Sunday, 10-10:45 AM – Online (zoom) class

Greetings!  Hope you and your family members are doing well.

I have been asked by a few if we can have online classes.  I certainly can do that, if anyone is interested in joining.  And so lets do it starting tomorrow … every Sunday at 10 AM for 45 minutes.  Continue Chapter 14 of BG.

 

Yes, it is one hour earlier than our regular timing at temple.  I am choosing that time, because some of you may have siblings who may be attending Vindhya or Himalaya classes and you maybe sharing a zoom client with your siblings.

If you have not used zoom, go to https://zoom.us/join > Enter Meeting ID = 754-743-126> Enter Password (helps keep access secured) = 654321 > join

OR go to Join URL: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/754743126?pwd=d0Fzd3h2NUI2dWNiS3Y2c3FUcnBJZz09

Make sure your laptop/phone/iPad device is turned on. All lines will be MUTED when you join.  You can unmute your lines if you want to speak or ask me (raise hand or say in chat), if you want me to unmute your line.

Talk to you in 24 hours.

Weekend classes at SV Temple canceled until further notice >> Fwd: COVID-19 Update #2 03/12/2020

Our temple is following same guidelines that is resulting in cancellation of large group gatherings in other educational institutions and religious institutions in our city.  Defense is the best offense to minimize impact of this medical situation.
Take care of yourself.
———- Forwarded message ———
From: SVTemple Pittsburgh <secretary@svtemple.org>
Date: Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 12:30 PM
Subject: COVID-19 Update #2 03/12/2020
To: <geevizzz@gmail.com>

COVID-19 Update #2 03/12/2020

Dear Members:
In the wake of rapidly evolving public health situation relating to Corona Virus – COVID-19, following steps being implemented with immediate effect to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19 at SV Temple.
  1. All religious activities other than daily rituals are suspended until further notice including Satyanarayana Puja, Kalyanostavam, Hair offering, Car pujas, Annaprasana.
  2. Archana will continue however request devotees not to touch sankalpa plate.
  3. We have requested priests not to offer Theertham, prasadams, Shatari to devotees.
  4. Abhisekhams will be performed as weekly ritual but no sponsor are entertained.
  5. Any devotee services inside the temple except the Shardam are suspended till further notice
  6. All religious functions including Ugadi celebrations and Ugadi dinner are cancelled
  7. All Saturday & Sunday classes including Bala Vihar, Vendanta, dance classes, Aradhana singing etc are suspended till further notice
  8. All cultural events in the temple are suspended until further notice.
  9. ALL DEVOTEES ARE ENCOURAGED AND EXPECTED TO WASH THEIR HANDS PRIOR TO ENTERING THE TEMPLE.
For further information, please contact temple or the following either by email or Phone to:
IF ANY ONE IS EXPERIENCING THE SYMPTOMS OF FEVER, COLD AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH, WE HUMBLY REQUEST YOU TO REFRAIN FROM VISITING THE TEMPLE.
We regret as this may cause some disappointment to devotees. We are taking all possible necessary steps to protect our Devotees and Staff. Management appreciates your support and cooperation.
We will be continiuosly monitoring the situation and will update you as and when the new information is availble.
We request devotees exercise caution and follow the guideline issued by CDC and other Government & local agencies for protection of all.
May Godess Padvathi and Lord Venkateswara Bless us.
Sincerely,
SV Temple Management
Sri Venkateswara Temple, Pittsburgh
Sri Venkateswara Temple | 412.373.3380 | srivaru@svtemple.org| svtemple.org

Class Notes: Sunday, Mar 01, 2020

Recited Gita Dhyanam and verses 1-16 of Chapter 14.  Went over verse# 17.  Reviewed meaning of verses 14-15, which explain Gunas in the context of ‘gati’/trajectory after death.  As discussed next, verses 16-17 give the ‘phalam’ which are experienced during the life.  With that we complete the five different contexts in which Gunas are discussed in Chapter 14. Used a recent religious riot in the news, to discuss how we become better devotees as we learn and gain knowledge from our religious text to improve ourselves and our connection with god, and not define how others practice their religion.

Next week, we will cover verses 18-20.

Used the last 15 minutes to provide a quick summary of Chapter 12 and then went over the verses.  Was impressed that many in the class seemed to remember it.  It is a short chapter and encouraged the students in class to sign up for the recitation on Samskrita Dinam.  I will be available to assist with practice/pronunciation, if any student(s) want to meet at 10:30 AM on any Sunday, and I would appreciate if the student can let me know of their interest to meet by blog  or email.

 

 

March 01 Class: Back to normal format in small auditorium

After two practice sessions during class time on the last two Sunday, for class tomorrow, we will meet in Small Auditorium and go over verses 1-17 of Chapter 14.

Also, would like to use half of class time to go over Chapter 12 (Bhakti Yoga) of BG, which we did last year.  Will use 15 of those minutes to remind class of the context of the verses and in next 15 minutes going over the verses.  This is the chapter that is going recited in Samskrita Dinam 2020 celebration (Samskrita Dinotsava 2020.pdf) in SV Temple on Sunday, May 03.  You would recollect I have mentioned a few times in the class in the last two months about this event and I would encourage you to participate in the Gita recital to show the audience what you have learned besides giving yourself a chance to win a prize.

