2012 – SSE Group 3 Lesson Plans

2012 – SSE Group 3 Lesson Plans

Please click on the below dates to access the lesson plan that was facilitated on that day.

Dec 30, 2012 Dec 23, 2012 Dec 16, 2012 Dec 9, 2012
Dec 2, 2012 Nov 25, 2012 Nov 4, 2012 Oct 28, 2012
Oct 21, 2012 Oct 14, 2012 Oct 7, 2012 Sept 30, 2012
Sept 23, 2012 Sept 16, 2012 June 17, 2012 June 10, 2012
June 3, 2012 May 20, 2012 May 13, 2012 April 29, 2012
April 22, 2012 April 15, 2012 April 8, 2012 April 1, 2012
March 25, 2012 March 11, 2012 March 4, 2012 Feb 26, 2012
Feb 19, 2012 Feb 12, 2012 Feb 5, 2012 Jan 29, 2012
Jan 22, 2012 Jan 15, 2012 Jan 8, 2012 Jan 1, 2012
December 30, 2012

Teacher:Sujatha Anant

Attendance: Kavya, Thayany and Yaathika

In today’s class, we discussed “Selfless Service” as the topic portrayed by an African, Thulani Madondo as seen on CNN as one of the top ten CNN Heroes of this year. We shared a video and pictures of this young man who worked selflessly to educate children in his community by devising a smart scheme to enroll children to continue their education. We discussed who a real Hero is in Swami’s words and how this young man can be given a fitting title of a “Hero”.

As part of an activity, the children wrote a beautiful letter of appreciation to Madondo which I am planning to mail to him. Copy of this letter is attached.

Swami Quotes:

“Listen and ruminate over the stories of the great moral heroes of the past, so that their ideals may be imprinted on your hearts.” 8.5 p.19

“The individual by his thoughts, words, and deeds develops or undermines the welfare of Society, and thus affects the world.” 11.34 p.199

Story: Thulani Madondo




Write a letter of appreciation to Thulani Madondo Attached

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December 23, 2012

Teacher:Mangala Shankar

Attendance: Thayani, Kavya

Lesson Plan summary : Please see details on attached file: Word document (Jesus birth significance) and Powerpoint on various topics and references.

Welcome Swami
Significance of Vaikunta Ekadasi
Swami- Talk about Christmas
Swami A short clip Christmas
Bhajan “Our Jesus Came and He is here again”.
Story and Meaning of XMAS
Leadership – Jesus Discussion.
Thoughts to Ponder
Retire Swami

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December 16, 2012

Teacher: Sreenadh Jonnavithula

Attendance: Kavya Tangella, Thayany

Value: Right Action

We discussed the concepts of “Help Ever” and “Hurt Never”, and some recent scientific research that gives additional insights into them. Sometimes, it is not clear what is the appropriate interpretation of “Hurt Never”, and hard choices have to be made. We saw research that shows how people analyze such situations, and how people all over come to strikingly similar conclusions. We also discussed research that shows that “Help Ever” is actually a mathematically better strategy, and evolution tends to favor cooperation. Thus the principles of Sanatana Dharma enunciated by Swami are really universally applicable truths. Presentation attached

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December 9, 2012

Teacher: Mani Sundaram and Satya Challapalli

Attendance: Thayany, Kavya and Yaathika

Lesson Plan : Peace & patience

Quote: ” I observe the three P’s – purity, patience and perseverance – which ensures permanent happiness, good health and freedom from diseases.”

We discussed the nature of man and his tendencies of annoyance and anger. We discussed the reasons for anger in man – the Ego, the desires, impatience and restlessness of man. We further discussed ways to control and eliminate it altogether.

Developing patience, equanimity and calmness helps reducing anger. Keeping desires and ego in check provides a positive frame of mind for spiritual development.

Application: Per attached lesson plan.

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December 2, 2012

Teacher: Sushama Tangella

Attendance: Kavya, Thayani, Yaathika

Lesson Plan Attached

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November 25, 2012

Teacher:Suhasini Jonnavithula

Attendance: Thayany, Kavya, Swetha and Yaathika


Significance of Thanksgiving Holiday – National Day of Thanksgiving is a day to gather together in homes and places of worship on that day of thanks to affirm by their prayers and their gratitude the many blessings God has bestowed upon us. Thanksgiving is a time for tradition and sharing. In this spirit of sharing, civic groups and charitable organizations offer a traditional meal to those in need, particularly the homeless.

Thankfulness is limited to words but Gratitude reflects itself in action and is therefore far superior.

Discussed a few episodes from Swami’s Life where He expressed Gratitude- Swami patting and blessing a buffalo thanking it for the effort it had taken to carry water up the hill everyday – while none else had bothered.

Swami appreciated the efforts of an old lady who painstakingly heated water every day for His bath for many years while no one acknowledged her.

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” – we discussed all the other subvalues like Kindness, compassion, appreciation, etc which we derive from practicing Gratitude.

We discussed the below Quotation and how Blessed we are and take so many things for granted.

“The sun was shining in my eyes, and I could barely see
To do the necessary task that was allotted me.
Resentment of the vivid glow, I started to complain —
When all at once upon the air I heard the blind man’s cane.”

Benefits of practicing Gratitude:

1. Gratitude allows us to celebrate the present. It magnifies positive emotions.
2. Gratitude blocks toxic, negative emotions, such as envy, resentment, regret—emotions that can destroy our happiness.
3. Grateful people are more stress resistant. There’s a number of studies showing that in the face of serious trauma, adversity, and suffering, if people have a grateful disposition, they’ll recover more quickly.
4. Grateful people have a higher sense of self-worth.


