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St.Andrew’s C of E School
S S E
SSE Classes -
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's tips to students on Examinations
1. Practice Writing at Home
In spite of reading well, when students go to the examination hall, they don’t perform satisfactorily, they don’t do well. What’s the reason? This is because they only read, they don’t practice writing. While preparing for exams, you only read. But during the examination, you have to write there in the examination hall. Thus, it’necessary that you should practice writing even at home. What you do in the examination hall must be practiced at home . You read at home and then you write in the examination hall. There is no relationship between the two. While reading you may not understand certain aspects but while writing you will certainly understand them. So you should practice writing often. The more you write and practice at home, it will help you in the examination hall. Even if they are known things and you think you are wasting paper by practicing writing, it doesn’t matter. You should practice. The lack of writing practice is the only reason why students don’t succeed in examinations.
We started the class with three Oms. The children sat in a circle and shared biscuits learning that 'sharing is caring' The tiny tots then practiced the bhajan 'Hare Rama Hare Rama' drumming along for the tune.
The children then expressed their favorite animal and we talked about their love for animals and followed it with the rhyme Old Macdonald had a farm.
We chanted Om Shri Sairam eleven times and ended the class with Om and three Shanti's
We had Daria, Aisharni, Avyakth, Ananya and Siana joined the class for the first time. Swami’s little Angels were happy to be in the class. All of them joined in to say the prayers. We played the money game and to my surprise most of the time they all got it right and all of them had joined the class this September.
Today’s lesson was about LORD KRISHNA'S CHILDHOOD Children were shown a colour full picture of Krishna. Krishna always looks happy; he plays his flute and wears a peacock feather. His mother is Yasodha and father is Nanda. He has a brother he is Balarama. He had a happy family. At this point we discussed about our family. Children were asked about their mum and dads name also about their siblings names.
To make it more interesting, we read a childhood story about Krishna. Lord Krishna, as a young boy,would wake up very early in the morning, after his bath and breakfast he will go out to see cows and calves. Krishan loved to help his father and his
brother to look after the cows in the fields while his mother Yasodha packed them lunch of rice, yogurt and pickle.
Then he would call his cowherd boys and they gather their packed lunches and all ready to go out for the day. Krishna took his flute and play some beautiful tunes and other boys walked happily with Krishna and some of them danced. It was really happy group that took the cows to the fields every morning. At this point we discussed why we should have friends and what we expect from friends.
Sometimes, Krishna would sing and all the boys and cows would listen in delight to his voice. While the cows ate the grass in the field, the boys used to play games with Krishna. During lunch, they would sit on grass and open their packed lunches. Krishna and the boys would share their food with each other. At this point we discussed about SHARING. When the cows had eaten plenty of grass,they used to take them back to Goshalla ( cow sheds) for the night.The boys spent such happy days with young Krishna and loved him very much and he loved them too.
Children were happy to listen to the story. From this story they learned about SHARING, CARING, HELPING and being HAPPY.
Children were told to practice these values during the week and share the experience next week. Children did some colouring. They were all happy during the lesson.
We started off the lesson with three Aums and the Gayathri Mantra. This was then followed by a recap of the prayer, Karagre Vasathe Lakshmi. We went over again where each Goddess lies on our hands. This is a great visual way of understanding the prayer and what each Goddess represents.
Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, is at the tip of our fingers as this is how we should handle money; always ready to give to others who need it more and not be too attached to physical wealth. Lakshmi also provides the wealth of good values, manners and health, not just physical wealth.
Saraswathi, the Goddess of Knowledge, resides in the palm of our hands, where we hold our books. She provides us with a great education and an understanding of many things we come across in our lives. Finally,
Durga, the Goddess of Courage, lives at the bottom of our hands, gives us the power to overcome obstacles that we all experience in life. All three Goddesses come together as we put our hands together into the prayer position at the end of the prayer.
Following this, we did an exercise where we looked at the five senses plus the mind and heart and discussed how we can use these parts of our body for good . This exercise was carried out to help the children be grateful to God for the wonderful senses he has given us and to understand how we can use them effectively in our lives. One of the objectives
was to clarify that children should realise, we should control our senses and not be controlled by them. We went through the importance how the senses can be used for good and that we should not be influenced by what senses want. As we start to gain more control over our senses, we can start to live a more fulfilled and happy life!
We also covered the difference between humans and animals, and how we have an advantage over them as we have been given intellects. Hence we have been given the tools to live in harmony and peace as humans and not in disharmony.
The homework task for this week was for each child to focus on one sense and summarise how that sense can be used for good in the world. This should be a short 5 minute presentation on how that sense can be used to help others and ourselves in the process. The children were all given different senses so next week they can cover the whole body as
a class. We concluded the class with Samasta Lokha and 3 Shanthis.
We started off by practising our ‘Super Power’ – Silent Meditation. We discussed the importance of controlling our monkey mind, and asked the children to practice silent meditation regularly, preferably before the start of school. Continuing our study of the great epic: Mahabharata, we recapped what we have learnt so far, to bring all up to date and to help the children solidify the characters we have come across so far.
This week, we read about Draupadi’s Swayamvara. Who would win her hand? Possibly Karna, although he was humiliated once again, this time by Princess Draupadi. She stated that she could not possibly marry a charioteer’s son. Is this not proud and egotistical behaviour? Is it right for a princess to reject someone based upon their caste and background? So who was to win Draupadi’s hand? Arjuna dressed as a Brahmin won the contest with Ease.
However as they arrived home they requested their mother, Kunti to come out and see what alms they had returned home with. Without looking she instructed them to share the alms. Thus Draupadi became the wife of all 5 Pandava brothers.
