You are here
Beauty and depth of Hinduism brought to fore by Minister Sharma
On Boxing Day I had the good fortune along with hundreds of others to attend a most important ceremony in the life of a Hindu child. The ceremony is called “Guru Diksha” where the child accepts a guru (spiritual guide and teacher). At this ceremony, Member of Parliament for Fyzabad and Minister of Local Government Chandresh Sharma and his wife Lynne secured gurus for their four children, all of whom are at university. In the Hindu tradition there are 16 “samskaras” or stages of development. This particular stage is one that encourages the child to engage in learning, particularly spiritual learning.
Hinduism recognises the importance of a balanced life between the secular and the spiritual and correctly argues that a successful secular life is founded on the adoption and practice of spiritual values, thus leading to a life that is ethical or dharmic. In the traditional system the child would have been sent to the ashram of the guru where all the branches of learning would have been taught. In our country with secular education being made available through the public schools and universities, the concept of the ashram is now more or less limited to spiritual development.
However, the compound of Swami Parakashananda in Calcutta Road does combine elements of the ashrama concept since he has successfully integrated secular schooling with a spiritual programme.
Be that as it may, Minister Sharma added great value to the Guru Diksha ceremony by a wonderful innovation which shows that religion can and must adapt to a new environment and yet not lose its essence if it intends to have meaning to a new generation. At the end of the spiritual ceremony, each of the children was introduced to three mentors. One mentor had to do with the education and career of the child. The other mentors were a successfully married couple known to the children and family who were given responsibility for the family life of the child. For example, Dr Tim Gopeesingh was chosen as mentor to the child doing medicine while another couple was chosen to guide the child on family life.
Chandresh in doing so also reinvented the extended family concept and emphasised the role of elders and the community in the upbringing of the child.
I found this to be a most welcome addition to what is basically a religious ceremony and especially so at a time in our country when mentoring is so much needed. Minister of National Security John Sandy, who was present, was visibly moved by the ceremony and indicated that this should be shared with the entire country, especially at a time when the lack of fathers in homes is causing so many young men and women to go astray. In my view the beauty and depth of Hinduism was brought to the fore by Minister Sharma and his wife Lynne. It was a moment in time that needed to be remembered, a moment when Hinduism as a living and responsive religion came forward with a solution to a serious crisis in our country. Thank you minister for your innovative thinking.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.