Making Vedanta relevant to today’s children

One doesn't have to ignore Vedanta until one reaches a certain age, or level of experience. The attempt here is to present a case study of practically implementing the education of basic Vedantic concepts to children. The case study shared is of a weekly Sanatana Dharma school run in the … Hindu Temple for the past 2 years. The authors put in perspective their attempts to transmit the Vedantic underpinnings of Indic Hindu culture in the process of teaching the traditions of the Sanatana Dharma from India at weekly classes for members' children using contemporary methods of presentation.


PRESENTED AT: SEVENTEENTH VEDANTA CONFERENCE

Miami University of Ohio, USA

September 20, 2007

Making Vedanta relevant to the children of today, a case study

Prepared by:

RJ, MT, Pt. AD


This case-study is based on the authors' experience in teaching children Sanatana Dharma concepts at the Hindu Temple …



Abstract

One doesn't have to ignore Vedanta until one reaches a certain age, or level of experience. The attempt here is to present a case study of practically implementing the education of basic Vedantic concepts to children. The case study shared is of a weekly Sanatana Dharma school run in the … Hindu Temple for the past 2 years. The authors put in perspective their attempts to transmit the Vedantic underpinnings of Indic Hindu culture in the process of teaching the traditions of the Sanatana Dharma from India at weekly classes for members' children using contemporary methods of presentation. The relevance of this to the child's conception of Self is discussed. The thoroughly practical traditional teaching methodologies handed down over generations, of storytelling, and question answers within and upon these stories are discussed, complemented with the presentation of matter in a contemporary style via lists with bulleted points, charts and other visual aids is also discussed. The main narrative of this paper is of the teachers (a trained pandit formally schooled in the Vedic tradition, mentoring volunteers formally schooled in the Western mode, but with firm Sanatana Dharma backgrounds ) using the Ramayana, Srimad Bhagavat Purana, and drawing upon Sanskrit Slokas, and lectures in English from the Chinmaya and Arsha Vidya Gurukulams to accomplish these goals.


Making Vedanta relevant to the children of today, a case study

Introduction

We of Indic heritage come from the land of yogis, sadhus, and other realized beings. Our traditions have it that they have had actual "darshan" of Bhagvan / Paramatma ("God") in this life itself, and have left behind for us many rigorous & valid paths to experience the same for ourselves. When it comes to our children it is difficult to explain this in "plain English". What does "darshan" mean in the deeper sense? What does this all "Paramatma", "Bhagwan" "Atma" , "Moksha" etc. mean? How do we explain this part of our heritage to our kids? Is the stuff they're taught in schools as "Indian culture" good enough? And is what they pick up from here and there about India, its culture & philosophy, enough for them to gain an appreciation of their heritage? When we ask our kids to touch the feet of elders, what are we really teaching or saying to them? When we bring them to the temple, do they understand the elegantly simple basics behind all the apparently complex Poojas, Yagnas & other rituals that are so important for a practising hindu? The answer lies in attempting to better educate our kids, and in the process, ourselves.

More posts by this author:

Please follow and like us:

Co Authors :

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.