Children picked up below questions and shared with us their experiences to help enliven sharing and spark the spirit of Gratitude.

1) What teacher are you most thankful for and why? What did you learn from him or her?
2) What’s the season you’re most thankful for, and what’s your favorite part of each season?
3) What electronic device are you most grateful for, and what does it add to your life?
4) What musician or type of music are you most thankful for?
5) What are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?
6) What form of exercise or physical activity are you most thankful for?
7) What foods are you most thankful for?
8)Name three days in your life that you feel especially grateful for.
9) What color do you feel most thankful for—is there a color that you can’t imagine living without?

Life Application:

1) Is there a personal limitation or flaw that you’ve come to appreciate?
2) Keep a Gratitude Journal and list 5 things for which you are Grateful this week.

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November 4, 2012

Teacher:Krishnan Iyer

Attendance:Thayani, Yaathika, Swetha

Lesson Plan – Contact With Consciousness – Constant Integrated Awareness

Purpose : To Remember God all the time, walking and sleeping

1) When Should we pray

2) Importance Of God Consciousness

3) Purpose of Life – God Realization

4) How do we “plug in” God throughout the day

5) Discussion – Is God in our Genes

6) Discussion & Brainstorming – Love is a Verb

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October 28, 2012

Teacher:Suhasini Jonnavithula

Attendance: Thayany Jaykumaran and Yaathika Challapalli

Value:Non Violence.


“In order to protect Nature, man has to practice a ceiling on desires.” Baba

Global Balance for Peace

“The whole Cosmos is made up of the basic elements of Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Sound, touch, form, taste and smell represent their attributes. All these have emerged from Sat-Chit-Ananda (being, awareness, bliss), the prime source.” – Baba, May 15, 2000

By revealing this Divine relationship between man and the five elements, Baba has raised all objects in Nature – animate as well as inanimate – to a level of sacredness. We should conserve, enrich and love Nature in all its bountiful diversity.

However, instead of conserving Nature, our unlimited desires have strained the very fibers of this earth:

“Man’s misadventures have created several problems for the entire mankind. He has polluted the five elements causing havoc on the earth. There is pollution everywhere — in air, water, food and so on. His misdeeds coupled with his evil thoughts and feelings have degraded human life on the earth. If man acts in the righteous way, there will be no pollution at all.” – Baba (15 May 2000, “Divine Origin of Five Elements,” Brindavan

Placing a Ceiling on Desires to Protect Nature

Sai Baba urges us to develop a lost art, “the golden quality of contentment,” and to place a curb on desires as an essential step in spiritual development. A Ceiling on Desires is necessary for leading a peaceful and meaningful life.

“There are four components in the term “Ceiling on Desires.” They are respectively, curb on excessive talk, curb on excessive desires and expenditure, control of consumption of food, check on waste of energy.” The object of the program is to “prevent waste of money, time, food, and other resources, and to use the difference for the welfare of the people.”

Baba says, “Man is deluded by his unlimited desires – he is living in a dream world. He is forgetting supreme consciousness. That is why it is important to keep our desires under control, to place a ceiling on them. Desires are prisons. Man can be freed only by limiting his wants. You should have desires only for life’s bare necessities.”

Placing a ceiling on our desires protects the natural world as well. “Nature is more progressive than Man, and to protect nature, Man has to exploit it within limits. When Man tampers with Nature recklessly, it reacts adversely and trouble arises. In order to protect Nature, Man has to practice Ceiling on Desires.” – Baba (Sanathana Sarathi, February 1993, p. 45)

How do our actions impact nature?

a. Arrogance and irresponsibility: believing we have a right to use resources.

b. Consumerism: arises from lack of contentment stimulated by all forms of

advertising media and encourages rapid and wasteful depletion of resources.

c. Greed: using more than we need, sometimes through ignorance.

d. Laziness: not liking to do the work or take the necessary steps to change wasteful habits, such as learning to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

We discussed scenarios from Prof G. Venkatraman’s book ” Journey into Valimiki’s Ramayana” Prof GV gave us examples of what happens when Humans try to plunder Nature. He reiterated that humans have great moral responsibility to be stewards of the treasures that God had scattered across nature.

Life Application

See how many ways you can participate in Reducing Your Impact on the Environment this week, using the list handed out. Record these in your journal.

Reducing Your Environmental Impact

1. Turn down the heat and air conditioning

2. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs

3. Caulk leaks around windows, doors and electrical outlets

4. Turn off the power:

*Avoid using electric and gas appliances when you can i.e. leaf blower, electric can openers, hair dryers
*Turn off lights, computer, TV etc. promptly when finished with them (Phantom load – televisions, stereos etc. with remote controls, computers, telephone answering machines and appliances with clocks use electricity even when off)
5. Replace old appliances with energy efficient ones

6. Use less hot water:

*Turn down the thermostat on hot water heater
*Insulate the hot water heater
*Run dishwasher and washing machine with full loads
*Install low flow shower heads
*Take shorter showers

7. Recycle everything you can:

*Curbside – cans, glass, plastic, paper or at a recycling center
*Plastic bags can be recycled at grocery stores
*Ink cartridges from laser printers can go back to the manufacturer
*Packing Styrofoam peanuts can be taken to Mailboxes stores
*Repair or refurbish appliances instead of replacing whenever possible

8. Buy recycled products (toilet paper, tissue, paper towels, napkins, paper, file folders, plastic bags, sponges

9. Reduce use of products made from oil or other mined minerals (insect and weed control products made from herbs and other plants

