, when Lucy was on her way to school, their car broke down.. The manager of the repair shop told them that there were four cars ahead of theirs to be fixed. While Lucy and her Mum were a little frustrated, a mechanic passed by. He was the same man whom Lucy had smiled at in the park that day. He remembered her and immediately fixed their car. Lucy was happy and was at school on time – All because of her million dollar smile.
Homework: To wear a smile always and tell the story to family and friends; To revise the pledge.
This week we continued exploring the quality of “Fearlessness”, and what are the ingredients needed to be fearless. The children heard the story of a little girl who was travelling in a ship with her father who happened to be the captain of the ship. As the ship swayed in the very rough sea, passengers became scared and screamed for their lives. On the other hand, the little girl was calm and continued playing with her toys, much to the surprise of everyone else. When asked how she was so calm, she replied, “My daddy is the captain of this ship and he will not let the ship sink.” Such is the power of faith. And, with faith comes fearlessness. We then played the passing a ball game to revise the various traits underlying Fearlessness – be honest and do your duty, do not assume or imagine things, find out the facts, have faith, do the right thing, remove any malice from your thoughts or feelings, see unity in everyone and everything around you, keep God in your heart and pray to Him. All these resonate with the lines of the Chinmaya Mission Pledge.
Homework: To chant Hanuman dhyana mantra thrice before going to bed every night. Find out the lines of the Pledge relating to courage and fearlessness, and write it in your book.
God resides in the hearts of those who have Faith in God and in themselves. Faith is defined as Belief supported by knowledge and /or experience. When we have faith we are able to accept ourselves, others and circumstances as they are without complaining or comparing and this can lead to a happy blissful life! The concept of faith was reinforced by playing the game of “Walk of Faith” in which one child was blindfolded while navigating an obstacle course guided by another student and required practising faith. They heard a beautiful story by Gurudev on the “No ready-made success- All you want story”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-q-YX_HM5Q. God never grants us the fruits or whatever it is we want in life (gift-wrapped), but he grants us more than that. He grants us the faith in ourselves to enable us to achieve our goals with our efforts while cultivating and maintaining faith in the benevolent nature of the universe.
We started chapter 9 of Kindle Life which talks about the path of perfection. We introduced the concept of vasanas, our inherent and innate tendencies that develop into desires. We discussed how these vasanas determine the quality and texture of our mind and intellect, and how it is often difficult to exercise self-control over our innate tendencies. Religion and practice of self-control serve as the foundations for shaping our vasanas, such that our mind and intellect are of the highest quality. We then discussed the role of the environment in our lives, and came to the conclusion that there are some things that we can control and some things that we cannot control in the environment. We also recognised that the environment feeds us with stimuli that may or may not be positive. We must therefore focus on neutralising any adverse stimuli from the environment and aim to respond in such a way that promotes harmony and positivity.
Sadhana: To think about the environment around you and the positive and negative aspects that you have to deal with; Write down methods with which you tackle the adverse effects of your environment.
We continued our discussion from last week where we said that God is akin to the fuel in a car. God is not a controller or a decision maker but is the life force within each one of us. We further discussed that just like a car’s performance and lifespan can be improved by upgrading to a better quality fuel, in the same manner upgrading our understanding of God can bring us greater happiness, improve our efficiency and make us better individuals who do the right thing. We then did an activity where each of us came up with ways in which we could understand God. These included reading spiritual texts, spending time doing reflections and gratitude exercises. We then made a specific plan about how we could put these methods into action.
Sadhana: To learn the chanting and meaning of the closing prayer Om Poornamadhah…
This week, we studied Verses 5 to 7 of Chapter 11. Gurudev beautifully explains the concept of ‘the Lord revealing His Cosmic Form’. The Lord is ever present in all His divinity and might and glory. He had no necessity to change His form to convince the curiosity of the Pandava prince. Unfortunately, Arjuna’s instrument of perception was not tuned enough to see the true nature of the Lord. That which is lying beyond the focal length of a telescope cannot be viewed by the observer even if the object maybe in line with the axis of the telescope, and to view it, all he needs to do is to simply adjust the telescope. Similarly, when ‘the Lord revealed His Cosmic Form’, He did not have to transform Himself into His Cosmic Form; all he needed to do was to help Arjuna to make the necessary inward adjustments to be able to perceive Him in His true glory and form.
Sadhana : The entire Universe is in the Lord and the Lord alone manifests through everything and everyone. Therefore, constantly endeavour to adjust the mind / intellect ‘telescope’ to be able to perceive His presence in everything and everyone.