THE TRUE FLAG OF VICTORY
Bhagawan Speaks on Bharat
Nearly two and half decades ago while speaking to the students of His university on this day of India's independence Baba clearly set forth before the young minds the ideals and idols they should pursue. He also elucidated what independence means in its truest sense. Here are a few excerpts from that revealing discourse delivered on August 15, 1985.
The Meaning of Swatantra and Swarajya
The independence we celebrate today was finally achieved and proclaimed at midnight on August 14, 1947. What exactly does the word 'independence' mean?
It means we are not dependent on anyone, any longer. We are dependent on ourselves alone. The Indian word for independence is Swa-tantra. It means 'our Tantra'. The word Tantra means 'the Atma'... So Swatantra means independence from everything except the Atma.
One should always follow only one's heart; that is our only Guru and God. There should be no dependence on the others. This is the stage of Swarajya, becoming the sole monarch of oneself.The word Swaraj, commonly used for an independent state, connotes only absence of worldly dependence. Independence can be enjoyed by man only if he gets rid of bondage to the senses which drag him into tantalising ventures. The attainment of Yoga, involving sense-control, expansion of love, and cleansing the consciousness, is the true goal. Only when this happens can God's glory be reflected in the heart of every individual.
The True Flag of Victory
Love for one's motherland is good. But it should not lead to hatred towards the motherland of others. Your prayer has to be, "May everyone everywhere be happy and peaceful." For, only when the world has peace and prosperity, can India be peaceful and happy...Your peace and happiness are linked with the world's peace and happiness. Any act of hatred or violence committed by you will pollute the atmosphere of the world. When you adore any living being, the adoration reaches God, for He is in every being. Similarly insult to any living being too reaches God. So, expand love towards all, everywhere.
The flag is the symbol of victory, of the joy of Independence. Each nation has a flag for itself. Pay attention to another flag to symbolise another laudable victory. And this is over one's lower instincts, impulses, passions, emotions and desires. This is the flag which has to be unfurled in every human heart. When you achieve this victory, you will become the true inheritors of Bharatiya (Indian) culture.
- Divine Discourse on Independence Day, August 15, 1985 at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Prasanthi Nilayam.
[Adapted from www.radiosai.org]
Indian flag collage
The colours in our tri colour flag have deeper meanings. The saffron colour indicates the strength and courage of the country. Green indicates fertiity of the land and white indicates peace. The 24 spoke blue wheel indicates the dharma chakra.
- Saffron: let’s learn to be strong and overcome our fears
- Green:let’s sow the seed of good values in us and let us spread joy
- White:let’s be peaceful and pure in our thoughts and actions
- Dharma chakra: let’s follow the right path
This activity is a collage. It’s fun to tear the colour papers into bits and pieces and to put them together. Children can do this activity independently with very little guidance.
- White chart paper
- Crepe paper (orange, green and blue)
- Glue stick
Discuss the significance of our national flag. Take this opportunity to talk about india’s freedom struggle. Talk about non violence and a few great leaders.
- Children can have fun tearing up the crepe papers into pieces.
- Three piles of colour paper (orange, green and blue) can be made.
- Children can take the paper pieces from the 3 piles. They learn to share and work with unity.
- After all, unity was one major factor that enable indians to drive the british away!
Tiger is india’s national animal. It symbolizes power, strength, intelligence and courage.
Value inculcated:just like the tiger, we should be courageous and learn to face obstaclesin life.
This is a very cute activity. It is done with a child’s hand print.
- A4 sheet/chart paper
- Orange and black paints
- One paint brush
Discuss a few points about the national animal. Talk about extinction and importance to save the tiger and the measures taken. Also teach the children the values learnt from this majestic animal.
- The paint can be applied on the child’s hand and the imprint can be taken.
- With a brush, black stripes can be painted. The tiger print is ready!
Peacock (Paper Plate Craft)
Peacock is our national bird. It has the qualities of grace, beauty, pride and mysticism.
looking at the spectacular beauty of the peacock, let us look deeper into our inner beauty. Inner beauty includes attractive traits like love, kindness, tolerance, forgiveness and more. Let us cultivate these in us.
- Paper plate
- Blue and green paints
- Yellow colur paper
- Blue colour paper
Discuss a few points about the national bird an its beautiful feathers. Also discuss about the values that can be learnt from this gorgeous bird.
- Paint the paper plate with shades of blue and green.
- Make a cut out of peacock in blue paper as shown in the picture.
- Stick a yellow colour beak and the eyes.
- Stick the cut out of peacock on the paper plate.
- Decorate with sequences.
