We continued with Alphabet Safari (letter E) and learnt that E stands for Enthusiasm. We did two activities to show how being enthusiastic helps us to achieve our goal. In the first one, children had to separate different pulses (used for cooking) as they were all mixed up in a box. Although it was a boring task, we made a game out of it using the colours and shapes of the different pulses. This made them complete the job quickly too. In the second activity, we had to throw a ball from a distance with force. The goal was to hit a wall with the ball. Every time they failed to hit the wall, they needed to use extra force with the ball in order for it to touch the wall. While they had to do it repeatedly, they never gave up but tried again with enthusiasm. We learnt that in our day-to-day life as well we may fail to achieve our goal the first time but we need to keep trying enthusiastically to succeed. We finished with our song:
“Go, Go, Go and Fly
Soar, Soar in the Sky
Work, Work Hard and Try
You can Make it, Just Don’t Cry”
Homework: To complete the colouring sheet; To continue learning the Ganesha sloka.
We recapped the learnings of the last class. We heard a story about King Parikshit. Hunting and losing his way the King got very thirsty and hungry. He saw a Rishi in Samadhi and tried to ask him for water but the Rishi was in deep meditation. He was angry and upset and thinking that the Rishi was just acting in anger he threw a dead snake around him. The Rishi’s son was very hurt by this and cursed the King. The Rishi, when out of his meditative state, got to know what had happened and was angry with his son for cursing. He asked him to realise that Kings have a different way of living and he should not have cursed him but forgiven him instead. On the other hand the King was regretting his action and was happy to be punished.
Children came up with morals that they had learnt from the story.
- We must control our anger.
- We must learn to forgive.
- When we realise our mistake we must ask for forgiveness.
- If we think right we act right.
We had a quiz where kids were asked many questions and they had to classify them as right or wrong acts. Examples include: Their friend is school is unwell and they help them to cover up the work done at school; Mum gives a vegetable they don’t like for school lunch and they waste it; When the teacher is asking them to stay silent they make noise ….And many many more examples .
We then played a chain game which showed how one action leads to another and how our thinking leads to us acting in a right or wrong manner. We chanted the Guru stotram. Last week children were asked to bring their favourite toy and share it with their friends. They were to keep another person’s toy and bring it back with responsibility. This taught us two values – sharing and being responsible.
After the death of Aghasura, Krishna and the gopas went to the banks of Yamuna. As they were very hungry, they took the food that they got and started eating. The gopas were having so much fun that they did not notice that the calves had wandered away. When they knew they wanted to go looking for them but Krishna told them to finish their meal and that he would go searching for the calves. Lord Brahma, seeing Krishna’s strength and power wanted to test Krishna and in a moment of mischief hid all the calves in a cave. Krishna looked for the calves everywhere, couldn’t find them and went back to tell the gopas. But when he went back, the gopas were missing too! Brahmaji had hidden the gopas along with the calves. Krishna meditated for a moment and realised what had happened. Krishna then multiplied himself and took the forms of all the calves and the gopas. When they all returned home, the cows showed extra love to the calves and the mothers to the gopas!!-they were after all Krishna in various forms. Krishna, the gopas and the calves continued to go to the forest daily and a year had passed. Brahmaji came back to see how Krishna was handling the tricky situation and was puzzled to see two sets of calves and gopas-one set where he had hidden them in the cave and the other with Krishna!! Suddenly the delusion or maya of Brahmaji was gone and he saw the calves and gopas as Krishna and then as Lord Vishnu. He understood what had happened and apologised to Krishna. The Krishna-gopas and the Krishna-calves disappeared and the calves and gopas from the cave came back to the forest and they had no memory of how long they were away. We learnt that the calves represent our sense organs-which will wander into the world and the gopas represent our mind-which is meant to control the sense organs and not run after them. When the calves and the gopas are with Krishna there is always happiness. We also learnt that when we are deluded (like how Brahmaji was) we become egoistic, unable to see the truth and we tend to show off. We have to be humble. We then listened to the story of ‘the cranes and the silly turtle’ and learnt that eagerness to show off gets us into trouble. We also did an activity to understand humility.
Homework: To practise being humble throughout the week and complete the virtue sheet.
This week in class, we continued our discussion on chapter 25 and started chapter 26 of Kindle Life. We started by revising the four categories which humanity can be divided into namely; (1) Heart predominates over the Head, (2) Head predominates over the Heart, (3) the Head and Heart have an almost equal assertion, (4) neither the Head nor Heart has developed adequately. In order to serve the four different categories listed above, there are four distinct methods prescribed which correspond to the four yoga traditions. In this regard, it is noted that Bhakti or the path of devotion is most appealing to those whose heart predominates over the Head, Jnana or the path of knowledge resonates to the man of ‘Head’, Karma or the path of action is advised for those whose heart and head have an equal assertion and Hatha yoga (comprising of special exercises) is prescribed to persons in the last category. Next we started chapter 26 of Kindle Life (‘The Goal of Perfection Achieved’). The start of this chapter introduced the concept of integration between the mind and intellect, whereby, it is noted that the lack of alignment between these two instruments can amount to chaos and confusion. In order to acquire and maintain this integration within, it is important to be guided by your ‘biggest’ goal. This will be discussed further next week.
Sadhana: Write down what you consider to be important characteristics of your ‘biggest’ goal.
This week we studied verse 9 of Chapter 13. Continuing on with the list of 20 attributes of the keen seeker, verse 9 highlights detachment towards sense objects and lack of egoism as veritable moral qualities. Detachment towards sense objects is explained as means of living with and utilising sense objects without any mental pre-occupation towards these objects. The absence of these sense objects should not perturb the mind. Verse 9 also gives us suggestion on how to move away from sense objects and egoism. The seeker is encouraged to reflect on the “evils” of the cycle of birth, death, old age, sickness and pain. Any agitation in the mind for sense objects can be redirected by reflections on the actual reality of this life cycle.
Chanting: To revise up to Verse 40 of Chapter 2 of the Gita.