A group of 70 students along with 10 teachers from The Creative School, Karnataka, who were on a field visit to explore some places in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry visited Sri Aurobindo Society on November 2, 2023. The Renaissance team organized a 2.5 hour-long special interactive session for the children on the theme ‘Light, Endless Light’. The programme included some creative learning activities which helped students understand the inner significance of Deepavali, festival of lights.
The session with chanting of two shlokas,
- Om Anandamayi, Chaitanyamayi, Satyamayi Parame
- Shubham Karoti Kalyaannam-Aarogyam Dhana-Sampadaa |
Shatru-Buddhi-Vinaashaaya Diipa-Jyotir-Namostute ||
Dr. Beloo Mehra, Senior Academic Mentor and Editor, Renaissance Journal, highlighted some key points from Sri Aurobindo’s writings on the Veda about the significance of Light. She kept the explanation interactive by engaging students through simple question and answers. The children participated actively and shared their insights and understandings; several of them expressed a desire to know more about the Vedic concept of Light and Darkness. Dr. Mehra also helped the children connected the Vedic story with other Diwali related stories and legend with which the children were already familiar.
Ms. Biswajita, Research Assistant, Renaissance Journal, had designed a special bookmark on the theme of Light. This was distributed to all children and teachers, and it also helped them practice a shloka everyone learned together.
The Renaissance team had prepared five creative and fun learning activities for the students, all of which eventually led them to create a Deepavali atmosphere. The children were divided into five groups, each group was assigned a specific activity.
- The Right Order: This involved arranging individual letters to make the words SHUBH DEEPAVALI. The children were also asked to make a kolam with dry leaves gathered from the garden as a centrepiece for the final arrangement.
- Light Me Up With 12 Qualities: These involved children making candles out of coloured craft paper, and writing one of the 12 qualities from the Mother’s symbol on the flame of the candle.
- A Colourful Life: This involved children making colourful kolams on paper plates.
- Make Me Beautiful: This included children painting and designing earthern diyas with different colours.
- Expressions of Light: Each child picked out one of the slips carrying small quotes from the Mother on Light and either wrote a poem or drew a picture inspired by the quote.
Along with the Renaissance team, Ms. Kavita Dutta and Ms. R. Vidya helped with guiding the children in different groups. After each group completed their tasks, they were asked to assemble in a special arrangement which displayed all their creative works and also helped create an ambience of spreading light and joy. Dr. Mehra then also explained to them the inner significance of all these activities connecting them to the aspiration we all should hold on as we celebrate Deepavali.
A group photo with the children displaying their creative works was taken, after which all the visitors enjoyed some snacks and hibiscus juice.