Does Morning Prayer in Kendriya Vidyalayas Promote Hinduism?
Upananda Brahmachari | HENB | Haridwar | Sept 4, 2018:: It’s very unfortunate that some group of people are started opposing the morning and valedictory prayers of Kendriya Vidyalayas in force.
Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) is an autonomous body in India, working with several committees under the Board of Governors, comes under the umbrella of Minister of Human Resource Development (HRD). The Minister of HRD holds the post of Chairman of the KVS by norms.
One hymn (mantra) from Shukla Yajurveda Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad viz. Om Asato Ma Sadgamaya and another Krishna Yajurveda Taittiriya Upanishad viz. Om Sahana Vavatu are recited as the morning and valedictory prayers respectively in the schools run by KVS.
The hymn Om Asato Ma Sadgamaya denotes as Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya | Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya | Mrtyor-Maa Amrtam Gamaya | Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih || (In sanskrit devnagari its comes as ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय । तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय । मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय । ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥) The meaning of the hymn as follows: 1: Om, (O Lord) Keep me not in the Unreality (of the bondage of the Phenomenal World), but lead me towards the Reality (of the Eternal Self), 2: (O Lord) Keep me not in the Darkness (of Ignorance), but lead me towards the Light (of Spiritual Knowledge), 3: (O Lord) Keep me not in the (Fear of) Death (due to the bondage of the Mortal World), but lead me towards the Immortality (gained by the Knowledge of the Immortal Self beyond Death), 4: Om, (May there be) Peace, Peace, Peace (at the the three levels – Adibhautika – physical, Adidaivika – metaphysical, and Adhyatmika – spiritual).
The other hymn Om Sahana Vavatu denotes as Om Saha Naav[au]-Avatu | Saha Nau Bhunaktu | Saha Viiryam Karavaavahai | Tejasvi Naav[au]-Adhiitam-Astu Maa Vidvissaavahai | Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih || (In sanskrit devnagari its comes as ॐ सह नाववतु । सह नौ भुनक्तु । सह वीर्यं करवावहै । तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै । ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥ The meaning of the hymn as follows: 1: Om, May God Protect us Both (the Teacher and the Student) (during the journey of awakening our Knowledge), 2: May God Nourish us Both (with that spring of Knowledge which nourishes life when awakened), 3: May we Work Together with Energy and Vigour (cleansing ourselves with that flow of energy for the Knowledge to manifest), 4: May our Study be Enlightening (taking us towards the true Essence underlying everything), and not giving rise to Hostility (by constricting the understanding of the Essence in a particular manifestation only), 5: Om, Peace, Peace, Peace (be there in the three levels – Adhibhautika, Adhidaivika and Adhyatmika). Om represents here the synthesis and conjugation of omnipresent powers of creator, protector and the destroyer.
These hymns are obviously from the source of Vedas and Upanishads and connected with the gems of knowledge comes out from the ancient Indian wisdom related to the Hindu way of life. But, an appropriate understanding of the hymns divulges the truth of Indian culture and heritage which gives the tune of unity in diversity, feeling of oneness between human and nature, own responsibility sharing with others, the relation of love and respect between teachers and students and most obviously ensuring the path of humanity in peace against all adversities. These hymns convey the message both of Universalism and Hinduism without making any contradiction.
But, one Veenayak Shah of Jabbalpur filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court of India through his advocate Satya Mitra that the prayers at Kendriya Vidyalayas promote Hindu religion and violate Articles 19 (Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression) and Article 28 (1), which prohibits the State from providing any religious instruction in an educational institution run on public funds.
In the petition the advocate on record for the petitioner has maintained that the compulsory singing of Sanskrit hymn ‘Asato Ma Sadgamaya’ and ‘Om Sahana Vavatu’ at the KVS school assembly every morning and valedictory session strangle the spirit of scientific inquiry and amounts to “religious instruction”, prohibited under the Constitution.
The Ministry of HRD pointed out that KVS has not been made a party in the petition filed by Veenayak Shah and, thus, the plea deserves to be junked solely on the ground of “mis-joinder of necessary parties”. However, the Supreme Court is likely to take up the petition for hearing by a bench headed by Justice Rohinton F Nariman on September 10, according to an available report+.
But, what is the ill psychology behind is working to oppose the morning and valedictory prayers of Kendriya Vidyalayas under a blunt stupidity?
Funny enough that the forces behind stopping the prayers of KVS school aren’t able to tolerate the universal prayer for knowledge, peace and coordination as performed there without any objections from the millions of students and their guardians in KVS network. But, it is obvious that the culpable forces behind KVS system are trying to infuse a communal sensation very dangerously. When they are opposing state interference in the form of ‘religious instruction in an educational institution run on public funds’, how they will tolerate thousands of motto taken from the ancient sanskrit scriptures as used in various educational institutions, universities run by both state and central govts from the very beginning, even our constitution came into force.
Nobody knows whether these stupids will file other petitions in the court of law to remove ‘Nistha Dritih Satyam’ from Delhi University logo; ‘Yoga Karmashu Koushalam’ from IIT Varanasi, Kharagpur logo; ‘Asato Ma Sadgamaya’ from CBSE logo or ‘Vidyaya Amritam ashnute’ from Banaras Hindu Unversity; ‘Sa Vidya Ya Vimukthaye’ from Hyderabad University or ‘Karmani Vyajyate Prajna’ from University of Kerala!!!
Indian wisdom enshrined in Sanskrit is inseparable from the educational field of advancement. It bridges up the ancient and modern, it fills up the gaps of civilization, it gives the solution the crisis of humanity.
So, any attempts or agenda of removal of sanskrit prayers, curriculum or motto from thousands of educational institutions in India are highly condemnable and such acts influenced by European secularism are very very dangerous for the Indian education system.
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