This week we discussed what A stands for. Children learnt the value: Never to get Angry. We listened to the story of a boy called Gopal. Gopal was losing his temper often and nobody could help him with this. His father had an idea. He asked Gopal to hammer a nail into their fence every time he got angry. He used up 30 nails in the first week. Soon he felt tired and decided to control his temper. His father told him to chant ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ while he worked with the nail to make the job easier. The number of nails started to reduce each week. Gopal also noticed that singing the line made his work easier. Soon, he started chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ even when he was not hammering the nails. He realised that he had not hammered a nail for a few days and so went to his father to tell him the good news. His father now asked him to gradually remove the nails from the fence. His father then asked him, ‘What do you see in the fence?’ Gopal looked at the fence and replied ‘Many holes!’. His father then explained how every time he got angry and spoke bad words or did bad things, he left a permanent scar in people’s minds. Gopal understood how much he had hurt people by losing his temper. From that day, he was determined not to ever be angry again. Not only that, he started chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ every time he felt he might lose his temper and that made him better. We also discussed other ways of controlling our anger: taking deep breaths and talking to an adult – parents, grandparents or teachers.
Homework: To share the story of Gopal with family and friends; To revise the Ganesha sloka, ‘Vakra Thunda…’.
We started the class with an activity where each of us completed a sheet where we had to start with how we are feeling today, then we reflected on how we got to class (none of us had to walk to get there!), and wrote down what we were grateful for in our lives – our parents, teachers, friends at school and Balavihar, siblings, and extended family. This exercise made us realise that we had so much (enough/cup to the full). Then, we wrote down one thing we can give/do to make each of our worlds (school, class, soccer or cricket team, home, morning rush, Balavihar,….) a little better. We recapped what a Balvihar SKA (Secret Kindness Agent) would do. The last thing we did was draw something we see in class, for others to guess what it is. The whole exercise made us think how we can give little bit of the goodness we have got and make a difference, one act at a time. just like a BVSKA superhero. The children promised they will fill their bottle with water in the morning so mummy (or daddy) has one less task to do in the morning. We also learnt “Gratitude is the best attitude.” We will keep practising little acts of kindness, during the week, finding opportunities to help everyone around us. We will remember to live our class motto this term by remembering to “Love all and keep smiling.”. Next week, we will continue with Balabhagavatam, our avatar superheroes’ stories as well.
Homework: To remember to do a small act of kindness every day of the week, in all our different “worlds”.
We started the class by reflecting and writing down one thing that each of us personally learnt from last week’s annual day celebrations. We then revised what we learnt so far from our text “My 24 Teachers”. When Uddhava requested Lord Krishna to enlighten him with the knowledge of how to live in this world, Lord Krishna narrated the dialogue between King Yadu and Dattatreya. King Yadu wanted to know the secret of the happy and peaceful appearance of Dattatreya, a wandering saint. Dattatreya said that he roamed the earth and learnt the art of living from his 24 teachers. The first teacher was ‘Earth’. Earth teaches us forbearance, endurance, forgiveness, patience, steadfastness and consistency. We then discussed what we can do as Balavihar Secret Kindness Agents (BVSKA) and how we can make the world a better place with ‘our own two hands’. Our room and work space are part of the world and we realised we can start with keeping them clean and tidy.
Homework: To keep our room/desk/work place clean and tidy all through the week. To practise good hygiene by washing our hands every time we eat anything. To continue being a BVSK agent.
We started a new text in class this week (‘Game of Life’) which essentially will go through the intricacies of the ‘game of life’ and give practical tips. We studied chapter 1 of the text, ‘Game Time’. We considered that every person has to live their own life, others may help & teach, however, ultimately we have to learn and make our own choices intelligently.
We discussed three broad questions:1. Are we completely responsible for all of our choices? Yes – as we become older and more independent, the choices we make are our own and we must bear the responsibility of these decisions.2. If so, what about in circumstances that are initially outside our control? Even if you are in a situation (which was not your fault or was outside your control), you still are responsible for the choices you make from that point onwards. We considered that if an issue was not your fault, it can still be your responsibility to resolve. 3. How do we make choices intelligently? We came up with various factors to consider, some of which are to ask others for guidance, don’t rush into any decisions (e.g. admit when you are unsure of something) and think about the potential consequences of our choices.
Sadhana: To reflect on some choices you made during the week and consider whether they were the most ‘intelligent’ choices in the circumstances.
This week we studied verse 32 of Chapter 13 – “Being without beginning; and being devoid of qualities, the Supreme Self, the Imperishable, though dwelling in the body, O Kaunteya, neither acts, nor is tainted” – Here we learn that the spirit exists with our body equipment. This spirit is without a beginning nor does it possess qualities (a quality having a substance, is perishable) and thus is imperishable. This spirit is devoid of ego and “has nothing to accomplish for Itself.” Thus within the body equipment it does not perform any action.