Saturday, March 14, 2015

And we hit the daylight saving mark...

The previous session was the day our clocks sprung forward :)

Any hint of spring is a welcome one...

As far as the class was concerned, we practiced reciting the daily prayers - Dhyaana Shloka - Om Sahanavavatu (pg 9), the daily prayers (Karaagre Vasate, Vakratunda, Saraswati Namastubhyam, Bramhaarpanam, Shubham Karoti, Kara Charana - pages 14-17 of the My Prayer Book) and the Guru Sthothram. We also practiced the bhajan - Bala Gopala (My Prayers Book - pg 167).

 In Ramayana, after briefly revising the previous classes' session for the benefit of the absentees, we traced the footsteps of Rama and Lakshmana to the banks of the river Pampa where they met Shabari, who was holding on to life for a glimpse of Lord Rama. She had such devotion towards him that she collected the ber fruit to offer him, but bit and tasted each fruit before offering it, to ensure that he got only the sweetest and the best of fruits. This upset Lakshmana, but Rama only saw her good intentions and explained to Lakshmana that so great was her love for him that she wanted only the best for him.

The moral we learnt hear was that God accepts whatever we offer him with the best of intentions. This led to a general discussion of how God does not expect money, sacrifices or any grand gestures and will accept anything that we are able to offer with a true heart.

Then we read about how Rama & Lakshmana met Hanuman, the minister of Sugreeva, the Vanara king in exile. We read the story of Bali and Sugreeva and the misunderstanding that crept between the brothers leading to Bali ousting Sugreeva from the kingdom of Kishkinda, sending Sugreeva into hiding. He took refuge in the mountains as Bali was cursed by a saint and hence could not enter the mountains. Rama promised to help Sugreeva get back his kingdom and in return, Sugreeva assured that he would extend help in their search for Sita, whom the Vanaras had seen being kidnapped by Ravana, and had found a pile of jewellery that she threw to leave a trail.

Here, we contrasted the way the two sets of brothers - Rama & Bharata on the one hand and Bali and Sugreeva on the other - reacted to certain situations, one of trust and love and the other of mistrust and misunderstandings.

The kids who weren't present during the previous class got a chance to practice writing their names in Sanskrit. The kids also practiced writing the first few lines of Sanskrit consonant writing. Whatever lines were remaining, the kids were asked to finish writing at home.

See you at the next class.