1) Attached to the email is a pdf document of the slokas of Chapter 15 of the Geeta. Please learn verses 1 to 4 for class next Sunday.
2) Chinmaya Balavihar children will be performing at the TAQ Diwali function on 5th November. Practice for our devotional dance is continuing to ramp up.
3) The ‘My Prayers’ book is now in stock and all Balavihar children are encouraged to have a copy. This book comes with a CD of bhajans that we learn in class. Please contact Suresh on 0434 309 817 if you would like to procure a copy.
Kindy and Junior Balavihar:
On the occasion of Navaratri, children learnt the significance of the festival and learnt the bhajan ‘Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati’ along with the Senior BV class. Then, continuing on from our Ramayana story, they heard about the strong bond of friendship Rama and Sugriva formed, as they narrated to each other their life story and could relate to each other’s plight of loss of their respective kingdoms and wives. Sugriva promised to help Rama find Sita, and Rama promised Sugriva to get his kingdom rightfully back from Bali. Rama promised to help Sugriva by bringing an end to Bali when Sugriva went to battle with him. But He got confused as to who was who, as the two brothers looked so alike! Again Sugriva went to battle, this time wearing a flower garland to help Rama identify him. No doubt, Bali met with Rama’s arrows, and Sugriva returned to rule the kingdom of Kishkindha. In his lavish comfort, Sugriva forgot about his promise to Rama. Hanuman, his minister took control and organised a search party in all directions, using the most able army commanders. The search party that headed south, included Angad, Bali’s son and Hanuman himself. They soon reached the southern-most tip of land and all they could see was the ocean around them. Hanuman grew huge in size and looked across the river to find Sita sitting in a garden in a golden kingdom, surrounded by demonesses. Now the dilemma of the monkey army was how could they get there.
Their homework is: To think of various ways to get to Sita if we were in the same situation as Hanuman and the monkey army. To practise the new bhajan (bhajan sheet stuck in your books).
Today the children leaarnt a new bhajan along with the Junior BV children and also understood the significance of Navaratri. During the 9 days of Navaratri we worship the 3 Goddesses – Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. The 10th day is called Dasshera (das – ten, indicating the ten-headed demon Ravana; ara – vanquished) or Vijayadashami – signifying killing of Mahishasura by Durga. Overall, this festival symbolises the triumph of good over evil. Then they also learnt the Devi Mantra – when we chant this Mantra, we pray that we imbibe all the good qualities into our personality and dedicate all our actions to God.
Their homework is: To share with friends and family about the significance of Navratri and also try to chant as many verses as possible of the Devi Mantra (attached to the email).
In class, we learnt that we are dependent on external objects for our survival and we let our emotional state be swayed by these objects. However, emotions (positive and negative) created by external objects are temporary because the objects themselves are temporary. After an in-depth discussion, we came to the conclusion that it is more beneficial to maintain a constant state of tranquility rather than let our mind be disturbed by external situations because the latter leads to a drain of mental energy and thereby inefficient thoughts and actions. This led to a discussion about how we can reach a state of peacefulness and not let our minds be affected by external stimuli. We agreed that it is important to put the knowledge of ‘external stimuli cause temporary emotions’ to practice to be able to achieve mental equipoise.
Sadhana for the week: Spend 10 minutes per day in a space of least interaction with external distractions and reflect upon the knowledge that external objects cause emotions that are temporary.
This week, we listened to the Introduction and Verse 1 of Chapter 10 – Vibhuti Yoga – The Yoga of Divine Glories. Gurudev gave us a brief summary of Gita chapters 1 to 9. Gurudev kept our mind on the path of meditation on the teachings of the Gita so far – how the peculiar mental condition of the dejected Arjuna in the opening chapter was transformed by the Lord through the various spiritual techniques stage by stage, like: Work is worship (Ch 2), Art of action (Ch 3 to 4), Rise above the selfish ego and egocentric desires in the Spirit of Yagna (Ch 5), Meditation upon the Infinite (Ch 6) and the very many exercises in meditation (Ch 7 to 9). In this chapter, we are going to experience a brief and approximate analysis of the ‘perceptible’ glories of the Lord as Sarva-loka Maheswarah (the Lord of the Universe). The Lord enlightens Arjuna on how best he can keep in touch with this Eternal aspect of the Truth even when he perceives the pluralistic world.
Sadhana for the week: To reflect on Geeta Chapter 7 – Verses 8 to 11 wherein the Lord indicates His presence in a variety of objects; He is the Essential Principle running through all these objects without which Principle the object ceases to exist as that object.