Mango (Notepad Making)
This king of fruits has also been described in valmikis ramayana. This unique fruit can be used in the raw as well as ripe form.
Like the sweetness of mango, let us spread sweetness through our words and actions.
- Yellow colour chart paper
- A4 sheets/white paper
- Black marker/sketch pen
- Make a cut out of the yellow chart paper in the shape of mango.
- Make a cut of a4 sheets, also in mango shape
- Stick the papers to the yellow chart paper cut out.
- Cut the green paper in the shape of leaves.
- Stick it to the note pad, on top
Lives of Freedom Fighters
- Group II Children
- To appreciate the good qualities that make a person Noble and Humble.
- To appreciate the legacy that a person gives to the mankind, by being good.
- To increase memory power & improve concentration
- A set of ‘Religions & Holy Persons’ cards.
- A set of, ‘Great Personalities & Noble qualities cards.
- 1 pencil and 1 paper per participant.
- 1 clock to control time.
The guru to talk about the virtues of Holy Persons and Great Personalities and direct the children to always see good in others. To help the children to understand the importance of virtues in becoming a Humble Person.GAME:
- The guru selects 8 pictures of the cards ‘Religions & Holy Persons’ and ‘Great Personalities & Noble qualities’ and mixes them.
- The children sit in a semicircle with pen and paper each.
- The guru shows the pictures (one by one) to the people while they are asked to remember in silence, the pictures and the corresponding order in which they are shown.
- The cards are kept aside (face down) and each child is given 1 minute to write 1 good quality for each picture (what does that each personality teaches the mankind).
- When time is over, in turns, each child is called to read his/her paper (picture and good quality) in order and wins 2 points for each correct picture, wins 1 point if the personality is correct but not in order. Additionally, they add 1 point per good quality (if the quality is logical for that particular personality).
- The winner is the participant with more points.
- Do not forget that rather than memory, the aim of this game is to see good qualities in others.
- This game can be played many times, by mixing the cards (selecting in random different pictures).
Religions & Holy Person
Sathya Sai Baba
Whose eyes are these?
The Lotus (Value Song)
Be like a lotus, straight and strong,
Growing up to the light of the sun,
Open your heart like lotus petals,
Sending love to everyone.
Fill your days with love and kindness,
Doing good for everyone,
Be like a lotus, straight and strong,
Growing up to the light of the sun.
The Lotus (Story)
Once a gardener planted a brown lotus bulb in the mud at the bottom of the fishpond. The frog and the goldfish thought that the lotus bulb was ugly and would not be friendly. But the lotus was not upset. It knew that one day they would understand. After awhile the lotus bulb grew roots to hold it firmly, then a tall green stalk grew out of the water towards the sun. Next it grew big round leaves and a beautiful pink lotus flower on top. Then the frog and the goldfish rested in the shade of the lotus leaves and a butterfly sipped nectar from the flower.
Freedom Fighters and their Noble Qualities (Games)
Independence Day is celebrated on August 15th and is a national Holiday. It is the day when India won independence from the British rule. During this national festival period, The Balvikas guru can take the opportunity to develop the feeling of patriotism in children. The best way of course is to teach them about our great freedom fighters.
Two activities have been designed for Group 2 and Group 3 children.
- Qualities like, Courage, non-violence, love, independent thinking, kind heartedness, honesty, humility, compassion, inspiration, empathy, and determination.
- Children also get to learn about the great sacrifices made by the freedom fighters for our country
- Children develop the spirit of patriotism
- Concentration, improving memory
- Chart paper
- Glue stick
- The Guru can discuss the following, before explaining the activity
- Explain each and every quality mentioned in “values inculcated” to the children. Give instances/anecdotes in daily life that displays these qualities.
- Give a short description about each freedom fighter
- Highlight the quality that is attached to the freedom fighter. For eg: For Gandhiji, it is non-violence
- Once the above discussion is over, the children can help in preparing the Flash cards. The photos of the freedom fighters can be cut and stuck to the chart paper and 10 flash cards will be ready.
- Small chits can be made with a quality written in it. Ten such chits will be made.
The preparatory work for the activities is now ready.
Note: The Guru can do the above in one class and the activity in the next class.
Game 1: Salute The Freedom Fighters
This is an interesting game which requires some space to move around.
The Flash cards can be spread on the floor with lot of space between them. When the music is on, the children move around. When the music stops, the Guru takes out a chit and reads a quality aloud. Eg: Courage. The children should stand near the respective flash card. Here, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
The children who are near the correct flash card will continue in the game. The others will leave the game.
