Happy summer break to all!! See you in September at the ashram premises, for a new balavihar year!

Check the thumbnail on the left for the video and stills from the play.

Grade 6 teachers.

Jun 8th Class

Beginning prayers
Gitaa chanting
  • bhagavadgItaa 14th adhyaaya 1 - 27 shlokas
Brain Storming
  • What do we take away from mahaabhaarata to our current day life?
Story time
  • last days of the war
  • yudhishtira becomes king
  • journey to heaven
Ending prayers and pledge
  • sarve bhavantu sukhinaH, pUrNamadaH pUrNamidam
  • aarati and pledge - in the auditorium
Rashmi aunty and Sitaram uncle's class:

Today, we started the class by saying our prayers. Then, we chanted all 27 slokas of bhagavadgIta chapter 14.
After that, we talked about how everyone knows dharma and everyone can tell right from wrong. It is just a matter of doing it or not! We also talked about how there has to be some correlation between our thought, speech, and actions.
Continuing the story, we went back to the war scene. On the 10th day, Karna finally gets to fight after the fall of bhIshma.  He is very happy about it. On the 16th day, he is the commander in chief, after Drona died (15th day).
A fierce battle ensues between Karna and Arjuna on the 16th day.  Karna aims the Sarpa weapon at Arjuna. At that moment, Krishna presses Arjuna's chariot down 4 inches so instead of hitting Arjuna's forehead, it knocks off his crown. Then, Karna's wheel gets stuck in the mud and because of Parashurama's curse, he can't remember anything he learned. Karna begs to stop and to be fair and let him pull the chariot out first. But, Krishna tells arjuna how unfair Karna, Duryodhana and the rest of the Kauravas were, to Draupadi and Abhimanyu. Even as Karna tries to remember his mantras, Arjuna shoots an arrow at him and Karna dies.
The same day, bhIma kills dushshaasana and washes draupadi's hair with his blood to fulfill his oath.  Sahadeva kills uncle Shakuni as per his promise.  So, at the end of the 16th day, Karna, Dushashana, and Shakuni are dead. By the 17th day, out of Dhritarashtra's 100 sons, only Duryodhana was remaining. Out of grief and fear, Duryodhana goes and hides in the water. Bhima enrages him, asking if he is afraid.  Duryodhana comes out and they both have a mace dual. Before the war, Gandhari (Duryodhana's mother) had asked duryodhana to come before her the way he was born.  She would  remove her blindfold and make his body strong like a diamond, due to the powers of her penance.  Duryodhana was going to Gandhari, naked and Krishna came. He says a king should at least cover himself to some extent to save his shame. So, duryodhana takes a banana leaf and covers himself below the waist and goes to his mother. Because of this, his thighs remained weak. Only Krishna knows this. Gandhari isn't worried because in the war, one can only hit above the hip. Krishna tells Bhima to hit Duryodhana on the thighs. Duryodhana falls to the ground.  He is begging for death due to pain, but he doesn't die.
Back on the battlefield, Aswathama is devastated. After sunset, he kills all of Draupadi's sons and driShTadyumna, thinking they are the Pandavas,  He informs Duryodhana of this. Duryodhana dies happily! In the morning, Aswathama finds out that the Pandavas are still alive and is furious. Uttare, abhimanyu's wife, is pregnant at that time.  Aswathama makes a blade of grass into a brahmaastra and shoots the unborn child. Aswathama wants to kill the heir of the Pandavas. Krishna's power protects baby Parikshitha. Aswathama is cursed to live for 3000 years in sorrow and humiliation for almost killing an unborn baby. Also, Aswathama had a jewel on his head for being so learned. Vedavyaasa de-jewels him and asks him to give it to yudhiShTira. His head never heals.
The Pandavas have won. Dhritarashtra wanted to hug Bhima. Krishna pushes a metal statue of Bhima in front of him instead. The statue turns to a powder. Gandhari curses Krishna for not avoiding the war and letting her sons die. Kunti tells the Pandavas that Karna was their brother. They are so sad and angry, especially Yudhistira. He curses that women will never be able to keep a secret!  YudhiShTira becomes king.
On the bed of arrows, Bhishma tells Yudhistira how to be a good king and he chants the 1000 names of Vishnu (Vishnu Sahasranamam) looking at Krishna. He leaves his body after almost a month from the war.
Many years later, Krishna dies at 116. A hunter sees Krishna lying down on a tree and thinks it is an animal. He shoots an arrow. Krishna dies. The hunter was Vali in his previous life and as Rama killed Vali, the hunter killed Krishna.  Consequences, consequences!
Arjuna goes to greet Krishna and finds out that he is dead. Dwarika sinks under the ocean and all its residents get moksha. The Pandavas and Draupadi go to Himalayas. They all slowly die. Yudhistira is the only one who reaches the top. Along the way, a dog befriends them and joins them. Indra comes to take him to heaven. But, not the dog. Yudhistira says it's either nobody or them both. Indra allows the dog to enter. Yudhistira sees Duryodhana. He is surprised. Duryodhana went to heaven because he died in the battlefield and he is there for a short time and in hell for a long time. The other Pandavas are in hell for a short time for the small sins they had comitted. Yudhistira visits them one time. So, his time in hell is served as well. Then they all enjoyed heaven for a long time to come!
There ends the Mahabharata.
Reminiscing the values in mahaabhaarata, we finished the class with ending prayers.  We bade good bye to our friends until next year.

Written by Kripa Srinivasan.

Jun 1st class

Beginning prayers
Gitaa chanting
  • bhagavadgItaa 14th adhyaaya 1 - 27 shlokas
Story time
  • bhishma the great
  • abhimanyu’s valor
  • arjuna and ghatotkacha
  • Pizza party! :)
Ending prayers and pledge
  • sarve bhavantu sukhinaH, pUrNamadaH pUrNamidam
  • aarati and pledge 
Rashmi aunty and Sitaram uncle's class:

Today in balahvihar we did our beginning prayers and the geeta
chanting. After this we continued with our story. Today in our story
we learned about the war between the pandavas and kauravas. The first
day, of the war began and Bhishma was shooting arrows at pandavas and killing a lot of their army. Bhishma didn't want to be in the war and even if he was,
he wanted to be with the pandavas.  But he was forced to be with the
kauravas due to his vow. The first day of the war ended and the pandavas were very
scared to go to war the second day cause of Bhishma. In spite of fighting, duryodhana accused Bhishma that he was being easy on the pandavas.  Bhishma got mad and
started fighting even more ferouciously the next day. Bhishma was a very big
devotee of Krishna.  He had challenged Krishna that he will make Him pick up a weapon
during the war! Krishna had promised to not pick a weapon, but he would break his word
to uphold that of his devotees. Krishna picked up his sudarshanachakram and
was running to kill Bhishma but Arjuna stopped him. On the 8th night of
the war the pandava's went to Bhishma and asked him what would make him
stop fighting. Bhishma said if you put a lady in front of me I will
stop fighting. The next day the pandavas put a shikhandi in front of
Bhishma and when Bhishma put his weapons down the pandavas immedietly
shot arrows at him. Bhishma was laid in a bed of arrows.  After a while Trigartha king
challenged Arjuna to a duel so Arjuna went with him. The chief of kaurava army Drona arranged their army in a Chakra Vyuha.  Only arjuna knew how to break it and he was away.  But then, Abhimanyu had learnt to enter a chakra vyuha while in his mother' womb.  But he did not know how to come out of it.  He had asked the rest of the army to follow him, so that they could scatter the formation.  Abhimanyu broke it and went in. At that time Jayadratha closed the Chakra Vyuha and Abhimanyu was killed, helplessly by many warriors, together.  That was the biggest adharma they had ever done.   Arjuna came back and heard that his 16 year old son, Abhimanyu was dead. Arjuna said he would kill Jayadratha and if he didnt he would kill himself. Jayadratha hid through out the day.  Krishna held his sudarshana chakra to the sun and made everyone feel it was sun set.  Jayadratha came out then.  At that time, krishna took his chakra away and jayadratha was exposed to arjuna.  Also, Jayadratha had a boon that who ever was the reason for his head to touch the ground, that persons head would break into 1000 pieces. Krishna told Arjuna about this boon and he said to shoot him that his head would land on his own father's lap. Arjuna did this and  his father dropped Jayadratha's head.  So his father's head broke to pieces.
Bhima's son ghatotkacha was ferocious.  Nobody could stop him.  duryodhana pleaded karna to get rid of him.  karna had no choice and he had to use the weapon shakti, that was given to him by indra.  It would not miss the target.  But then, that was given to him to use only once.  He was saving it for arjuna.  Now he had lost that power.  Krishna was happy that ghatotkacha had saved arjuna's life, by sacrificing his own!
On the 15th day, drona was unstoppable.  Hence krishna asked the pandavas to make him believe that his son ashwatthaama was dead.  To do that, bhima killed an elephant called ashwatthaama and rejoiced loudly.  On hearing that, drona asked yudhishthira to confirm, as he would never lie.  Krishna asked yudhishtira to agree.  At that time, yudhishthira said 'Dead is ashwatthaama....the elephant'.  He whispered the last two words, so that drona would not hear it.  On this drona threw his weapons and sat down.  Drishtadyumna, drupada's son, went and slayed his head at that time.

We stopped the story at this and went outside to have pizza party.  We are almost at the end of the year and we had a fun celebration outside!

Written by Aditi Suresh