AMGK Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic:
An Opportunity for Reflection and Change
By Ácárya Shambhúshivánanda Avadhúta and Ácárya Vishvamitra
Our first concern now is for the personal health and safety of all on the planet and particularly all of our students, teachers, staff and families associated with our neohumanist schools around the globe. Gurukula encourages schools and families to practice the social distancing and health rules recommended by the World Health Organization:
The race is on to find rapid testing toolkits, an appropriate vaccine, and antiviral therapeutic drugs to reduce viral overload in persons and thereby counteract the menace of this virus which is characterized by asymptomatic transmission. Many are of the opinion that the post-corona era world will never be business as usual. In order to ensure that there will not be a repeat of mass casualties in the future, we shall have to come together as a globe. We need to develop a global preparedness plan for future tsunamis that makes us resilient in the face of all such dangers. A closer look at how our world systems of political boundaries, economics and environmental conditions impact the all-round health of global citizens could result in system changes that serve people and the planet.
Neohumanist Education and Holistic Health
During the pandemic it is important to emphasize the yogic principles of holistic health at a physical, mental and spiritual level. As taught in our neohumanist schools, the moral code of Yama, caring for others, and Niyama, caring for self, are critically important in this crisis.
Socially and economically we realize that some of our schools and families have the resources to continue providing home schooling, including digital support, and meeting safety and nutritional needs, while others are lacking sufficient resources. It is imperative that local governmental authorities, NGOs, and communities come together to the aid of those most in need at the local levels.
Gurukula’s Neohumanist Education Movement is also dedicated to long-term solutions dealing with such global pandemic crises by making communities more resilient, through holistic education that applies a rationalistic mentality to serving the planet and its people.
Opportunity for Collective Change
Every challenge also brings opportunities. We need the wisdom to see the blessing behind the obstacles. Panics, authoritarianism, xenophobia, and spreading dogma or simplified lies are not the ways forward. We must recognize the interdependence of all, irrespective of geographical or genetic boundaries. We must learn to think in terms ofcollective welfare, and our financial and governmental policies must reflect this collective concern. Here, PROUT, an alternative socio-economic theory, and its spiritual fundaments can also show us the way. https://prout.info/
The Neohumanist “university without walls” (https://gurukul.edu/newsletter/issue-48/48-neohumanist-college-of-asheville/), Centers of Neohumanist Studies, and PROUT Centers are keen to foster partnerships among parents, teachers and other stakeholders, in order to develop home study packages for different age groups. All of our institutions are practicing distance learning from kindergarten to adult education to stay in step with our rapidly changing world and to enhance value-based education for everyone.