My Visit to Oxford

It is a great pleasure even to take the name of Oxford University. It is a special place for a genuine student like Amritsar for Sikhs; four Dhamas for Hindus; Mecca for Muslims; Jerusalem for Christians. So definitely some kind of thrilling remained in my mind. Though I have visited Cambridge University several times, I have special attachment and bond with the name Oxford since I knew that it exists.

Today I visited there. The purpose was to facilitate the Nepalese youths to know the department of Hindu Studies in
Oxford. In future, if they like to be there, they would be knowing how could that be possible. It was a genuine reason
and Nepalese Hindu Council in the UK cordinated the programme. As a part of the forum, I had to be there or honestly
speaking, I wanted to visit the Renowned Industry of Epistemology. That kind of programme itself was a historic one
because nobody has tried such an approach from Nepalese community including the Embassy before the Forum actually did. Whether we notice it or not-'Everyday we are making history. We are becoming historic!'

Oxford, as a city as such, is very beautiful. It is one of the best tourist destinations in the UK. The streets are often seen
crowded by different groups. The tourists are not from a particular country but are from all over the world. In one corner
of the city, we can see a small but very busy Market like our Bhrikuti Mandap in Nepal or Camden Town in London. The
difference is that in Bhrikuti Mandap, the so-called sophisticated people are rarely seen whereas in the Market at Oxford or in Camden Town, the sophisticated and elite groups are regular customers to visit and enjoy shopping and delicious food.These markets are the extraordinarily the tourist destinations for rich Arabians, Europeans and Americans so are always busy and filled with fun fair mood. The University premises, however, is very serene as if we have reached a place for meditation though it is situated in a huge city.

I boarded the train from London Paddington to Oxford in the morning. It was 11:00 am when I reached Oxford.

One of the professors of the department briefed about the University. Everything he said could be taken as general as found in leaflets, but his presentation was gracefully different. The way he presented was really reflecting the aura of knowledge in Oxford University. The old tradition of knowledge has been intact along with the grasp of the drastic changes in the methods of learning. In our group, there was the majority of Nepalese youths specially brought up in British culture and education system. Such a group definitely has got some wonderful inquiries about their root culture, religion and language. So, we had a small discussion programme basically on Hinduism and the modern context. Very often, our talk concentrated on the University itself. One thing that stroke me very sharply is about the approach of education in Oxford which is not to train the people for certain skills only but to make them able to think. They do not only train people for practical skills like accountancy or nursing, but make them ready to anticipate and decide. For certain skills, you know the formulae and that's it. But being a thinker is much more. A thinker knows how to make decisions at different situations. So the students in such an institution would become the world leaders and planners.

The way the professor presented itself was an illustration. I presented my book, 'Drops of Nectar' to the Professor as if we put some money at the idol of Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth and prosperity believing that we offered something we have. My thought ran inside-'Being in Oxford really opens up one's door of ignorance and light of knowledge definitely enlightens not only the individual, but of the whole community.'

तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय!!

(Lead me from ignorance to the Light!!)

Durga Pokhrel

28th July 2011

London


Report of the Date : Jul 28, 2011


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