This week we continued with the alphabet safari and learnt that J is for Japa. Japa is repeating God’s name with devotion. This increases our ability to concentrate and focus on things. Children practised this in class by repeating the name of their favourite God with closed eyes. We brainstormed why we need concentration in life and came up lots of tasks that we need it for. Children learnt that Japa helps us to do these tasks well, so we can succeed. We then did a Father’s Day activity to take home for Dads a medal that said ‘World’s Best Dad’.
Homework: To chant 11 times each day the name of their favourite God using concentration.
This week, we checked our plants again. This time, we observed different kinds of leaves from different seeds, some seeds had sprouted, some not. This reiterated our inference that, in spite of us being good or naughty, growing fast or slow, the unconditional love and care of our parents never fails. We should always be thankful for our parents, and for what we have, and, we should always have an attitude of gratitude. We then heard the story of Jaya and Vijaya, the two guards at the doorstep of Vaikunth, Lord Vishnu’s abode. Jaya and Vijaya were sincerely devoted to the Lord, but over time, had become arrogant and proud, and hence a bit cruel. Once, when the Sanatkumaras, the mind children of Lord Brahma came to see Lord Vishnu, the guards ridiculed them due to their appearance. The Sanatkumaras were actually very wise and a 1000 years old, but they resembled 5-year-old boys, and roamed around naked. The guards made fun of them and did not allow them to enter Vaikunth, as they thought it would be a waste of time for Lord Vishnu to see them. This made the Sanatkumaras very angry and they cursed Jaya and Vijaya to be born on earth as the most treacherous demons, as wicked as their laughter. Lord Vishnu overheard this and humbly asked for forgiveness on behalf of his guards, saying he was responsible for them. Since the curse could not be revoked, Lord Vishnu assured his guards that he would come and redeem them from their curse. Jaya and Vijaya were born as Hiranyaksa and Hiranyakasipu to Sage Kasyap and Diti. Moral of the story is that bad actions are followed by bad consequences, and good actions have good results. The children enacted this role play to share class summary with the rest of the BV family.
Homework: To observe and watch our reaction when something bad happens. Start chanting “Om namo naraayanaaaya” in your mind to be in control of your reaction. Soon, we will notice that the outcome of the situation changes because of our actions. We will share our observations at next week’s class.
This week we analysed all those killed by Lord Krishna and the reasons behind them. Lord Krishna killed all those who were arrogant and wicked. He also forgave them because He loves everyone (like our parents-who love us and correct us when we are in the wrong). We then revised the limbs of Lord Vishnu:
Brahmins & Vedas: Brahmins revel in the Brahman and they have knowledge of the Vedas, which are books of knowledge that tell us about God. We learnt that we must read inspiring books.
Cows: We should be gentle towards people, animals and trees. The Oak tree, though strong and tall breaks during a storm while the slender and frail reeds survive by bending and yielding to the breeze. We learnt that like the reeds we must adapt so we can survive the storms of life.
Austerity: We need to take vows to fix our bad habits and we need to stick to our vows.
Truth: When we understand the Truth about who the Lord is and His glory, we become humble.
Physical & mental disciplines: When we adopt these disciplines, our heart becomes pure and we will be able to see and feel God in our heart.
Faith: We must have faith in the Lord. The more we share, the more God will give us.
Kindness: We must learn to be kind to all and forgive all.
Forbearance: We learnt that we must have patience, tolerance and we must not retaliate even when provoked.
Sacrifice/Puja: We must remember to pray daily.
God is all pervading and present everywhere. When we put all the limbs of the Lord together in our personality we can see the Lord clearly.
Homework: To complete any outstanding virtue sheets. To practise the virtues that lead us to Lord Krishna and to practise what we learnt from the limbs of Lord Vishnu.
This week was a reflection on our previous ongoing sadhanas. Over the past few weeks, we’ve gone through as a group the God Principle and Japa. The first sadhana was looking at our fears, and applying the God Principle to it by looking at ways we can: destroy our fear, create a new habit in place of that fear and maintain our new habit. This will continue to be an ongoing sadhana and we will periodically check in with it. The second sadhana that relates to the chapter in kindle life that we are currently doing is Jap\pa. Each person has chosen a phrase/god that they will do Japa. For 2 minutes every day, repeating that phrase or God’s name and reflecting on the influence of that during the day. Next week we shall continue with the chapter on Japa.
We studied Sloka 18 that rounds
up the list of attributes of Brahman.
That Ultimate Truth is declared as the illuminator of all that illuminates, beyond the darkness of ignorance; residing within the heart of everyone it is comprehensible by the wisdom gained from realisation by the knowledge of direct experience.
Sadhana: To reflect on all the 20 qualities of Brahman from Slokas 13-18.
Chanting: To revise up to Verse 47 of Chapter 2 of the Gita.