Duryodhana was enraged! Based upon senior advice Dhritarashtra gave the Pandavas some land away from Hastinapur, and over the years Yudhishthira, the eldest Pandava became a recognised sovereign. Over time, he was advised to perform the Rajasuya Yagna to earn the title of Emperor. He required consent of all the Kings, however here was one, King Jarasandha who would not agree. Thus he needed to be killed. Bhima fought him in heavy battle and with the help of Krishna finally managed.
Thereafter, the yagna took place. During this time Duryodhana stayed longer with the Pandavas. While going round the assembly hall a few things happened which made him look foolish. As the Pandavas and Draupadi laughed at him, he joined in the laughter pretending he too found it funny, but within he felt shame and anger, and swore his revenge. Once he returned to Hastinapura he convinced his father to invite Yudhishthira to a game of dice. Yudhishthira could not refuse, and this led to him losing all his material possessions, his brothers and even Draupadi who was highly humiliated.
King Dhritarashtra realised these incidents would lead to destruction and gave all back to Yudhishthira and asked for forgiveness o behalf of Duryodhana. This however, did not stop Yudhishthira accepting yet another game of dice where he lost
again and he, his brothers and Draupadi were sent to exile.
This lesson led us to discuss Yudhishthira’s’ addiction, lack of control, competitiveness and Duryodhana’s jealousy. How these characteristic affect us in such a negative way: eat us up and how it is important to be happy for all those
around us, even if we not achieve what we aim for. More of the Mahabharata next week.
Our activity was reading the story of the Mahabharatha with focus on the characters. We ended the lesson with thinking about how we want to present the Mahabharatha at the Centre in the main hall. We finished with Aum and three Shanthis.
We began our lesson with silent meditation. This week, we started our lesson with the significance of Gratitude Day, which is known as Swami’s Avatar Declaration Day and is celebrated on 20th October every year. It is on this historically significant day in the year 1940 that the young boy Sathyanarayana Raju revealed to the world His Divine identity and the glorious mission on which He has come.
He revealed to his family that: “I am no longer your Sathya. I am Sai.” The sister-
blinded by the splendour of the halo around Baba's head! He addressed her,“I am going; I don't belong to you; Maya (delusion) has gone; My Bhaktas (devotees) are calling Me; I have My Work; I can't stay here any longer." When the brother hurried home on hearing all this, Baba only told him, "Give up all your efforts to 'cure' Me. I am Sai; I do not consider Myself related to you".
While we were explaining the importance of Avatar declaration day, a child asked us a very profound question” We say ‘Maathru Devo Bhava Pithru Devo Bhava’… then why did Swami leave his parents?
We explained to him that he never left his parents. He took this birth for a divine mission which was to serve people with love. Swami fulfilled all three wishes of Easwaramma. She desired to have a small primary school for the children in Puttaparthi which blossomed into the Sathya Sai University. In today’s time, it provides integral education from primary to doctoral level, free of cost, combining academic excellence and exemplary character. Her second wish was to have a small hospital in Puttaparthi which expanded into two Super Specialty Hospitals in Puttaparthi and Whitefield, along with two general hospitals. These temples of healing provide primary to tertiary healthcare and modern state of the art medical care, completely free of cost.
Her third wish was to provide drinking water for the residents of Puttaparthi. This had developed into the mammoth Sathya Sai Water project which is providing water to millions not only in Puttaparthi but also in other states in India. This has inspired Sathya Sai devotees across the world to start water projects in Africa, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, El Salvador and other countries. Thus, the small wishes of the mother paved the way for gigantic humanitarian projects all over the world.
We gave the example of Albert Einstein, who formulated the theory of relativity. What if he kept his findings to himself? Or what if the inventors of modern facilities such as the computer or the Internet kept their inventions to themselves? In the same way, Swami came here on earth for the divine purpose of fostering all mankind and ensuring a life full of bliss for all of them. Swami has written a letter to his brother in which he stated that “I have a vow: To lead all who stray away from the straight path again into goodness and save them. I am attached to a work that I love: To remove the sufferings of the poor and grant them what they Lack.”
After this discussion, the children wrote some beautiful poems for their parents to show their Gratitude.
© 2016 Mill Hill Sai Centre
Today's class began with three Aums, and we recapped the last session on the introduction to chapter 1 of Summer showers.
We listened to an audio file of Swami reading the first paragraph of chapter 1 of summer showers. This was the first topic that we focussed on and the class discussed truth and righteousness. We gathered from the first chapter that truth and righteousness are intangible and that they will triumph over all.
We discussed that in order to promote peace and harmony in the world we should seek and pursue truth Following this we went on to speak about the meaning of well-
The 4 stages of life were discussed and we grasped that students are in the Bramhachari stage and that we should make the most of our lives and eradicate any bad habits that we may have so that we do not continue doing them in the latter stages of life. The next focal point of the lesson was religion and spirituality and whether they are two separate subjects or if they are linked. We then spoke about Atheism and Agnosticism and other people’s beliefs in a higher power and on religion and spirituality. The final topic of discussion was temples with the conclusion that we should aspire to make our whole world a
temple and not designate a specific place to pray and connect with God within.
The class ended with Aum and three Shantis.
You took a little seed,
And you helped it grow.
You nurtured it with love and care,
Nourishing it with values of gold.
But when the sun would set
And darkness would arrive,
You shone brighter than ever
For the sake of the little plant by your side.
The tears you shed were not in-
As the little plant learnt to stand strong.
It learnt to never wilt
Or sway to the tunes of the cold, harsh winds
But before the bud became a flower
You were taken far, far away
But all was not lost;
For you left behind the one,
Who nurtured and raised you,
When you were but a little seed,
The one who helped you grow into a beautiful flower
A rare, pure rose
Too precious for this earth
Your efforts were not a waste,
For your hard-
And very soon the little bud began to bloom.