mirambika - The Aim and Vision

To learn in order to know, to study in order to have the knowledge of the secrets of Nature and of life, to educate oneself in order to be master of oneself, to discipline oneself in order to be master of oneself , to overcome one’s weakness, one’s incapacity and ignorance, to prepare oneself in order to progress in life towards a goal that is nobler and vaster, more generous and more true......”

We are not here to do what the others do. We are here to do what the other cannot do because they do not have the idea that it can be done .

The Mother


In the deepest sense, mirambika was a conscious attempt at evolving newer ways of learning and thinking: an attempt at going beyond structured schooling into the joyful freedom of inner growth.

Mirambika’s free progress concept was born of a profound spiritual vision and understanding: that education is the process of awakening and evoking the true being, the psychic presence within, and through that process, bringing about a progressive unfolding of the whole person.

This blossoming would be a natural and joyful process of growth and learning which would flow from within to without. Learning would then be free of structures that bind and stifle and would become more and more a dynamic process of self discovery and self actualisation.

The need for such radical change in education was being felt by many: teachers, parents, educationists, planners, thinkers… the only thing everyone seemed to be waiting for was an initiative, a spark to be lit. This initiative came about quite naturally during a teachers annual camp at the Delhi Branch of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in October 1980. The participants of the camp responded deeply to the imperative need for a change and it was decided to set up a teachers training programmes at the Ashram.

Mirambika was first conceived of as a integral school to support the Integral teacher’s eductaion and experimentation . A year later, in July 1981, Mirambika opened with fifty seven children and ten teachers…. within a few years it went on to become a very significant experiment in ‘Free Progress’ education – an education for the free and unhampered growth of the psychic being.

Today mirambika is over twenty eight years old, and is still seeking a more perfect formulation of free progress education. Free progress education may seem a difficult concept to understand, because it is something that is still in the process of being worked out. Today it is possible for us to be able to continue the effort by completing the school year in this system. It gives only an indication of the future but a future that can no longer be denied or postponed…  



Mirambika Free Progress School is an experimental school up to class X which is recognised by the Directorate of Education, Delhi Administration and the National Institute of Open School. It is a school based on the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and continues to experiment with innovation in Education.

The principles of teaching which are followed in mirambika free progress school are based on Sri Aurobindo’s Three Principles of True Teaching.

The first principle of true teaching is thatnothing can be taught’. The teacher is not an instructor or task master, he is a helper and a guide. His business is to suggest and not to impose. He does not actually train the pupil’s mind, he only shows him how to perfect his instruments of knowledge and helps and encourages him in the process. He does not impart knowledge to him, he shows him how to acquire knowledge for himself. He does not call forth the knowledge that is within; he only shows him where it lies and how it can be habituated to rise to the surface… Child or man, boy or girl, there is only one sound principle of good teaching. Difference of age only serves to diminish or increase the amount of help and guidance necessary; it does not change its nature.

The second principle is thatthe mind has to be consulted in its own growth’. The idea of hammering the child into the shape desired by the parent or teacher is a barbarous and ignorant superstition. It is he himself who must be induced to expand in accordance with his own nature…. Everyone has in him something divine, something his own, a chance of perfection and strength in however small a sphere which God offers him to take or refuse. The task is to find it, develop it and use it. The chief aim of education should be to help the growing soul to draw out that in itself which is best and make it perfect for a noble use.

The third principle of education is towork from the near to far’, from that which is to that which shall be. The basis of a man’s nature is almost always, in addition to his soul’s past, his heredity, his surroundings, his nationality, his country, the soil from which he draws his sustenance, the air which he breathes, the sights, sounds, habits to which he is accustomed. They mould him not the less powerfully because insensibly, and from that then we must begin…. If anything has to be brought in from outside, it must be offered, not forced on the mind. 


