Please revise the 1st 11 slokas of Chapter 2 of the Gita. Below are 2 links that have the verses of Chapter 2
In class children continued with Alphabet Safari and learnt that U stands for Unity. They learnt the slogan, ‘Unity is Strength’. We started the class by seeing how easy it was to tear a single piece of paper into multiple pieces; on the other hand when give a bunch of papers children were unable to tear them. This demonstrated to them that when we are united nothing can break us apart. We listened to the story of the four cows and the lion. Once there lived a lion that used to come daily to the edge of the forest as there were four cows grazing the land every single day. But the moment they saw the lion, the cows used to stand together in a row and stare back at the lion. This scared the lion so much that he did not dare to attack them. One day the cows had an argument which resulted in them grazing the grass separately without being together. When the lion saw this, he easily pounced on one of them. The other cows noticed this and ran to his rescue. This frightened the lion who ran back into the forest leaving the injured cow behind. The other cows helped her recover and from then on they never parted each other. They realised how unity was their strength. Children also played the game of small fish -big fish. Children pretended that they were all small fish swimming in the big ocean. A big black fish came looking for small fish for his meal. The small fish at once all got together and swam in unison so that they looked like one giant fish. They attacked the big black fish that got knocked down.
Homework: To share the story with family and friends; To complete the colouring sheet; To revise the first 2 lines of the pledge.
This week we revised the qualities of Hanuman and how having those 8 qualities in us, embodies Hanuman in us – one without any fault. We also understood why poet Tulsidasji wrote the glories of Hanuman in the story of Lord Rama. It is said that when Tulsidas was very sick and on his death-bed, he focussed all his attention on chanting the glories of Lord Hanuman, writing the 40 verses of the Hanuman Chalisa during this time. With his speech, mind and body purified, Tulsidasji soon became well, and went on to write many more sacred texts. To illustrate the importance of pure speech (eloquence), we heard the story of Sam and his ox. Sam had a very strong ox, and Sam was proud of his ox. One day he went to his village friends to wager 20 silver coins in lieu of his ox pulling 20 drums. Next day, amidst the village gathering, Sam pulled his ox, whipped it, called it names and asked rudely to pull the drums. The ox wouldn’t budge at all, making Sam angry, the villagers jeering all the more and Sam losing his 20 silver coins to them. Later, the ox asked Sam why he had been so rude and cruel to the ox, like he never had been! Sam realised his mistake and apologised. Next day he went on again to wager a 100 silver coins in lieu of his ox pulling the 20 drums this time. He remained polite reminding the ox of its strength. The ox easily pulled the drums and Sam was awarded the 100 silver coins in return thus benefitting from a pure mind and speech.
Homework: To share with family, the story of Sam and his ox and discuss what different values and feelings are displayed by each character. To continue chanting Hanuman dhyana mantra thrice daily before bed-time. To find out how many metres is 22 feet (the height of the Hanumanji murti in the Chinmaya Mission Siddhbari ashram) and how many litres is one gallon. To find out and recite the first verse of the Hanuman Chalisa. (Hint: starts with “shree….”)
The children shared how they have been using kind words and good speech through the week and again played the game in which they had to use phrases with their friends as if they were beautiful gifts! Then they heard the story of when Kind Parikshit in a moment of frustration/ anger put a dead snake around neck of Sage Samika when he did not respond to his request for water. The King did realise his mistake and was repentant of his wrong action. However, when Samuki’s son Shrugi returned, he got very angry and cursed that whoever had put the dead snake on his father would die a horrible death bitten by the Kind of Snakes after just 7 days. When Sage Samuki finished his meditation, he explained to his son that the King was actually good but just did one wrong act and it is very important to realise that “A wrong act cannot be made right by doing another wrong act”. The kids then did an activity to reinforce this concept: they made a chain with rolls of paper and when the first roll of paper was moved it moved the whole chain- called a ‘Chain Reaction”. Hence, we must be very careful to avoid starting bad chain reactions for e.g., If someone shouts, get angry, says bad words- you should not do the same to them as that will only start a Bad Chain Reaction!. But when you smile at someone, share something or do any good action, then that leads to a Good Chain Reaction leading to happiness for yourself and all around you!
Homework: Share what you learnt in class with friends and family. Practise starting “Good chain reactions” during the week and share specific examples next Sunday.
We finished the second chapter on the ‘Art of Right Contact’. We discussed how the same object or scenario can be viewed in two completely different ways. If we were to take the example of a glass half filled with milk. We can either view this glass as half full or half empty. It is the same glass, but we can choose to view it in two ways. Hence, we can train ourselves to interact with the world around us positively by taking a glass half full approach. The same attitude must be taken with appreciating what we have. We develop many desires (vasanas) and constantly want more. We must therefore have self-restraint and discipline for gaining a more permanent joy out of our relationship with the world of objects. We need to learn to be independent by disengaging ourselves from the slavish dependence upon the world of objects. To put it simply, we must detach from the material world and attach to the higher.
Sadhana: To reflect and write down some of the simple desires that you have and how you can overcome them.
This week we discussed chapters 4, 5 and 6 of Kindle Life. Chapter 4 was on the joy of living. We discussed that in today’s society, many believe that the joy that we experience is the result of the objects of the world. However, the same objects do not provide the same level or joy to everyone. So, our happiness is a subjective occurrence and is dependent on our state of mind. Happiness is therefore correlated with tranquility of our mind.
Chapter 5 talked about the dual path. There are two distinct paths in life. One is the path of the pleasant (preyas) and the other is the path of the good (sreyas). The path of the pleasant is the easy path and provides immediate pleasure to the individual. This path however, comes with eventual sorrow. The path of the good is harder to follow and is initially detested by many as it requires discipline and self-control. However, later this path leads to happiness and a sense of fulfilment.
Chapter 6 was on the harmony of existence. Life is defined as a series of continuous experiences. Our experiences determine the type of life we lead. So, we need to streamline our experiences in a way that we can lead happy lives. There are three aspects that make up an experience – Experiencer (subject), Experienced (object) and Process of experiencing. The experiencer has four different layers of personalities – the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. Each of these layers has its own values and we need to integrate these four personalities together to lead a happy and more peaceful life.
This week we studied verses 26, 27 and 28 of Chapter 11. Here Arjuna vividly describes the process of death. He sees torrents of men including the sons of Dhrtarastra, flowing like a mighty river to enter the jaws of death. The commentary describes the process of death as a cycle similar to the rain cycle in nature. As water flows from the mountains, forms rivers and reaches the ocean only to form clouds and regenerate again, death and life are seen as part of a cycle. Within the cycle, just as flow of water is unidirectional so too is the flow of life from womb to the tomb.