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Tuesday, 3 February 2015
CONCEPT OF EDUCATION ACCORDING TO VED :
CONCEPT OF EDUCATION ACCORDING TO VED :
=========== ( PART - 1 ) ===============
( Adopted from 'Vedic Concept Of Education' By
Swami Sunishthananda, Prabuddha Bharat )
Ved are our eternal inspiration. They inspire us to lead higher lives. This is an effort to interpret various aspects of education based on the teachings of the Ved.
Educational Philosophy of the Ved :
A teacher should be able to recognize the differences in students' capacity of assimilation owing to diverse backgrounds, as has been aptly pointed out:
अक्षण्वन्तः कर्णवन्तः सखायो मनोजवेष्वसमाबभूवुः |
आदघ्नास उपकक्षास उ तवे हरदा इव सनात्वा उत्वे दद्र्श्रे ||
……….Rig Ved 10.71.7
"Though all men have the same eye and ears, yet they are unequal in their intellectual capacities."
“svadhyayanma pramadah… svadhyayapravachanabhyam na pramaditavyamh”
…………..Taittiriya Upanishad 1.11.1
“Do not neglect the study of the Ved. Do not forsake learning and teaching of Ved.”
The following Vedic invocation is aimed at making the teaching and learning process fruitful, by being an effective means to nurture the intellect of both the teacher and the student, so that they may succeed in their joint venture to explore the sublime and wider horizons of their mental and spiritual faculties:
ॐ स॒ह ना॑ववतु । स॒ह नौ॑ भुनक्तु ।
स॒ह वी॒र्यं॑ करवावहै ।
ते॒ज॒स्वि ना॒वधी॑तमस्तु॒ मा वि॑द्विषा॒वहै॑ ॥
ॐ शान्ति॒ः शान्ति॒ः शान्ति॑ः ॥ ……..Taittiriya Aranyak 8.1.1
“Om. May [He] protect us both. May [Brahman] bestow upon us both the fruit of knowledge. May we both obtain energy to acquire knowledge. May what we both study reveal the truth. May we cherish no evil feeling towards each other. Om Peace! Peace! Peace!”
In the Vedic times, the teacher was usually a guru, who was no ordinary person, but a rishi, a seer. Knowledge flourished in him more through his inner vision than through outer experience, though the latter process was considered in no way inferior to the former. A student was supposed to live in the company of those heroes who sublimated life and conquered death, because it is life that kindles life.
There is a Vedic injunction:
“Live with the enlightened sage who ennoble life. Live the life of an enlightened man, die not. Live with the spirit of elevated souls; come not into the clutches of death.” ..... Atharva Ved 19.27.8
It is the duty of man to move ahead in quest of knowledge:
“To ascend and march ahead is the path of process”.
......Atharva Ved 5.30.7
“...Jagaranam bhutyaii svapanam abhutyaii artyaii janavadinam brdhyaii apagalbham.” …….Shukla Yajur Ved 30.17
“Awakening is life, slumbering is death.”
Being not contented with the existing position, a person should put forth efforts to lift himself higher and higher. Hence the Ved inspire us:
“O man, rise from the present position; do not fall down.” .....Atharva Ved 8.1.4
Only those books, which purify the senses and mind, enhance intellectual and spiritual power, and inspire a person to do noble deeds, can be considered good. Hence the Vedas prescribe this:
यः पावमानीरध्येत्य रषिभिः सम्भ्र्तं रसम |
सर्वंस पूतमश्नाति सवदितं मातरिश्वना ||
पावमानीर्यो अध्येत्य रषिभिः सम्भ्र्तं रसम |
तस्मै सरस्वती दुहे कषीरं सर्पिर्मधूदकम ||
…….Rig Ved 9.67.31-32
"He who studies books of divine knowledge – books that purify all beings, books that have been preserved by the enlightened sages and seers-enjoys celestial bliss, attains purity and piety."