The flash card and the quality already read (‘Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’ and ‘courage’) will be withdrawn.
The game will continue in the same way with remaining flash cards until 3 children are still in the game. They would be the winners.
Game 2: Memory Game
The Flash cards are distributed to the children. The children and Gurus can sit in a circle. The children have to tell the quality of the freedom fighter whose picture is present on the flash card given to them. The children will take turns and the game can start clockwise.
If the child is unable to say the correct quality, any other child can volunteer to say. However, the children who want to answer will have to raise their hand. And the Guru will decide who will answer. This is to ensure that decorum is maintained.
Guru's Reference :
- Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: Courage
- Mahatma Gandhiji: Non-violence
- Jawaharlal Nehru: Love
- Sardar Bhagat Singh: Independent Thinking
- Dr.Rajendra Prasad: Kind - Heartedness
- Lal Bahadur Shastri: Honesty
- Kamala Nehru: Compassion
- Kittur Rani Chennamma: Inspiration
- Sarojini Naidu: Empathy
- Jhansi Rani Laxmi Bai : Determination
Subhash Chandra Bose wanted complete freedom. He dreamed of a classless society without caste barriers. His slogan “Jai Hind” is very popular even today. He was a courageous young man, who was ready to sacrifice anything to get freedom.
Gandhiji fought for untouchables. He gave them the name “Harijans” meaning people of God. He wanted to win independence through non-violence and was against any form of violence. He is known for his simplicity.
He supported Gandhiji in the freedom struggle of India. Nehru loved children and they called Nehru affectionately as “Chacha Nehru”. His birthday November 14th is celebrated as “Children’s day” in India. He worked for the education, progress and welfare of the children.
At the age of 12, he visited the site of Jallian Walla Bagh massacre where innocent people had been killed. At a very young age he was influenced by the struggle for freedom. He was very good in dramatics and was a good essay writer. He believed in just one cause, to get freedom for his country. He was an independent thinker and followed his own path. He was hanged at the age of 23.
He was a student who always scored First class and medals. He had a Master’s degree in Economics from University of Calcutta and a Doctorate in Law from Allahabad University. He was kind-hearted and caring and supported the peasants’ movement against the plantation of Indigo. He was greatly influenced by Gandhiji. He was every ready to help anyone in distress.
He was inspired by the works of Swami Vivekananda, Dr. Annie Besant and Mahatma Gandhi. He was a large hearted person and did lot of service for the public. He gave an outstanding slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan”. He was a man of honesty and always spoke the truth.
She actively took part in Swadeshi Movement and encouraged people to burn foreign goods. She encouraged women to take part in the struggle. She was the wife of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. She was a compassionate woman and started a dispensary in her house to treat wounded freedom fighters.
She was Chennamma Queen of the princely state Kittur, a former princely state in Karnataka. She is very famous for having led an armed rebellion against the British East India Company. She received training in horse riding, sword fighting and archery. She was an inspiration to the women of the future generation and became a folk hero.
She was a spirited freedom activist. She was a great poet who wrote poems on nature, patriotism, love etc. She was called the nightingale of India. She studied in University of Madras, London and Cambridge. She took part in Salt Satyagraha with Mahatma Gandhiji. She was very empathetic and worked hard for the benefit of the poor as well as for the empowerment of women.
She was the queen of the princely state of Jhansi in North India. Her studies included shooting, horsemanship, fencing etc. She was a fiercely independent girl even at a young age. The British army feared her undying determination and military skill. She had a unique style of dressing. She wore a sari, yet dressed up like a man. She never left her palace without her sword.
Tri colour salad
Eating multi coloured salads will help increase powerful antioxidants in our blood.
- Let us learn to be responsible and eat well to stay healthy.
- Different colours evoke emotions and warmth in us.
- Bright colours like orange stimulate our brain.
- Yellow brings positive emotions.
- Let’s be observant and learn to appreciate the kaleidoscopic colours around us.
- The children can work on the presentation of the cut vegetables.
- Cutting the fruits into small pieces can be done beforehand by the guru.
- Vegetables in orange , yellow and green colour
- A plate for arranging the vegetables.
Discuss the importance of eating salads. Talk about the values learnt from this activity.
Mix the vegetables and ask children to sort them. Helps in improving concentration.
Lotus is a Sacred Flower and is an Auspicious Symbol in Indian Culture.It Grows in Muddy Water and Emerges As a beautiful Flower.
We too in Life Should Learn to be Steadfast and Ensure that our mind is Pure and Clean and not Influenced by impure Thoughts. the Louts Blooms When it sees the sun . Similarly we too Should Open Our Heart to God.