Anyone who wants to practice and/or learn Chapter 12 of BG, can find the verses on http://www.geetachanting.net/bvg12v01-10/.  Also, I will be happy to go over them in our class room from 10:30 – 10:55 AM every Sunday.

See you tomorrow.

 

Class Notes: Sunday, Feb 09, 2020

Second half hour during class today was spent on role assignment to students for our annual day presentation on stage – Karna.  While individuals have been given character names that they will represent, the speaking lines are being finalized to make sure every person on stage has their opportunity to learn and do well.

Next two Sundays, our class will meet in main auditorium for rehersals.

 

During the first half-hour we practiced verses and completed verse# 16

 

Morning classes canceled for today

Greetings.  Looks like it is snowing hard in North Hills and roads in temple just started getting some snow.  See image.  We’re therefore canceling class for today.  Stay warm and safe!

Enjoy Super Bowl Sunday.  Do you know that today is special pailindrome date – 02022020.  Occurs once every 909 years!

Also, Punxsutawney Phil should be informing us in few minutes if we will have early spring or six weeks of winter.

 

See you next Sunday at 11 AM, and hopefully your parents can come to class by 11:20 AM to join us for play character planning and character assignment

Class Notes: Sunday, Jan 26, 2020 + Next week

TODAY:

Happy India’s Republic Day!

Until now, in Chapter 14 we covered four aspects of understanding gunas – definition (verses 5-7), how they bind ‘sanga’ to our body and mind (verses 8-10), the indicators ‘lingam’ which help determine guna is more predominant in an individual (verses 11-13), and its ‘gati’ which is path soul of a person with predominance of one of the three gunas will take after death.  When discussing how a person with high satva becomes one with god, used the example of glacier which when calves (breaks), it merges back into the water which is where it came from.  In verses 16 and 17, which we will cover next Sunday, we will talk about the fifth and final aspect of understanding gunas – the ‘phalam’ (result) during this life.

Took about 20 minutes of class time to go over “Karna” story, which Himalaya and Senior class will present on stage on Annual Day (17 May, 2020).

 

NEXT WEEK:

We will have a joint class with Himalaya class, since we will do assignment of students to Karna play characters.  To a large extent, assignment will be done randomly.  One class has more girls and other class has more boys and so that might play into some of the assignment decisions.

We request one parent to attend class next Sunday (11 AM – Noon), to know what role is assigned to your child.  Also, we would like your input and participation in the decision making for costumes and props.  We also need your assistance for ensuring your child learns the speaking lines assigned to them and attends practice during class.

 

Youth classes as per schedule in temple today

Good Morning.

We have light snow showers and cold temperature in the weather forecast for this morning.  Temple class teaches discussed and agreed that we will continue with classes planned for today.  That applies for SAT class, language classes, Balavihar classes and Bharat Natyam class.

Temple roads are not cleaned yet, but should be cleaned very soon. There is little accumulation and so not a major concern. It is very cold and with wind chill it is down to single digits. Our primary concern is driving conditions and parking lot, both of which seem ok.  And so we’re going ahead with class.

See you in temple.

 

 

Class Notes: Sunday, Jan 12, 2020

Class today:  Recited Gita Dhyanam and Chapter 14, verses 1-14.

Didn’t do any new verses this week, since the revised plan for today was to spend second half of class to go over annual day presentation.

Next week:  Chapter 14, verses 14-15

 

Annual Day Presentation:

  • Date:  Sunday, May 17 afternoon
  • Location:  SV Temple auditorium
  • Senior Class:  Will present story of “Karna”.  We discussed Karna’s story and the values that we can learn and share with the audience.
    Today we shared the format, since we will be doing it in two parts, with Himalaya class doing first half.  Rajasekaran uncle (Ambika’s dad) has provided the initial script, which all of us volunteer coordinators will review and make some updates to identify roles in scenes in a little more detail and then start assignment of roles to students in class in February.  Practices will begin in February during part of the class.  Practices requires understanding of story and individuals lines, besides attendance.

 

Class Notes: Sunday, Jan 05, 2020

Completed: Verses 12 and 13 of Chapter 14 of BG, besides Gita Dhyanam.

In response to a question, I shared how chapters in Bhagavad Gita are well organized to learn about actions and duties and let those be the stepping stones to learn and understanding gyanam/knowledge.  Similarly, each chapter has a very well structured discussion.  In Chapter 14, we started with first understanding difference between consciousness and body/mind, when then help put gunas in context.  Verses 6-9 then defined the gunas and describes how they bind us.  In verses 10-14, it explains how we have different levels of gunas and how we should recognize them in us.

Next week:  Verses 14-15 of Chapter 14.  Will also go over meaning of verses 12-15.

Wishing each one of you and your family the very best of health and happiness in 2020.  As mentioned in class, Jan. 01 is special like your birthday, since it helps you plan for the 365 days ahead of you.  Make each day count.  Don’t just try to get through the day but make every day meaningful by making it special for yourself and the community around you.

We also discussed how you should identify a few of your habitual patterns and use them to incrementally improve how you manage your time and learn new skills.  Find ways to reward yourself as you try to stick to those improved habits.  Eventually those behavior becomes automatic.

A comment in the class led to discussion about superstition, and how that comes from fear and ignorance.  We had a few other interactive discussions.