Please revise the 1st 7 slokas of Chapter 2 of the Gita. Below are 2 links that have the verses of Chapter 2
This week we continued with the letter S and learnt two new words – Sacrifice and Service.Both come together. We learnt how sacrifice is giving up something so others can feel better. We discussed the meaning of service and the children learnt the slogan – Service to man is Service to God. The best examples of those who practise these qualities at home are Mum and Dad; we discussed many examples of how and when this happens at home. We also listened to two stories to illustrate these values. There were two brothers who were very poor but wanted to be artists. So the older one decided to work hard and earn money while the younger trained to be an artist. They decided that then it would be the younger brother’s turn to work and help the older brother to study. But when the younger one finished all his studies, he returned to find the hands of his older brother were no longer soft. He had sacrificed himself by working so hard that they were too rough to be an artist. He drew a picture of praying hands that served him with love and sacrifice. This is the story of praying hands that illustrates how serving others is service to God Himself. Children drew this hand in their books by tracing their own. They also listened to the story of King Banyan the deer who was ready to sacrifice himself to save his fellow deer.
Homework: To learn the second line of the pledge.
This week we learnt about and sought Hanuman’s blessings to bestow upon us, the sixth trait of “Good Health” (Arogata). We brainstormed what it meant to have good physical health that led to good mental health, which in turn allowed us to live life to the fullest. We played the game of hangman to work out the traits that make us strong (eating fruits and veggies, drinking water, exercise, being truthful, being brave and courageous, love) and those that make us weak (eating junk food, stealing or cheating, watching too much TV and lack of exercise, jealousy, anger, hatred). The children then heard the story of a little boy who was once invited to a friend’s party. The boy was amidst friends, fun and good food, but instead of being happy and enjoying this, he could not do so due to a terrible toothache. He was sad, angry and jealous of his own good friends! This taught us that good physical health is important to have a strong mind and for good intellectual health and balanced emotions. And to maintain good health, we must respect God’s gift to us, our body and take care of it by keeping it clean, eating healthy food and doing regular exercise. When we feel good, we think good. When we think good, everything around us also feels positive and the world works in our favour. We also played the game of musical chairs to take turns to share what particular action impacted us personally that made us either weak or strong, either physically or mentally. Each of the children also shared their practising of the Hanuman dhyana mantra by chanting it in front of class.
Homework: During the week, to try to control our emotions by slowly counting to 5 in our head, whenever we feel sad, angry or jealous. To say to ourself, “Whatever has happened is past. Let me live in the present.” To chant the dhyana mantra thrice daily before going to bed.
God resides in the hearts of those who do Japa and do charity. Japa is defined as repetitive chanting of God’s name with love, devotion and faith. The kids discussed the importance of doing Japa- it helps us develop focus by attaching to the Higher and detaching from the lower. When electricity passes through a 100Watt bulb it emits 100W of energy, but same electricity when passed through a laser light bulb provides 100 times the energy, i.e., 10000Watts- a focussed mind is like a laser light and doing Japa regularly enables us to develop a laser- like mind and achieve our best in life! We also discussed briefly about Tirtha or pilgrimage and how it is not really important to visit the physical place of worship as God is everywhere and so we can get closer to God doing our everyday work itself- like 24/7 puja! We also started discussing what Charity is- it is defined as helping the needy; an act or feeling towards others coming out of love and not pity! We asked the following question to explore what charity is: Why should I do charity? Whom should I do it for? When should I do it? How should I do it? What should I give in charity?
Homework: Practice Japa for at least 3-5 mins everyday to develop laser sharp mind! Also reflect and discuss with family about the 5 questions regarding charity.
We finished Chapter 9 on the ‘Path of Perfection’ and started Chapter 10 on the ‘Mechanism of Action’. The mind and intellect define who we are. The environment can affect us but we should not be affected by it. An example of a lighthouse was discussed. The lighthouse represents us, standing firm with a strong mind and intellect. When the waves (challenges) hit us, we are unaffected and continue standing tall. However, if we are a boat on the ocean, with no strong mind and intellect, the waves affect us and we may fall into the ocean. We then discussed vasanas and how they can either be dynamic or not dynamic. Dynamic vasanas are productive and relate to our duty. Vasanas that are not dynamic are unproductive and only give us short term happiness.
Sadhana: Answer two questions; (1) Do we want dynamic vasanas or no vasanas at all?; (2) Can we get rid of vasanas and if so, how would this impact us?
“The greater the understanding of the world of objects, the better shall be our relationship with it.” In class we discussed that to be able to efficiently use an object, one needs to know what the object is capable of and have an understanding of its functionality. Similarly, we are on good terms with those people with whom we share and understand. We respect them and have a healthy relationship with them. In the same manner Gurudev, in chapter 25 of Kindle Life urges us to understand how the material world affects our body, mind and intellect. We further discussed that the emotions that arise in us in response to external situations are temporary. We never feel happy, sad, angry or surprised forever.
Next, we said that no object or person can make us feel a particular emotion. We ourselves are responsible for the emotions we feel. If we are angry and yell at someone, it is not because they made us yell but because we chose to yell. We have a choice in how we feel. However, more often than not we do not feel that we have control over our emotions because our minds, the seat of emotion, has control over us. And gaining this knowledge through self reflection is a part of understanding the world of objects. We will continue to discuss this topic in the next class.
Sadhana: To put into practice the individual strategy that each one came up with to get to know God better.
This week we listened to, read and discussed Verse 8 of Chapter 11. Lord Krishna says that He will give Arjuna the divine eye to enable him to behold the entire Universe in the body of Krishna (see the many in the One) as Arjuna will not be able to do so using his own eyes. Gurudev explains that the ‘divine eye’ is the vision of comprehension, the “Oh, now I see”-when we intellectually understand something. In this light of understanding, Arjuna will be able to see the entire cosmos in Krishna.
Sadhana: To contemplate on the meaning of ‘divine eye’ and how to and who can gain this vision.