It has been a wonderful experience to be a student of Theosophy mostly because one can study the ancient as well as modern religions & discern for myself what is truth from falsehood … but what about young school & college going students of today?… do they know what they are reading or how reading can change their whole lives?… including the life of the society in which they reside in physically, mentally, spiritually & psychologically???
Reading good literature can define ones way of looking at life objectively rather than subjectively, & we do not need scholars in our present day society which our modern day education system seems to state… we need educated people in the society… not people with encyclopaedic knowledge who think that with the help of that knowledge, they can be a supreme master of intelligence. The study of ancient & modern texts in Theosophy proves, not that we are beyond correction … but that the universe is at times beyond our understanding & that some of the most basic questions remained unanswerable in society; when I asked my students to answer me the various facets of life that they find unanswerable, these were the following answers they gave me:
- The creation as well as the development of life in the mothers womb
- The never dying poetry of nature
- The laughter of a new born baby
- The love in the mute eyes of an animal for their ‘special’ human
- The silence of an ancient tree
- The depths of our oceans
- The story of the life of a star
- The way a new born foal stands upon his feet the moment he is born etc.
These answers from my students made me realize that I am a mere mortal, even I do not know the depth of the human mind & the real story of our past … let alone the narrative of our future. Being an expert in one field of study or reading does not make a master but, changing the course of ones deranged way of thinking can.
Reading is a must for today’s modern generation, & when I state ‘reading’ I mean the reading of good books which is essential for what is going to become of us in the future. Reading can humble our insensitivity when a beggar boy of five years is seen begging at our car window or when we see a BMC worker piling our filthy garbage upon a reeking truck of soiled vegetables. Students today have to follow a motto which is almost similar to Swami Dayanand Saraswati when he stated ‘Back To The Vedas’ only now for us … it will be ‘back to reading’. Reading can salvage whatever good is yet present in our being & make us more in tune with the overall functioning of our society. Even in the story of Islam, it was Angel Gabriel who commanded Prophet Muhammad to ‘read’ for the salvation of man … it was not a request but a command … The Prophet Muhammad read … our younger generation should also read!
With the aid of reading good books, one can gain something which all the money in the world cannot give … a love that only the pages of time long past can recreate a constant sense of peace within our souls.
I am glad that my students are reading good literature but … I am gladder that their knowledge is not going to their head & that they with the aid of classical works in literature & other social & natural sciences are becoming more empathetic to the happenings taking place around them. Here is a list of what my students are currently reading standard wise:
- Fifth-grade: Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
- Sixth-grade: A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens , The Hound Of The Baskervilles by Conan Doyle
- Seventh-grade: The Village By The Sea by Anita Desai, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
- Eight-grade: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- Ninth-grade: Anne Of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery
There is a lot more in the year that they have to read & I am going to ensure that their reading experiences should aid them towards a better future not only for themselves but for the entire world … if not the cosmos.
To be precise, a true student Theosophist is the one who reads & puts ones good reading into action. I want my students to bring about a change in the corruption of humanity, which they will only be able to fathom through constant tutoring, research & READING. They have a right to their future which will be my oblivion … yet; I will not be selfish to deny them their Earth like paradise. As Angel Gabriel himself through the mercy of Allah (God) stated:
“Muhammad, READ … in the name of thy Lord who created man from a sensitive drop of blood, who teaches man what he knows not, read!”
Our younger generation needs to go back to proper reading to know what they do not but not for the sake of self-glory, but for the sake of the glory of that one merciful sensitive drop of blood … read! This is the true mission of the 21st century, & the new story of mankind … which was once old but like a cycle, has returned to cloud our guilt & to be the harbinger like Saint John the Baptist for our new story … our new brave story.
Let not words create doubt but let knowledge & wisdom take its course. If you understand my riddle then follow the path it suggests, in the name of that sensitive drop of blood, READ!
Copyright Fiza Pathan
Image courtesy: Google images http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Capernwray-bible-student.jpg