The children of Ananda School invited Swami Kriyananda to their classrooms and school play, Glories of the Round Table, during his visit to Ananda Village. The following are excerpts from letters of encouragement sent by Swami to each class, thanking the students for their hospitality.
To the 1st & 2nd grade class
I am very proud of how well you read and speak, and how considerate you are. You are also good listeners, and this is an important skill to have. Listening carefully to someone shows that you care about them. Your friends will really appreciate this about you.
It’s wonderful to see that you are studying people that you consider heroes. By studying the lives of people who courageously face what’s wrong in the world, and make it right, you learn from their example and see that it’s possible to live this way.
To the 3rd & 4th grade
Thank you for showing me your weather books. I am surprised that you are learning these things in such an early grade. I don’t think I had those lessons in school until I was in the ninth grade! But now that we are further into Dwapara Yuga, it figures that you would be able to learn more at an earlier age than even my generation. The future is yours, and you will see many new things in your lifetime that earlier generations have only dreamed of.
I wanted to compliment you especially on your recorder playing. Your ability to focus and remain so centered while you were playing kept you all in tune with each other. You almost sounded like one instrument. It was a perfect performance. It shows you how important it is to do everything with concentration and focus from your center. When you do, everything you do will turn out better.
To the 5th & 6th grade
I remember most of you as little children, but you’re not little anymore. I am so happy to see you growing in confidence and becoming who you are. This, of course, will keep changing throughout your life, but I am very pleased with what I see in all of you right now.
You all have wonderful energy and if you keep it positive you will be able to achieve whatever you want in life. Lots of positive energy is the main ingredient of success in all parts of your life.
I was particularly impressed with your singing. It’s wonderful to hear you learning languages, and doing so well with it. It’s much easier now because your ear is attuned to sound. It becomes more difficult when you get older, so if you enjoy learning languages keep studying and use it. If you don’t use it you’ll forget quickly…. I encourage you to keep singing. It not only helps you learn other things but will bring you joy.
Letter to the 7th & 8th grade class
I enjoyed watching you in the play. You all did so well! Theater gives you the opportunity to step outside of your own image of yourself, and become someone else.
It shows us that we have the ability to choose who we will be. It can be as easy as acting for we become who we want to be by putting energy out in that particular direction. Soon it’s no longer acting but, in truth, our energy changes and we feel happy, or kind, or whatever it is we want to feel. Largely it’s a matter of choice. This is how some actors work. They sit down and change their energy until they are actually feeling what the character feels.
You interacted with the younger children with respect and sweetness. This is very nice. They look up to you because you are older. Thank you for setting a fine example for them.
I am glad that you do service projects, including your trip to help in Mexico. Not only do you get to feel the joy of helping others, but when you enter into other cultures you see that there are different realities than your own. This brings you greater maturity and a broader sense of your own potential.
As you continue to define who you are, know that God is in you. Let God be your friend in everything you do. Do your best with God and don’t worry about your mistakes. If you need to, learn from them, but they are not who you are.