Pamelia Khaled: Public execution of killing animal has a deep impact on children. First I introduce one painful story of Ghadimai festival. Manoj Gautam expressed his frustration how at Gadhimai festival, Nepal each year approximately 500,000 animals are sacrificed that includes, buffaloes, goats, birds and pigeons. He portrayed how this religious festival created an image of Gadhimai as the world’s most bloody and violent festival.
In 2009, Manoj Gautam has started campaign against animal offerings festival. He wrote that “this is the first Gadhimai Festival since our Stop Animal Sacrifice campaign began, and already we have reduced animal sacrifices by at least 70%. For five years we have been conducting mass sensitization in all 99 villages of Bara district, and we have reached every single adult in the five villages surrounding the festival area. Together with our friends from Humane Society International, we have worked tirelessly on the ground to save as many animals as possible, despite much adversity and great personal risk (due to the political and corruptive forces behind Gadhimai)”.
Manoj further notes that “we mobilized hundreds of volunteers, confiscated thousands of animals, and convinced countless pilgrims not to sacrifice their animals. We even held an all-night protest within the heart of the temple itself and convinced the butchers to release over 300 buffalo”. This Himalayan Odyssey tells us to be more humane; we, human being need more effort to stop mass killing animal and think more how to save lives of non-human animal and all other animals and find a real path, a humanistic way.
Similarly, each year Muslims and Christians offer millions of camel, cow and turkey as part of the ritual of Eid festival and thanks giving. How mass killing animals can be reduced for the safety of our child’s psyche as well as environment.
Since ancient time, Religious education contributed to developing the learners’ selves and their intellect. This education consistently engages learners in prayer activities since their childhood. The motto of religion is to teach learner to be a soulful person. It teaches that one must be a righteous person and kind to each living being. When we love others, it helps us to shape our own selves. As a part of the World religion, parents at home and teachers can train learners to practise following Morning Prayer to explore how prayer can be beneficial for children. The loving-kindness prayer is similar in some ways to the prayer of world religions. Thus, for learners of any religious background, loving-kindness prayer practice could be helpful to understand the self and mindfulness in learning and daily living.
We must provide a meaningful explanation of slaughtering to teach young; otherwise, they will not understand what are the benefits of offerings animal, or there is a deep meaning of slaughtering from religious perspective, or there is an alternative, loving- kindness prayer.
This week, I read a few stories of primitive ideas of slaughtering own child in the name of God Ma kali and Allah. Two children were snatched from mothers’, as the fathers were suggested in dream doing so. Mother’s secured laps lost the meaning of peace and love for calling of God possibly for delusion and MENTAL HEALTH problems.
An example of this would be like a child visualizes or dreams of killing, sacrificing or offering a life in the name of the Lord, which could create a huge disturbance and a great deal of trauma in a child’s mental world. It may turn religion and dream work in a negative direction.
In an educational setting, slaughtering dream (some meditative or similarly de-stressing activities/prayer) should be monitored to determine if forms of visualization assist children or damage their psychological world.
To avoid otherness, establish a sustainable environment and show our love to animal kingdom massive, competitive slaughtering on Eid-ul Azha occasion could be reduced following 7-16 even more people for one animal. As we know this tradition passed to Muslims since long ago, Prophet Muhammad’s time as optional not mandatory; however, it can be modified in a different fashion employing a new rule- rules of love to animal kingdom and environment. We can educate ourselves why it is necessary for a Muslim and what extent it can be done and still not slaughtering animal can be meaningful followed by prayer.
I feel strongly about the importance of meaning full explanation of an authentic practice of slaughtering for young people. I believe that any rigid practice or ritual can be problematic for children. I am interested in further exploring how these practices can be safely monitored and guided to ensure their safety for children and to maximize their potential to encourage journeys toward mindfulness, toward a love of the self and others, and toward a personal understanding of and relationship with one’s God.
The sense of mindfulness arises from our perceptions. Thinking of monolithic God could be expanded into many – in creation and in nature – and we form these expansions by our own doings, discovering science, searching for new creation, engaging in meditation and offering love. God is one, yet also many; in that God is all forms of living and non-living beings, making connections and creating cycles of life. Perhaps there is no God, but there is One, which is nature, the cosmos; it demands us to be mindful, kind and loving. This is where the beauty of science merges with the beliefs and rituals of religions.
During prayer, one could use the techniques of mantra/verse, the loving-kindness prayer, following their own religion. For the young learners, practicing prayer with parents or a teacher in the classroom would be of great help. They will find the parents and teacher’s tone of voice to be helping to settle their mind and prepare their body and mind to slip more easily into prayer.
Prayer at home may take a little bit more time to take ownership of body and mind. Learners may become aware and quieter and settle gradually. They may enjoy the restfulness. They may continue with the usual interplay of mantra/verse, the loving-kindness prayer and visualize their meaningful existence on this earth-loving others.
The procedure is useful to engage young to be mindful and to really make a difference. An intense focus on prayer practice would make learners happier and bring great benefits. Practicing prayer, they could build a new sense of learning and grow more mindful. They will be able to concentrate and focus on one thing. The ideas they develop could move toward a holistic approach in education through the practice of mindfulness.
During the loving-kindness prayer, learners would seek ways to spread their words and share love with all other living beings. How can they achieve that goal? It may not develop instantly; they have to work persistently on it. It will show up in a fervent moment, and it will be very exciting. Learners long for bringing about change — a radical and necessary change. They may have great ideas, but they must prioritize.
From prayer practice, the mind will become clearer for goal setting. From the goals comes the power and energy to take daily action. Continuous practice of a few weeks could help learners to feel safe and secure in their relationships with body, mind and soul. These relationships are interconnected. The beauty of these relationships is characterized by love, sweetness and gentleness. In other words, happiness is in the “self” and all around!
During prayer, various outcomes and answers to questions could become clearer and more visible. Learners could feel that their body leaves them in isolation when they do not take the initiative to practice meditation or prayer. The “self” is not only guided by the just and peaceful mind but also by an enormous control of the body.
The prayer experience would offer learners a choice – an alternative form of loving-kindness prayer. Choice is an intellectual capacity of the self and entails an enormous power of freedom: which religion or which God will one choose – of what shape, or shapeless, or none. Some may find God to resemble a living being, a human, or to be like water.
Water, for instance, is so important for life, and so nourishing for an individual. It is significant where an individual wants to see water (God): in a quiet stream, in a flowing river or in a deep ocean? A free human mind can build a strong relationship with the nature of God, as one has the intellectual capacity to identify where one belongs and to connect with where He (God) exists. A rejection of the formal idea of religion tells that God lives within us, in our hearts, not in a Hare Krishna temple, synagogue, mosque or church. Religion must not be used as rituals of slaughtering animal, or a weapon in power struggles between states and nations; rather, it should be used to seek inner peace – as a call for commonality and humanity.
Thus, teaching the reasons, why it is not a necessity of slaughtering animal; rather, loving kindness-prayer can be beneficial for transmission, mastery to learning new skills and also it allows for transaction to perform a task skillfully. From the critical perspective of Whole education, prayer has significance, children can focus on their study and be enabled to imply analytical approach in complex subjects and be transformed.