27th 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
In class we discussed the second line of the pledge, ‘We stand as an army courageous and disciplined’. Children brainstormed what the term ‘army’ meant to them. We learnt how an army is a group of people who work towards doing good. Children marched around in class calling themselves ‘the Balavihar army’. We also learnt the meaning of the word service or ‘to serve’. Service is helping others but without expecting anything in return. Children discussed various people who serve us every day in life. We used parents, teachers, the police, postmen, firemen, doctors and nurses as some examples of people who serve others. Service to others is service to God Himself. Pundalika was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. When Pundalika did not come to the temple for two days, Lord Krishna visited him at his home. While he knocked on the door, Pundalika was busy attending to his old and ill parents. He threw a brick out through the window so Lord Krishna would not get His feet muddy. He continued to serve his parents before opening the door for the Lord. Children learnt how the Lord comes to those who serve others.
Homework: To learn the second line of the pledge; To find out the meaning of the word ‘courage’.
Sri Hanuman – The Attractive
In Memory Time, Children learned the 4th & 5th Caupai of Hanuman chalisa and its meaning.
“Kanchan varan viraj subesa
Kanan Kundal Kunchit Kesha”
“Hath Vajra Aur Dhuvaje Viraje
Kaandhe moonj janehu sajai”
Meaning of the verse: Your golden complexion shines with the attractive cloths (which you are wearing), with the glittering earring and your curly hair.
You have the thunderbolt (in one hand) and the flag (in another) and the sacred thread across the shoulder made of mumja grass decorates you.
In class, we discussed about how Hanumanji looks, even though he is strong and a monkey he did not look fierce. Instead he is extremely attractive. A Noble, humble person will always be attractive to others. Consequently, we discussed how parts of our body can be beautiful only if we use it for the right way and do virtuous deeds. Children came up with examples for these, e.g.
- Eyes allow us to see this beautiful world.
- Ears have ability to hear beautiful things.
- The mouth to say kind and compassionate words, not rude words.
- Hands and legs to help others, not hurt others.
- Mind to think of good thoughts. “If we think good, we do good!”
Furthermore, we discussed how Hanumanji carriers a mace (Gadha) to eliminate the enemies in the battlefield and destroy ignorance and ego within us. He also carries Lord Rama’s flag (Dhvaja) which represents success and fame. Additionally, he wears a Janeu (the sacred thread worn across the body). Relating to the Janeu Sanscara, the thread ceremony is carried out to indicate that the playful childhood days are over and has to begin the life of study and discipline. Because only when one is disciplined, one can succeed in the world.
During Story Time
Children listened to the story of the two good friends Ramu and Kanu. Despite being disabled, they overcame their disability by helping each other to achieve success.
Children made their very own Janeu bracelets to remind them of to be disciplined.
- Learn the Caupai (4&5) and share the story ‘The Good friends’ with parents.
- Write 5 sentences to explain what they have done throughout this week makes them a beautiful person like Hanumanji.
- Brainstorm Ideas to create their very own Balavihar flag.
We started the class by discussing instances where we practised the virtue of sharing. In Gokula, one day Balarama and few other boys came and complained to Yashoda that Krishna had eaten some mud. As Yashoda
started scolding him, Krishna looked at her with big wet eyes and said “Who, me?”, “Eat mud?” and when Yashoda said “Open your mouth”, he did and she once again saw the entire universe in it!!! Yashoda was stunned and dazed by what she saw and as Krishna wanted to get true mother’s love, hugs, kisses and scoldings from Yashoda he made her forget all she saw. It was festival time in Gokula and everyone was busy decorating homes, organising carnivals and cooking lots of food. In Nanda’s home too all the maids were busy getting flowers, sandalwood paste and kumkum ready for prayers. So Yashoda had to look after boiling milk and churning the curds. She put the milk to boil and started churning, singing songs of naughty Krishna’s pranks. After a day of mischief, Krishna came home hungry, climbed into Yashoda’s lap and demanded to be fed. While Yashoda was feeding him she suddenly saw the milk was about to boil over. So she put Krishna down and hurried to the milk pot. Krishna was really annoyed at this and so broke the mud pot containing the curds and ran away to eat butter and share it with monkeys. Yashoda came back to find the broken pot, went searching for Krishna and found him feeding monkeys. She was very angry and Krishna realising she was determined to punish him started running away. Yashoda ran after him with a stick and finally caught him. Seeing big teardrops running down Krishna’s cheeks and him rubbing them with his knuckles, Yashoda’s’ soft heart melted and instead of spanking him she decided to tie him up. She tried to tie him to a mortar with a rope but it fell short by 2 inches. She ran into the house to get a longer one but it fell short too!!! She kept getting longer ropes and they all were short and so she tied all the ropes together but even that was 2 inches short!!! She was tired and looked at Krishna in utter despair not understanding what was happening and embarrassed that she could not tie up her own son when she had to. Seeing her confusion Krishna allowed himself be tied. The Lord allows himself to be tied not by ropes but by love. Tied to a heavy mortar, Krishna caught sight of two Arjuna trees standing side by side and waddled towards them. But the mortar, which was dragging behind him, got caught between the trees and when he pulled both the trees fell with a loud crash and 2 glowing beings emerged. They bowed to Krishna and thanked him-they were Nalakubera and Manigreeva, the sons of Kubera (the Lord of wealth). Once, drunk with pride, they had disrespected Sage Narada who then cursed them to become Arjuna trees until Krishna frees them. We learnt that one should be careful and vigilant because pride can
make you fall down easily.
Homework: To remember and consciously practise the qualities of sharing and forgiveness and to complete the worksheets on these virtues.
Today we did Chapter 11 on the Law of Karma. To begin, everyone had a go at writing down their own definitions of karma. After our discussions, we found that people often think of karma as our destiny, but this is only one aspect of karma. Destiny is a product or effect of our own past actions. However, karma is not just destiny, but also involves self-effort. We are gifted with the capacity to choose our present actions and this is called self-effort. What one meets in life is destiny but how one meets it is self-effort. We did an activity where everyone was given the same scenario and told to write down how we would respond to this scenario. We each ended up writing different responses, which shows how we each have a choice and choose different ways to tackle situations in life. To ensure we make good choices, we must choose the path of shreyas which will give us long term happiness. We must avoid the path of preyas which gives us short term happiness.
Sadhana: To write a paragraph summarising today’s lesson and complete last week’s sadhana on creating a timetable for managing time during the week.
This week we studied slokas 48, 49 50, 51 of Chapter 11. Krishna says, ‘Neither by the study of the Vedas nor by sacrifices [yagnas], nor by gifts, nor by rituals, nor by severe austerities can I be seen in this form in the world of men by any other than yourself, O great hero among the Kurus.’ Krishna explains the uniqueness and blessings that has been bestowed on Arjuna and again reassures him not be afraid or bewildered and states ‘with your fear dispelled and with gladdened heart, now behold again this form of Mine.’ Sanjaya comments on the transition of Krishna from the Viswaroopa to His gentle form. Having seen this Arjuna states that he is composed and restored to his own nature. However terrifying the circumstances may be, the Lord is always there and willing to shower His everlasting Grace on people who ask – in this case Arjuna.