20th May 2018 Class Summary
Please revise the 1st 15 slokas of Chapter 2 of the Gita. Below are 2 links that have the verses of Chapter 2
We started the class with a brainstorming activity where we had to introduce ourselves not only by saying our name, but defining us in the wider context, just like Hanuman always introduced Himself as “Ramadoot” or servant/messenger of Rama. We then continued with the story of the birth of Hanuman, starting from the time when His mother was an apsara called Punjisthala, who turned into a monkey due to a curse for making fun of a monkey in meditation. The curse could only be lifted when she would give birth to a Lord Shiva incarnate. She (then called Anjani) settled in an ashram (hermitage) and spent most of her time in devotion to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. To bring back peace to the sages’ ashram, she and Kesari (the king of monkeys) valiantly fought against a demon Sambasadana – to help with this, Lord Shiva came in her dream to tell her that the demon could only be killed by his own blood. Kesari and Anjani were then tied into wedlock and continued their ardent devotion to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Eventually, they were blessed with a son none other than Hanuman. We then chanted and discussed the fourth caupai (Hanuman, the best messenger):
Rama doot atulit bal dhama
Anjani-putra Pavan sut nama
This means: “You are the divine messenger of Rama and repository of immeasurable strength, and are also known as Anjaniputra and known as the son of the wind – Pavanputra”
We discussed the main traits of a good messenger – alertness (Ajaadyam), disciplined and being prompt and on time. We played a game of Chinese whispers and hangman to further elaborate on this. We also discussed why Hanuman is called Kesarinandan ie. joy/son of Kesari. We then did an activity to answer some questions and to work out if we were Nandan/Nandini to our fathers.
The children enacted the story of the birth of Hanuman, and beautifully recited the caupai learnt, to share summary with the rest of the Chinmaya family.
Homework: To share the story of the birth of Hanuman. To write your name in terms of Nandan/Nandini in your book. To learn first four caupais of Hanuman Chalisa. To say the Chinmaya Pledge daily.
This week we revised the naming ceremony of Balarama and Krishna, the story of Krishna stealing butter from the Gopis houses and sharing with his friends and monkeys and calves and the stories of Putana and Trinavarta. We learnt that as milk needs to be boiled and churned to get butter, the various experiences in our life churn us and constantly remembering the Lord purifies us and we can come to see our pure Self (butter). We also revised what we learnt from Krishna’s quality of sharing. We watched a short video on sharing:)
Homework: To complete the worksheet on the virtue of forgiveness. To remember and consciously practise the quality of sharing and to keep a note of them throughout the week.
In class, we read Chapter 10 on ‘The Mechanism of Action’. We first spoke about how we each have innate tendencies which are what we naturally do. From these tendencies, we develop desires called vasanas. We wrote down some of the desires we have and how they make us feel. We realised that they give us short term happiness but also make us sad in the long term. By controlling these desires and getting rid of them, we can attain long term happiness.
Sadhana: To make a time management plan for all activities during the week and see how well we follow it.
This week we studied verse 48 of Chapter 11. Here Krishna explains that neither by austerities, charity nor by rituals can the universal form of the Lord be seen. Krishna is not diminishing these sacrifices, but merely stating that these alone are not enough to realise the Lord. These activities are merely a preparatory step to the final goal. Also we studied a chapter of Book 6 in the Mananam series. In this chapter, we are asked to study the Geeta on a daily basis and also to share our knowledge of the scriptures with others. This will help spread this universal knowledge across the world.