News Details
29 Jan 2022

Astachal as per Rishi Valley’s Alumni


Once you stop learning, you start dying. “-Albert Einstein.

Here, at The Plenum School, an International Residential School in India, we try to apply this saying in the true sense. Our founder Mr Pankaj Sudan and the team corroborate learning. Therefore, we had a beautiful interaction with eminent personalities like

Ms Manisha Verma, IA“S, Principal Secretary of Skill Development Department Mumbai, and her sons Daanish and Devansh who studied at Cornell University, and Rochester Institute of Technology respectively. They are alumni of Rishi Valley School, Andhra Pradesh. 

The key points of discussion were Astachal (Astachal basically means the setting sun – “Sooryast”) and their varied experiences in different walks of life which made them successful and well-rounded personalities. Both Daanish and Devansh came out with their own beautiful and interesting versions for the same. They shared their journey of pursuing education from their school at Rishi Valley to college at Cornell. It was wonderful listening to their wonderful and insightful offerings. They shared their own versions of Astachal, what and how they did it, all minor and major details. 

They have also thrown some light to how it helped them in deriving better meaning to life. They shared various anecdotes about Astachal, how they enjoyed doing it as kids at school. They used to sit at their favourite place somewhere in the mountains and looked at the setting sun enjoying nature's beauty and tranquillity. Astachal helped them greatly in self-realisation and self - actualisation. They highly advocate Astachal to students and teachers in great residential schools as it gives self-reflection of oneself. 

Daanish is more of a calm personality who has a balanced view about life and how to do his own pursuit of happiness. He, among the two, is a more composed person who highly recommends Astachal, which according to him played an important role in his life. According to him, Astachal was first imposed on them but as time passed, it gave him an idea of what wonders self-realisation does to a person’s life.

Devansh, on the other hand, is a more realistic, straightforward kind of person who believes that being real is the key. Maybe in the days of his self-realisation, knowingly or unknowingly, he discovered his own way of living life to the fullest.

Listening to duo we found out that it is very important to realise what actually you need from yourself. Self-actualisation and realisation of your own goals, your own mistakes, your own source of happiness is what is needed the most to be actually happy, both inside and outside.

As Bhagwat Geeta in Chapter six: Atmsanyam Yog says:

prasantamanasanm hyonam yoginam sukhamuttamam.

upaiti shantarajasam brahmabhutamakalmasham ||6.27||

Meaning, to the yogi whose mind is perfectly serene, who is sinless, whose passion is subdued, and who is identified with Brahma, the embodiment of Truth, Knowledge and Bliss, supreme happiness comes as a matter of course. This self-realisation and actualization take you a step further in your life to pursue it the way it should.

Ms Manisha Verma shared her work-life balance journey. As she cited her administrative challenges and experiences, which by the way are motivating as well as remarkable, her journey looks distinctive and inspiring in itself.

Adding a feather to the cap of the whole conversation Manisha, Daanish and Devansh talked about how it is important to keep family together and how the quartet (Daanish, Devansh, Manisha and Pankaj) has kept the spirit of family alive even though it has both parents working and sometimes away from the kids.

This conversation not only gave us the importance of Self-realisation, in whatever form you can achieve it, either by doing meditation or by doing any other activity but also gave us the circumference of parenting, even when the parents are employed and away from the kids.

Concluding the conversation, this can be said that no matter where you stand in your life if you are able to self-realise, more than seventy per cent of work is done. If you have a problem, realising the problem is half the solution, next quarter comes from finding the solution and that’s when seventy prevent of your problem is solved. The only thing that remains is taking action and achieving success. 

Writing/Editing Credits:

Ms Sakshi (English Faculty)                  

Ms Saloni (Business Faculty)

Ms Richa (English Faculty)