In class we discussed all about Lord Ganesha, the remover of all troubles. We went through the symbolism of Lord Ganesha – what does He represent. His big head is a reminder that we need to think big while His big ears and small mouth represent the good habit of listening more and talking less. He small eyes teaches us to concentrate with care while his big tummy teaches us to digest all the good and bad in life. His hand is always there blessing us and protecting us from evil. His mouse represents our desires that we must keep under control. We discussed how we all have a mouse inside us that comes out when we are being naughty or silly and it is our duty to ensure that this mouse stays well under control so we behave well always. We listened to and watched the story of how Ganeshacame to have an elephant head. While Mother Parvati was making a doll from clay, she decided to give life to the doll and make Him Her son Ganesha. She then asked this little boy of hers to guard the door while She had a bath. Ganesha, unaware that Lord Shiva was His Father stopped Him from entering His own Home. Angered by this, Lord Shiva cut Ganesha’shead off. Mother Parvathi was so upset and ordered Her Husband to find a head for Ganesha. Lord Shiva went into the forest and brought back the head of the first animal He saw which was an elephant. Ganesha got His head head fixed and received the blessing of His parents.
Homework: To share the story with family and friends.
This week, we continued talking about Hanuman as the missionary. The children heard a story about a poor, pious woman chanting the name of God while making cow-dung cakes and putting them out to dry to use as fuel. One day, the pious woman’s neighbour put her cow-dung cakes to dry next to hers. The neighbour trying to steal the pious woman’s cakes claimed that it was impossible to tell the difference. A third neighbour intervened, and said that he could hear chants of God in the cakes made by the pious woman. Thus, he separated the ones that were made by the pious woman. And the dispute was settled. We learnt that when we chant glories of the Lord while doing our daily work, the ripple effect gets passed on to things and people around. We then brainstormed what are the two things required to be victorious – hard work, and the grace of God. We heard another story of a lanky Grade 9 boy Dave, who dreamed of being a wrestler. Others around him would poke fun at him, while he would lift weights, practise wrestling, and run miles. Only his grandma would say,”You can achieve anything by hard work and prayer.” Sadly, grandma passed away before the next wrestling competition. And Dave was sad that she was not there to watch him compete. Meanwhile, his coach was so pleased with his progress that he awarded him with the Athlete’s letter, along with another envelope. Curiously Dave opened the envelope to find a letter from Grandma! The letter said “Congratulations Dave! I knew you could do it! Remember always that you can accomplish anything with hard work and prayer.” We also did an activity to find a good gift for Lord Rama while chanting His name, within a long list of constraints and rules. Each child brought back a beautiful piece of nature (leaves/twigs/flowers) lying around. This reiterated that, we can accomplish our goals even within lots of constraints with hard work and prayer.
We chanted the related caupai together:
Durgam kaaja jagata ke jete,
Sugama anugraha tumhre tete
By your grace, even the most difficult task of the world become easy to accomplish.
This week we discussed how Krishna loves plants and trees so much and urges all his devotees to always worship and express gratitude to plants. Plants give us so much without expecting anything in return. We discussed how trees and plants help us by giving us oxygen, shade, flowers, fruits, etc. We also discussed the food chain and how Plants are the Producers and the only ones able to generate their own energy using sunlight- all other animals including humans are primary or secondary consumers as we depend on plants and animal products to give us energy. Then we did an activity to truly appreciate the different types of leaves, flowers and trees at the school and held/ hugged the plants and expressed our gratitude to them.
Homework: To share what we learnt today and inspire all friends and family members to hug appreciate trees and plants around us.
Junior/ Senior JCs:
This week we did Chapter 20 on the Essence in Man. We began by discussing the conscious principle which is the entity within us all that powers our body, mind and intellect. Without it, our body, mind and intellect would not be able to experience the world. We did an activity where everyone was given 5 words and had to write down the senses they associate with those words. However, we realised that when thinking about the senses, we were also thinking about emotions and our knowledge of the world. The purpose of this activity was to understand that our body, mind and intellect work together and that it is important for us to fine tune this to experience the world in the best way possible.
Sadhana: Write down the three biggest lessons you have learnt from class this year and how it has impacted you.
This week we studied verses 9 and 10 of Chapter 12. Continuing from verse 8, two new yoga techniques are introduced in these verses. If verse 8 represents the ideal path to self-unfoldment, verses 9 and 10 represent the silver and bronze pathways to self-unfoldment. In verse 9 Abhayasa yoga or the yoga of constant practice is revealed. This is described as follows – “Wherever the mind wanders, restless, from there let him subdue it and bring it under the sway of the Self alone”. This form of repetitive behaviour forms a habit, tuning the mind towards the Self. In verse 10, a simpler practice is introduced, for those who find it difficult to follow Abhayasa yoga. The yoga of action is advocated as a means to attain perfection. Perform your actions while dedicating these actions to the Lord.
Chanting: To revise up to Verse 22 of Chapter 2 of the Gita.