Lucknow : report by Dr. Jagdish Gandhi
Some 42,000 students and 3,000 teachers and support staff of City Montessori School in Lucknow 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.
To observe the SOPP, City Montessori School organized a prayer ceremony for peace in each country, and a presentation of prayers from different religions (called All Religions Prayer). Our peace prayer ceremony instilled a spirit of peace, harmony and cooperation in the hearts of the students. As crusaders of world peace, the children performed a fabulous world peace prayer. First, one child representing a ‘world citizen’ prayed for one world, one human race and the establishment of peace and goodwill on earth. Then, a large group of children holding aloft placards and the national flags of various countries displayed a dove—a symbol of love and peace—and joined the ‘world citizen’ in praying for peace.
The All Religions Prayer was integrated into the event as a way to teach tolerance for differences and create awareness of and respect for all religions. In groups, the students dressed in traditional religious costumes and offered special prayers, one group after the other. The melodious prayers performed in an atmosphere of respect allowed children to make contact with their deeper emotions and to address their spirits in a profound way.
CMS believes that world peace is a 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 to concern itself with the affairs of the age. At a certain moment in history, education must also act as a powerful instrument of profound social transformation and that moment in human history has now arrived.