St.Andrew’s C of E School
Perpetually people are concerned about wealth, family and children, and hardly think of God. There are fleeting moments of devotion, but these are more demonstrative than genuine expressions. Unless faith in God expresses itself in a godly life, it is
sheer hypocrisy. I don’t want to know that you have listened to many discourses. I want to know that you have thoroughly transformed yourselves. It is such transformation that is the mark of true devotion. ‘Sai Ram’ in words but dishonesty in thoughts -
From now, make a bonfire of your ignorance and egoism, and develop love in your hearts. Live up to Swami's teachings and redeem your lives.
Divine Discourse Oct 2, 1987
SSE Classes -
This week in Gita Class, we moved on to 18th Sloka of Bhakti Yoga, we have learned to chant below sloka with meaning.
Samah Shatrau Cha Mitre Cha Thathaa Maanaapa-
One need to same to foe and friend and also in honor and dishonor, who is the same in cold and heat, in pleasure and pain, and to be free from attachment
In our everyday lives of both children and adults one challenge everyone comes across is dishonour or in other words if we are subjected to disgrace or ridiculed how we respond -
If you are criticised by someone -
All of the class has practiced chanting of the sloka and by end of the class they are able to chant it with right pronunciation and in Anushtup chandaha.
Next class shall ask students the difference between Moha (Attachment) Vs Prema (Love) with examples.
Bhajan: Sai Hamara Ham Sai Key Aisa Prema Hamara
Sai Pitha Aur Mata Sai
Deena Dayala Daata Sai |Sai Pitha...|
Sai Guru Sai Sakha Sahodara
Sai Sathya Shiva Sai Sundara
Veda Upanishad Geeta Sai |Deena|
Chant the Holy name of Sai who is our father and mother and who is the protector of the weak and downtrodden. HE is the preceptor, friend and sibling. HE is verily the Truth, the Goodness and the Beautiful. HE is the embodiment of Vedas, the Upanishads and the Geeta.
The main objective of SSE Bhajans is to motivate the children so that they are able to sing and enjoy the words and melody of Bhajans. We believe that such encouragement will boost a child's interest in bhajans and make them learn more.
The Mahishasura mardini Sthothram, written by the great saint Adi Shankara, is an ancient chart that explains the victory of the Divine Mother over the demons in the battle of good versus evil. The demons are representations of negative tendencies in human beings. Please click here for Lyricls
Mrs. Geeta Ram comes from a family which has been associated with Swami for the last four generations. She is the daughter of Dr. Padmanabhan, an ardent devotee and a familiar figure in 'Brindavan', Swami's ashram in Bangalore. Her great grandfather, Mr. Seshagiri Rao, came to Swami in 1943 and was the temple priest of Prashanthi Nilayam for many years. Having come to Swami at a very tender age, Mrs. Geeta Ram's life is full of wonderful Sai experiences and amazing anecdotes which are both interesting and illuminating. Currently, she lives in Washington, DC.
This is the talk we aired on Radio Sai sometime back. Full of wonderful instances, we have divided this talk into two parts, Part I and Part II , for ease of reading.
Whenever I talk about my own experiences, the child growing up at His Feet or about my youth or adulthood, I always go back in time and enjoy that incident. I was fortunate enough to be born in a family, where my great grandfather came to Swami in 1943, so ever since then we have had the fortune to enjoy His physical presence since we were living in Bangalore.
The First Incident…
In my childhood it used to take almost 11 hours to go to Puttaparthi, by train, bus, bullock cart, walking and wading in the river. We had Swami with us from 6 in the morning until 10 in the night. In fact my great aunt used to tell Swami, “Please go now we have to do our household work. You are always with us and we can not wash our clothes.” It sounds like a dream.
Now He tells us, “My blessings are with you, you can go now.” In those days He would call us and say, “Stay one more day.” I will now share with you the first incident if not for which I would not be speaking before you today if
it were not for His Grace a month ago. On November 22nd last month at our Sai centre in South Bethesda, we had planned a very big 4day programme for Swami’s Birthday, for Thanksgiving weekend. Our programme would begin on the 23rd afternoon, so on 22nd evening I had been very busy. I had been the Education coordinator there, and since it was a big programme I had been very busy for 3 months getting the children ready.
So on 22nd evening around 5.30pm I decided I would buy some flowers and fruits for my morning worship; so I went to a store, which happened to be in a very big shopping area. There was a crowd buying things for Thanksgiving, and on the way I went to an ATM. I parked my car to draw some money and opened the door to get out, but as I did so a man ran over the grassy area from behind and opened the back door of my car and got in. He put his left arm around me and in his right hand he had a knife which he put to my throat and said, “Drive, drive, drive!”
Group 4 -
This week’s class writeup by Prithi.
We began our second Group 4 SSE lesson of the year with the lighting of Swami's lamp by Br Bhaskar and three Aums and a discussion about our past two weeks. We started speaking about how we implemented 'Truth' and what we found challenging about the implementation of truth based on our daily practice reflected from our previous LOTUSS session in our daily lives over the past 2 weeks .
This week's lesson was based around the second chapter of Summer Showers 1990:
'Sanctify The Body' and we began with a brief summary of the chapter put together by Br. Bhaskar. We also discussed common misconceptions about words which had similar sounds and also a full glossary of key terms and meanings were compiled by Br Tushar which were later use for our interactive activity. We then moved on to discuss what we thought the differences were e.g. between Brahma, Brahmin and Brahman. Initially in mini groups then after it was shared . This led onto the discussion of the caste system (as it was a question raised by one of the students). But importantly we discussed that it was created by man and not God.