*Use soap made from plants as opposed to detergents made from oil
*Reduce use of disposable plastic items such as plastic bags and wraps
*Reduce use of Styrofoam cups and plates
*Use rechargeable batteries when batteries are required

10. Reduce use of products made from trees

*Don’t waste paper
*Cancel unused magazine and newspaper subscriptions
*Recycle all paper allowable in your area & use recycled paper products
*Avoid excessive packaging whenever possible

11. Keep appliances and cars maintained

12. Use microwave, toaster oven or other small appliance to cook small amounts of food, and pressure cookers for foods that cook a long time

13. Food

*Don’t waste food
*Vegetarian food uses fewer natural resources to produce
*Freshly prepared food and locally grown food saves the energy used at the processing plant, packaging and transportation costs
*Organic food is not grown with fertilizers and pesticides made from oil

14. Plant a tree

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October 21, 2012

Teacher:Sujatha Ananthabhotla

Attendance: Kavya Tangella

Topic: Avatarhood Day of Swami – We talked about what an Avatar is, the mission of an Avatar and why an Avatar descends to earth. We talked about Rama, Krishna and Sai incarnations and discussed the significance and importance of these incarnations. We read and discussed on a discourse that Swami delivered on Oct 20, 2002 where in Swami Himself narrated events in His life, leading upto the declaration of His Avatarhood.


Reminiscing the first bhajan that Swami had sung soon after His Divine declaration, kids sang “manasa Bhajare Guru Charanam” as an offering to the Lord.

Life Application: Asked kids to compare the mission and teachings of three incarnations, Rama, Krishna and Sathya Sai and write in about 150 words.

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October 14, 2012

Teacher:Krishnan Iyer

Attendance: Kavya, Thayany, Swetha

Religions Of the World – Hindu Religion with a focus on Current Festival Navarathri

1) Navarathri – Meaning and Significance
2) Navarathri – Symbolism
3) Nine day worship of Goddess Durga, Lakshmi & Saraswati
4) Vijaya Dasami/Dasara

Students were shown a Power Point Presentation on Navarathri with beautiful pictures of Goddess Durga, Lakshmi & Saraswati (see attached) . A detailed writeup in Navarathri & Dasara was read and discussed in Class.

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Oct 7, 2012

Teacher:Sreenadh Jonnavithula

Attendance: Julian, Yaathika, Thayani, Kavya

Lesson: Develop the ability to apply principles learned in SSE to everyday situations. We examined two of the famous/infamous speeches from the presidential campaign – the “You did not build that” speech by Obama, and the “47 percent” comments by Romney. After discussing the meaning and background of each position, we boiled each one down to the core idea, and had the students debate the two propositions. Many of the students had insightful and interesting comments to offer.

Lesson Plan: Powerpoint Attached

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Sept.30, 2012

Teacher:Mangala Shankar

Attendance: Thayany ,Swetha, Yaathika, Kavya

Lesson: Mastery of the senses and practising equanimity by treating both good and bad with equal mindedness. By developing one pointed devotion and complete surrender to god, the senses can be definitely be brought under control.

Story telling and discussion: Tukaram and sugarcane story, Kabir and his wife, Einstein story to give examples of despite their contrasting family situations, pursued the spiritual path well by controlling one’s senses and not reacting under any situation..

Discussed methods to practise equanimity by controlling senses.

Bhajan: Learnt bhajan At your feet Dear Lord we pray

Life Application for next week: Think of Swami, Chant Gayathri Mantra and control the senses by not reacting to any situation and apply the principles discussed in the class as Per Swami’s teachings by practising equanimity and controlling senses.

Closing: 3 Sai Gayathris, Om Shanthi ( 3 times)

Reference: Summer Showers in Brindavan 1990 Chapter 4 Mastery of the senses.

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Sept 23, 2012

Teacher:Krishnan Iyer

Attendance: Kavya (Group III), Manasa (Group IV)

Mind Dynamics with a focus on

  1. Working of the mind
  2. Techniques to control or steady the mind
  3. Benefits of a Steady mind.
  4. Different Types of meditation
    • Silent sitting
    • Light Meditation
    • Sohum meditation
  5. Slow breathing

Students took part in performing the above different types of meditation and slow breathing exercise and the benefits of each these activities were discussed in the class.

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Sept 16, 2012

Teacher: Mani Ayer

Attendance:Kavya, Thayany, Julian and Akilesh

The Lesson Plan : The Five Kosa’s of the human existence – Annamaya Kosa, Pranamaya kosa, Manomaya Kosa, Vignanamaya Kosa and the Anandamaya kosa. The gross aspect of the human to the most subtle aspect of the human were discussed. Practised Jyoti Meditiation .

The Divinity exists within us as the Conscience who guides and directs our lives. The need to cultivate friendliness with the Conscience is very important for spiritual growth of mankind. The closer we are to the conscience, the better it can communicate the right path for harmony & peace.

Life application: Understand and imbibe ways to befriend the Lord within.

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June 17, 2012

Teacher:Mangala Shankar

Attendance: Shvetha Hariharan

Lesson Plan on having implicit faith and not to give up on saadhana.

a) Welcome Swami : Om, Gayathri 3 times

b) Sathya Sai Speaks Vol1 Chapter 1 Maanasa Bhajarey

To have implicit faith and obedience. Examples: Krishna and Arjuna.

1.Implicit faith is the secret of spiritual success.

2. Do not give up saadhana.

3. Shine forth in your real nature. example : Kunti

4. All creatures have to reach God some day or other, by the long route or by the short route.

c) Taught We are blessed we are blessed we are blessed bhajan.

d) Life Application

Chant Sai Gayathri 3 times every day.