The Gurus or teachers of Vedic traditional used to instruct their students at the time of convocation:
“devapitrikaryabhyam na pramaditavyam.h . matridevo bhava .
pitridevo bhava . acharyadevo bhava . atithidevo bhava .
yanyanavadyani karmani . tani sevitavyani . no itarani .
tani tvayopasyani." ………Taittiriya Upanishad 1.11.2
“Let your mother be a goddess unto you. Let your father be a god unto you. Let your teacher be a god unto you. The works that are not blameworthy are to be resorted to, not the others. Those actions of ours that are commendable are to be followed by you, not the others.”
If individuals turn out to be untruthful, the entire social system will collapse. Hence truthfulness is the foundation of human life. In the words of the Ved:
“The earth is sustained through Truth.”……Atharva Ved 14.1.1
Thus, one of the vital aspects of education is to train the young to be truthful. As per the Vedic dictum:
“Tread on the path of right.” ( “rtasya patha preta”) ……Shukla Yajur Ved 7.45
“Observe minutely the path of truth which has been trodden by enlightened sages.”…..Atharva Ved 18.4.3
The Ved further assert that:
रतस्य गोपा न दभाय सुक्रतुस्त्री ष पवित्रा हर्द्यन्तरा दधे |
विद्वान स विश्वा भुवनाभि पश्यत्यवाजुष्टान विध्यति कर्ते अव्रतान ||
…….Rig Ved 9.73.8
“The noble soul who pursues the path of truth beholds with wisdom every creature that exist and is never defeated.”
According to the Ved, one should aspire for sweetness of speech, which ensures peace and prosperity:
“May there be sweetness in front of my tongue; may the root of my tongue be replete with honey.”
……Atharva Ved 1.34.2
“May I use sweet words in my speech” …….Atharva Ved 1.34.3.
A student should not engage himself in criticizing others, giving little importance to what he himself is doing. Criticizing others ultimately injures the criticizers, for it is the criticizer whose mind gets contaminated by perceiving evil in others. Hence the Ved warn us:
बरह्माण्य अत्रेर अव तं सर्जन्तु निन्दितारो निन्द्यासो भवन्तु || ……Rig Ved 5.2.6
“Those who defame other are themselves defamed.”
Ved enjoin on human being to earn wealth by dint of honest labour:
या मा लक्ष्मी: पतयालूरजुष्टाभिचस्कन्द वन्दनेव वृक्षम् |
अन्यत्रात्सवितस्मामितो धा हिर्ण्यहस्तो वौ नो राण: ||
…….Atharva Ved 7.115.2
“O God, keep away from me that wealth which degrades me, which entangles me from all directions and withers me like a parasitic plant that withers away the tree. O supreme Lord of wealth, thy hands are golden. Bless me with that wealth which gives me peace and joy.”
The Ved instruct man to endeavor to acquire the wealth which legitimately belongs to him and not covet others’ property.
“…..maa grdhah kasya sviddhanam” ……..Shukla Yajur Ved 40.1
“Do not covet the wealth of others.”
Education should equip one with a rational and scientific attitude. The Vedic Pashu Yaga mantras, though addressed to the sacrificial animal, could well inspire us to explore new horizons in quest of knowledge.
‘Explore the ocean, explore the sky and be blessed’ …..(6.21).
Bravery alone can lead us to success:
आ तवाहार्षमन्तरेधि धरुवस्तिष्ठाविचाचलिः |
……Rig Ved 10.173.1
“Be firm and unshaken.”
“(May our speech be) strong and invincible.”
…..Atharva Ved 20.47.3
The Vedas urge us to endeavor for self-rule:
वयचिष्ठे बहुपाय्ये यतेमहि सवराज्ये || …….Rig Ved 5.66.6
“May we endeavor for self-rule.”
( To Be Concluded in Part-2 .... )
"Om Shanti Shanti Shanti"