Oasis Valleys - Significance & Vision
Significance of the Oasis Valleys Institution
What ‘Oasis Valleys’ is NOT:
Oasis Valleys is not merely an institution, a building or even a place for organizing our workshops. Neither is it one more NGO’s pet project nor a simple structure on land. We are not interested in creating one more, usual, mediocre institution. Many times we see that an institution is created but is not utilized fully- there are no people to run it and it becomes a liability for the creators and for the society.
Some people want places of “their own”. They forget their death- nothing remains your own then. There is a story of a very rich man who suddenly died. During the condolence meeting, somebody was asking- what has he left behind him? The answer was, “EVERYTHING”. So we do not want to add one more.
We want to do something exceptional, something unique, something very meaningful, something that becomes as symbolic as Sabarmati Ashram at Ahmedabad or Madam Montessori’s School at France or Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry. Can you tell or see why and how these places were different? Were they made of some unique building materials? Were they very costly institutes? No. They were the places from where some very strong and useful messages for society originated. Thoughts/ Messages that made human being’s life more peaceful, happier, more divine; something that contributed in the society’s evolution in a major way.
What is ‘Oasis Valleys:
Many of us, today, are after success, but do we know what success is for us? Everybody wants happiness. What is happiness? Why after acquiring wealth, family, prestige and so on, we are still not happy? Do we ever question that we may not know what real happiness is and how one can attain that? We love our family; our children and we want to see them happy and successful. But is it possible that we can show them the path when we ourselves are not too sure about them? Is there anything in life that doesn’t require learning? To walk, to speak, to drive, to eat, to exercise, etc everything requires understanding and learning and awareness and thereafter practice. Being successful and happy also requires all these, but we assume they don’t. And it’s not our fault. It’s a culture of ignorance and we are part of it.
Oasis Valleys aspires to change that culture.
Now a days we don’t have time to exercise, time to spend with our spouse or with our kids and family. We don’t have time to eat, sleep. We don’t have time to read, time to think, time to introspect. We have so many things to do in 24 hours! We have latest gadgets to manage our time, yet we have no time. And then what happens? Let’s look at ourselves. Our relationships are in disarray. No more loving and nurturing relationship with our spouse, no bridges with children and we are afraid to admit this to ourselves. It’s really a horrible scenario. Everybody wants to be seen as successful when they are suffering from their deep private failures. Looking good has become a priority and being good has taken a back seat!
And we do have lot of time to surf TV, to gossip, to gamble, to play games with people and so on. We do spend 24 hours everyday; anyways we can’t save it! We have time to plan a holiday to the minutest details, but have no time to define what we want out of our life and to keep on questioning whatever we have decided is really, really what we want.
Oasis Valleys aspires to give all of us that time back by setting the priorities right and by not succumbing to the flurry of activities, which fill our lives without much meaning and without our express permission.
Hence, “Oasis Valleys” stands for these and more of such questions than answers! - That’s what Socrates did without any institution! What are you doing in your life? Are you living fully? Are you aware of your potential and are you fully utilizing it? Are your priorities right? What is the meaning and mission of your life? If you have to change one thing in this world to make it a better place, what is that? What legacy you are going to leave to your children and for generations to come? Are you living out of fear of society? Do you have the courage to live according to your heart and conscience? Do we have the courage to do the right things every moment of our life? Have we known our mind, our spirit, and ourselves? The questions are endless. We may not get all the answers in our lifetime, but if we keep on asking, there is a chance that we will know at least some answers.
'Oasis Valleys' aspires to take the culture to a new level of awareness.It’s a choice that we make now, not only for us, but also for the posterity.
We can summarize the purpose of Oasis Valleys through this very famous story- there was a school-going boy doing his homework. When he was away for some time, his little kid-sister tore away one of his map. So he went to his father, crying and showing the pieces of tore pages of map and complaining he can’t put the pieces together. It was a map of the world. His father examined the tore pieces. He observed that there were bits & pieces of human figure behind the map. So he smiled at his son and said- “Dear son! You just put this human being in place behind the map and the world would be in Order!”
In early 20th century, Swami Vivekanand had said that more than freedom, India needs 100 years of education for man-making (i.e. character-building). Almost after 100 years, we feel we have found out the systematic and scientific way of how to do that! When we were about to get Independence, Gandhi had said,” Let us not be under illusion that all will be achieved with Independence. The struggle for real independence has merely begun.” Today, after more than 50 years, when we still blame others for our problems, we realize how right he was! Independence is achieved when we cannot find a single bad person or situation in this world! As Kabir said-
Bura dekhan ko main chala, bura na miliya koi.
Jo dil khoja aapna, mujhse bura na koi….
And “Oasis Valleys” stands for that spirit of highest responsibility expressed by Dr Albert Swietzer- That as long as there is a man in this world, who is hungry, sick or living in fear, he is my responsibility.
Vision of creating Oasis Valleys
Do you believe in Education?
Do you believe that education is the key to future of our country? Do you believe that character education is equally important, if not less than formal education? Do you know any institute that has developed models for such education for youths and professionals, workers and directors, men and women alike; where a person learns what love is, how to bring out one's maximum potentials and where excellent education is provided for successful marriages, insightful parenting and community development?
Do you believe in character-education?
Are you a self-made and successful person? Do you believe that your character-the honesty, integrity, and hard working etc- has played much more important role than formal education? While you way to success, has it ever occurred to you that if there had been some kind of education for learning how to create all round success, it would have been very helpful to you and others? How about becoming a part of creation of such an institute today?
Do you believe role of teachers is critically important?
Do you ever dream of a nation whose teachers are so aware, educated and motivated about their roles for shaping the character of tomorrow's generations? Have you ever imagined what if teachers are capable of affecting the confidence and potentials of young students, along with imparting them formal education? Would you like to be a partner in an institution that aspires to facilitate such transformation of a critical mass of teachers nation-wide in coming decades?
Do you believe the present educational system needs total overhauling?
Do you believe present educational system can be drastically improved? Do you believe that the educational system is a burden today and hampers the all round development of children rather than facilitating it? Do you think if we can overhaul educational system in a revolutionary way, it can help our country in a big way? Would you like to support an organization and an aspiring movement which works towards his dream; which is doing research in this area on a continuous basis, learning from all relevant sources and which has already created successful models of character education and constantly evolving them?
Have you ever thought of an institution like this?
Have you ever heard of an institution that offers the best-education possible on this planet, yet neither a school nor a college; where youths and professionals, workers and directors, men and women learn alike; where a person learns what love is, how to bring out one's maximum potentials and where excellent education is provided for successful marriages, insightful parenting and community development? Do you know an institution which is a best kind of temple, teaching essence of day-to-day spirituality yet having no religion; which helps people to be physically, mentally and emotionally healthy, yet it's not a hospital; which helps a farmer and a director alike? What if this mind-blowing proposition is becoming a reality?
Can you imagine a place like this is possible?
Have you heard of a place that is the best nursery, the best school, the best college, the best hospital/clinic, the best farm, the best sanatorium, the best crematorium, the best life-style model, the best home- all these rolled in to one, a dream of new world waiting to be born? Do you think this is impossible? If this possibility is in the process, wouldn't you like to be part of this dream and help it excel?
It's not easy to understand the project of 'Oasis Valleys', its purposes, its vision and its importance. Only those who have given a thought to the above subjects, who have the experience and vision to understand it, can envisage the requirement of such an institution.