How do you teach your child to feel comfortable with animals as part of mother nature?
Yesterday, I had the fortune of conducting a special online Gurukul class with a group children and parents from different countries like Singapore, Europe and Africa focusing on awakening the power (shakti) to communicate with animals. As some of you may already know, I am a volunteer teacher (acharya) for Weekend Gurukul (Vedic school)in my Guru’s mission (His name is Bhagavan Sri Nithyananda Paramashivam, fondly known as Swamiji).
The inspiration to host this special themed lesson was triggered by the growing global awareness of saving the planet earth by going vegan or vegetarian. The truth is planet earth cannot sustain a meat-eating population in the next 20-30 years. Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce our environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet. The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife. The new analysis shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority, 83% of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Other recent research shows 86% of all land mammals are now livestock or humans. The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing. The study, published in the journal Science, created a huge dataset based on almost 40,000 farms in 119 countries and covering 40 food products that represent 90% of all that is eaten. It assessed the full impact of these foods, from farm to fork, on land use, climate change emissions, freshwater use and water pollution (eutrophication) and air pollution (acidification).
“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use.” said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research. “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car.,” he said, as these only cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Seriously, I feel that if our children were given the facts and the right understanding of the damage of non-vegetarian diet at a very young age in their early education, they would have become a vital force in saving the planet earth as well as the animal species. In Gurukul, this is what we focused on – giving kids the experience of their consciousness in relation with the Whole. My main purpose of this session of communicating with animals is to bring the right understanding to the kids when they are still young so that they can make informed choices in their life.
Here was the way how the entire lesson plan was structured:
- Experience consciousness of animals in Yoga. As a preparatory process, the children were made to play with different yogasanas related to animals in the yoga practice. See, according to Swamiji, every asana (posture) is a reflection of certain Consciousness. Just by guiding the children to become the embodiment of different animal postures, they started to experience the consciousness in their muscle memory and bio memory. For example, in Bhujangasana (cobra pose), kids experience the alertness of a king cobra in a raised hood while working on the strengthening the back and chest areas. Like this example, every animal posture creates certain reflection of consciousness in us, after all the human species is the most evolved species. It means we carry the bio memory of all the animal species.
- Bring in powerful cognition of co-existence. After working on the muscle memory, we bring the right powerful cognitions to the children by sharing in Sanatana Hindu Dharma, we accept all beings on planet earth as they have the same equal right to co-exist on planet earth. In Vedic puranas, all the gods and goddesses are always seen with animals as their vehicle (vahana), it shows we live with them peacefully. The idea of separation from animals got inserted into us by society. For example, by creating fear of living with animals, labelling them as cause of health issue or treating them as food. One child was afraid of going near to cats and dogs thinking the fur of these animals causes him to cough by society. This child was given the right cognition that we manifest what we believe in not what we desire. A change of this wrong belief will simply stop the manifestation and allow the child to be able to embrace domestic animals. Another powerful cognition is we are the Super consciousness – Paramashiva – where everything is a part of us and we are in everything, how can we eat animals which is a part of us? It is like eating your own fingers or body parts! When I asked the kids ‘How many kids here are vegetarian?’ All kids raised their hands.
- Shastras Pramana by Paramashiva. Shastra Pramanas are the absolute truths revealed by Paramashiva in Vedas and agamas. In Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, Sutra 82, Dhāraṇa 57, He revealed the following:
सने शयने स्थित्वा निराधारं विभावयन् ।
स्वदेहं मनसि क्षीणे क्षणात क्षीणाशयो भवेत् ॥ ८२ ॥
āsane śayane sthitvā nirādhāraṃ vibhāvayan |
svadehaṃ manasi kṣīṇe kṣaṇāta kṣīṇāśayo bhavet || 82 ||
Being situated on a comfortable seat or on a bed, firmly cognize that your own body is without any support or base from anywhere. It is resting on nothing. By holding this cognition, when the mind becomes worn away and thoughtlessness arises, then in an instant, One becomes weightless and experiences the space beyond the mind (the space of SadaShiva).
Through the play of powers (shaktis) in communicating with animals, they will catch the highest truth that they are Paramashiva! So, we brought in four pets – 2 cats and 2 dogs and the kids were asked to connect with the Guru, Swamiji in oneness by chanting Mahavakya and communicate with their chosen animals. What followed by absolutely amazing! All the kids were able to know something about the 2 cats and 2 dogs accurately which were confirmed by the pet owners. One child accurately cited one cat loves broccoli and another child knows the other cat loves to scratch things like cardboards. Another kid correctly told one dog loves to eat and another dog loves to play in the park! In the space of Paramashiva, they become all knowing and have the power to communicate with the animals in oneness with everything. What a power!
Honestly, to me, learning should be fun-filled and rooted on the truth from the enlightened consciousness. I had already missed my chance in learning in a Gurukul in this birth, but I will hold the space for the future generation to learn from this great science from a living enlightened master. This is going to be the new standard for future learning – discovering the kids’ consciousness and their highest possibility. Namaste 😀