Sevikas: Mamtha Rao and Jacqueline Gaines
• OM Saha Naavavatu (click here for text)
• Vakratunda Mahaakaaya (click here for text)
• Sarasvati Namastubhyam (click here for text)
• Shree Hanumaan (click here for text)
• Shree Krishnah (click here for text)
• Gurur Brahma (click here for text)
Geeta Chanting: Chapter 11, Shlokas 1-8 (click here for text and audio)
Letter of the Week: Y is for Yagna
Story: Talked about Gurudev and why he is so important to us!
Likhita Japa: Children colored pages of Gurudev and wrote likhita japa around him. (Click here for page.)
Ending Prayers: Done in auditorium
Comments: Today was an energetic one — the weather was so beautiful, and the kids were in great spirit! Everyone jumped right into our disciplines ... and we didn't miss a beat!
Now that we are at Letter Y, we decided that the kids were pretty well-versed in our Vedantic Alphabet. So, we decided to do things a little differently. Random letters were thrown out and the kids then told us what they stood for, plus the meaning. We gotta say ... these guys have it down! The aunties couldn't stump anybody, and the kids didn't have to think twice about what the meanings were.
Also because it was Gurudev's birthday, we spent a lot of time talking about how our Gurudev truly embodied yagna, in every possible way. The children learned that they have a couple of families. The first being their mom, dad, brothers, sisters, etc ... and the other one is the Chinmaya Family. It was mind boggling to think about how Gurudev's family is spread throughout the world is so many different cities and countries! But the coolest thing is that on May 8th, we all celebrate his birth by doing Seva.
At this point we discussed the meaning of "seva," (which we all agreed should be in our Vedantic Alphabet.) And so, on this note, we told the kids that not only should they be hugging their moms all day, telling them how much they appreciate and love them :-), but they also need to do something nice for someone or something (can be a person, an animal, or the environment) ... and the most important thing to remember is that they need to do this with love in their heart, and with no expectations of a "thank you." This is what Gurudev wants us to do.
It's hard to believe that the Balavihar School year is coming to an end. Although, daily trips to the pool are sounding pretty good right about now :-) Be sure and mark June 12th on your calendar. We will be participating in the Ananda Mela at the ashram. There will be lots of great food, fun activities for the kids, and cool exhibitions and displays to peruse. We have signed up our kindergartners to contribute some of their wonderful likhita japa drawings for the Balavihar Childrens' Art Exhibit ... so please don't get rid of any of their art work! Also, we will be making some art projects over the next two classes for the kids to display. We're sure they'll tell you all about it.
So remember: "May 8th is "S is for Seva Day." Today's the day to do something nice for someone. And Gurudev taught us that Seva is a great feeling — you will be the one who benefits the most!
Lots of love to our young friends.
See you next week!