The Art of Life|Nov 20, 2011 1:05 PM| by:

Who said Wisdom comes with Age?

I’m chatting with Srila, presently the vice-principal of the school and an ashramite who has been living and teaching here for almost two decades. She’s quiet and unassuming, and has seen many experiments and people come and go. She’s sharing some of her experiences or anecdotes about this place.

She recalled one about when there were as young as three year olds in the school. They were all doing gardening with Vijay di; all the little ones planting tiny plants in the brown earth with the sun shining happily above them. Each child had just about finished planting his or her own special plant when one child accidently stepped on the plant of another kid. The owner of the trampled plant flew into a furious rage and could think of nothing but revenge. In a fit of blind fury he deliberately trampled the plant of his neighbour as a fitting response to the latter’s negligence. This led to the destruction of yet another plant and consequently another scuffle, followed by another and yet another. Before the diya could even realize let alone do anything about it, a war had broken out on the blessed soil then and there. A war that led to total death and destruction (as it always does) of the tiny innocent plants whose very lives they sought to protect and propagate.

I presume the group of three year old warriors went back feeling not a little disappointed and the diyas (teachers) too may well have jumped upon this opportunity to discuss and preach the evils of violence and war. However, the story has a tailpiece. One smart three-year old came up to Vijay di and surprised her, “Didi you know I saved my plant?” Vijay was undoubtedly surprised as to how the little girl could have managed such a feat amidst the chaos. “Just how did you do that?” came the genuine curious reply. Imagine grown-ups being curious about children like that!

“When everyone was fighting and spoiling all the plants I covered mine with the soil and sat on it!” This was found to be true. In the ravaged wasteland of heartlessly killed plants where the battle had been fought and forgotten stood one tiny plant still alive albeit a little dusty, that owed its life to the presence of mind of a three year old girl. It was a lesson well learnt on how to save a life when everyone else is hell bent on blindly destroying it. Thanks kid!

Harvinder Kaur

(Harvinder Kaur began her journey in education because it made her heart dance! After a regular job for some years, she worked as a volunteer in non-formal education based on Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy which was for her a turning point. An avid writer, she writes poetry, articles and stories on education and spirituality.)

  • http://Website Nileen

    Very nice!