Hari Om Families!
Class Theme: Bal Bhagwatam- 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu
Discussion: We started the class by saying Hari OM! to each other at attendance. At this time our friend Neel asked "What does Hari Om mean?" So we entered into a discussion about the word OM or AUM
The word OM is actually the sounds "AA UU MM ___ (silence)" (4 stages)
It is the sound which contains all that is there in the universe, the start, the end and all the sounds. It is a condensed form of prayer.
At this time our friend Raaghav asked, "Why do we need condensed forms of prayer?"
It was explained that in olden times, people were purer and honest and spent a lot of time in prayer and proper chanting of slokas and offering to the Gods. Now it is Kaliyuga (the age of Kali) where bad thoughts and deeds prevail. Where it is acceptable to ignore, to loot to plunder, to gamble etc. In this age people seem to have no space or time for God or prayers. Many homes have temple rooms but many have only an idol and many homes have no temple/altar in the home. Condensed forms of prayer become necessary so that those whose minds are still tied to God, may have the opportunity to worship and purify themselves.
A quiz about the story of King Parikshit, Kali and the Bull was also part of this discussion and all children answered questions correctly.
Children were taught how to chant AUM and they chanted with eyes closed 4 times
The first time some were fidgeting. The next 3 times their bodies progressively got calmer and less movement was experienced. The room also became quieter.
When eyes were opened (after rubbing palms and placing over eyes), the children compared experiences of how they felt when they chanted. They all said that they felt very relaxed and even sleepy.
HW/Test- To say AUM__ 3 times before they sleep at night in bed. To see if they have more than usual relaxed sleep.
Story & Discussion: Kali and Parikshit and Snake- Why the intention behind the action matters? It is not the action that makes it good or bad. The intention with which the action is done makes it good or bad.
Sloka: 1st Stanza of Guru Stotram: The children practiced saying these as a melodious group. Please get My Prayers book and read meaning to the children.
Play Practice: The children practiced as a team the performance for Annual Day Jan 25th 2015.
Note- One day in the holidays the children are invited to come to Manhattan for practice. There will be play rehearsal as well as song and other rehearsals. They will be given healthy vegetarian lunch and then taken for a small field trip. Permission slips are required from all parents. Proposed Drop off time 11:00 am. Proposed Pick up time 5:00pm.