Please revise the 1st 4 slokas of Chapter 2 of the Gita. Below are 2 links that have the verses of Chapter 2.
In class we continued with the Alphabet Safari and did the letter N which stands for Nobility. This means to have high moral values and a strong character. Children listened to the story of the Lion and the Noble Cow. Once in a forest lived a fierce lion who was wandering for his prey. A cow from a nearby village accidentally entered the forest when he was grazing on the fringes.The lion roared and was about to pounce on the cow when the cow pitifully pleaded to the lion, ‘If you allow me to go home for 1 hour, I can feed my baby at home and find someone to look after him. I promise to return promptly to be eaten by you’. The lion started laughing at first and did not believe the cow. But then he took pity and allowed the cow to go. The cow went home, fed her baby, told him that she had to go back to be eaten by the lion and asked a neighbour to look after him. She also told the baby calf to remember to always speak the truth, whatever the circumstances. She then returned to the lion. The lion was surprised to see the cow return and started crying. He could not believe the nobility expressed by the cow. He let the cow go back to her baby to live happily ever after.
Homework: To share the story with family and friends; To revise the first 2 lines of the pledge.
This week, on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, we learnt about the symbolism of Ganesha, and a Ganesha bhajan. We also continued on our Super Hero Hanuman traits of “balam” (strength). We reiterated that mental strength is more important than physical strength. The children heard about an incident in the life of Gandhiji, when he was at school. One day, when the class was writing a dictation test, Gandhiji misspelt one of the spellings on his sheet. His teacher who was pacing and peeking over the sheets, noticed this and whispered to Gandhiji to correct it by copying it from his partner. Gandhiji used his intellect and knew it was not the right thing to do, and so did not do it. The teacher, when marking the paper, was disappointed to see that his clever student had not corrected the spelling! For Gandhiji, it was more important to be truthful than to cheat and get better marks. We did an activity of self-control (discipline of the mind) where two children demonstrated the act of “freezing” for 3 minutes. Needless to say, for children this age, this must feel like 100 long minutes! The children also tidied up their japa-Malas and learnt how to use it. W revised the Hanuman dhyana sloka as well.
Homework: To keep practising the Hanuman dhyana sloka. To share with family, the symbolism of Ganesha sheet, and how to use the japamala. Remember to bring the japamala to class next week.
God resides in the hearts of those who do Puja of God. We then went on to define the various steps involved in a traditional puja and significance of each of the steps such as the bell, deepam, naivadyam, etc. But why should we do puja? If our children can perfect the art of funnelling their entire mental dynamism into the work they are engaged in, then success and happiness in inevitable. The main goal of the puja is to help to harness our minds as all our actions are triggered by our thoughts- it not only helps us to become successful but also enables us to contribute more to society and become peaceful. In fact the way we lead our daily life should be like doing puja for God 24/7! Prasad is nothing but the Grace of God and we should accept everything we get in life with Prasadbuddhi- attitude of gratitude. When we put our hands over flame of diya and then touch our own eyes, it means that we will try to keep that light or vision of God ever in front of us and look upon the world from that divine standpoint.
Homework: To reflect and share on meaning of steps of puja and how that helps us in life.
In class this week, we completed Chapter 4 of Kindle Life on the Joy of Living. We discussed where we find happiness and how to sustain it. Initially, the class thought that we get happiness out of objects and the feelings we get from the objects. But after discussion, we realised that this is short term happiness and that we actually want to achieve long term happiness. To attain long term happiness, we need our mind to be in a peaceful and tranquil state. We should not get attached to objects, otherwise we will get short term happiness and long term sorrow. We found that objects can give us short term happiness since they are not permanent, but we need to have the discipline to pull ourselves back into a tranquil state rather than become sorrowful when the object exhausts itself and can no longer be a source of happiness.
Sadhana: To actively practise being happy by not getting consumed in objects.
This week we continued discussion with chapter 25 of Kindle Life. We discussed last week’s sadhana about the importance of understanding why we do each activity in our life. Everyone gave an example and we discussed how everything we do in life helps us e.g. algebra – while we may not use the maths in our lives the logical and problem solving skills it teaches us will be used throughout life. We then continued the topic of faith. We continued with the model of belief – faith – trust; faith is based on experiences and knowledge. We discussed how knowledge and experiences aren’t always something that can be measured but something we can feel i.e. a connection or love with family & God. Each student provided an example where trust and faith was lost in someone and why that occurred and how we can overcome it.The chapter also touched on the concept of permanent happiness which will be discussed more in next weeks class.
Sadhana: Think about what is permanent happiness and whether and how it may be attainable?
This week we listened to, read and discussed Verse 39 of Chapter 10 (last week we had studied Verses 37 & 38). The Lord summarises that He is the seed of the entire universe and no being, whether moving or unmoving can exist without Him. The seed lies dormant but under favourable conditions germinates and grows into a huge tree and there is no resemblance to the seed anymore. Similarly, the Self is One great seed from which the tree of Samsara has emerged and looking at this world one might find it difficult to be reminded that the Lord is the source of it all. In our state of sleep all our characters, personalities etc (Vasanas) are in a seed state (state of Pralaya). Similarly, when the Vasanas of all of us are in a condition of rest, then the entire universe merges back to become the seed (Total Pralaya) and when the conditions are favourable, the seed will emerge out as the world. Just as water is not only the cause of germination of the seed but it also nourishes and sustains the tree as well, the Self is the cause of the germination, nourishment and sustenance of the seed of Samsara. Nothing can exist without the Self, the Lord.
Sadhana: To contemplate on the meaning of the verse.