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At School
Living Sikhi - Lesson Five






Lesson Objectives:

1    To learn the names of the languages Guru Nanak knew.

2    To understand the meaning of being a Sikh and why it is different from other religions.

3    To discuss why learning subjects in school is balanced by learning about God, about nature and about ourselves.

4  . To learn to practice what we learn.

Teachers, ask the students to say the Sikh greeting with you; then fold hands and do simran with the students. When finished, ask if anyone talked to a parent, teacher or counselor about bullying, or if anyone went on the website Depending on the quality of the discussion that follows, you may find that the entire time is spent on this issue. Keep your eyes and ears open! Be prepared to postpone the lesson, At School.

Read pages 14-17 of Book I,  Stories from Sikh History.

Guru Nanak  learned three languages from three teachers. His first teacher was his mother who taught him to speak Punjabi. At that time there was no writing (script) for Punjabi, no one wrote in that language; they only spoke it! Nanak learned Sanskrit, the language of the sacred Hindu books from a Hindu Brahmin. People wrote in Sanskrit, but they did not speak it everyday, only for prayer. And Nanak learned Farsi, the language spoken in Persia (Iran) and in those days by educated people in northern India, from a Muslim scholar. It is written in Arabic script as is the Koran, the holy book of the Muslims.

You can imagine how intelligent the boy Nanak was and how much effort he made to study!

Remember what job Nanak had before he went to school? What was it? Pause for answers. Yes, he watched the cattle. Who was his teacher then? Yes, Nature taught him. The wind, the rain, the sun taught him about moderation and balance. Too much or too little of anything can be harmful.

Remember who his first teacher was? Pause. Yes, his mother. What were the names of his father and mother? Pause. He also had a sister,; her name was Nanaki. What kinds of things did he learn from his family? Pause. Yes, he learned to listen to his parents because they had more life experience than he did. He learned to share with his sister and be respectful of his family members.

Did his parents or his sister correct him when he was wrong? Yes. He learned how to behave properly. Nanak sometimes felt angry just like we do. Sometimes he felt greedy. Sometimes he felt like he was smarter and did not want to listen. But guess what? His parents, his teachers and his sister were helpful to correct him. And he listened and changed his behavior. That's how he became so wise so soon.

And best of all, even at an early age, the boy Nanak knew that only God could make us truly happy. That is why he told his teachers about God and he wanted to learn all he could about God. Not only that, he wanted to behave toward everyone the same way, not just to his family, but even to others - to be kind and generous to everyone because he knew that every person is a child of God. That makes all of us one big family!

Sikhs are very lucky! Guru Nanak taught us to learn from our parents and family, from Mother Nature, from our studies in school and from the life of God in us. Sikhs do not just learn when they are in school, they learn ALL through their lives. They never stop learning, they are always listening to God and learning from every person and every thing. Remember, that's what the word "Sikh" means - "student".

Guru Nanak taught us something else very important. It is not enough to learn or know  what is good and right - we must practice it in our everyday lives. What does that mean? Well, let's take the knowledge that each person is a child of God. How would we put that into practice? Pause for several answers. Right! We would treat people who are different from us with respect.



Homework: Sikhs learn subjects in school like everyone else. They also learn more and they never stop learning.

Sikhs learn many things about God. Write two ways.

Sikhs learn many things about nature. Write two ways.

Sikhs learn many things about themselves. Write two ways. 

Shabad: Tu mera pitaa too(n) hai mera maata (last practice before singing in sangat.)


May 14, 2010

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Living Sikhi - Lesson Five"

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