Sathya Sai Speaks Vol 1. Chapter 1 , Sanathana Sarathi June 2012 issue Chapter 1.

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June 10, 2012

Teacher: Rami Gange

Attendance: Swetha Hariharan

We discussed Swami’s teaching of the external world vs. the internal world.

– What does Swami mean when he talks about the two?
– The external world is temporary while the internal world is permanent.
– How often do you seek answers in the internal world rather than external?

This was from a study circle the YAs had done once in the past but I tried to simplify it.

They also discussed what they would like to do for the summer. They are interested in completing a seva project.

Life Application: formulate the idea for the project and reach out to the YAs for help to implement the idea.

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June 3, 2012

Teacher:Krishnan Shankar

Attendance: Swetha Hariharan

a) Invite Swami to class

b) Discussion and impact of SSE in their lives by Bhavani and Utkarsh for the new student

c) Discussion on the Retreat and what they gained

d) Pun on Words used by Swami

. Thursday – Thirst Day
. Puttaparthi – Put Apart the I
. MBA – Mind on Baba Always
. WIFE – Wisdom Invited forever or Worries invited forever
. CIA – Contant Integrated Awareness
. JOY – Jesus first others next You last
. SAI – Service Adoration Illuminiation
. BABA- Being Awareness Bliss Atman
. PHd – Permanent Head Damagew
. PHP- Pure Heart Philosophy
. Near – Never Englightened Always Repeating
. Far Farther Always Ready
. Appointment leads to ….. disappointment
. Properties are not “Proper Ties”
. Technology – Trick Knowledge
. Devotion – Deep Ocean
. silence – Sai Lens
. History- True story is talking about HIS Story
. Interview – real one is “inner view”
. One should study to be steady

e) Shared humor incidents with Swami
1. Personal experience with Swami at Trayee
2. Story of young boy asking for curing cold when swami asked what he wanted
3. Story of mother in swami being same while other relationship changes
4. Prof Kasturi being called as “newspaper” for he was giving news to the lord of all news
5. Fish and Swami
6. Speakers errors in front of Bhagawan

. MahaAbhayankara Sai Naamam meaning Sai who conferes Fearlessness instead said
Mahabhaynkara Sai naamam meaning Sai is the most Terrifying

. Sai Mahishasura Mardhini meaning Deamon Annihilator instead said Sai Mahishasura — Sai Demon

. iStudent in his speech said “I went to institute and Sir did not come” See, he usually comes late to college… in front of Bhagawan creating the smile from swami

7. Bring on the Smiling Lion – Swami calling a devotee whose beards looks like a lion

f) Retire Swami from class with 3 Sai Gayathri


. Bring on the Smiling Lion – Swami http://media.radiosai.org/journals/Vol_04/01AUG06/Searching_the_Truth.
. Mother: http://media.radiosai.org/journals/Vol_08/01DEC10/04-aparna.htm
. Fish and Swami: http://media.radiosai.org/journals/Vol_08/01JUL10/04-sanjeev.htm
. Pun on words: Some taken from radio sai some from students
. Trayee Session: Personal experiences and some from another student

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May 20, 2012

Teacher:Mani Sundaram Ayer

Attendance:Shwetha, Kavya

Lesson Plan – The Power of Silent sitting & Music

We discussed the power of Namasmarana and meditation in our day to day lives. With regular practice of Silent sitting & Meditation, a greater sense of peace and clarity in thought develops around you. Anxieties and worries are held in check by efficacy of meditation. As students, you get better memories and sharper intellect to deal with your studies. If Mediation is deeply practiced , The Lord stays with you in your heart and you would have direct communication with HIM.

Music provides the highest levels of devotions and bhakti for the LORD. Profusion of Love for GOD makes the handling of day to day anxieties and tasks very easy . Devotion at all times is possible thru Music & bhajans.

Life Application : Practice Silent sitting every day for half-hour to deepen your faith and gain a sense of peace.

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May 13, 2012

Teacher:Meera Sai Kumari

Attendance: Kavya Tangella and Swetha HariHaran

Lesson Plan: Attached

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April 29, 2012

Teacher:Meera SaiKumari

Attendance: Kavya Tangella

I shared a few experiences of mine and other devotees with Swami. Also quoted Swami on several ocasions regarding Love, and controlling of the senses – “speech” especially. Afterwards, I had them do an exercise/mini-workshop, where each had to think of at least one situation where they felt that they had spoken/reacted before pondering upon what they were saying, and the outcome of that. Then analyzed with each of them, what the real cause was, and how to tackle it next time the situation occurs.

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April 22, 2012

Teacher: Laina Prabhu

Attendance: Kavya and Niharika

Lesson Plan: Attached

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April 15, 2012

Teacher:Mani Sundaram

Attendance: Kavya Tangella and Manasa Pisipati

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April 8, 2012

Teacher:Suhasini Jonnavithula

Attendance: Kavya Tangella, Swetha Hariharan, Manasa Pisipati

Significance of Easter and Resurrection of Jesus; The meaning of Born Again or a Second life which is transformation of our personality and a new life to the spirit.

We reflected upon messages from Jesus Christ while he was crucified and suffering on the cross; We discussed the similarities with the teachings of our beloved Sri Satya Sai Baba and “My Life is My message”.

Jesus Christ said while suffering on the Cross, “Oh Lord, why have You forsaken Me?”

Perhaps this is a lesson to all of us: we have to turn to God in times of trouble, difficulties or challenges. No man can ever help us. No man is ready to offer comfort to us. It is only God who can help us. So Easter is a time of prayer, to look to God for help, not to man.

