Ask any student of Class XII Science of Kendriya Vidyalaya, No.1, Vasco, Goa about the afternoon of 19th of November, 2015, he/she would certainly raise eye brows in wonder and with a big "Wow" on an unforgettable moment in their school life. Yes, they had the unique opportunity and blessing to attend a session with a veteran from the field of Engineering, Teaching, Research and Music...Padmashri, Prof. Kiran Seth, the founder of SPIC MACAY.
His incredibly unassuming personality and charming presence at once broke the ice and the smile on the faces of the students revealed that he had got the pulse of the group he was addressing. He narrated his ardent pursuit of knowledge and the transformation brought about in his approach to knowledge by great masters and Gurus. If you want to do something really remarkable in life, he said, you must be thorough with your fundamentals without skipping the smallest details. Unfortunately, most people are after superficial popularity and success because they are not ready to take the pain in the pursuit of greater depths. Narrating his PhD days in Columbia University in New York, he talked about Prof. David Siegmund, one of the distinguished statisticians in the world, who kindled in him the fire to fathom the depths of knowledge. Prof. Siegmund taught him to learn to rise to higher levels of knowledge instead of expecting greater things to come to his level.
The students have been seeing Prof. Kiran Seth in the school campus since 13th of November in his yogic dynamism and spiritual serenity running around organising the SPICMACAY workshop with meticulous precision energizing his team to ace organisational skills.
When a few students asked him about what made him what he is today, he said:
Children, you should not be after mere name and popularity. You know, most of the great texts and art are without the name of the author/artist. You can't find on any of the paintings of Picasso his name written or signed by him. Same is the case with scriptures. They are Gurus and they consider themselves in profound humility to be "mere vehicle of great thoughts". If you would like to master any field of knowledge or art, you must not break a commitment. Take up a serious endeavour and give your whole and soul to it. Practise it every day, live with it every moment. Discover and explore the knowledge of the East at the same time respect the West. Their contribution in science and practical experiments is immense.
Before winding up the session that had cast a spell on the students, he read out his letter "To My Dear Student" from which I would like to quote a few lines here:
"I came back to India and wanted to learn Dhrupad from Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar in Kolkata. I requested him & he agreed to have me with him during my holidays. Excitedly I went, but was very disappointed. He would tune the tanpura and ask me to sing 'Sa' over and over again for many hours at a stretch. He would not even sit with me. It seemed as though he was not interested in teaching me and many a time I had this desire to return home. But something kept me back. After the month was over & I returned to Delhi, I felt that I had just wasted my time in Kolkata.
However, over a period, I realised what a 'khazana' of wisdom had been passed on to me. The realization of the depth of thought contained in some of his utterances dawned on me very slowly but surely-
"Ek sade, sab saade, sab sade sab jaaye;
Tumhe 'Re' pe jaane ki ijaazat tab hai jab tumhe 'Sa' ka darshan ho jaaye ".
Both Prof. Siegmund and Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar showed me the way of touching the alpha-zone, the experience of which is something beyond description.
From my above mentioned Gurus, I learnt the method of fathoming the depths of any great thought process.
I bow my head in reverence."
When requested to sing a few lines of any song from Beatles, he readily agreed with a broad smile and sang "Nowhere Man" by John Lennon. Wow!! The whole class swooned in excitement mesmerized by the passion and elan with which he sang lifting his arms as if he was holding a guitar!!!
Sir, thanks a ton for giving us an unforgettable day. We bow our head in reverence.
-- by Santhosh Kumar Kana (PGT-English)