Education to be complete must have five principal aspects corresponding to the five principal activities of the human being: the physical, the vital, the mental, the psychic and the spiritual. Usually, these phases of education succeed each other in a chronological order following the growth of the individual; this, however, does not mean that the one should replace the other but that all must continue, completing one another, till the end of his life.

The Mother


School education has largely been preoccupied with mental education, and more specifically, the training of the intellect. But education, in its truer sense, goes far beyond the mere training of the intellectual faculty.

Education is a living and dynamic process and involves the whole person: the head, the heart, the body as well as the spirit. It is concerned not just with the tangible and the quantifiable but involves so much the intangible and the subtle, the incalculable and the variable.

Integral education offers a different paradigm for learning and teaching: it begins with the assumption that the learner is a unique, complex and evolving person and needs an education that accepts his-her uniqueness and complexity. It stems from a holistic and non-reductionist understanding of human nature.

The body: If the transformation of life upon earth – and the perfection of our existence which this implies – is the aim of evolution then a deep change in the functions of our physical body is required – for obviously this human body, enslaved as it is to the needs and instincts of animality, cannot be the evolutionary summit of our life.

For the body to be so changed, a systematic process of education is needed, and this education can only be initiated in the earliest years, for it is in the earliest years that the body is the most supple and free of habits and can be moulded in any way.



The Vital: The vital is the fountain-head of life, the energy without which nothing can be accomplished. It is also the source of all our emotions, feelings, desires and impulses. Purified, it can become the perfect instrument for all we have to realise in the physical world.


The mind: The true role of the mind is the formation and organization of action. The mind has a formative and organising power, and it is that which puts the different elements of inspirations in order, for action, for organising action. And if it would only confine it self to that role, receiving inspirations- whether from above or from the mystic centre of the soul-and simply formulating the plan of action – in broad outline or in minute detail, for the smallest things of life or the greatest terrestrial organizations – it would fulfil its function.




The Psychic Dimension: The psychic is the spark of the divine Fire which upholds the evolution of each individual upon earth. It is the ‘soul consciousness’ that grows life after life, or rather becomes more manifest through the instrumentation of mind, life and body, untill all is ready for union with the Divine.

The three lines of education – physical, vital and mental – deal with the external and could be defined as the means of building up the personality, raising the individual out of the amorphous subconscious mass and making him a well-defined self conscious entity. With psychic education we come to the problem of the true motive of existence, the purpose of life on earth, the discovery to which this life must lead and the result of that discovery: the consecration of the individual to his eternal principle…

From the very earliest age children must be taught that there is a reality within-within themselves, within the earth, within the universe and that himself, the earth and the universe exist only as a function of this truth and if it did not exist, he would not last, even the short time he lasts and that everything would dissolve as soon as it is created. And because that is the efficient basis of the universe, naturally it is that which will triumph, and all which contradicts that cannot be as enduring, because it is That, the eternal thing which is the basis of the universe… I have known children who were much more conscious of their psychic being at the age of five than at fourteen, and more at fourteen than at twenty five; particularly from the moment they start going to school and undergo the kind of intensive mental culture which draws their attention to the intellectual part of their being, they lose almost always contact with their psychic being… look at the eyes of children with care and you will see a kind of light- people say candid – but so true, so true that looks at the world with wonder. Well, this wonder is the wonder of the psychic that sees the truth but does not understand much of the world, for it is too far from there.



Spritual Education: Spiritual education is really the culmination of the entire educational process. A disciplined physical, a fulfilled and potent vital, a clear and free mind and a psychic that is active in all parts of the being is the sure basis for a life constantly evolving towards its consummation and perfection. All education, in its true sense, aims at a spiritual perfection because it is spiritual perfection alone that justifies and completes life. But for spirituality to be integrated into a learning programme, a base has first to be prepared – which is the whole purpose of free progress education at mirambika.