The second statement (which was about His mother) was directed to John. Jesus said, “Look after My mother”. Jesus had always taken care of His mother and now he wanted John to do this.

Easter is also an occasion to recognize one’s responsibilities towards elders or parents. When on the Cross, Jesus thought of His mother; He wanted John to take care of her.

It was because of His mother (Mary, the vehicle for His Divine birth), that He was on Earth as a messenger, a Messiah. Therefore Easter is an occasion to revere, respect, and think of one’s parents as Christ did. We discussed about divine Mother Eswaramma and Swami’s Mission to take care of her desires of Educare, Medicare and Water projects.

The third statement on which to reflect are the words Jesus spoke to another man also on a cross, who was guilty of a sin. That man said to Jesus, “Oh Lord, I am a sinner. I can understand why I am crucified. But Lord, You are not a sinner; there is no blemish in You. Lord, remember me in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Then Jesus replied, “Yes, you shall join Me there, in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

If forgiveness was to take human form, it is Jesus Christ. And here in Baba’s life, whenever anyone comes and says to Him, “Swami, forgive me. I have made so many mistakes. My life is not as clean as it should be. I am not as pure as I should be, my Lord.” Here it is Bhagavan who says, “Past is past. Forget the past.” What an unconditional forgiveness that is!

When Jesus was on the Cross, He said, “Father, they know not what they do. Forgive them.” Jesus asks this for those people who made Him suffer, who nailed him to the Cross, causing excruciating pain and blood loss. Yet He prays for those who are responsible for His crucifixion. What a wonderful thing that is!

As Jesus said, “It is not right to follow the principle of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. You should forgive people. When anyone tries to harm or hurt you, do not retaliate. Continue to love them.”

Life Application– Incorporate the inner significance of Easter and the values of Faith, Respect and Forgiveness in our daily lives.

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April 1, 2012

Teacher:Mangala Shankar

Attendance: Manasa, Kavya and Niharika

Lesson Plan:

1. The Tell-Tale Tongue

Sathya Sai Speaks…. Volume 9 Page 41-50

2.Review of previous week Life application:

How to prevent people from smoking- to write a letter to bigger companies

3. Service to Humanity: Tribute to Bhagawan – watched a Video

4. Swami’s Talk to students on who is your friend? – watched a video

5. Chinna Katha: Radio sai Small Story : Plan of the Lord


6. Activity: enact the roles in the china kathaa

7. Life Application

Respect Parents and Teachers

Lesson Plan Powerpoint

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March 25, 2012

Teacher:Krishnan Iyer

Attendance: Nikarika

Lesson Plan : Character Crafting Lesson Plan #4 Ella Gunderson: You Can Make A Difference (and be an instrument for change)

Purpose : All Individuals can make a difference

Started the class with 3 Oms, 3 Gayatri’s & Light Meditation

Quotation : “Transformation must begin with the individual. When the individual changes, the world will change. This transformation has to take place in the minds of men. Right thoughts will lead to right actions.” – Sai Baba (Discourses by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, p. 359)

Read the document on Ella Gunderson : Making a Difference and had a discussion about it.

Activity : The Class read about “You Can be an instrument for Change” document and had a discussion on it.

Affirmation : Right Thoughts leads to Right action

Life Application : What is something you believe needs to change? Take 3 things you would like to change. Write a letter to the person or company to whom you would address the need for this change. Back up your request with specific examples of why this change should occur.

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March 11, 2012

Teacher:Mani Sundaram Ayer

Attendance: Kavya Tangella

Value: We practiced extended Meditation and explored ways of Constant awareness of Swami as light within.

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March 4, 2012

Teacher:Suhasini Jonnavithula

Attendance: Kavya Tangella

Quote– “God, who is the Origin and the Goal, can be cognised only by pure consciousness. The race is won by those who start early and drive slowly; only then do they reach safely. Put the “little feet” on the path of God; the joy of the first step will lead them forward. Children must learn thrift and the proper use of money. In cultivating human values, emphasis should also be placed on avoiding wastage of money, food, and time.” – Sai Baba.

Mindfulness and Meditation–

Sit up straight, close your eyes. Allow your mind to settle on your breath, as an anchor for you to focus on. Watch your breath as you slowly and rhythmically inhale and exhale.
Today we will take a trip, in our mind’s eye, to Consumer Heaven. Imagine yourself walking into any store of your choosing.
(Pause) Where are you? (Pause) What surrounds you? (Pause) Observe how you feel as your senses take in the sights, sounds, and even smells that greet you? (PAUSE)
Observe how your body is reacting to these sensations. What is happening to your breath? What other reactions are triggered?
Walk a little further into the store. What do you see around you? (Pause) What items jump out at you? Pause in front of one item
that you want. How do you feel as you look at it? What would be the benefits of buying this item?
(Pause) Notice your breath.
What is happening to your slow and even breathing? Notice any other physical sensations you feel.
Imagine that you are taking the item that you want to the cash register to buy it. How do you feel? What thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations do you notice? (Pause) How do you feel when you think of going home with this item and using it or showing it to your friends and family? (Pause) When you get to the register, for some reason, you are not able to purchase the item. You have to leave it at the counter. How do you feel? What thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations do you notice? (Pause) How do you feel when you think of going home without this item, and not being able to show it to your friends and family? (Pause)
Imagine that you are now walking out of the store. As you are leaving, you see a homeless person standing outside on the corner.
How does this make you feel? How does this sight influence your perspective on the experience you just had inside the store?
Observe your body’s reactions to these thoughts. Bring your focus back to your breath. Is it still controlled and even? Without forcing it, steady your inhalations and exhalations until your breath is slow and measured.
Each breath is a reminder of our universal connection with the world and our universal responsibility to one another through the appropriate use of resources. Remember that being mindful of our desires and the ways they affect us can help us reduce the money we waste on unnecessary wants, therefore lightening our baggage and bringing us closer to Swami. When you are ready, you may slowly open your eyes.

