Where little minds
imbibe the value of silence
THIS is certainly a school with a difference. Its curriculum includes the concept of mauna (silence) not merely as a part of theory but more as a practised ritee. In fact, the builders of Scindia School, Gwalior, have provided a befitting place for exercising mauna on a daily basis, keeping in mind the importance of imparting the notion of silence to students.
Located away from the
main school building, it is known as Astachal (a place to view the
sunset). It is a semi-circular, levelled, open-air amphitheatre where
both the junior and senior wings of the school participate separately
in the tradition of observing mauna at different times of the
evening, close to sunset. In keeping with the siddhanta of
Scindia School, there is a statue of the marching Mahatma installed in
the Astachal complex, providing just the correct ambience to
impressionable young minds. The Astachalís magnetic effect till this
day attracts its alumni to visit the school. Howsoever brief their
stay at their alma mater is, not one returns without going to Astachal,
which upholds not only a Scindia tradition but also symbolises the
inculcation of a means for observing mauna.
It is indeed commendable that there is in our country even today, a centre for learning that not only maintains an ancient legacy but also is equally convinced of its merits. When the kurta-pyjama clad students come and sit in Astachal, they are not merely fulfilling a schoolís curriculum, but are also attempting to know their own selves by observing silence while watching surya ast.
Even a visitor to Astachal returns a
more focused and silent person, realising that a personís inner
strength is best tapped early in life. Instead of overburdening
students, something that happens in most schools of India, the need is
to introduce ancient practices such as mauna to enhance a studentís