Mirambika does not have a pre-set curriculum or syllabus. The focus here is on the naturally evolving rhythm of learning. As teachers, we have to be alive and sensitive to the child so that, at every point, we are in touch with the child’s learning process. Out of this process grows the curriculum. Our curriculum remains open ended and flexible, always reflecting the dynamism of learning and growing. Yet, the children must learn the facts and figures that will equip them to enter what is called the ‘real world’. And these they must learn in a specific time frame. And so, we strive for a Mirambika curriculum that remains open-ended and non-rigidly structured and still operates through a minimum, or an optimum, of structure.



Mirambika does not conduct conventional tests or exams at any stage. Therefore, there is no question of grading or categorizing the child. The child is not an object to be labelled and graded, but a living soul to be guided and this calls for sensitive assessment both by the child, the parents and those of us working with the child so as to give meaningful and responsible feedback.

Twice a year, the progress and growth of the child in all the aspects of his-her being, and in the group context, is sent to the parents and the parents are then invited for detailed discussion. The stress is always on non-judgmental, child centred evaluation. The style is descriptive, personalized, and wholesome..

Evaluation is treated as feedback and is meaningful only when followed up by concrete action by child, parents and facilitators. Therefore, feedback is two-way: parent to facilitator; facilitator to parent.



The question of discipline is always crucial in any learning context, much more so in a free progress context. Externally imposed discipline, for the sake of conformity is of no use in learning. Yet, without deeply ingrained self-discipline, no learning or progress is possible. So, the ever continuing attempt at inner, self discipline, which implies a growing sense of responsibility, sensitivity and maturity: the very core of a learning process…obviously, a process that demands the constant and ongoing involvement of parents with the facilitators.




The school timings in mirambika are 8.15 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. There is one hour of sports every morning . Children and their diyas (didi , bhaiya) are responsible for dusting, tidying and beautifying their spaces.

There is a short meditation in the children’s respective groups – a connecting of the inner and the outer, to set the pace for the day.

Project time is eagerly looked forward to by one and all. This involves a lot of experimenting, searching, calculating, developing, inventing, exploring, creating, reading, writing and so on. This can also involve field trips. One can work alone or in a group.

Training time is devoted to subject specific learning. The Home Sessions are meant for generating togetherness, openness and trust, for an active awareness of what it means to be part of the whole.

At the end of the day we have concentration and in silence we go within integrating our experiences for the day. Before we go home we have a glass of juice with snacks.

It is 1 p.m. and we in Red and Blue group go home after lunch. At 3.30 p.m. all of us from Green group onwards happily chat together as we proceed to leave Mirambika for the day. In this way we get ready for the transition to our homes.

Self paced and self controlled learning is the focus at the upper primary stage. This naturally progess into the secondary levels and the learner is now ready to know the aim of their education and their lives. At present after 12 years in Mirambika from age 4-16 years we learn and grow together up to class- X. Then we continue our separate paths to complete class XI and XII in other schools in Delhi and all over India.




regarding books…

A book that is loved by one child may be less interesting to another. The facilitators suggest books and additional resource material individually and in consultation with the child/parents. At the beginning of the year, a lump-sum is paid for books and stationery.

Normally, books are used only from the age of six onward. At no point are standard text books used. Children use the library for their reading material.

regarding clothes…

Clothes express some thing of the personality: no uniformality, no school uniform.
It is important that clothes should not obstruct the movements of the children,specialy for every day sports.
Simple and practical clothes are the best.
We are very particular about shoes.
We would like them to wear PT shoes…
for smaller children the type without shoe laces
so that they can run freely and participate in athletics

regarding punctuality…

It is very important for our children to come to school on time.

One hour is for physical education, preparing the body, warming up, yoga, aerobics and then perfection in team games, which is crucial to our learning process.

We would specially request parents joining us to keep the time factor in mind.










The Beginning….

Admission Information….

Integral Five Fold Education...

Project Work In mirambika...

Thoughts on Curriculum...

Thoughts on Evaluation...

Thoughts on Discipline...

How Learning Takes Place...

Certain Guidelines...

Our Criteria For Selecting Parents

Admission Procedure