Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Brahma Vidya - Lesson 1



Following is an attempt to create a repository of class-room lessons on Hindu Vedanta.

Experiment - Part 1:
Close all the doors and windows of the class and make the room as dark as possible. Then put a lamp (preferably a ghee/castor oil lamp) in the middle of a pot with lot of holes. The light from the lamp shall brighten different places in the room.

 Questions:
Ask the students what they see. Some see parts of the board, windows, someone's nose, someone's hand, someone else's chest etc.,

Ask the students why they see only parts of the room.
Ask the students if other sections of the room exist even though they are not visible.

Ask the students who/how they see things.

 

Experiment - Part 2:
Ask the students to close their eyes.

 

Questions:
Do they see the different spots of light?
Do they exist even though the light or room is not visible?

 

Experiment - Part 3:
Ask the students to keep their eyes closed. Make a sound by hitting one of the objects in the room with a stick.

 

(Note: For better results preset the class room with different sound making objects like drum, bell, water pot etc)
 

Questions:
Ask the students if they hear anything.
Ask them if they see the sound.
Ask the students if they can identify the object you hit just by using sound.

Repeat this experiment with different objects

Ask the students who/how they hear things.

 

Experiment - Part 4:
Ask students to open their eyes and close the ears. Then make sounds using different objects.

 

Questions:
Ask the students if they hear the sounds.
Ask the students if they see any sounds.
Ask the students what they see.

 

Experiment - Part 5:
Ask the students close their eyes and ears. Light an incense stick

 

Questions:
Ask if they see anything.
Ask if they hear anything.
Ask them if they can guess what is happening.

Repeat this experiment with different smells.

Ask students who/how they figured out what is happening.

 

Experiment - Part 6:
Ask the students to close their eyes and ears. Take a warm-air blower and expose the warm air to students.

 

Questions:
Ask if they see anything
Ask if they hear anything
Ask if they smell anything
Ask what is happening in the class room.

Ask who/how they figured out.

 

Experiment - Part 7:
Questions: 

Ask the students following questions.
Ask if/how their perception of the class room different when they used different sensory organs.

Ask if there is any common thing that is knower in all these experiments.

 

Experiment - Part 8:
Show the students images of how Sun/Sky looks in different electromagnetic spectra (visible, thermal, x-Ray etc)



Questions:
Ask why they cannot see any other views of the sky/sun except visible spectrum.
Ask what could be the real existence of the universe (when combined with all these spectra)

Ask the students what is the real source of the knowledge of existence of different parts (the light, or the eyes that see or the objects in the room?)

 

Experiment - Part 9:
Prep one of the student to tell a story of his dream last night. Ask him to select of his classmates and tell them that he gave them Rs5 in his dream last night and ask when can he expect the money back. Let the dialogue play out.

 

Questions:
Ask the students what's happening. Ask them if/who is wrong for what reason.
Ask them if the people in their dreams were real.
Ask them if the things done in the dream carry over reality once they wake up.

 

Experiment - Part 10:
Explain the students deferent states of consciousness - Jagrut, swapna, Sushupti and the consciousness that is common in all states of being.

 

Questions:
Ask them how each state is different, what works and what is inactive.
Ask them who/what stays in all these states and how.

Explain the students about the consciousness (Atman) that is common in all states of being.

Lesson:
Teach the following sloka (from Dakshinamurti Stotram) and explain its meaning.

नानाच्छिद्र घटोदर स्थित महादीप प्रभाभास्वरं 
ज्ञानं यस्य तु चक्षुरादिकरण द्वारा बहिः स्पन्दते । 
जानामीति तमेव भान्तमनुभात्येतत्समस्तं जगत्  
तस्मै श्री गुरुमूर्तये नम इदं श्री दक्षिणामूर्तये ॥

Swasti||

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