- To continue to revise Geeta Chapter 15.
We proceeded with our next letter G which stands for God. We discussed names of Gods, with the children naming their favourite God (Krishna, of course!) and revised the Ganesha sloka. We talked about what God has given us as gifts and the first thing children came up with were their parents. We discussed how it is important to be thankful to God and will be discussing in the next class about prayers and how we talk to God and say ‘Thank you’ to God. Children learnt a poem, ‘Krishna Here; Krishna There; Krishna Krishna Everywhere” .
Homework: To revise Ganesha Sloka ‘Shuklaam Bharadharam…’; To complete colouring sheet.
We recapped our Ramayana story. Once Ravana was slain and Vibhisana crowned king of Lanka, it was time for Rama’s first meeting with Sita. Sita performed the “fire test” to prove that She had done nothing wrong in Rama’s absence, before Rama accepted Her. We then played the game of snakes & ladders to take turns to reminisce the characters (good or evil) of the Ramayana and what we learnt from that character. We also played the game of hangman to find the word about one of mum’s qualities and one of the children’s names that contains the word “OM”. Team Rama eventually guessed the word “AwesOMe”! We continued to play this game of finding animals that are also used as divine vehicles. Did our Ramayana heroes, who were so like God, have vaahanaas (vehicles)? Why? We will find out next week.
Homework: To research and talk to family to find out five animals/birds and match each with the God/Goddess that use them as vehicles. To say the pledge once every day to learn by heart. To complete the colouring sheet.
We revised what we learnt about Sage Valmiki and Saint Tulasidasa and came to the question Rama (after he was asked to go to the forest for 14years) had asked Valmikiji-“I am looking for a nice place to stay and since you know this area, could you please tell me where should I stay and where should I make my little hut”?. Valmikiji told Rama that He can build a mansion and live with Sita and Lakshmana in the hearts of those whose ears are like the ocean. The ocean never gets flooded by the rivers flowing into them and so people who never get tired listening to the stories and glories of Rama/God are said to have ‘oceanic ears’! Hanumanji was one
such devotee. Our five senses trigger thoughts in our mind and when you constantly think of a person or object you will start loving them or it. Similar to always wanting to listen to your favourite singer, you will like to hear about what you love and never get tired about hearing it-and you will soon completely identify with what you love. We listened to the story of a young man living on a farm. He would watch chickens daily and he became very fond of them. He watched baby chicks hatching from the eggs and thought they were cute. He thought “would it not be nice if I could become a little chick, would I look cute too?, I wish I was a chick”. He started imitating the chicks and soon he was behaving like he was a cute little chick! His parents were concerned and took him to a psychiatrist, who worked hard and reversed the young man’s thinking. The young man thanked the doctor and left. But minutes after leaving, the young man came running back and when the doctor asked what the problem was, he said there was a dog outside. The doctor asked “So?” and the man replied “I know I am a man, but does the dog know?” The young man was so identified with being a chick that even the psychiatrist could not change him. This teaches us the importance of hearing to the right things. If one listens to the stories of Rama, one will come to love Him, identify with Him and soon become Him. We then came up with things that people like to hear that are ‘Good for us’ and those that are ‘Not Good for us’.
Homework: To think of a couple of ‘Good for us’ things to hear and practise having ‘oceanic ears’ while listening to them.
We revised the characteristics of the Body, Mind and Intellect. Body is the physical layer + sense organs that can perceive the world and interact with it. Emotional thoughts arise in the mind and the intellect makes rational decisions. Integrity and inner strength is created when one of these faculties takes control and the other two follow its orders without fighting against each other. If the body is in control, one would only eat and sleep. If the mind is in control, one would only do the things one likes. If the intellect is in control, one can make smart, rational decisions and live an efficient and fulfilling life. We concluded that the intellect has the capacity to listen to the needs of the body and mind before it makes a decision but importantly, once that decision has been made make sure that the body and mind go along with it without being distracted by its likes and dislikes.
Sadhana: Before going to bed make one decision about what you will achieve the next day, when and how and write it down. On the next day act upon this decision exactly as you planned and write down your observations next to the decision. Repeat daily.
This week we studied Verses 22 and 23 of Chapter 10 where the Lord continues explaining His glories. He explains to Arjuna that among the Vedas He is the Sama Veda (the only musical Veda), among Gods He is Indra (the ruler of the heavenly denizens), among the senses He is the mind (the controller of the senses) and among living beings He is the very intelligence that guides them. He goes on to declare that among the deities of destruction He is Shiva (the Blessed Deity of Creative Destruction), among the Yakshas and Rakshasas He is Kubera (the Lord of Wealth), among the Vasus He is Agni and among the mountains He is Meru (atop which live the Divine).
Sadhana: To contemplate on the true nature of the Self / Himself that the Lord is trying to convey through these various examples of His glories.