Vera Corda & the Origins of Children’s Universal Worship

Murshida Vera Corda was a lifelong student of Hazrat Inayat Khan, dedicating her life to the message of love, harmony, and beauty. She was intitiated by Murshid SAM when she was 22 and was later initiated as a Murshida by Pir Vilayat Khan.

Murshida Vera Corda

Murshida Vera created the New Age Seed Schools after receiving a vision in which Murshid Sam (after his death) appeared as Shiva. He spoke to her three different times, saying “Watch my children, guard my children, guide my children.” Murshida felt she should reconnect with Sam’s children (mureeds of the Sufi Ruhaniat Islamia Society founded by Murshid Sam) and through this began the work of educating the children of his “children.” The curriculum she developed had its basis in the Sufi teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan. The Seed schools sought to nurture all aspects of the life of the individual using developmental levels and learning centers for children. “We’re educating the five bodies which are developing within each child—the mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and moral bodies,” explains Murshida Vera. “We meet each child where s/he is, recognizing that each is an extremely complex universe.” The results of this work have been compiled into the book Holistic Child Guidance.

Murshida Vera developed the Children’s Universal Worship service in the San Francisco Seed Centers, where the story of the little prophet or master was brought down to the comprehension level of all the children. At the core of the service is the unity of religious ideals with the uniqueness of each religion experienced in its songs, chants, symbols, and dances. This exposes the child to the diversity within the unity of the one God. The Children’s Universal Song, Dance and Story Book was designed to assist cherags and guides in offering the service for children of all ages. Murshida Vera’s drawings of the little prophets and masters (the prophets as children) are used as part of the service. Pir Vilayat discusses the importance of this work: “The scriptures and legends of all religions are gifts of our greatest ancestors to us…When my sister, brother and myself were children, Pir-O-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan called us on the lawn of Fazal Manzil and taught us the stories of the prophets and sages of all religions, so that one day we in turn could teach them to our children; that the message of all time may extend further in our time and live always.”