On Monday, two of our senior monks visited the pioneering ‘Krishna Avanti School’ in North West London, so I decided to tag along. It’s the first ever state-funded Hindu School in the UK, and I must say one of the most spiritually dynamic projects I have come across. Children from the age of 4 will be taught spiritual principles of tolerance, compassion, respect and devotion to God, alongside the standard national curriculum. As we met some of the young children, something amazing dawned upon me. Spirituality really requires that we become childlike again.
Children are extremely enthusiastic, inquisitive, non-duplicitous and eager to build friendships with others. When one’s heart is decorated with such qualities, divine insight and inspiration will automatically manifest. Within those children I saw amazing potential to show the world what a successful, honorable, open-minded and spiritual citizen would be like. The impressions of spirituality within the childlike consciousness run very deep. They are definitely learning lessons for life.
So what about us who are getting on in our lives (it was my 28th birthday last week :)? Well, we may not be able to physically transform into the body of a child, but if we can atleast develop the childlike approach it may serve us well. Instead of simply following society’s norms or blindly engaging in religious ritual, let us become inquisitive like the child – eager to learn more and go deeper in our understandings of spiritual philosophy, culture and practice. Instead of descending into diplomacy, politics and backbiting, let us become straightforward and non duplicitous like the child – enthusiastic to break free of our own superficialities, and also relate to others on a deeper level. Instead of shutting out others, becoming intolerant and dogmatic in our approach, let us learn to build bridges and friendships like the child – earnestly searching for unity in diversity.