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C.F. Andrews describes a day in the Ashram. He says that words cannot describe the beauty of Shantiniketan. Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore praises Shantiniketan as ‘The darling of our hearts’, in one of his poems. The people who visited the Ashram have experienced the peace and inner beauty that prevails there. The students in the Ashram get up early in the morning.
A group of singers goes round the Ashram singing hymns. The sound of the songs in the silence of the morning brings a sense of joy and peace to the soul. After some time, the boys go into the fields and meditate. Then, they all stand in a group and sing the morning prayer.
The school work goes on till half-past ten. There are no classrooms. The boys sit in groups with their teachers, under the trees in the open air. Very few books are used. Teaching is done through interaction with students. The boys are encouraged to ask questions and discuss their problems.
Summary of A DAY IN THE ASHRAM Chapter 1 Karnataka Board Class 8
As there is no pressure the boys feel free and enjoy learning in such an atmosphere. The morning work comes to an end. The boys take their bath and have their meal. The afternoon classes begin at two o’clock. In this session, handiwork is practised. The boys learn the crafts, handicrafts such as carpentry, spinning, weaving, mechanics, painting, drafting, etc., are taught. Some learn music. There is no book-work in the afternoon. The school work will be over at four o’clock. Then, the boys go out into the field to play football. Shantiniketan boys are famous everywhere for their sports and games.
At sunset, the boys return from the fields and meditate again for a short time. They take part in telling fairy tales, singing Gurudeva’s songs, and reciting short dramas. Several other school gatherings are also held. At nine o’clock, they all go to bed. The choristers go round the Ashram singing the evening hymn. The boys are very happy and enjoy the freedom in the Ashram. The author calls such an education “Living Education”, which can never be dull and monotonous.
About the author
Charles Freer Andrews was born on 12th February 1871, He was a Christian Missionary. He came to India in 1904 and worked in St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. He was a social reformer who stood for the Indian cause. Gandhiji called him Deenabandhu, a friend of the poor. He visited Shantiniketan and stayed there for some time. He was greatly impressed with the activities in the school and ashram. Also, he considers it a great place for learning where children learn with joy.
A day in the Ashram’ is the experience of C. F. Andrews while he stayed in the Ashram known as ‘Shanthiniketan’founded by Rabindranath Tagore, he was famous as ‘Gurudeva’. Shantiniketan was his dream school. He was one of the important educationists. All his ideas are practically applied in this school. It is one of the important internationally popular school. The beauty of Shantiniketan is not found visibly. Its importance lies in its quality of education and the way of teaching. Irrespective of age all who have visited it, appreciate and feel its inner beauty Gurudeva says that all the students learned here never forgot their student life and they reached a very great height in future life. Our ex-Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi was one of the students of Shantiniketan.