EDUCATION confers humility; endows one with an authority to command that will entitle one to affluence. With the help of this affluence, charity and compassion can be made fruitful, and by this means, happiness in this world and peace in the next can be won. Education is thus a great constructive force for mankind. But, reformers and reconstructionists have tinkered – so much with the process of education that it has now been reduced to a caricature of itself. The effectiveness of the educational system, and the boons it could confer on man have been ignored and neglected; the name is now given to the art ‘of collecting information of the objective world. The far more important task of transforming the nature of man into the divine is given up, as beyond its ken.
The difference between the ancient ideals of education and .the modern practices is appalling. Today, the educational process is denied to the aspirant, if he fails to pay his fees; the teacher too feels that he has no duty to teach, if in a certain month he is not paid his salary. Students pay for being taught; teachers are paid for the teaching they do. Money decides what is taught and how it is learnt. “Pay and receive; be paid and give.” That is the bond between the teacher and the taught. “Love, reverence, affection” – these have no place in the transaction. How then can education be fruitful? Gokak said just now that when teachers love the children, they will be rewarded by the love of the children who sit around them. Now they are loved for the sake of the money they bring, and so, the relationship is artificial and without roots in the heart.
Heirs To The Richest Cultural Heritage
The teacher and the pupil will both be immersed in joy only when Love that does not calculate the reward binds them together. When material gain is the goal, the joy based is on matter and does not thrill the mind. It cannot be pure, steady and sincere. As teachers of the Bala Vikas classes throughout the country, you do not look forward to monetary or material benefits, and so, you have ample opportunity to make the child’s heart and intellect blossom, through the rays of Love. Let Me tell you that most teachers today have specialised in western types of training, and so, they have lost their moorings in our own culture, and so are unaware of the deeper springs of the spirit. They have been rendered materialistic, worldly, and egoistic. They are caught up in the pursuit of sensual pleasure and in the earning of money. They do not know that real education consists in helping the child to manifest the Divinity latent in him. Remember that the children who come to you are all heirs to the richest cultural heritage that the world can give. They are the ‘Children of Immortality’ extolled as such in the ancient texts by sages and scholars of this land. Do not turn them into experts in mathematics, unable to add up a simple domestic bill; scholars in the geography of America, but, unable to direct a pilgrim who desires to know in which direction Kashi lies; prodigies in algebra who are helpless when asked to define the area of their own rooms; past masters in drill and gymnastics, but, all at sea, when requested to sit in the Padhmasana posture; proficient in Botany, but, ignorant of the uses of the common Thulsi plant, found in the courtyard of every Indian home! They can draw realistic pictures of dogs and foxes, but, their hand-writing remains an illegible scribble. How can we expect that Indian culture will be preserved and fostered by these products of our educational system? The teachers who have brought them to this pass, and the educational administrators who divised the system are both equally to blame.
Be Aware Of The High Purpose Of Education
Correction of these faults must start with the teachers; they must become aware of the high purpose of education, and the goal to which it must guide the children of the land. I know that great enthusiasm prevails today among both the pupils and teachers of our Bala Vikas classes, for the spiritual ideals cherished in this land since ages. Nevertheless, I must say that there is a great and urgent need for you teachers to receive training in the methods of child education. For example, when teaching the recitation of bhajans or poems or hymns, you have to pay attention to the correct enunciation of each sound, the correct pronunciation of each letter; for, otherwise, the meaning is liable to be warped out of recognition.
The Three R's Are Most Neglected To-Day
Study Of Books That Is Worthwhile For Children
Parents Have Important Roles In Children's Education
The Guru Is Equal To God Himself
Spiritual Education Must Start Early In Life
Everyone Must Learn The Secret Of Happiness
There Is Only One Religion, The Religion Of Love
Those who seek to acquire steadiness of faith must first acquire the strength to bear grief and pain, insult and injury. The succession of joy and grief must help confirm the faith and make it immovable. That alone can evidence true devotion.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba