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.

The journey of Grade 6.....Sept 23, 2012....boarding Shantanu and Ganga

We opened up our class with the breathing exercise, Chanting OM 3 times followed by
Sahaanavavatu,daily prayers ...Karaagre Vasate Lakshmi, Saraswati namastubhyam, Bramaarpanam, Shubham karoti, Kara-charana, Ganesh bhajan, Gurustotram, and 2 verses of Dashavatara-Stotram.

We then displayed our new and colorful name tags on our desks. 

As we just celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi we had an interesting discussion about Ganesha.   The teachers talked about how we drop the Ganesha idol in water to symbolize that we are sending away the idol… and form...., but keeping the ideals  we learned.  Our teachers also briefly reviewed the symbolism of Ganesha.  For example, the trunk stands for our intellect which must be discriminative enough to pick the right knowledge from all that we understand.  The trunk comes down between two tusks which represent the opposites of life-heat and cold, joy and sorrow, victory and defeat.  With our discriminative capacity we can overcome our likes and dislikes-opposites in life, and the pot-belly symbolizes digesting all the experiences of  life happily.  

We moved on to explore the topic of the day. 'Why we study Epics?', before we dived into the first lesson of Mahabharata.

We talked about the characters from Ramayana and Mahabharata, and the values we can learn from them.  For example, we can learn to be a good son from Rama, to be an ideal brother from Bharata, and from Dharmaraja we can learn how to follow Dharma, even when it is very difficult. Epics also bind all Indians together. Reading epics is as interesting as reading modern fiction, like Harry Potter or Hunger Games. 'We learn how to live and conduct ourselves in various situations. We follow our intellect by drawing a clear distinction between good and evil.' 

Our next topic was about Mahabharata. The Mahabharata is like one big mirror that reflects the community and country during ancient Indian times. We reflect the qualities of all the characters even today in modern times. For example, when we concentrate on scoring a soccer goal, we are reflecting the Arjuna in us. When we fight  about petty things with our siblings, we are showing the Duryodhana in us. In this way, we can relate everything back to Mahabharata.

 If a Company had Duryodhana as its CEO, Sakuni as its Advisor, and Dhritarashtra as its President, we can easily imagine the fall of that Company. 

We learned that Parashara and Satyavati's son, Sage Veda Vyasa was the writer of the Mahabharata and Lord Ganesha was his scribe. Then we started listening to the very beginning of the story of Mahabharata.  We discussed the story of Shantanu, the king of Hastinapur, and his intense love for Goddess Ganga, and how he betrayed his promise after losing seven babies. Thus the eighth baby, Gangadatta also known as Bheeshma, was saved. 

After the story ended, we spent the last few minutes drawing a Ganesh Rangoli in honor of Ganesha, who was the scribe of Vedavyasa, to write Mahabharata.

We had a great, interesting class and we all can't wait for our next class! 

Brinda Suresh

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