Lessons for Sequestered Families. Chapter 7

Today’s Affirmation

An Audio from Guru Chronicles

Kadaitswami’s Miracles

In this audio story one of the Satgurus of our lineage, Kadaitswami, performs one of his miracles. Another one, not mentiioned in this story, was his finding a dead cat in the road one day and touching him with his toe to bring the cat back to life. This audio story is about the golden rod you see in the art above.

A Tale About Compassion

One Really Tired Student

Arun, what are you doing? Don’t you know this is a classroom and not your bedroom?” Arun heard the voice and opened his eyes in surprise. The voice was replaced by loud laughter. To his embarrassment, he saw a group of boys standing around him. Confused and not sure where he was at first, he tried to focus. Again he heard the voice, “Arun, wake up. This is your English teacher.” In spite of his drowsiness, Arun realized that it was only Ekanath disguising his voice and trying to mimic their teacher. As soon as Ekanath said those words, the boys once again laughed loudly.

Jogesh did not like the other boys mocking Arun. He barked at Ekanath, “Leave him alone. You are not always awake in class, either.”

Arun was embarrassed. He had not meant to fall asleep, but it had been happening regularly all week. He pushed himself through the group of boys and ran to the washroom. The cold water he splashed on his face woke him up. In the mirror, his ten-year-old face showed dark circles under bloodshot eyes. Shaking his head in dismay, he slowly trudged back to class.

His English teacher was just outside the classroom. She was surprised to see him in the hall. “Come inside, Arun, we are about to begin.” Pausing for a moment, she observed, “You look so tired—are you getting enough sleep?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” he said, without much conviction.

“Well, then, let’s get started.”

And so it continued. Day after day, Arun felt drowsy. No matter what precautions he took, he could not stop his eyes from closing. Ekanath and the other boys teased him nonstop. They gave him a nickname, “Sleepy.”

Arun ignored the teasing, but wished the boys would be friends with him. They did not include him in any of the games. Some even moved away when he approached. No one wanted to associate with Sleepy. And no one asked why he was so tired.

As the semester neared its end, Arun sat late one night completing some notes. The light in his bedroom attracted a firefly, which was spinning around recklessly near the light. He shooed it away and continued to write.

A few blocks away, Ekanath looked with dismay at his math book. He had not completed his homework and knew he would be in deep trouble with the teacher. The date for submitting the assignment had already passed. There was n option—he had to stay up and complete it. He reached for his iPhone and called Mithun. Mithun’s mother answered the phone and grumbled that Mithun had gone to bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He then called Girish, Raj, Rajiv and finally Jogesh. Girish and Rajiv had already gone to bed. Raj lived too far away. Jogesh scolded Ekanath for teasing Arun in class, and added, “I don’t even want to lend you my notes!”

Ekanath glanced at the clock. It was close to ten, way past his bedtime. With a grimace he realized that he had no other choice but to ask Sleepy. He wondered if Arun would lend him his notes. “I’d better not call him ‘Sleepy.’ He is probably as mad at me as Jogesh is.” But it was too late to worry and guess at what might happen.

Quietly sneaking out of the house, Ekanath thought he would just go by Arun’s house. “Since the boy sleeps in the daytime, maybe he will be awake at this hour.”

The lane to Arun’s house was silent, except for the familiar sounds of night creatures. Nearing the house, he saw that a light was shining in Arun’s room. “Just as I thought. He sits up at night and then sleeps in class. What a story I will have for the boys tomorrow.” “Better not laugh,” he thought, “I’m about to ask him for a favor.” Putting a serious expression on his face, Ekanath crept up to the side of the house and peeked in the window. Inside, he saw Arun bent over a notebook writing briskly. Ekanath tapped on the window and gestured to Arun to open it.

Arun was surprised to see Ekanath, but, honestly, he felt happy, too. Maybe the boys were finally tired of teasing him and they would be his friends! He opened the window, and Ekanath tumbled in. Plunking himself on a chair, he said, “Hey, sorry to barge in so late.”

Arun smiled, “That’s okay. I was awake anyway.”

“Do you always stay up at night to study?” asked Ekanath.

“No… Not to study but…” He barely completed the sentence when the sound of coughing reached their ears. Arun got up quickly, saying, “I’ll be back in a minute,” and rushed out.

Ekanath followed him out the door and stood by quietly. In the room across the hall he spotted an old man in a bed. He knew that the man was Arun’s great grandfather who was almost 90. Ekanath watched as Arun rubbed his great grandfather’s chest and lifted up a glass of water for him to drink. The man, sick and exhausted, sipped the water and fell back on the bed. “You are so kind. Every night you miss your sleep because of me. God bless you.”

Arun’s mother usually took care of her grandpa, but she had caught the flu a week ago. His father was off on a business trip. Arun had decided to help great grandpa to give his mom more rest. So whenever Grandpa woke up coughing, Arun would hurry to his side to calm him so his mother would not be awakened.

Grandpa explained, “I know your mother is tired from taking care of me in the daytime. You are so unselfish to watch after me at night.”

