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Tribute to MAY 2, Bhutanese Teachers Day

MY JOY OF NATURE’S GLORY

By the mystic spell of the two powerful lines of The Daffodils by William Wordsworth on Nature:  “….And then my heart with pleasure fills, / And dances with the daffodils” through the voice of an English teacher in Bhutan, Mr. K.C Jose, I felt intoxicated. Since then I have been in unity with the trinity of beauty – beauty of poetry, beauty of teaching and beauty of Nature. This is a wonderful gift of Bhutanese education in the lap of pristine Nature.

Man is born blessed with countless resources for his enrichment, elevation and enlightenment. But the greatest of all resources for man is Nature. American Naturalist, John Burrowghs writes: If I were to name the three most precious resources of life, I should say books, friends and nature; and the greatest of these, at least the most constant and always at hand, is nature. Nature we have always with us, an inexhaustible storehouse of that which moves the heart, appeals to the mind, and fires the imagination- health to the body, a stimulus to the intellect, and joy to the soul. To the scientist, nature is a storehouse of facts, laws, processes; to the artist she is a store house of pictures, to the poet she is a storehouse of images, fancies, a source of inspiration; to the moralist she is a store house of precepts and parables: to all she may be a source of knowledge and joy.

We see the reflection of the above truth in the lives of the great souls like Albert Einstein, Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Sri Aurobindo, Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, Mahakabi Kalidas and many others. All of them had drawn out inspiration, motivation, and education from the nature’s splendor and rose to the pinnacle of glory. For the very reason many ancient yogis including Milarepa and other spiritual seekers took shelter in the lap of Nature for their spiritual attainment. To all of them Nature has been an unfailing stimulant. Kalidas in his message to man on Nature writes: “On one side of the Moon sets behind the western mount, and on the other side the sun comes to view in all his red glory by the simultaneous downfall and rise of the two luminaries, the people are counseled, as it were in their vicissitudes of fortune.”

 Rabindranath Tagore’s idea of establishing the Visva Bharati had been stimulated by the splendid natural beauty of Santiniketan.  Tagore, the mystic, knowing well about the profound impact of Nature on human mind and character fervently advocated education and training of young mind in the luxury of nature. The poet had observed: “Education divorced from Nature has brought untold harm to young children. The sense of isolation that is generated through the separation has caused great evil to mankind. That is why I thought of creating a field which would facilitate contact with the world of Nature.” Establishment of Visva Bharati paved the way for implementation of an educational philosophy deeply rooted in the school of naturalism.

Reference to environmental concerns like ecological balance, environmental protection and rainfall abound in ancient sacred text like the Vedas - Rig, Sham, Yajur and Atharva.

William Wordsworth, the highest priest of Nature found abundance of beauty in this mundane world and to him nothing was ugly. Wordsworth’s repository of knowledge was invigorated more from hills, flowers and stars than from books of the imposed discipline from school. Those who love and worship Nature find beauty in everything in the world. So Tagore writes: Things that I longed for in vain and things that I got – let them pass. Let me but truly possess the things that I ever spurned and overlooked.

For the abundance of Nature and her mystic beauty, the Himalayan Kingdom- Bhutan has been a wonderland to the world. The entire world today has turned her eyes to the incredible beauty and serenity of the pristine Nature that the kingdom is crowned with. It is mainly for this wealth of Nature, without material might the tiny kingdom has emerged as one of the happiest nation in the world. Throughout the course of my twenty seven years of life in the kingdom I saw only happiness and happiness and no violence. The heart touching laughter pumped out of inner joy of the poverty stricken Bhutanese in the remote villages always echo in my ear. The serenity of their carefree, simple and honest life coupled with abundant of happiness is beyond description. The Kingdom is also well known for the people’s discipline and dignity in life and work. The source and secret of all the splendors of the kingdom lies in her vast wealth of Nature which has been very judiciously preserved and promoted by the balanced developmental policy of the Government. Nature has been always the most reliable, generous and easily available resource for man to attain heaven on land.

Santosh Chowdhury
Ex-Teacher, Bhutan

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