Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Exploring different religions

January 29 & 30, 2015

The foundation batch of Neev Academy went for a ‘Religion Walk’ in the city of Bengaluru.  This was a relevant part of their Unit 3 in Humanities. Students explored various faiths practiced in the city and investigated upon the ideals after meeting with the spokesperson of each faith.  

The journey began by visiting the Mahabodhi Society where they learned about the main point of Buddha’s preaching.  Their next stop was Dharmaraya Temple in the old city of Bengaluru, in a quaint place called Nagarthepete.  Interestingly they discovered that Dharmaraya is none other than Yuddhistira of the great epic Mahabharata! From the old city the Innovas moved towards the other old-world charm of a town in Bangalore called the Fraser Town and finally stopped in front of a Sunni Mosque on Mosque Road.  The sheer simplicity of the mosque and the story of this particular sect of Islam along with a visit to a school aided by Haji Sir Ismail Sait stimulated them to seek the purpose of religion.  This was followed by a sumptuous lunch at Alibaba which served Bhatkal cuisine and the story of their dwindling community.  After a happy tummy the cars sped towards VV Puram to experience a Jain temple and learn about Jainism as a faith.

Day 2 began with visiting a Shia mosque near Johnson Market.  Armed with their dossier children scribbled down the difference between the Shia and the Sunnis. After this they visited a Gurudwara at Ulsoor and acquired knowledge about Sikkhism.  Children experienced one of the most distinct features in Sikhism when they had their lunch in the common kitchen called Langar, they learnt the main emphasis of this particular religion – that all are equal.   After lunch the cars sped to St Mark’s Cathedral and here they saw a unique pipe organ being played!! The final destination was a Roman Catholic Church in Fraser town – the Francis Xavier Church. With this the religious walk came to an end.

At the end of the journey children sat together to reflect upon man’s innate drive to seek the deeper meaning, significance and purpose of religion.  They learnt the essence of religion that unites people to love and spread humanity.  They discovered how conflict is created by Man and is given a different perspective.  They learnt how religions codify beliefs into sacred texts and by means of rituals and moral practices seek to facilitate the deepest possible connection with the beliefs the particular community holds.  Thus they unearthed the meaning of identity through this particular unit.

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