Priya arangan adiyar,
“Why did you send your child here?” asked the Principal to a riveted gathering of parents. It was the Parents teachers meet at Acharyah and the little ones were comfortable sandwiched between the parents and rotating their round eyes with curiosity. It was a day their academic skill as well as notorious feats would be formally communicated to the parents. It was the day the parents would know what has become of their little chap who joined ‘Acharyah’.
Almost in a chorus, as though previously rehearsed, the parents answered :
“so that they know our tradition”
“so that they learn what spirituality is”
“So that they know what morals are”
One parent replied “I am the daughter-in-law of a family of Archakas but I have no idea of what Sampradayam is. By making my child a student of Acharyah I expect him as well as my own self to know and understand Sampradaya”.
Seated in the dice were Ammangar, Headmistress and Smt Padmasree Tadepalli. Addressing the parents ammangar explained that Acharyah was born out of the need to prepare children as LEADERS – Morally, Academically and Spiritually’. Around these three goals, every step of Acharyah would proceed. Quoting a lot of examples to show how moral stories taught at other institutions send wrong messages, she quoted a popular story. A mongoose drops its baby in the neighborhood of a family and dies. The family consists of husband, wife and their baby. Seeing the little mongoose, the family adopts it and raises it as one among them. The little mongoose grows very close to the baby and loves it. It never leaves the baby alone. One day, when the parents were out of the house, a snake enters the house and tries to harm the child. The mongoose wages a battle with the snake and with great effort tears it apart. With the snakes blood oozing through its mouth, the mongoose runs to communicate the happy message to its parents( husband and wife). But seeing the mongoose with blood in its mouth, the mother of the child is enraged that the mongoose killed her child! Taking a piece of rock in her hand, she smashes the head of the poor, kind-hearted and gratitude-filled mongoose. Moral of the story – ask children. The instinctive answer they give is “it is bad to be good”. Is their interpretation not correct? Only when we grow up will we understand the moral that before acting, gather the truth and based on the facts,act. But will a child, 6 or 7 years old understand the subtle moral. But this story will feature in every school book. Ammangar explained there are umpteen examples that can be quoted to display the fallacies of modern –morality building.
(to be continued ….)