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.

Drona Enters - Oct 6th Class

Section:1         Hari Om!

Beginning prayers
  • Breathing exercise, 3 times ॐ chanting,  Sahanaavavatu,  Meditation
  • Daily Prayers - Karagre Vasathe,  Saraswathi Namastubhyam,  Brahmarpanam,  Shubham Karoti,  Karacharana Kritam
  • Guru Stotram (Page 9 of My Prayers Book)  
  • Ganesha Sharanam and Devi bhajans
  • Dashavatara Stotram(Page 117 of My Prayers Book - Shlokas 1-6)   
Gitaa chanting
  • bhagavadgItaa 14th adhyaaya 1 - 4 shlokas
  • Significance of Navaratri
Ending prayers and pledge
  • sarve bhavantu sukhinaH, pUrNamadaH pUrNamidam
  • aarati and pledge 

In class, we learned about a lot of fun topics. One thing we talked about was the festival we are celebrating now, Navratri. Navratri means 9 nights and it is the festival in honor of goddess Durga. The significance of navratri is defeating good over evil. We looked at a picture of Durga, and the symbolism of her is the following:

  • Tiger: Ego
  • Killing of Mahishasura: Destruction of laziness
  • Garland of Skeletons: Destruction of bad qualities
  • Weapons: Destruction of negative tendencies
We started the class of with daily prayers, ganesha sharanam, guru stotram, and dasavatara stotram. We also did a devi bhajan to celebrate navratri. Next we did geeta chanting verses 1-4. We learnt how to read the English version of the Bhagavat Gita shlokas with the special marks on top/bottom of the letters.

Mahabharata Chapter 4: Drona Enters

In this chapter of the Mahabharata, we are meeting new characters! One new character we have is Kripacharya, who is the first teacher of the Kauravas and Pandavas. Kripacharya taught them archery and martial arts. Then, Bhishma starts looking for a new teacher to teach advanced lessons.

Then, we moved on learning new characters, Drona, son of Sage Bharadwaja and Drupada, son of King of Panchala. Both Drona and drupada were very good friends, as they studied and played together. Later, Drupada became a king meanwhile, Drona married Kripacharya’s sister and soon, a son was born, Ashwatthama. Since Drona was very poor and could not take care of Ashwatthama, he went to his old friend, Drupada for help. But, Drupada wasn’t the same person he was when he was a child. When Drona entered and requested him to help, he said, “ Great kings can never be friends with the poor and ignorant.” That made Drona furious and he left the palace and moved in with his brother-in-law, Kripacharya, in Hastinapura.

One day, the Kauravas and Pandavas were playing with a ball. When they were playing, the ball fell into the well. They tried to get it out but they couldn’t. Drona saw this and went up to them. He told them that if they gave him dinner, he shall bring the ball up with blades of grass. Drona also dropped his ring in there and said he could take that out, too. He got the ball out and he got the ring out with an arrow.

The Kauravas and Pandavas told Bhishma of what Drona did and they requested Drona to be their guru. Drona agreed but said, “ I shall be your Guru if you promise me in advance that you will accomplish it.” The only person that agreed was Arjuna so, Drona promised to teach him all the superior skills. Drona told Arjuna, “ I give you my word that there shall be no one in the world that shall be equal to you in archery.”
One day, the prince of the Nishadas ( forest dwellers), Ekalavya was practicing archery in the forest and saw a stray dog. He quickly shot 7 arrows into the dog’s mouth. The Kauravas and Pandavas were amazed to see the dog and wondered who this mighty archer was.

They found him and Ekalavya said, “ I am Ekalavya, a student of Dronacharya. “ Arjuna was curious, he thought he was the best archer of the world, then why was Drona teaching this Ekalavya?  He went to Drona and complained immediately, but Drona didn’t understand who Ekalavya was. So Drona himself went there and talked to Ekalavya. Ekalavya told Drona that he went to Drona’s place to ask if he could teach Ekalavya. But Drona said no, since he only taught Kshatriyas. So Ekalavya made an image of Drona and got all his talent from there. So, Drona told Ekalavya, “ Since you are my student, you give me gurudakshina, give me your right thumb.” With no hesitation Ekalavya did. Now Arjuna would be the best archer of the world.

At the end of the course, Drona gave the boys a test. Whoever could shoot the head of a fake bird when Drona ordered finished well. One by one, Drona asked the boys to tell him what they saw. Most said I see they sky, clouds, trees, etc. Then they tried to shoot the bird. Once it was Arjuna’s turn, he said he saw the bird’s head and shot it right on the spot. Drona was delighted.

One day Drona was bathing in the Ganges. A fierce crocodile seized him. He could have freed himself , but he made a test. He cried, Help, Help! Only Arjuna came to save him and Drona was so pleased he gave Arjuna “Brahmastra”, a weapon that is the most powerful, but cannot be used on other humans.

Drona wanted to take revenge on Drupada so he ordered Arjuna to keep him as a prisoner. Drona told Drupada “ O Drupada, you told me that a king alone could be a friend to a king. Now, I have conquered your kingdom and have become king. to make you my equal, I am giving you half my kingdom.” Drupada went away as a sad and angry man.

My Thoughts:

The way Drupada treated Drona was something I hadn’t expected because both were good friends and I thought Drupada would be generous enough to give as little as some food to Drona.

After the incident at the well, I knew Drona would teach the Kauravas and Pandavas well.  The deal that Drona made with Arjuna was a huge risk, because, what if Drona thought someone else was better than Arjuna? I would have said that I will teach you with the best of my efforts.

Just as the Kauravas and Pandavas did, I was amazed to see the skill in Ekalavya, at the same time surprised he was the student of Dronacharya. The guru dakshina that  Ekalavya gave was immense, and I didn’t think he would give in to it because hunting was his life.  But he did!

It was a good idea of Drona to give a test. If I was in Arjuna’s place, I would have never thought to say, “ I see only the head of the bird.” This goes to show that you should focus on your goals. Arjuna was so brave to save Drona from the crocodile.

 I also felt revenge that Drona gave for Drupada’s insult was a very clever scheme.

At the end of class, we did a Ganesha rangoli design that Jayashree aunty taught us and ended with Aarti and Pledge.

Hari Om,
Inika V.

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