Rockcliffe Primary School aims to provide a stimulating, caring and safe environment in which our children desire to learn independently and with others, through an exciting educational programme that challenges and develops the whole child.
We recognise that the personal development of pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve.
We therefore aim to provide an education that provides pupils with opportunities to explore and develop their own values and beliefs, spiritual awareness, high standards of personal behaviour, a positive caring attitude towards other people, an understanding of their social and cultural traditions and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of other cultures.
During October, we had a whole school 'Values Week'. Our week ended with looking at the story of 'The Milk and the Jasmine Flower'.
Spiritual and Cultural Development: Using Texts
The Milk and the Jasmine Flower
Guru Nanak believed that everyone is equal. Rich or poor, sad or happy, brainy or practical: God sees everyone equally.
Nanak and Mardana were travelling to a new city in India 500 years ago. He was such a famous holy man that the news about his arrival spread, and before he even got to the city gates, the holy men who lived in the city were talking about him.
They were worried!
They knew Nanak was a truly good and holy person, and they had promised to try and be good like him. But they had actually been greedy and unkind. They were scared of Guru Nanak’s arrival. He might show them up! They decided to send a messenger with a bowl full of milk as a gift to say that there was no room for anyone else in the city: as the bowl was full, so was the city, and they were sorry that they could not receive Nanak and Mardana.
Would the Guru and his companion please go somewhere else?
As Guru Nanak walked up the road to the city gates, the messengers met him, carrying the gift of a large bowl, full to the brim with fresh milk.
“Our holy men send you this milk, and apologise that they cannot receive you” said the messengers. “Our city is already too full of holy men. You could do somewhere else.”
Nanak sat down with the messengers and the bowl.
Before he drank any, he picked a jasmine flower from a wayside bush and floated it on the top of the milk. Not a drop spilled out. He looked around the group before he spoke, with a smile:
“I think the city is not quite full” he said. “As the flower find space in the bowl full of milk, so there is always room for more holiness in the world.” The flower floated on top of the milk and not a drop was spilt: there was more room for it!
The messengers went back into the city and told the holy men what had happened. They suddenly saw the stupidity of what they had tried to do, and felt sorry that they had tried to send Nanak and Mardana away. They threw open the city gates and asked Nanak and Mardana to stay with them, and teach them how to fill their city with good things.
Why did the holy men of the city try to stop Guru Nanak from coming?
What makes people feel ‘shown up’? Have you ever had this feeling?
Why do you think Guru Nanak did the experiment with the jasmine flower, instead of just marching in to the city?
“The world is not full enough of…” Can you think of lots of things that we need more of, in the word today?
We all decorated a bowl and decided 'There is always more room in the world for...'
The children had lots of interesting ideas.