‘Child is the father of man’ said William Wordsworth 3 centuries ago. What does it mean?!
As a student of Literature, it intrigued me. I read through lot of annotations. Wordsworth meant, whatever experiences a child goes through in childhood shapes the person he becomes as an adult. I looked at myself. Yes, I am a product of my childhood, like everyone else is. The upbringing, culture, values, tradition and unconditional love of not just my parents but a large extended family of grandparents, aunts, and uncles made a huge influence on the person that I became as an adult. With such strong ethical foundation, I built myself as an independent thinker to blossom in my swadharma. Swadharma is our inherent nature.
All literary figures drive home the point ‘Literature reflects life’.
As a young girl of 6 or 7, I remember getting up in the morning and looking at the picture of a God, then looking at my right palm to chant ‘Karagre vasathe lakshmi, kara madhye sarswati, Kara mole sthithe gauri, prabhate Karadarshanam’. This would continue throughout the day. A different shloka for almost every daily activity; be it going out of the house, sitting down for a meal, a dusk time prayer when lamp was lit, a prayer before beginning to study and conclude with a bedtime prayer to avoid bad dreams.
The house always brimmed with relatives who would come unannounced to be greeted with a warm welcome and special food. We as children touched their feet as they took leave. Birthdays were marked with special pujas and favourite home made goodies. We always had a band of relatives to rely on when parents had to go somewhere without us.
I have watched with dismay as this value system gradually started collapsing. Children are left confused. We cannot blame just the nuclear family system. Values have taken back seat to a degree where parents are focused on achieving a good standard of living; provide the best of best for their kids, everything they themselves could not have. Somewhere we missed the balance, tipped the scales by changing priorities.
All spiritual Gurus step in at the nick of time to save our rich heritage. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, envisaged setting up Sri Sri Sanskar Kendras not only in India but in other countries too where children could imbibe these precious values in a friendly, fun filled atmosphere. A dedicated team of volunteer teachers of the Kendras fill the void left by dissolution of joint family system and the values associated with it.
The age old practice of bed time or meal time story telling by grandmothers to young kids kindled the imagination and encouraged creativity. The stories were animated by the hand gestures and facial expression of grandmas. The same scenario is recreated in Sanskar Kendra classes. Thus IPads and laptops fade in to oblivion saving the health of the child. A strong bond of love develops between teachers and kids. What a relief!
Holistic education is about integrating spirituality into main stream of education. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says ‘Education is not about stuffing information. It is much more than that. True education should impart values and create beautiful citizens on this planet’. With the hectic academic schedule, schools can hardly take relaxed time out to teach sanskars (values) to children. Sri Sri Sanskar Kendras bridge this gap and help mould the character of children who blossom to their full potential.
The most noble and much needed initiative that promises a generation of young adults who will not need stress management or de-addiction programs. Training programs are held periodically. It is a calling for every responsible citizen to join the team.
Bangalore is the base for one of the world’s largest NGO, The Art of Living Foundation. Sri Sri Sanskar Kendra will be holding a 2 day Teacher Training sessions on 29th and 30th of this month in Bangalore. Centres or Kendras will be set up throughout Karnataka thereafter.
For more information, connect with
Sri Sri Sanskar Kendra office