- To continue to revise Geeta Chapter 15.
In class we learnt that the letter C stands for Cleanliness. We discussed that there were three types of cleanliness. Firstly, keeping our surroundings clean like cleaning our room, home, garden and so on. Secondly, cleaning our body. We do this by showering, washing hands after playing outside and so on. We learnt more about the third type which is cleaning our mind. Children understood that the mind is that part of our body that feels emotions – happy when we are about to party, sad when we are in pain after a fall. How do we clean our mind? We do this by doing all the right things; speaking kind words and not listening to evil words. We shall see more about cleaning our mind in the next class. We did an experiment wherein we had 3 cups of water and the children were asked which cup they would like to drink from. Thre first cup was dirty on the outside with clean water inside; the second one was clean on the outside but muddy inside; the third cup was clean on the outside and had sugar mixed with water inside. All the children wanted to drink from the third cup. We learnt that we need to be clean both inside (mind) and outside (body).
Homework: To share what they learnt from the experiment with the three cups of water. To learn the first 2 lines of Ganesha prayer and the first line of the pledge by-heart.
We recapped our Ramayana story of why Ravana’s giant brother, Kumbhakarna slept for 6 months straight. The three brothers, Ravana, Vibhisana and Kumbhakarna were deep in meditation and penance in order to seek supernatural powers. They were so focussed and concentrated on this, that their enemy, the Gods were jealous and got worried. As the raksasa brothers carried on and were ready to appease Lord Brahma, Goddess Saraswati, at Indra’s request, tied Kumbhakarna’s tongue. So, instead of asking for “Indrasana” (Lord Indra’s throne), Kumbhakarna said “Nidrasana” (a sleeping bed). And instead of asking for “Nirdevatvam” (annihilation of Gods), he said “Nidravatvam” (sleep)! Lord Brahma said “Tathaastu” (So be it) to grant the wish, The children learnt that, when we are so focussed on our task and meditate on God, even our able enemies get worried. Also, when we are not able to talk right, we should rather keep quiet than goof up. We then did an activity to say some words with our tongue tied to the ceiling of our mouth (Indrasana, Tathaastu, each of our names). We also used a pipe to play game of Chinese whispers (talking normally into next person’s ear via the hollow pipe and the listener guesses the word). We watched the animated video of the raksasa brothers doing penance and their enemies (the Gods) getting worried.
Iust to reiterate to parents, the aim of repeating the same part of the story in many ways across several classes, is to reinforce the children’s learnings and the various aspects.
Homework: To go through this site and find out what more can we learn from the character of Kumbhakarna (http://www.indiatimes.com/culture/who-we-are/9-facts-you-didn-t-know-about-kumbhakarna-the-rakshasa-258358.html). To write down 2 traits in your books. To practise first four lines of Chinmaya pledge.
The Arrowmaker is so focussed on his job that he does not get distracted by anything and this helps him to make the best arrows. Concentration is to make the mind think on one form, object, thought or concept steadily for a long time. Apples have fallen from trees but it took a great thinking person like Isaac Newton to come up with the gravitational law. His ability to focus and concentrate led to great inventions. Concentration is a must for a successful and satisfying life. They heard another story about Swami Vivekananda who saw some children trying to shoot floating eggshells with a toygun on the river in Chicago and missing most of the times! When asked mockingly by those kids if he could do a better job, he hit the eggshell each time. His secret was that ‘Whatever you do concentrate completely on it- think of nothing else.”
Homework: To try and practice concentration in whatever they do.
We started our discussion on the Atman or the consciousness. To explain it better we used the example of a car and the fuel/electricity required to run the car. The 5 external layers are like instruments or functioning parts of a car. However, they cannot function optimally unless there is fuel or electricity providing them energy. And the Atman in us is akin to the energy source in cars.
Sadhana: Reflect on: is the energy source in all living things the same and if so, what makes each of us different.
This week we listened to, read through and discussed Gurudev’s commentary on Verse 15 of Chapter 10. The Self cannot be known by the instruments of perception (body / mind / intellect) as an ‘object’. The Self being the very Consciousness or Awareness, It, in itself, is Knowledge. It is that, having known which, nothing else remains to be known. To see the Sun, no other medium of light is required as the Sun itself provides the light required to see it. Similarly, to know the Self, no other knowledge is required as the Self Itself provides the knowledge required to know It.
Sadhana: To contemplate on the prayer, ‘You Yourself know Yourself by Yourself’.