A school is a place where one learns about the totality, the wholeness of life. Academic excellence is absolutely necessary, but a school includes much more than that. It is a place where both the teacher and the student explore, not only the outer world, the world of knowledge, but also their own thinking, their own behavior.
The founding of the school is best encapsulated in the book “Letters of Wisdom”, a compendium of letters written by Shri Benegal Sanjiva Rao (photograph on right), a theosophist who later came in contact with J Krishnamurti that changed his life. Here are some excerpts from the book and other documents that throws light on the history of the school.
How It Began
“On 28 December 1927, I went on a visit to Adyar to see Krishnaji .... Among other things we talked about, he mentioned the plan of establishing a centre at Benares on the banks of Ganges. ‘I want you to buy 400 acres of land on the banks of the river in Benaras’ he said. I thought over the matter, tried to resist the influence of the legend of the World Teacher and humbly asked whether it would not be better to choose a place in the Himalayas..”
“The problem of finance has always been an acute one … I had called a meeting and our objective was to collect sufficient money for the purchase of Rajghat. I roughly estimated that we would require Rs. 150,000/- for that purpose. I announced that Pandit Prannath had given Krishnaji Rs. 25,000/-. At the meeting donations totalling Rs. 50,000/- were announced…I also had the honour of sitting daily for four hours in the morning and another four in the afternoon on a hard chair in the Hatwa Palace - to collect only Rs. 250 in cash!”
The Starting of the School
“In 1926 I had rented two houses in Sigra on behalf of a friend who, however, withdrew from the agreement…During the first year my new venture was not approved of, and so I had to make myself personally responsible for the running of the school…The children’s School building at Rajghat was begun in 1933. Rabindranath Tagore generously sent his own architect Surendranath Kar, who designed the building. I do not think I am exaggerating when I say that it is one of the most beautiful of school buildings. There is a sense of Eternity, of a blessed Peace, in the entire structure.”
About the inspiration behind the accomplishments
“What was helping me? ... there was a plan being accomplished. I knew that the work was far beyond my normal capacities ... I wrote to Krishnaji once ascribing to him all the rather unusual things that had happened. He wrote back saying, ‘It is you that have achieved the miracle, but it is true that I am behind you, for I am behind all things.’ … ’I do not deny the validity of your experience. But if instead of confining your devotion to a limited being, why not try giving it to that which is in everyone and which is behind all things? You will find that there is greater power in that.’