August 24, 2006

A school can teach spiritual values

Spreading Spiritual Awareness and Oneness of Humanity
A deeply spiritual man himself, Mr Gandhi believes that human beings are endowed with spiritual capacities. An understanding of the divine reality, positive virtues and values give individuals and societies the moral accountability, which is the basis of human integrity. CMS provides each child with a spiritual foundation for his or her activities, be they academic, physical, social, or, eventually, professional. CMS trains its students to develop virtues such as trustworthiness, compassion, humility, courage, kindness, and patience in an effort to assist them to expand their ability to perceive, participate, experience, empathize, and comprehend.
Mr Gandhi has shown that a school can teach spiritual values and divinity without infringing on the individual identity of each religion. Deeply affected by the religious and communal riots at the time of the Pakistan /India partition, he has developed a model of education in which values clarification goes a step beyond critical analysis and intellectual appreciation by connecting it to volition and a desire for improvement. Mere knowledge of ideals and principles is not enough; there is the need to translate these ideals into action. CMS value education teaches how spiritual understanding can combine with reason to transform rational thinking and material growth into a continuous stream of self-improvement and spiritual as well as material progress. These values are taught at CMS in a non-intrusive way to its religiously diverse student body from the Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Baha´i, Parsi and other faiths. This has been an incredibly complex task but has not daunted Mr Gandhi, who is as full of enthusiasm today as he was 45 years ago.
At the heart of his meaningful educational model is the belief that education must address all three realities of a child: material, human, and divine. Current education is focused almost entirely on the material aspects of life. A child’s divine reality is largely not addressed. Human education is also largely lacking, an education which prepares a person to become a good member of a family and community. While all three realities of a child must be addressed, Mr Gandhi places the highest importance on divine education – love of God and discovering the inner realities of all things, looking with a searching eye at God’s creation, marvelling at the wonders of the universe, and exploring the inner depths and meaning of one’s existence and purpose for life.
Mr Gandhi believes that the field of education is unexplored and its goal unattained. A lack of experimentation in the field of education has limited innovation to its margins. He argues that true progress will come only when the goals to which education is geared are completely revised – with spiritual development at its centre. These new goals for education will free it from its largely economic context. Through his revolutionary new ideas, Mr Gandhi has revised greatly our expectations of human potential and its outcome through education.
Through his school, Mr Gandhi has tested the hypothesis that when a school provides a meaningful education founded upon spiritual principles and educates by it not only the students but also the parents and society at large, it becomes a lighthouse of society. In this new role, a school presents enormous new possibilities for the discovery of the transforming power of divinity for the individual and society.
Mr Gandhi believes that a school should lead others in society. As parents are increasingly unable to provide spiritual nourishment they once did, the schools must take on a new responsibility. They must both set and meet new standard of ethical conduct. By demonstrating the effectiveness of his lighthouse model, Mr Gandhi has not only created a valuable experiment, he has helped millions to acknowledge the importance of a divine education.
The positions he is currently holding, and has held, in various organizations:
1. Founder-Manager, City Montessori School, Lucknow
2. Chairman, World Council for Total Quality and Excellence in Education
3. Vice President, World Union, Pondicherry (2003)
4. Vice President, World Constitution and Parliamentary Association, USA (2003)

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