In class we talked about the significance of the festival of Raksha Bandhan that celebrates the bond between a brother and his sister. It has proven to not limit itself to blood siblings, but cousins, trusted neighbours and friends also. On this day, the sister ties a band around her brother’s wrist and in return, her brother presents her with a gift and the promise of protection. We also listened to the story of how and when this ritual started, this tradition has been followed through Indian history and comes from Hindu mythology. In the Mahabharata, Draupadi (the wife of the Pandavas) aided Krishna in his time of need. On seeing him bleed profusely from a battlefield wound on his wrist, Draupadi tore a strip of her silk sari and tied it around his wrist as a bandage. Touched by her act of concern, Krishna promised to return the favour to her when she would most need it. When Yudhishthira wagered and lost Draupadi to the Kauravas in a round of gambling, Krishna repaid the debt during her Cheer-Haran. When the Kauravas were trying to disrobe her, Krishna extended her sari through divine intervention in such a way that the length of her sari kept increasing. Her sari, in process, could not be removed and in the end, Draupadi’s honour was kept intact.
Craft: We made our own Raksha Bandan in class.
Homework: To memorise the pledge.
This week, we talked about Hanuman as the missionary. We played hangman and fill in the blanks to recap the stories in Ramayana to track the events that occurred starting from the birth of Lord Rama and His prince brothers, to Him being banished to the forest for fourteen years, and then Mata Sita being kidnapped by Ravana, and the search for Her in all directions. When it was Hanuman’s turn to go southward to look for Mata Sita, He did it with a little reminder from others that if anyone could reach Lanka, it was Him, the son of wind-god and Rama-bhakt. He took Rama’s ring in His mouth and flew to Lanka. We played a little game to be like Hanuman, saying Rama Nama and crossing obstacles to reach our goal. Each child got Rama prasadam (cupcake) when they achieved their goal.
We chanted the related caupai together:
Prabhu mudrika Meli mukh maahi,
Jaladhi landhi Gaye acharaj naahi
Carrying the Lord’s ring in your mouth, You crossed the ocean with might. There is no wonder in that.
Homework: Practise chanting of the chalisa till caupais learnt. Google the distance and time taken walking between Lanka and Ayodhya.
The children are learning “Krsna Krsna Everywhere” and hear the story of Kaliya today. Kaliya was a hundred-headed serpent who had poisoned and contaminated Lake Madu so that no plants, animals or humans who came in contact with the toxic waters could survive. When some of the gopas and cows mistakenly drank the poisonous water and collapsed, Krishna decided to end this atrocity once and for all and jumped into the waters. All his friends and elders begged him not to but he was determined to put an end to this selfish behaviour of Kaliya. A long and intense battle ensued and eventually Krishna injured each of his heads and emerged dancing on his head and played the flute. Kaliya and his wives realised their mistake and begged Krishna to forgive them. Seeing that they were genuinely repentant for their actions, he forgave them and told them to move to another lake where Garuda would not harm them as he would see Krishna’s footprints on Kaliya’s head. The three main lessons learnt from this story were-1) resemblance between Kaliya poisoning the waters and humans polluting the seas, oceans and environment with use of plastics, etc. 2) God forgives and loves all- despite Kaliya having done really mean things to others, when he genuinely showed remorse, Krishna forgave him. 3) Kaliya is like our Ego which makes us do selfish actions. We will discuss ways to get rid of our ego next class and also discuss Gurudev’s quote:
“When Ego asserts, Lord vanishes; When Ego vanishes, Lord enters.”
Home work: Reflect and share Kailya story and how we can practice taking care of our environment and also reflect on Gurudev’s quote.
Junior/ Senior JCs:
We did Chapter 19 on what makes a man. We began by discussing the difference between an ignorant person and a detached person. An ignorant person is lazy and has no awareness and therefore lacks knowledge, motivation and purpose. A detached person is aware and experiences the world but does not let it dictate his life. We then discussed the four categories of man. The first is called the stone man and that is where we are completely ignorant. The second is called the plant man who acts on needs but has no emotions. The third is called the animal man who is aware but is guided by feelings and impulses. The fourth is the man-man who uses the faculty of discrimination and does not get affected by emotions. This is the stage which we want to be in.
Sadhana: Think of two or three examples in our lives that fit into these four categories
We listened to and studied verses 6 & 7
Lord says ‘But those who worship Me, renouncing all actions in Me, regarding Me as the Supreme Goal, meditating on Me with single minded devotion [Yoga], for them, whose minds are set on Me, verily I become, ere-long, O Partha, the Saviour out of the ocean of finite experiences; the Samsara’
Krishna is advising Ananya yoga – wherein the goal is ever steady and our mind has no sense of otherness. When such an integrated mind-intellect equipment engages constantly on the concept of the Lord through constant practice, the entire mind assumes the stature of the Infinite.
Sadhana: Practice Ananya Yoga in every activity.
Chanting: To revise up to Verse 21 of Chapter 2 of the Gita.