Throughout His life, His Divine Holiness Hariprasad Swamiji (b. 1934), has exemplified various divine qualities and has inspired and blessed hundreds of thousands to live with atmiyata and suhradbhav.
He is the founder of Atmiya Vidya Mandir, an international residential-only, boys-only school and has given the motto of Union of Body, Mind and Soul for the school. He has regularly trained and inspired the staff to fulfil the purpose of the school that is dedicated to the divinity in every child.
The school strives to instil moral and spiritual values in the divine minds of children by celebrating a specific value throughout the week, which is followed by a creative assembly on the last day of the week. The reason behind the creative assembly is the fact that values cannot be measured and earned with money, they ought to be demonstrated.
It was hence, Shivam House’s opportunity to delve into the invaluable and immeasurable life of Param Pujya Swamishree. It was an exciting and joyful experience after getting the most enthralling value for the week, Life and Message of Swamishree as Prabhudasbhai.
The Shivam House team members gathered to plan out the daily assemblies and creative assembly content and format. Every one contributed by pouring in their heart and soul to unearth the treasures in the form of anecdotes from the life of Swamishree.
In the daily assemblies in the Junior assembly, the theme of ‘Sabha’ was explained throughout the week that ended on Friday.
- On Monday, grade 1 & 2 students enacted the divine incidents from the childhood of Swamishree and delivered a message that whatever may be the circumstance, we should always remain positive, courageous, stable and passionate towards studies.
- On Tuesday, grade 3 & 4 participants, through demonstration, conveyed the value of Saralta, which was nurtured and evident in the life of Prabhudasbhai since childhood.
- On Wednesday, video of a skit on the life of Swamishree, “कढ़ी दूधपाक में न फँसाओ, अच्छा जीवन ध्येय बनाओ” was shown and the message conveyed was of remaining focused on the goal, instead of getting distracted by small petty events and situations that makes one depressed and brings down one’s morale.
- On Thursday, ગુરુ દિવસ, the ‘પારાવાણી પ્રસાદ’ of Swamishree was shown and discussed.
- And finally, before the day of creative assembly, on Friday, some of the values from Swamishree’s life were discussed by Saumya Ma’am where she illustrated His daily routine when He was with Yogiji Maharaj as Prabhudasbhai.
The full-fledged preparation for creative assembly had begun two weeks in advance, where the teachers and the students spent their time either preparing the props or practising for drama and dance performances. The entire program was divided into four sets. And the teachers responsible were divided into various groups accordingly, namely decoration group, dance group, costume and property group, etc. One could see all of them very much involved in carrying out the various tasks. This preparation phase provides an excellent platform for interaction between students and teachers that leads to further building a healthy rapport.
Then came the long-awaited day of creative assembly. The show began with the backdrop of the protagonist Chintan at his house. The drama started with a conversation among three friends, Chintan, Shreyas and Ojas about the list of problems Chintan was having. The other two friends, with the help of a story, explained that one could remove darkness, that is negativity, only through lighting a lamp, that is, in drawing positivity from around. The story that conveyed the value follows… In a village, some people thought of a solution to fight with the darkness that crept in their houses by beating it out, from evening through the night, to morning till sunrise, instead of lighting the lamp and removing the darkness. After narrating the story, the friends realised that Chintan needed more clarity regarding lighting up or bringing in the positivity. They help him with that by narrating another story, a real-life story of Prabhudasbhai (Swamishree’s name when he was young). The story began this way – Prabhudasbhai was influenced by a saint સેજા કુવાવાળા ગુરુજી, who instructed him to seek something positive, each day, from things and people in His surroundings. One day, He became very sad as He was unable to follow that instruction that day. His caring sister enquired about the same and asked if the sadness was related to anyone’s inconsiderate rudeness. Then He explained that He was very much clear with His goal in life and did not get affected by any such petty matters. After this real-life incident of Swamishree, Chintan got enlightenment and found himself reenergized. He really felt grateful to his friends who reminded him the aagna of Swamishree. So, he decided and declared ‘from today onwards, I would do the things which Swamiji likes. ‘એવું કહે છે કે થવું તો હંસ જેવા જે હંમેશા મોતી નો જ ચારો ચરે એટલે, થવું તો પ્રભુ ના બાળક થવું, બાકી ફાલતું તો ઘણા છે’.
Even during the assembly practice sessions, one could see that the students were already trying to contemplate upon the story depicted. Once when the students were asked about the value that they were learning from this, they gave a clear reply stating the learning to be to remove the negativity so as to bring within the positivity. And to become positive one must notice and absorb the good qualities of others and learn to let go the petty useless matters by remaining focussed on one’s goal.
As it is rightly said by Carolyn Crane ‘Most people think happiness is about gaining something, but it’s not. It’s all about getting rid of the darkness you accumulate’. So, let’s strive to help each child towards achieving their set goals by remaining dedicated to the divinity within them and by delving ourselves in positivity with sincere determination.
Written by: Binu Ma’am