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AHAM-SAH
the Founding Seed

Our Philosophy

Etymologically derived from the two primordial Sanskrit sounds,

Aham meaning ‘I am’
and

Sah
meaning ‘That’

which when brought together resound as Aham-Sah or han-sa, the very existence of the hansa or flying swan is a powerful echo of the Advait philosophical belief ‘I am That’.

I am a part of you and you are a part of me.

I am a part of my family, my country, the world community and nature, and they are each a part of me.

In other words, we are each fundamentally inter-connected and part of a greater unified whole or the Brahman.

For us at NiBS, it is our deep identification with and foundational reverence for this belief nestled within the very heart of a hansa that cradles the philosophical seed of our School and inspires our vision of holistic education and its allegiance to a community school paradigm.

The more closely we nurture this identity, the more clearly we are able to hear the reverberating VOICE of the Hansa speaking and sharing the Values of Ownership, Integrity, Collaboration and Excellence that stem from it.

Our Values

The Value of Ownership rooted in the Aham-Sah chant of ‘I am That’ reminds us that even as distinct individuals, our identities are not limited by our physical beings; rather, they are intimately connected to and shaped by the values, cultures and traditions of each of the different communities that we are a part of – our families, school, country, the world family and nature.

As educators who value integrity and wholeness then, it becomes incumbent upon us to evolve a culture that willingly accepts responsibility and accountability for the abundant wealth and heritage that they have each endowed us with and encourages students to take mindful ownership of the impact that their choices and actions have in shaping this heritage.

Legendarily revered for its magical ability to separate milk from water, the graceful hansa is also a gentle and encouraging reminder that a true or complete education must encourage an experience of life – wide, deep and connected, so that we may get the opportunity to nurture the fine discrimination or viveka required to distinguish all that is valuable and true from all that is untrue and false.

At NiBS, the Value of Integrity inspires us to make the development of such fine discrimination and the capacity for both critical thinking and high moral character, an all surmounting aim.

It is not just legend that is replete with stories of the hansa’s mythical abilities, science too tells a tale that evokes no less awe.

We learn that as each hansa joins its flock to fly nearly 3000 miles and escape cold winters, the flapping of its wings gives a thrust to the others in the flock. By flying together in a V formation, the flock adds 70% greater flying range than if each bird flew by itself.

If a hansa wounds itself and drops out of the flock, it is never left alone. Other hansa fly out with it lending it help and protection till it recovers and is ready to fly again.

As the leader of the flock gets tired, he rotates back and another hansa takes his place as leader. Thus, with mutual support they all arrive safely at their destination – an otherwise impossible feat!

Reverberating in the wings of the hansa then is an ever inspiring re-iteration of the sheer joy and power of community – people who share a common direction and work together are able to achieve goals greater and higher than if they had worked alone.

For us at NiBS, it is the distinctive and deep resonance of this Value of Collaboration that inspires our learning culture. We encourage our children to learn by sharing strengths and seeking support with and from each other rather than by trying to compete or defeat each other. Like the hansa, we are sensitive to individual needs and differences. If a particular child needs special attention, a member of our flock –mentor, teacher, friend or peer, must always take the time out to provide it.

Always flying towards the sun on their migratory journey and encouraging us to continually seek deeper, higher and more luminous horizons, the hansa serve as an ideal for the Value of Excellence. Gently reminding us that we are each part of a larger whole, they challenge us to reimagine the limits of our perceived potential and foster faith in the possibility of growing and augmenting the same.

For us at NiBS, they are an enduring inspiration to nurture grit and persistence and continually encourage children to never give up in their own journey towards the sun, both within and without.

VOICE OF THE HANSA