A day in the Ashrama

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Charles Freer Andrews [1871–1940] was an English priest of the Church of England. He was an educator and Indian freedom fighter. He became Mahatma Gandhi’s closest friend and associate. Andrews reveals his experience while he stayed in the Ashram. Shantiniketan was founded by Rabindranatha Tagore. It is a school with a difference, where students learn with great joy.

Introduction

Words cannot picture to you the beauty of Shantiniketan. Our own poet and teacher, whom we call Gurudeva, has named it in his song, “The darling of our hearts” and it is worthy of the name. All who have visited the Ashram, old and young alike, have felt its inner beauty growing more and more upon them.

If I were to describe to you one day in the Ashram with the boys, that would perhaps best bring home to you its inner beauty. Long before sunrise, like the birds in our own amloki groves, our boys are awake. The choristers are the first to rise, and they go round the Ashram, singing their morning hymn. You can hear the voices in the distance, drawing nearer and nearer; and then the sound dies away, as the choir passes on to another part of the Ashram, and then again it comes nearer and nearer. The beauty of the sound in the silent morning air and the sense of joy and reverence which it brings, give peace to the soul.

After an interval, each boy takes his asan, his square of carpet, into the fields and sits down on it to meditate in his own place alone. Later on, before the school work begins, the boys all stand together in the shade of the trees and sing thei

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Contributed by: Linganand, GHS Girls, Gurmitkal, Yadgir