1) Please note that the Chinmaya Mission Brisbane Annual Family Retreat will be held from 16th – 18th Sept 2016.
2) Attached to the email is a pdf document of the slokas of Chapter 15 of the Geeta. Please learn verses 1 to 3 by-heart for class next Sunday.
3) On the evening of 5th November (Saturday), the Tamil Association of Queensland is organising a Diwali function and our Balavihar and Junior CHYK children have been invited to perform on stage. Please keep the day free. Also, please let us know by Sunday (11th Sep) about your child’s availability for the performance.
Kindy and Junior Balavihar:
In continuation of our Ramayana story, the children heard the story of the devotion of Sabari. As Rama and Lakshmana headed southwards in search of Sita, they came to the banks of River Pampa. Here lived an old lady named Sabari, who had dedicated her entire life to Lord Rama, constantly doing japa to invoke The Lord. At last, the Lord Himself stood at her doorstep. Delighted, she offered Rama the sweetest of berries she had picked from the surrounding bushes. To ensure each offered berry was sweet, she had tasted each and every berry. On seeing the bitten berries, Lakshmana, due to his love for his brother, stopped Rama from eating them. But, all Rama saw was the devotion in Sabari’s pure-hearted action, and took the offering and enjoyed eating to the last berry. On the occasion of Father’s Day, the children also learnt the shloka “Pitru Devo Bhavah” meaning father is like God. Children then made a magnetic card with this message for their dads.
Their homework is: To practise the first 3 shlokas of Chapter 15, as chanted in class.
The children did a brief recount of what the Moon teaches us – that Change is inevitable and how to live in the present moment. ‘Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And Today? Today is a gift and that’s why we call it the present.’ “I am valuable but you cannot come too close to me. If you do not see me for a few days it makes you feel depressed. I am not a comedian but I spread cheer!” Our seventh teacher is the SUN! The Sun provides light and heat to all and makes us feel happy. It absorbs moisture from water in seas and oceans, forms clouds and at the right moment converts them into rain. Similarly, the Sun teaches us to work hard to our best potential / ability, earn the rewards and save them and then give back to society and others at the right time. The children also read a poem from the “Gitanjali” written by Indian Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and learnt to interpret the meaning of that poem. They discussed examples of how they could be like the Sun – work hard at school, university, job and when you earn rewards for your hard work, give back to others by sharing your knowledge and wealth.
Their homework is: To find out the role of the sun in photosynthesis. To revise what the Sun teaches us.
We continued with our discussion on the relationship between science and religion. The teenagers were given three questions to reflect upon: 1. Is there a scientific / logical process (aim, methods / plan, action, observation, conclusion) in every study discipline and is it possible that religion encompasses this sequence? 2. What is the real form of God, where is He present and do you think that God is akin to ‘Energy’? 3. What are the resources that we use to conduct an external scientific experiment and what are the resources used to conduct an introspective experiment to understand our state of mind? After an in-depth discussion, we came to understand that we employ rational thought process in every aspect of our lives and all subjects of study including religion. Next, the real form of God is that He is present in every object and that ultimately we have to learn to see that world through the lenses of singularity where there is no “I” nor the rest of the world. Lastly, we have various external tools to help us understand the world around us but we can only use reflection to understand ourselves. However, as it is difficult to control our flow of thoughts, humans have created various objects (idols of God, Japa Malas) and rituals (Pooja, Meditation) to help with the process of introspection.
Sadhana for the week: To identify the scientific aspects in the religious activities you undertake during the week.
We continued to discuss the salient points from Chapter 9 of the Bhagavad Gita with the ready reference Gita Guide and next week every member is requested to bring questions pertaining to Chapter 9 for clarification.
Sadhana for the week: To surrender all activities to the Lord and remember Him in everything we do.