In class this week we discussed the alphabet A and recalled that it stands for ‘Aspiration’ and ‘ Not be Angry’. We then heard the story of the crayon box. Once upon a time there was a crayon box in a toy store. Sadly, the crayons did not get along and were constantly fighting with each other. They argued that each of them was greater than the other. A teacher walked into the shop. She was worried when she saw them. So she bought the box and took it to her class. She made her children colour a picture that she had given to them. The children coloured the sky blue, the sun yellow, the leaves green, the sand brown and so on. As the crayons watched the children create these beautiful and colourful pictures, something magical happened. They realised how lovely the other crayons looked. They said to each other, ‘ We are a box of crayons; each one of us is unique; when we get together, the picture is perfect’. From then on they lived happily together. In the same way, children learnt that we are all like the box of crayons. Each one is special and unique. We need to appreciate each other and live and work together. This is the sense of Brotherhood. B is for BROTHERHOOD. We will continue learning more on this next week.
Homework: To complete the colouring sheets and share the story with family and friends.
This week, we turned our focus to our text for this year “Bala Bhagavatam”, the story of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. In preparation, each of us readied our new book by writing “Om” in script, sticking avatar name label and the Chinmaya pledge sheet. As we did this, we brainstormed what an avatar is and when is an avatar born. Avatar literally means “coming down”. An avatar is God’s incarnation, a superhero who comes down when there is too much evil on earth. The avatar destroys all evil and protects the good. The children picked their unique avatar, to place on their book cover. They also made an avatar parachute using that avatar picture, some strings and plastic bag, to “bring down” their very own avatar whenever they need a superhero to be there to protect them, and destroy the evil around them.
Homework: To colour in beautifully their avatar picture in their books and also in their parachute. To remember to bring both the book and their parachute back to class next week.
This week we continued with the revision of what we previously learnt from the text “Krshna Krshna Everywhere”. We are living in Kaliyuga and ‘Kali’ means to fight. We discussed why people fight and learnt that
Kali usually brings his sister Durukti with him. Durukti means bad or harsh words. When people don’t get what they want, they get angry and use harsh words. By keeping God in the centre of our lives and not using harsh
words we can avoid many fights. We then listened to the story of the birth of Kaliyuga. King Parikshit, the descendant of Pandavas, was an able, prosperous and kind king. One day, he saw a man beating a cow. The King got angry at the injustice and took out his sword to kill the man. The man pleaded with the King to not kill him and said “I am Kali-please give me a place to stay in your Kingdom”. The King felt sorry but as punishment said “You can live in a place where God is forgotten, where gambling, lust etc are more”. Thus was born Kaliyuga. We learnt that to escape the influence of Kaliyuga we should always remember God and we should avoid saying harsh words. We realised that words are like gifts. We did an activity where we first read nice sentences that we can use to Stop Kali. We then cut them into strips, wrapped them and made them as gifts!!
We then learnt the Maha Mrtyunjaya Mantra
Om tryambakam yaja mahe sugandhim pushti vardhanam
urvaarukam-iva bandhanaan mrtyor muskhiiya maa mrtaat
Homework: To practise being careful with words: be polite, kind and not use harsh words. To practise saying 5 times in the mind “Oh God, I am sorry, please forgive me” every time we slip and use unkind words. To learn the Maha Mrtynjaya Mantra.
This week we continued with chapter 23 and looked into the Bliss Sheath which is the fifth and innermost sheath. We experience this sheath when we are in deep sleep. We are made up of ignorance as we are oblivious to everything around us. This sheath is considered blissful because whoever we are, rich or poor, healthy or sick, we experience the same undisturbed peace. The subtlest of all is the Ātman; this is the core of the five-sheath structure. The subtlest of the sheaths controls, regulates, feeds and nourishes the grosser. Therefore, the Ātman which is the subtlest is the controller of the five layers. The Ātman is that which gives the capacity to our sense organs to perceive, mind to feel and intellect to think. We found that there are differences in our thoughts and have given them four statuses: mind, intellect, ego and memory. When these four are put together it makes our inner equipment. When we deconstructed it, it showed us how we unknowingly face and go through experiences.
Homework: To focus on our experiences and our reactions.
This week we studied the second verse of Chapter 13. Here Krishna says the body (Kshetra) is the field and he who knows it is the knower of the field (Ksetrajna). The body in this statement represents energy, matter, organisms and the objects in the universe. The knower of this field is represented by living organisms. Living organism to various degrees live through the field and thus have an urge to know or know of certain aspects of the field. For humans as knowers of the field, we manifest this knowledge through our ego, mind, intellect, feelings and thoughts. To summarise, verse two is “the definition of matter and the spirit functioning through it.”
Chanting: To revise up to Verse 33 of Chapter 2 of the Gita.