We spoke about the four different castes which include Brahmin, Kshtriya, Vaishya and Shudra and the two types of Brahman: Nirguna and Sadguna.
We also watched a video clip which from the 'Matrix' which explained how we can accept fate or not accept it, but the illusion of thinking that we are in control of everything and that ultimately we determine our destiny, and that we are the doer was a good point of discussion.
We continually saw how every aspect reflected our daily lives
Our session concluded with a game of hangman in order for us to become more familiar with the Sanskrit words and their meanings found in Summer Showers 1990 Ch2.
We finished with Aum and three Shanthis.
MP3 Part 1
MP3 Part 2
Sathya Sai National Acquacare project
With the divine blessings of our beloved Bhagawan, we are delighted to bring to your attention a wonderful service opportunity in Africa. As part of our Sathya Sai National Aquacare Project, 2 bore wells are being dug in Nigeria and Tanzania which will provide safe drinking water to the local population.
This work is being carried out under the guidance and supervision of the Sathya Sai International Organisations in these countries
MillHill Navratri Celebration -
By SSE Student Shobini
By Swami Student Sis Sathya
By SSE Student Shankhavi -
Bhajan Medley by Girls
Children were excited after the power pack medley by SSE children for Navaratri and not to forget the delicious prasadam. We had a short lesson but continued with the same theme.In Hinduism, the three main goddesses are Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Parvathi also known as Durga. Each goddess is capable of granting different kinds of energies to reach Perfection.
Saraswathi is the Goddess of knowledge and wisdom. She is always dressed in white which represents pure knowledge. The veena represents satvic music.
The books are the Vedas which represent spiritual knowledge. She sits on a rock which means knowledge can become a rock, no one can take it away from us.
The japamala represents concentration. By praying to Goddess Saraswathi, we receive knowledge, wisdom, good speech, knowledge of the arts and music. It’s important for all students to pray to her.
Children were given a picture of Saraswathi to colour. They were unable to finish the colouring in the short time and they were asked to finish it at home.Ajay joined the class today with Parvathi, Ashmitha and Anamika. Children looked so happy
even after a very early start on the day.
Children did a presentation on the different symbols on Lord Ganesha as a recap of last Sunday’s lesson. We had visitors from foundation which was lovely. Auntie Jayanti and Anamika. They enjoyed being in group 1 for the lesson.
Our story was of friendship. We read the story and discussed it as a whole class. Children wrote the questions in their book which we answered together. Each child talked about their experience of good and bad friendships. It was very interesting
to know how they think and feel about their friends, sisters,brothers and other members of family.
We talked about sacrifice, putting our friends needs first and they were honest enough to say that they will not or think about it...which we had a laugh. We talked about how our spiritual path can help us be a better person in the big world, with
Swami's teachings and understanding and we will someday put others first. We would like to say a big thank you to Auntie Jayanthi for her experience and knowledge as a guru in sharing her knowledge regarding the story with us on Sunday.
Symbolism of Ganesha
After learning the story of why Ganesha has a broken tusk last week, this week we discussed the symbolism in the way Lord Ganesha is represented. To understand the concept of symbolism, the children were shown various everyday symbols like litter bins, the recycle logo, toilets, first aid, petrol station and were asked to identify them.They realized that symbols had a message that was universally understood and did not require any language to explain them. We explained that, similarly, Hindu idols also reveal the characteristics of divinity and the various symbols teach us what we should do to become closer to God and lead better lives.
In this week’s class we progressed with our study of The Ramayana. We recapped on last week’s story of Vali & Sugriva -
perfectly with Srini Uncle’s Bhagavad Geeta teachings of Chapter 18, Verse 18 this week and control and neutrality of our emotions.
We should realise that:
1. We should find out the truth of the situation before we act.
2. Anger clouds good judgement, and actions done under the influence of anger usually cause more hurt and pain. Remember what Uncle Srini taught us: stay silent in moments of anger and upset!
3. We should not judge another’s actions – the correct dharma is to try and
understand the others circumstances and perspectives
After our discussions, we continued with watching the Ramayana video.: the arrival of Hanumanji and his journey to Lanka to save Mother Sita.
We then finished off with working on our game. Lots of fun and laughter whilst working on the first stage. All did a great job putting their endless artistic talents to work. Lastly, well done to Shrey for earning a Sai Merit for being resilient and having the courage to have another go at the Thought for the Week. Whilst Shrey felt he didn’t do his best, it was a big improvement on last time, and that is something he should feel proud about. A message for all: If we take small jumps forward, we get to our goal. It’s not always possible to make one huge leap to get there!
Shrey, we’re very proud of you, and next time your performance will be even better!
Parents, please help your children to ensure they have the necessary stationery and
remember it for class each week.
Jai Sai Ram!
Group 3 began with Vithushika lighting the candle. This was followed by a beautiful light meditation by Abhaya.
The lesson began by reciting two verses from Bhaja Govindam. Our main focus for this lesson was the biography of Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. S
Sister Riju spoke on the significance of why we learn Bhaja Govindam and why it's so important for teenagers. We also heard some beautiful personal stories from Sister Riju proving the point that all you need is complete faith in Swami. We ended on the children suggesting some ideas on how to improve on the lessons and finished with Aum and Shanthis.
Sai Vandana -