The children were asked to share their experience during this exercise. We had a discussion about Needs and Wants. Need- something you have to have and Want -something you would like to have. Knowing the difference between “wants” and “needs” is an important part of learning to manage money, especially in tough economic times.

It’s easy to spend money.What’s not so easy is spending money wisely. One way to help you spend wisely is to separate your needs from your wants, and spend money primarily on your needs. Wants are nice to have but are not essentials: eating out, going to movies, text messaging, or getting the newest cell phone and ring tones.

Needs are the essentials, the basics of life that you must have to survive: food, housing, clothing. Some expenses that relate to your job (that is, your ability to pay for the basics) also are needs, such as transportation to and from work, and health care coverage to keep you well enough to go to work.

Before you buy something, ask yourself, “Do I need this item, or do I just want it?” You may be surprised at how many things are actually “wants.”

Wants come from Desires and we looked at teachings from Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2- Krishna has the answer in the following Sloka:

Dwelling the Mind on sense objects develops attachments. Attachment leads to desire and desire breeds anger. [2.62]

Krishna continues:

From anger rises delusion; delusion promotes confusion of the Mind; confusion generates loss of reason; and finally, loss of reason leads to complete ruin. [2.63]

He attains peace who conquering desires lives without the feeling “I” or “mine”. [2.71]

We discussed few stories about Thrift and avoidance of wastage.

The first story was about Lord Kubera who was extremely careful even with saving one grain from a bag of sand, but magnanimously donating bags of grain from his granary to the drought areas of Yudhistara’s kingdom and even throwing some of that precious grain on the muddy roads to let the carts be able to deliver on time to the famine struck people.

The second story was about Buddha’s disciple who used his robe till it became tatters and then got a replacement for it. He reused and recycled the tattered robe as a bed spread, kitchen curtains, napkins and mop cloth and finally as a the wick to burn the candle.

We brought in scenarios from Swami’s life where He practiced thrift with time, water, paper, electricity and money , but, how He donated millions for medical, educational and service projects.

Life Application– Before you buy something, ask yourself, “Do I need this item, or do I just want it?” You may be surprised at how many things are actually “wants.” Let’s grow more mindful of what we are using our money for, how much we think of money, or where it may be going to waste.

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February 26, 2012

Teacher:Krishnan Iyer

Attendance: Manasa, Kavya, Niharika and Shwetha

Discussion on the interconnections of the five elements with the five senses, Five human sheaths and five values.

Significance of Gayatri mantra with Swami’s emphasis on recitation on regular basis to strengthen our intellect.

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February 19, 2012

Teacher:Mangala Shankar

Attendance: Nikarika, Manasa

Lesson Plan on Realizing the presence of Divinity in our lives and to be always happy. Also taught the significance of Shivathri through Swami’s discourse March 1 and March 2 2003.

a) Welcome Swami : Om, Gayathri 3 times

b) Review of Previous Week Life Application
Gayathri Mantra chanting.. Students were chanting the mantra whenever possible during the day.

c) Affirmation
I am Atma, Being, Awareness, Bliss

d) Story/Questions
Discussed James Sinclair story and his experiences in realizing Divinity in his life.

a. Who were the three figures in sinclair’s dream: “One was an old man in white. One looked somewhat like Jesus Christ. The one in the middle had an orange robe”?
b. Why did it take Sinclair many years to finally see Swami in His physical form?
c. What did Swami mean when he told Sinclair” All I have given you, and you have never been happy one moment in your life”?
d What qualities does Sinclair exhibit?

e) Activity
Students wrote down 3 pearls of wisdom which they learnt through the lesson taught during the class and discusssed that.

f) Life Application
Write a letter to Swami to be grateful for all the things He has blessed us with. Draw a picture of something that makes you happy.


Character Crafting Lesson Plan#1 One Man’s journey to sai – The Story of James D . Sinclair Page 187- 192 ( SSE Group III Manual)
Shivathri Discourse March 1, March 2 , 2003

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February 12, 2012

Teacher: Mani Sundaram

Attendance: Kavya, Nikharika, Shweta

Lesson Plan: Constant Integrated Awareness & its daily practice

Life Application: Watch the 2 videos of interview of Shrikant Sola in Souljourns in Vimeo.com by next Sunday.

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February 5, 2012

Teacher:Krishnan Iyer

Attendance: Manasa, Kavya, Nikarika, Swetha

Lesson Plan: Contact With Consciousness – Lesson Plan #4 – Gayatri Mantra

Opening: Three OM’S, Gayathri (3 times)



“The Gayatri Mantra has been given to you as a third eye to enable you to have that inner vision by which you may realize God.” – Sai Baba, Sanathana Sarathi April 1996, p. 108

Detail Class Topics:

Literal meaning Of Gayatri Manta
Discussion — Why is the Gayatri Mantra powerful
Significance and explanations of each item held by Gayatri Devi in her Hand
Deeper meaning of the Gayatri Mantra
Concentrating either on the Form or the meaning of the mantra while chanting the Mantra
Benefits of Chanting the Gayatri Mantra

The Class also read about
The Power and Potency Of the Gayatri Mantra as taught and expounded by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Published by “The Sri Sathya Sai Organization Sri Lanka”(Region XV)

Chanting the Gayatri Mantra protects me.