“Hush, Grandpa, don’t tire yourself. You will start coughing again. Go to sleep. I am awake and close by—in the room across the hall. Call me if you need anything, and I will come immediately.” Saying that, Arun hurried out almost bumping into Ekanath. Embarrassed he whispered, “Grandpa is not well.”

Ekanath felt a strange tightness in his chest. What he had just witnessed surprised and shamed him. He had no idea Arun was so selflessly helping his family. And how terribly he had behaved toward his friend, not knowing that Arun was tired as a result of caring for his great grandfather! And not only had Ekanath been mean himself, he had encouraged the other boys to be cruel as well.

Lowering his head, he wished Arun good night and slowly walked back home, wondering why he had never given thought about why Arun was sleepy in class. Reaching his room, Ekanath stayed up for two more hours and struggled through his homework alone.

The next morning was a bright, clear day, with birds chirping in the trees. Arun had gone to bed really late, only to wake up twice more to help Grandpa. He walked into the classroom, his body stiff in anticipation of the teasing he expected to receive. But strangely, today all was quiet. He looked around. All the children stood in silence. As Arun gazed at them, Ekanath walked up and explained, “I told everyone why you are so tired these days. We’re sorry for all the teasing.”

Arun smiled, “Hey, forget it! I didn’t mind, really.” Of course, he did mind, and it meant a lot that they were not teasing him. “Besides, my mom is getting better, and my dad is coming home in a few days. I should be back to normal soon.”

“If only we had the kind of compassion you have,” Ekanath blurted, “we would have tried to find out why you were so tired. Instead, we teased you. We hope you will forgive us.”

Hearing Ekanath’s words, the children all gathered around Arun. One patted him on the back, another gave him a chocolate bar and a third just apologized, “I’m sorry, too.”

Arun was happy to have his friends back and didn’t feel sleepy anymore. Finally, school would be fun again.

Inspiration from Bodhinatha

The World Is an Ashram

In this 14-minute video Satguru teaches us to use evry experience to advance our evolution.

 

Humor from Hinduism Today

Featured Video

As part of Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami’s 1994 Jayanti celebration, he gave this upadesha in Kadavul Temple, sitting in the same space where his guru shrine resides today. Aum Namah Sivaya.

Path to Siva for Kids

Lesson 57: How Do We Get Along with Others?

We live in harmony by being peaceful inside and kindly to others.

Getting along with others is an art, the art of harmony. Many people have never learned this art, so keeping peace becomes the duty of the few who have

How many times did you hear children hurting each other with harsh words? You probably cannot count high enough.

Harmony starts inside you, and then shines out to others in kind thoughts, words and actions. Harmony begins by not getting upset.

Being calm and peaceful in your mind is called shanti, and it is more precious than gold. You guard it by worshiping, serving or helping, and by practicing yoga every day. Then you show your shanti to others by really caring about them, about not hurting their feelings and never using angry or mean words.  We treat others in the same way we would like them to treat us.

Art for Coloring

Coloring Art

In each lesson we will include some black and white illustrations, some simple, others complex. Above we see a family preparing to worship Lord Ganesha in their home. Mom is making a garland and her two children offer assistance, bring her flowers from the garden.

The idea is to print these out on paper and invite the kids to color them with crayons, colored pencils or chalk. Their uniqueness lies in their Saivite style and subject matter.

Character Quality: Available

Availability means always being willing to help others. I practice it when I put others’ needs for my time ahead of my own. Its opposite is unavailability.

Gurudeva explained: “The outgoing force of the soul in action brings freedom to the lower states of mind. The instinctive person is ordinarily so preoccupied with his own self, so wrapped up in his own shell, that he cannot give a thought to the welfare of another.”

“Friends should help one another, uplift one another, stand by one another…”

“A home is a place of companionship with people in it who love each other, who are harmonious and closer inside with one another than they are outside with associates in the workplace or with classmates at school. A home is a place that’s so magnetic that it’s difficult to leave. In a home there is love, kindness, sharing and appreciation, and the inhabitants help one another. It’s a place of selflessness and togetherness, where everybody has time for everybody else.”

Kolams to Make

Remember, you can print out the dots (you may have to enlarge it) and then color the kolams with pens, Photoshop, crayons and, well, you know what to do.

Gurudeva Reads from His Trilogy

Giving and Smiling

How we treat others, and with what feelings and attitudes, defines our relationships and guides our karma along the highest path, as Gurudeva explains in this short reading.

Sadhana of the Day

Seeing God in Those We Greet

When greeting someone today, strive to look deeply enough into them to see God, to see them as a divine being evolving through experience into oneness with God. Our attitude is then naturally helpful and benevolent. Having a great day also includes making spiritual progress.

Quote of the Day

“We want to claim that which we already are. You are already the Self. You are just not aware of it. Do not put it off based upon some concept that we are not ready, we are not worthy, we need more of this or that. None of those principles apply when it comes to Self-realization.” Bodhinatha

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