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....Oct 7, 2012.....boarding Satyavati and Bheeshma

Hari Om! 

I hope everybody enjoyed the break.  Our class got to work immediately. We started with three OM's and morning prayers. Here's a fun fact!  You know how balavihar teachers are always requesting us to pray loudly?  Well there is an explanation, or a truth behind their words. Let's say you're a devotee of lord Vishnu. You pray to him loudly every day for hours.  Then one day you some how get into trouble.  Then you would call lord Vishnu for help, right?  Then he would hear your plead for help, and recognizing your resonant voice, he would come to help you.  But lets say you never sang loudly when you prayed.  When you cried out,  he will think, Who is this new person calling for help?  I do not recognize him.  It must be an asura(demon...fake voice) imitating one of my devotees.  Therefore, we should always pray loudly so God will always answer our calls.  Moving on, we sang our usual prayers and morning bhajans. We sang Ganesha Sharanam,  the Daily Prayers,  Gurusthotram and 4 verses of Dashavatarasthotram,  

We did a small worksheet with the Word of the Day.  The sheet quizzed us on what we learned last class and we had to fill in the blanks with the answers.  Certain dashes were circled.  After we filled all of the answers, we had to take all of the letters from the circled dashes and unscramble them to get the secret word.  The secret word was "Bheeshma". 

We continued with the Mahabharata story.  We were told the story of how Gangadatta was returned to Shantanu by Ganga, the story of how Shantanu fell for Satyavati, the story of the fisherman and his outrageous conditions,  the story of how Gangadatta negotiated with the fisherman, and the story of how Gangadatta became 
Bheeshma one who makes terrible vows.  We ended the stories with Bheeshma's boon. 

Things that provoked our thinking:  We discussed that Gangadatta or Bheeshma was 20 years old when he went, and asked for Satyavati for his father Shantanu.  Shantanu,  instead of getting his son married and  not controlling his own desire to marry a young girl,  fell in prey for it.  He should have stepped back after listening to the fisherman's selfish demands. On the other hand, Bheeshma sacrificed his life. There's clearly a huge contrast between these characters.

On the contrary, if Bheeshma got married, how would the Mahabharata have turned out to be?  Perhaps everything has a reason behind it and things are destined to be certain way. 

Towards the end of class, we began to discuss CORD and the CORD Walkathon. We talked about how our lives were posh and luxurious, and how the lives of rural children associated with CORD are poor and needy. We compared our lives to theirs and we also did a fun activity.  Our teachers randomly chose a student, and she was asked to serve life saver mints and Oreos to some kids and nothing to the other kids. When we opened our eyes, and looked to the next person, they either had both treats or none of them.  The kids with none were the CORD kids, and the kids with two treats cookies and candies were us.  We discussed how we felt about it and what can be done to make it fair ?  So we figured out that if we wanted to be equal, we had to share all of the treats equally. 

We ended our class with closing prayers

We all had a great class and we are looking forward to next Sunday! 

Hari Om,

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