In class we discussed the next alphabet G which stands for God. We talked about where God is and what God does for us. Children realised how God gives us so many gifts all the time and that we must be ever grateful to Him. We saw pictures of many Gods and learnt the unique characteristics of the various Gods – Krishna, Siva, Hanuman, Ganesha, Saraswathi and Lakshmi. We learnt the song:
Krishna Here Krishna There
Krishna Krishna Everywhere
God is One God is One
God is One for Everyone
We repeated the song using the various names of Gods. We learnt how even though God has many names and forms he is the same for everyone.
Homework: To sing the song at home to family and friends; To revise the Saraswathi sloka.
We started the class with Likhat japa which means writing the name of the Lord many times and as we are learning about the Avataars of Narayana we wrote ‘Om Namo Narayana’ .
With LIKHAT japa we get a pure and a calm mind…
We also started the story of Varaha avatar where we learnt how the Lord got the earth out when there was Pralya. We learnt how to manage the Pralya within –when we have negative thoughts like anger, jealousy or even when we feel sad, we would do the Likhat japa.
Homework: To do Likhat japa during the holidays.
We started the class by discussing how we practised the virtue of service throughout the week. A flute has 8 holes-7 for musical notes and 1 for blowing. The flute by itself cannot produce music unless the flute player blows and his fingers manipulate the holes. The 7 holes represent our 5 sense organs, mind and intellect and the Divine Flute Player plays His music through us. We must be an instrument in the Hands of the Lord and purify ourselves (keep the holes clean) so beautiful music can flow through us. We then listened to how the Gopis who were constantly in the presence of Krishna began to feel proud and selfish. When Krishna in order to remove their arrogance, disappeared, the Gopis were inconsolable and they begged Krishna to forgive them. Krishna forgave them and reappeared and the Gopis were filled with joy and gratitude. We learnt that like the Gopis, (and like the needle of the compass that always points to the North) our mind must always be on Krishna. On a compass sheet the children wrote down 7 things that they like to do and on the top they wrote, “Let my mind always seek Krishna”. We learnt that while either doing routine things or doing things that we like to do, we must always keep our mind on Krishna. Krishna was 12 years old and Nanda Baba had made a vow that when Krishna turned 12 years he would offer a special worship to their family Goddess Ambika. All the friends and family of Nanda Baba went to the temple with gifts of milk, butter etc. and performed the ritual. As it was dark by the time they finished, everyone decided to stay back and sleep in the temple courtyard. In the middle of the night there was a shout from Nanda Baba and when all ran to see, they found Nanda Baba’s foot in the mouth of a huge python! The python would not let go and Nanda Baba called for Krishna’s help. Krishna came rushing and touched the back of the python with His foot. The python turned into a beautiful person who bowed down to Krishna. He was Sudarshana, a celestial magician. He had become very proud of his skill and beauty and in the mood for fun flew over Rishi Angira who was deep in meditation. Rishi Angira woke and cursed Sudarshana to become a python and said that Krishna would eventually release him from the curse. We also listened to the story of how Shamkhachuda, an attendant of Kubera was killed by Krishna because he had grabbed some unsuspecting Gopis and carried them away. From the stories we learnt that we must have control over our senses. We also discussed the damage uncontrollable fire, water etc. can cause and how when in control they are very useful to us.
Homework: To practise the virtue of Control and complete the virtue sheet. To practise remembering Krishna while doing all activities all through the day.
We continued with our revision on Chapter 25 of Kindle Life. We attended to summarise the remaining sections, which we did not cover last week, namely, the technique of self-development. Accordingly, the following points were raised.
- Man makes a ready sacrifice of the grosser for the subtler in him (e.g. making physical or mental sacrifices for intellectual satisfaction).
- The head and heart have an impact during our experiences. We defined the head as a rational and intellectual faculty and the heart as the faculty of instinct and emotion.
- Based on those two factors (head and heart), humanity can be divided into the following four types:
- Heart predominates over the Head;
- Head predominates over the Heart;
- Head and Heart have an almost equal assertion; and
- 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.
- 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 the Head.
- Karma or the path of action is advised for those whose heart and head have an equal assertion.
- Hatha yoga (comprising of special exercises) is prescribed to persons in the last category.
This week we studied verse 12 of Chapter 13. This is the concluding verse of this section, which highlights the
twenty necessary qualities of the seeker. This verse explains two of the qualities in the aforesaid list.
1) “Constancy in Self-knowledge” – The seeker is encouraged to be constant in their pursuit of spiritual
knowledge. Spend time daily reading the Gita and practice the qualities prescribed in daily life.
The seeker is encouraged to develop a devotion and love for this Self-knowledge.
2) “Understanding the end of true knowledge” – The end goal of spiritual enlightenment is to attain moksha.
In pursuit of Self -knowledge, we should remind ourselves of why we are learning this knowledge.
Chanting: To revise up to Verse 43 of Chapter 2 of the Gita.