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.

Pandavas Escape

Section:1         Hari Om!

Beginning prayers
  • Breathing exercise, 3 times ॐ (OM) chanting,  Sahanaavavatu,  Meditation
  • Daily Prayers - Karagre Vasathe,  Saraswathi Namastubhyam,  Brahmarpanam,  Shubham Karoti,  Karacharana Kritam
  • Guru Stotram (Page 9 of My Prayers Book)  

  • Gauri Nandana Gajaanana
  • Dashavatara Stotram(Page 117 of My Prayers Book - Shlokas 1-6)   

Gitaa chanting
  • Bhagavad Gita 14th Chapter 1 - 6 shlokas

  • Vijaydashami special
  • Dart Board
Ending prayers and pledge
  • Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Purnamadah Purnamidam
  •  Aarati and pledge 


Vijayadashami Special:  Saraswati Vandanam

We were handed out the sheets of Geeta verses of chapter 14, and sheet protectors after we chanted Saraswati Namasthubyam. We offered our pranaams to goddess Saraswati on the occasion of today’s festival Vijayadashami by doing a little ceremony.  We put a wet kumkum mark on the sheet as a mark of respect.  We then slid them into the sheet protectors and learned to chant.

We started the class of with daily prayers, Ganesha bhajan, Guru stotram, and Dasavatara stotram. Next we did geeta chanting verses 1-6.

Mahabharata: Karna

After reviewing the stories from the previous classes, we did a reenactment of the test Drona gave to Pandavas and Kauravas. A detailed description is posted at the very end of this blog.

Synopsis of Chapter 5:

The Pandavas and Kauravas had all finished their’ training under Dronacharaya. On a special day, all the princes gave a demo of their’ skills to the royals and the citizens of Hastinapura. Arjuna, of course, preformed several tricks and skills of archery that convinced everyone that he was the best of the best. Like always, Duryodhana was full of jealousy and ego.

Just before the demonstration was over, a well-built young man entered the arena and challenged Arjuna.  It was Karna, Kunti’s first son. In his handsomely deep voice he proclaimed “I will do all of what you did and much more!”  Karna did all the tricks Arjuna did and more. Duryodhana was extremely pleased. He said, “Welcome, whoever you are! You have me and the entire kingdom of Kauravas at your disposal!” Karna requested only two things in return: One, his love. And two, a single fight with Arjuna. Just as they were about to begin, Kripacharya came on the stage and said, “Arjuna, a prince of the royal family, cannot fight with an unknown warrior.” Upon hearing these words, Karna remained silent. Duryodhana immediately stood up and proclaimed, “If Arjuna will only fight with an equal, I here by make Karna King of Anga!” He then preformed the needed rites and made him King of Anga.

Karna had earlier approached Drona but Drona refused to accept Karna as a disciple. So Karna pretended to be a brahmin and went and learned from Sage Parasurama. One day when the sage was sleeping with his head on Karna, a bee stung Karna and he started bleeding but he bore it bravely because his Guru was sleeping. But when Parasurama found out that Karna had lied to him, he cursed him that his memory would fail when his end neared.

After a very long time, people of Hastinapura thought that Yudhisthira should be made king. Although Dhritarashtra and Bhishma were willing to make Yudhisthira the king, Duryodhana was too jealous to let that happen. Duryodhana thought that if Yudhisthira is crowned, Kauravas would be like beggars. Duryodhana had a plan to send the Pandavas to a neighboring village for some time.

Dhritarashtra summoned the Pandavas and said, “A great festival in honor of Lord Shiva is being held at Varanavata. Duryodhana had built a palace of highly flammable material for the Pandavas to live in. The plan was to burn the palace in turn burning the Pandavas alive. However, when Yudhisthira was ready to leave, Vidura, the chief advisor, warned him indirectly by saying, “Only the one who guesses the plot of clever enemy can escape danger. The fire that destroys a forest cannot touch a rat that digs under the earth.

The Pandavas were secretly informed of Duryodhana plot. One night, Bhīma set fire to the palace and the Pandavas along with Kunti escaped through a tunnel that was already pre-made. The palace was destroyed. People were shocked and all believed that the Pandavas had died. Duryodhana also pretended that he was the saddest of them all, but deep down, he was the happiest man on the earth because the Pandavas were supposedly dead.

The Pandavas travelled for several days stopping in towns only for food or water. They reached the city of Ekachakra and stayed in a Brahman’s house disguised as Brahmins so that no one would recognize them. Every day they went out and begged for food. The food was divided into two equal parts: one for Bhīma and Kunti with the rest of the Pandavas would have equally divided the remaining half among themselves.

One day, when the brothers went out to beg for food, Bhīma stayed back with his mother. Suddenly, they heard a cry from the house of the landlord. Kunti went inside and saw that the Brahman, his wife, and two small children were all clinging together, crying. They told her that a demon named Bakasura, who lived in the forest, had once attacked the city, robbing and killing people. To stop him from doing this again, people made an agreement with the demon: Every day, a villager would drive a cart of food to his cave. The demon would eat the driver and the food. “Today is our turn to take the cart,” cried the Brahman. Kunti told them that one of her sons {it was Bhīma but she didn’t say his name for fear that their identity would be revealed} would take the cart instead and kill the demon.

On reaching the cave where the demon lived, Bhīma stopped the cart and started eating the food. Bakasura was raging that a human was eating his food. Roaring with anger, Bakasura started punching Bhīma. When he finished his food, Bhīma started fighting with the demon. Bakasura was no match for Bhīma who killed him in only a few punches.

Bhīma dragged the dead demon body to the gates of the city. The next day, the citizens of Ekachakra were surprised to see the demon dead. They had a large celebration.

My Thoughts:
I can’t believe that Karna would side with the Kauravas when his half-brothers were the Pandavas. Well, half siblings don’t always get along. Not that I have one; you’ll know what I mean if you read the Percy Jackson Series.

Back to Mahabharata. I think that Drona should’ve remembered Karna when he came to the demonstration. I also think Karna sided with Kauravas to get revenge on  Drona.


As a part of our last week's lesson, we did a reenactment of the test Drona gave to Pandavas and Kauravas. Instead of bow and arrow and a clay bird, we used a dartboard and darts.  Each student was a “Kaurava” and would become “Arjuna” if they shot the dart into the center of the board.  You only had three chances, though. And truth to be told, though few got very close, no one got the center dot exactly! We had so much fun enacting this.

Hari Om,
Pranav. A

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