Life Application
Chant the Gayatri Mantra first 3 times and then increase it to at least nine times every day. Determine how it makes you feel by the end of the week.

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January 29, 2012

Teacher:Mangala Shankar

Attendance: Nikarika, Manasa, Kavya, Swetha

Lesson Plan on Humility, Hospitality and Charity

a) Welcome Swami Sai Gayathri

b) Review of Previous Week Life Application

One of the SSE students(Sweta) shared how she helped her mom, who fainted and she helped her to recover by sprinkling water. Another student(Nikarika) helped her mom with cleaning (dish/house) as she did not have school that week,

c) Quote

“[Music has] the potency to restore calm and equanimity, to still the waves of agitation and worry.” – Sai Baba, SSS Vol. V, p.257

d) Affirmation

My ability to talk and sing is a God-given gift.

e) Story/Activity humility character of M S Subbulakshmi

a. human values you feel she practiced in her life that made her loved by all.
b. What inspired you about the life of M.S. Subbulakshmi?
c. What was it about the way she lived her life that came through in her music?
d What are some parts of her life story that inspired you?
e. How Swami Liked M.S. Subbulakshmi?

f) Activity

Consider the two following quotations from the story:

i. “If one sings with sincerity and devotion, such music has the capacity to move the audience to divine experience, irrespective of their religious beliefs, their language and the countries to which they may belong.” -M.S. Subbulakshmi

ii. “If there is radiance in the heart, there will be radiance in the voice.” – Dharam Bharati, a poet

g) Song : Learnt the meaning of 5 stanzas of Bhaja Govidam composed by Adi Shankara

h) Life Application

Think about the way Subbulakshmi lived her life and choose a value like a. Humility b. Selfless Service c. Devotion d) charity when they grow up that she practiced. Work on putting it into practice in your own life. Share progress made in next week’s class.


Music and Creativity Lesson Plan # 4 Character Crafting M S Subbulakshmi Page 124-133 ( SSE Group III Manual)

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January 22, 2012

Teacher:Krishnan Shankar

Attendance: Niharika,Swetha

  • Request Swami to join the class
  • Sai Gayathri
  • Quote from Sanatha Sarathi
  • Life story of Dr Sharad Kumar Dixit
  • Video clip
  • Activity
    • Excellent Answer from the sse kids on who has inspired them most
    • They said it was their parents who has inspired since they have sacrified a lot
  • Chinna katha from swami
  • Life application: Make a journal of all the good deeds you did for next week and share with the teach next class.
  • Retire Swami from class

Attachment: Powerpoint

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January 15, 2012

Teacher: Krishnan Iyer

(Zero attendance, no class conducted)

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January 8, 2012

Teacher:Suhasini Jonnavithula

Attendance: Swetha Hariharan and Manasa Pisipati

If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.
When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.
Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba encourages us to recognize who we are. We are not these minds. We are not these bodies. We are the eternal spirit that temporarily occupies these minds and bodies.
We can appreciate and become who we really are by turning inward with faith in God and an intense yearning to know Him.
Our conscience is a reflection of the eternal spirit. Sathya Sai Baba tells us that our conscience is our master. When we follow our conscience, our thoughts, words, and deeds will be noble and consistent.
Spirituality is having the courage and determination to follow our conscience in all things and at all times and having Unity in thought, word and deed.
In doing so, we recognize that we are all united in God. We are bound together by divine love.

Follow the Master (conscience)
Face the Devil (the evil propensities)
Fight to the End (Fight the evil propensities)
Finish the Game (Attain Realization)

We discussed the life story of Hanuman as a shining example of the above Quotation from Swami.
We went through Quiz questions from radio sai on Hanuman and learned some significant details told by Swami on Hanuman’s devotion to Rama and his steadfastness to the mission given to him and how he completed it successfully with the Lord’s name in his heart at all times. http://media.radiosai.org/journals/Vol_08/01MAR10/quiz2.htm

In every moment of my life, please be with me
In every single act of mine, be Thou my Guide
Baba Sai Baba
When I slip, When I fall, lend me a hand
When I stray far away, bring me back again
Baba Sai Baba
From the darkness into light Lead me Father
From the unreal into the Real
Baba Sai Baba (2x)

Life Application– Follow the Four F’s of Swami– use that principle when you are undertaking any task. Keep a diary of how you accomplished a task successfully, fighting all the distractions, following your inner conscience and keeping steadfast faith in God.

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January 1, 2012

Teacher: Meera Saikumari, Suhasini Jonnavithula

Attendance: Kavya, Manasa

Spiritual Principle (purpose of lesson): Master the Mind and be a Mastermind

Topic: Understanding and Controlling the Mind and Senses

1 – 3 OMs

2 – Opening Prayer: 3 Gayathri mantras

3 – Light meditation

4 -Swami’s quote:

“Every year, man has been bidding farewell to the old year and giving welcome to the New Year; this has been going on since the history of man began. But, what is the net result? Only despair and distress, anxiety and insane fear! This is an occasion to inquire and discover why it has been so. How then can man achieve peace? Only through Love! Shanti (peace) is the fruit of the tree of life. Without it, the tree is a barren stump. It has no value or validity.”
“Human Life is a gift, a chance, an opportunity, a thing to be celebrated, to be used for your uplift. That is to say, each second is a fresh chance given to you for training the mind, refining the intellect, purifying the emotions, strengthening the will, for getting confirmed in the conviction that you are the deathless Atma (Soul, the Infinite Consciousness).”

