1) Attached to the email is a pdf document of the slokas of Chapter 15 of the Geeta. Please learn verses 1 to 7 for class next Sunday.
2) The ‘My Prayers’ book is now in stock and all Balavihar children are encouraged to have a copy. This book comes with a CD of bhajans that we learn in class. Please contact Suresh on 0434 309 817 if you would like to procure a copy.
Kindy and Junior Balavihar:
We started the class by pausing to reflect on and celebrate the BV children’s outstanding stage performance at the TAQ Deepavali function last Saturday. We watched the video of the performance and reflected on how some of the kids had gone from a sad ‘I don’t want to do this’ to ‘I really enjoyed this and would do it again’! We attributed this to lots of prep practice, hard work and dedication to our Guru. Children also recapped and reflected on the Ramayana story from the beginning using a hand puppet and made-up voices – the ups and downs in Rama’s life, the various good and bad characters in the story and our favourite parts of the story. We came to realise that even Lord Rama’s life was not a piece of cake, but each time something untoward happened, having a good attitude and taking action or doing “karma” transformed the situation to a better one. The hand puppet that we used to narrate the various story parts proved to be an instant hit with the kids. The children also learnt a bhajan that they will continue on next week.
Their homework is: To share with family and friends, their favourite parts of the Ramayana story, and to practise the chorus lines of the Bhajan learnt.
Senior Balavihar and Junior CHYKs:
This week, the JCs and the Senior BV students had a combined class. They shared what they were learning in their respective classes. The JCs have been discussing whether the mind is external or internal. They came up with a definition that ‘external’ is something that is controlled by everybody, everything that is not always under our control, while ‘internal’ is controlled by us. So why is it necessary to know if the mind is external or internal – anything external is only temporary, so if the mind and the emotions we feel such as fear, anger, frustration, sadness, joy, etc. are also temporary, then ‘this too shall pass’. Knowing this enables us to keep a positive attitude and have the faith that whatever happens is for our good and / or growth. The 9th teacher in ‘My 24 Teachers’ was Python who teaches us not to be fussy and to be content. It is satisfied and content with what it gets and only takes what it needs. They heard a short story which explains ‘who is wealthy’: A very rich father took his son to the farms in a village one day as he wanted to show him how poor people live. When the son returned after spending 3 days with the villagers, the father asked him if he had learnt how poor people live, to which the son replied, “Yes Dad – we have 1 dog, they have 4; we have a pool that has a fence, they have a creek which has no end; we have lanterns in our garden, they have stars; we have a wall around our house to guard us, they have friends; we have servants who do our work, they serve others. Dad, now I know how poor we are!!” Moral of the story: One who is content is the wealthiest. Then the children played a board game of ‘Snakes and Rockets’ which is a BV version of the well-known ‘Snakes and Ladders’, which taught them how to accept things and be happy and content with what they get.
Their homework / Sadhana is: Practise for at least 1 week to be content and say ‘I have enough’; also do not be fussy about food, eat whatever is given thankfully and learn to compliment the person who made food for you. You can also play a game of “Snakes and Rockets’ (see attached) with your family.
This week we listened to and discussed Verses 4 and 5 of Chapter 10. In these 2 verses, various expressions (such as happiness, wisdom, forgiveness, birth, fear, penance, fame etc.) of the mind and intellect of man are listed. The opposite of these expressions (such as fearlessness, death, infamy etc.) are also either described or implied in the verses. The Lord says that all qualities (the different types of emotions and thoughts, positive and negative) arise from Him alone. If there is no Self or Awareness in an individual (e.g a dead person), these qualities no longer exist for that individual. The verses indicate that, apart from the world of physical forms (animate and inanimate) that all of us understand creation to be, the mental and intellectual aspects of our lives are also part of the creation. The Lord is the material cause as well as the efficient cause for the world of plurality within and without an individual. He is the Lord of the Worlds – Sarvaloka Maheswara.
Sadhana for the week: To contemplate on the meaning of these 2 verses.