On March 26, 2018, Sri Aurobindo Society conducted a session of orientation on Sri Aurobindo, the Mother, Sri Aurobindo Ashram and the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (SAICE) for the students and faculty of Mayo College Girls’ School, Ajmer. About 100 students and 10 teachers from one of the premier girls’ school of India were on an educational retreat to Puducherry.
The programme started with 2 minutes of meditation on the Mother’s music, and it was heartening to see that girls were very calm and disciplined throughout the duration of meditation. Their body language and almost immediate descent into yogic posture at the commencement of the music very clearly showed that the Mayo School has made meditation a part of the educational nurture.
Thereafter, resource persons from the Society first introduced the town and established the connection of the town with the Ashram. This was addressed by primarily introducing Sri Aurobindo, his unusual childhood, life in England and his extreme brilliance and genius as a student, followed by a short journey through his life as a freedom fighter, nationalist and then the spiritual light he became after his arrival to Pondicherry.
The introduction to Sri Aurobindo was followed by an overview of how the Ashram was formed, the Mother’s contribution in establishing, managing and developing the Ashram and especially the school, and finally a pictorial presentation on the Ashram School or SAICE. A very interesting part of this presentation was a question–answers session with the students asking them: “What would be the characteristics or features of your dream school?” To the sheer astonishment of the students of this reputable school, the Centre of Education consists of almost all the attributes they described in their dream school. Even the teachers were extremely excited to know about the organization and methodology of education being imparted at the SAICE.
The session ended with impromptu and very heartfelt words of thanks from the students and faculty of the Mayo School. For all of them their trip acquired a much more meaningful and substantial appeal after this programme, as they realized the historical and spiritual depth of the place. It was a profound experience for both the facilitators of the Society and the participants of Mayo School.