5 – Bhajan: Bhajana Bina Sukha Shanthi Nahi

Hari Bhajana Bina Sukha Shanthi Nahi
Hari Nama Bina Ananda Nahi
Japa Dhyana Bina Sanyoga Nahi
Prabhu Darshan Bina Pragnana Nahi
Daya Dharma Bina Satkarma Nahi
Bhagawan Bina Koi Apana Nahi
Hari Nama Bina Paramatma Nahi

6 – Creation and how it all began:

The entire creation is made out of the Panch Mahabhut (5 elements).

Through His will God first created space, and from space came air, from air came fire, from fire came water, and from water came earth. Then He created rivers, mountains, trees, and all living beings. The human body is endowed with 5 Gyan Indrias, and 5 Karm Indrias. Gyan Indrias are the powers of perception, and Karm Indrias are the instruments of the human body that experience those perceptions.

The Gyan Indrias are Shabt (sound), Sparsh (touch), Rasa (taste), Rupa (form) and Gandha (smell).

Shabd (sound) we perceive through the Ear.
Sparsh (touch) we perceive through the hands and skin.
Rasa (taste) we perceive through the tongue.
Rupa (form) we perceive through the eyes.
Gandha (smell) we perceive through the nose.

The human body also has Mann namely the Mind, Buddhi which is the power of Discrimination, Chitta is Consciousness, Ahankar is the Ego which is governed by the mind, and Atma of course is the Soul. Then there is Conscience. When we talk of Conscience, we can call it the Heart or the Inner Voice, or the Voice of God seated in your Heart which is Truth, Sathyam.

The mind is influenced by the senses, which are also called the indriyas. These are the lower attributes of the human nature. They are Desire, Anger, Attachment, Ego, Greed and Lust. These six are the enemies of humanity. Now the mind can also be controlled and rectified and infused with wisdom, with compassion, with selflessness and righteousness.

Swami had said “Jad bhavam, tad bhavati”. That means, whatever are your thoughts and feelings you become that. So if you let these 6 enemies take over your mind, then you can become demonic. And if you let wisdom, love, compassion take over your mind, then you can become divine.

Swami had also said “Man minus Mind is God.” The mind is a mad monkey. Mind can lead you to illusion and delusion and confusion, because the mind is not true. Because the mind is influenced by the earthly yearnings which are based on the 6 evil senses, which I spoke of earlier. And so, as my guru says, from the word of Monkey, if you take out E and Y, E- earthly and Y-yearnings, then MONKEY – EY = MONK. Monk means saint.

It is these 6 evil senses that lead a man to commit sins. It is because of these very six negative senses that there are crimes, murders, rapes, loots, cheats, deceptions, frauds, and war. In this Kali Yuga all these are very much prevalent, and that’s why there is no Shanthi (peace), there is no Dharma (righteousness), and humanity itself has lost its essence and meaning.

The mind must not become a slave of the senses, but must become a master of the senses. Here let tell you a small story, you must have read about the Ramayana or the Mahabharata.

In our life we experience joys, sorrows, happiness and unhappiness. These are really all states of mind. It is our mind and senses that cause us to believe that we are happy or unhappy, or whether we experience pleasure or pain. And since the senses become activated through the body, the body also suffers. But the one who masters the mind and senses will not get affected by either joy or sorrow, by pleasure or through pain, and even death will not cause any concern.

7 – How to rise above the senses:

Our whole experience in life is through the mind and senses, which are all temporary, changeable and eventually bring grief. Therefore God says that “One must learn to rise beyond the mind and senses in order to get happiness and peace”. There are some ancient wise saints have mentioned ways to control the mind and senses from becoming evil, and how to train and control the mind and senses so that the human life transcends to a higher level of consciousness.
Some of the practices that are mentioned are: yoga, meditation, pranayama, satsang, namasmaran, bhajan and kirtan, reading Sai literature, and also engaging in righteous thoughts and deeds. These are the practical ways of doing sadhana.
By practicing Sadhana (spiritual practices) and Aradhana (praying to God) one can overcome the Bandhana (bondage).

8 – Stories

– Saint Bernadette, who lived about 200 years ago in France, who had the vision of Mother Mary. She faced many difficulties in life, but always thought of Mother Mary, and at the end of her life she had Mother Mary’s darshan and got Salvation. – Moral of story: think of God at all times, as that is how you’ll be able to think of God during your last breath.

– Swami’s quote describing the mind as bundle of thoughts, comparing it to a piece of cloth made of threads (thoughts). The moment you pull out the threads (thoughts), one by one, then there is no more cloth (mind).

– Swami’s quote of how the six enemies (anger, greed, jealousy… etc) are like the holes in a clay pot. They don’t let the watter stay in the pot. And how the pot will continue to be emptied out, even if there is only one hole in it (even if one enemy is left).

– Story of Ravana, and how he lost everything because of his ego, anger, greed and lust.

– Monkey mind: How to master the mind. Here we may recall the story of the saint who asked God for a servant, Who in turn gave the saint a monkey that had to be kept busy at all times or else it would sit on the saint’s head. Meaning: Namasmarana, that is the key to keep the monkey mind busy when not engaged in fruitful work.

9 – Discussion Questions:
What are the Gyan Indrias, the Karma Indrias, the “six enemies” – senses?
What is the difference between Gyan Indrias and Karma Indrias?
Have you experienced any of the “six enemies” in your daily life?
How can one overcome the Six enemies of mankind?

11 – Life application:
Follow one of the spiritual disciplines we discussed in class consistently for at least one month. Let one of the teachers know about your progress.

Om Sri Sai Ram

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