2 events: Ahmedabad, Lucknow
Ahmedabad, India: report by Madhusudan Agrawal
Here at Gandhi Ashram, a few friends and I meditated and offered prayers at the same time as the ceremony at Fuji Sanctuary. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do a large event as planned because it was an extremely hot summer here and thus most of the organisations and groups we work with were out of town. However, we hope to hold a larger SOPP event at Gandhi Ashram in the near future.
Lucknow, India: report by Dr. Jagdish Gandhi
Around 45,000 students and 3,000 teachers and support staff of City Montessori School observed the Symphony of Peace Prayers this year, to create a sense of oneness through collaboration and by bringing hearts together to build a peaceful world. CMS believes that world peace is the fruit that can grow only on the tree of world unity. It is the social responsibility of a modern school to act as the ‘lighthouse’ of society and provide meaningful education, spiritual direction, guidance and leadership to students, parents and society and concern itself with the affairs of the age. At certain moments in history, education must also act as a powerful instrument of profound social transformation and such a moment in human history has now arrived. It is the responsibility of every generation to ensure that the next generation inherits a safe and healthy ecology.
To observe the 2013 Symphony of Peace Prayers, City Montessori School organized a “World Peace Prayer” ceremony and an “All Religions Prayer” ceremony. Through these two events, City Montessori School is instilling universal values in its students.
Our World Peace Prayer ceremony was to instill the spirit of peace, harmony and cooperation in the hearts of the students. The children of CMS, as crusaders of world peace, performed a fabulous World Peace Prayer. One child represented a world citizen, and first prayed for one world, one human race and the establishment of peace and goodwill on earth. A large group of children holding aloft the national flags of various countries and placards displaying a dove—a symbol of love and peace—joined the world citizen in praying for peace.
The All Religions Prayer event was an innovative way to teach tolerance for difference and create awareness of and reverence for all religions. Students attired in traditional costumes of each religion rendered their special prayers, one group at a time. The melodious prayers performed in an atmosphere of reverence make contact with the deeper emotions of a child and address their spirits most profoundly.