PYSSUM, or the Paramahansa Yogananda Society for Special Unfolding and Moulding, is a school in Lucknow, India, for children and adults with special needs.
“We have music. We have games. Our children participate in Special Olympics, and they win also,” said Dr. Naval Chandra Pant, with a laugh.
Pant founded PYSSUM, a school where disabilities are seen as blessings from God.
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“All of us have a spark of divinity within us, and that can be unfolded by conscious efforts, so that’s what we try to do in a classroom setting,” Pant said.
Each school day, and most activities, begin with a prayer to all divine beings.
“This is a universal principal where there is reverence for all religions, all saints,” Pant said.
Prayers are followed with spiritual chants, an affirmation, and meditation or silence. That effort is to help everyone focus on God’s love.
“We start all of our activities with love. But this love is not an ordinary human love, it has to have its roots in divine love.”
That love can be seen in the gentle touch of a teacher’s hand bringing comfort to an unsettled child, or a moment in time that captures a child’s spirit.
These examples go back to how and why this school was created.
“We were very, very particular about emphasizing on the teachings of love, harmony, a joyous environment for children and that’s what we are doing,” Pant said.
PYSSUM teachers and staff are working to make the best of every moment and every gift given from God.