We continued with Alphabet Safari and learnt that E stands for Enthusiasm. The children were excited to learn this new word. We learnt that enthusiasm means working hard with a smile on our face to achieve our goal. This will not only lift our spirits but make the work easier. We learnt a poem with actions which the children recited with infectious enthusiasm.
“Go, Go, Go and Fly
Soar, Soar in the Sky
Work, Work Hard and Try
You can Make it, Just Don’t Cry”
Children heard the story of Gitu, an enthusiastic chipmunk. Gitu was always eager to help the other animals in the forest. However, others dismissed her off as being too little and not capable of helping. Gitu’s mother told her to be patient and that her turn would come. One day there were heavy rains in the forest and the homes of all the animals were slowly getting destroyed. The elephant gathered all the animals and they decided to build a dam to protect the forest. They all brought in rocks, wooden logs and sand bags to help with the dam. Gitu tried to help too but the others were too busy to listen to her plea. She felt sad and slid down a sand hill. When she shook herself, there was a pile of sand on the ground. She was surprised and went up the sand hill again to slide down faster than before. She shook herself again and there was a greater pile of sand. She did this again and again, working harder each time until she made two bags of sand. She gave it to the other animals and was very pleased with herself. Soon the dam was built, and the forest was saved. The animals called for a party but forgot to invite Gitu. Gitu’s mother told her to pray hard to God as she was sad about not getting an invitation. At that time an elephant came to their home, picked Gitu up and took her to the party. All the animals patted Gitu on her back for all her enthusiastic hard work and Gitu felt very happy. That is how chipmunks got the stripes on their back! We learnt that we must be enthusiastic like little Gitu.
Homework: To complete the colouring sheet; To continue learning the Ganesha sloka.
We chanted 4 verses of Guru Stotram. We continued the story of King Parikshit turning to Kali with a sword all set to kill him but Kali pleading for his life and explaining that he was to rule the next Yug Kaliyug. We discussed about forgiveness and how when we ask for forgiveness realising our mistakes, it is granted. The story taught us that the King was so kind that he gave a chance to a person like Kali as well. The story continued that Kali was allowed to dwell at four places where there was gambling, alcohol, lust and cruelty. We discussed the harms of each of these habits/ traits with examples from day-to-day life. Some of these include eating unhealthy food, being mean to our siblings or friends, not being content and asking for more. Children learnt how it is easy to give in to these temptations but that we must learn to say ‘No’. Instead it is important to practise the right virtues of Satyug like kindness, humility, honesty and charity. It is in our hands to transform Kaliyug to Satyug. Children were also introduced to rajoguna by answering a short quiz as to how much of agitation or peace they experience and how much of restlessness or poise they encounter in their day to day lives. We had fun with gurucool cards, playing a variety of games which taught us the Avataars and the family of the Lords. We concluded with a ball game.
We continued with the story from last week. All the villagers from Gokula at last arrived at Vrindavan. Krishna and Balarama were overjoyed to see the green pastures, the Govardhan mountain and the waters of Yamuna. Soon they started taking the calves to graze and played with their gopa friends all day long in the forest. One day when Krishna and the gopas took the calves to the pastures, an asura (Vatsaasura) plotted to kill them. Knowing that Krishna will not harm a calf, the asura took the form of a calf (Vatsa) and mingled with the rest of the calves. Seeing this, Krishna snuck up behind Vatsaasura, caught him by the back legs, whirled and dashed him to the tree and killed him. We learnt that Vatsaasura symbolises attachment, “I” ness and “My”ness and that even if we disguise this, Krishna can see it and destroy this sense of possessiveness. On another day Krishna and His friends went to the tank to quench their thirst and when they came out they saw before them what looked like a huge white mountain. It was an asura (Bakaasura) in the form of a crane (Baka), sent by Kamsa to kill Krishna! Bakaasura rushed towards Krishna and held Him by the beak. Krishna generated so much heat that Bakaasura spat Him out. When Bakaasura tried to attack Krishna with his beak, Krishna grabbed the beak and pulled it wide apart and Bakaasura fell dead. Bakaasura was the brother of Putana and wanted to avenge her death. We learnt that Bakaasura represents deception, cunning and false type of behaviour (like the crane, which stands on one leg pretending to be sleeping but actually waiting to catch the fish to eat) and that we must get rid of such qualities. We also learnt that we have to be kind and loving to all animals and we should be gentle like the cows. One day Krishna wanted to have breakfast in the forest. He got up early in the morning and played the flute. Hearing the beautiful sound, all the gopas woke up and came running and so did the calves. All the gopas were very excited to go to the forest and they were very playful and having a lot of fun along the way. Aghaasura was the brother of Putana and Bakaasura (who were killed by Krishna) and he wanted to avenge their deaths by killing Krishna. Aghaasura took the form of a very huge and long python. He lay still on the road with his mouth wide open-his lower jaw on the ground and the upper jaw high in the clouds and he waited. When the gopas came near Aghaasura, they came up with different ideas on what it could be: some thought it could be a giant serpent, some thought it could be a geographical feature, some thought it was a mountain range. They were curious to find out what it was and thinking if they were in trouble Krishna would save them like He saved them from the other asuras, they all walked into the mouth of Aghaasura. Aghaasura still kept his mouth open as he wanted Krishna also to enter so he could kill him. Krishna thought on how to save his friends and after a few moments entered the mouth of Aghaasura and lodged himself in the windpipe. Aghaasura unable to breathe, choked and died. Krishna then released the gopas. We learnt that we must learn to look where we are going before we walk into anything. Aghaa means ‘Sin’. Like Aghaasura, Sin sits with its mouth open. We must learn to be alert and recognise when and where it is waiting and avoid it.
Homework: To practise the virtue of sharing and being gentle and kind like the cows and to complete the virtue sheets during the week. To learn the second sloka of the opening prayers.
Chanting: To revise up to Verse 38 of Chapter 2 of the Gita.