SAFIER, the Integral Education Wing of Sri Aurobindo Society, engaged with 44 students from the ninth and 10th grades of Auro Mirra International School, Bangalore, who were visiting Puducherry from 12 to 15 November 2022 as part of an educational trip from the school. There were 5 facilitators from the school accompanying the students.
The objective of the trip was to familiarise the students with the spiritual environment of Puducherry created by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and also become aware of the historical heritage of Puducherry and its nearby places in Tamil Nadu. For this the group spent a day and a night in a retreat space at Sharanam which is the Community Centre of Sri Aurobindo Society near the Ousteri Lake. The students did art activities which were of a deeply reflective nature, played awareness games and went for Nature trek by sunset to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Garden ‘Matri Udyanam’ where they sat in silence and imbibed the beauty of the environment. Rest of the two days were spent in discovering the spiritual, cultural and historical heritage of Puducherry through a silent walk to see the sunrise, visits to the Ashram main building which houses the Samadhi, ‘Sri Smriti’ which is the place where articles used by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are preserved with a lot of love, visit to the Bharati Park for activities based on flower significances and to the Puducherry Museum and churches.
The group also visited Mahabalipuram and Dakshinachitra on the outskirts of Chennai for a day's outing, to orient the students to the historical and cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu.
The students took back a lot of memories, learnings and a new consciousness which would help them reconnect with their inner strengths and then be the best that they can be in whatever they choose to do.
Most of the students felt the calm and peace of the place and were happy to take that back with them as a beautiful gift.
Some feedback from the students when asked what they are carrying back with them, what have they gained from the visit to Puducherry, and what are the changes they see in themselves after the visit: