An appropriate Education System will create the power of Unity

Mr Durgesh Parulkar

The original education system of our country is the ‘Gurukul’ system. With the invasion of the foreigners, especially the British, our entire education system was altered as they wanted to retain political power in this country. They created an education system for our country and uprooted the education system which was rooted in our land, suitable and useful for the upliftment of society. After Independence, we did not destroy the foreign education system and create an education system that would be suitable and beneficial to us.

1. Indian education system lays emphasis on internal learning

Our rulers have not realised the importance of our eternal, timeless education system. As a result, we adopted an education system based on western philosophy, created with only a materialistic perspective. The western education system lays emphasis only on external learning. The rich education system rooted in our land lays emphasis on internal learning besides external learning, with the emphasis being more on the former. No matter how good the external education is, its manifestation is important. Human manifestation begins from the womb. Children absorb knowledge just like sponge. Childhood learning does not usually fade.

Education that develops the intellect, memory, intelligence and wisdom is called ‘internal’ education. The effect of food is not on the plate, but on the body. Similarly, education affects behaviour. Keeping this in mind, our Sages gave importance to internal education along with external education. In fact, they made internal education the foundation for external education.

2. What is true education ?

A student remembers what was taught to him, and after that he expresses it in his own words. This is the glory of memory. A student should enjoy learning. Education should not be a punishment or a burden. ‘Children, open the books’, is not education. ‘To be able to open the mind, to have no cunningness in it, to have a broad mind that does not give way to narrow-mindedness and is capable of leaping towards the infinite’, is the true education that builds such a mind.

Today’s education is only for examinations, industry, business and jobs. Although these things are important in human life, the education provided only for this cannot be said to be perfect.

3. Current education system is money-oriented

As education is for life, so it is for knowledge. There should be an education system that gives priority to the development of the life of students.

An invigilator is needed during the examinations because there is no education system that creates the attitude that ‘while answering, I will not copy anyone, I will not solve the question paper dishonestly, etc.’. This means that today’s education system is money-oriented and not service-oriented, faith-oriented, knowledge-oriented, or integrity-oriented. As a result, students with a thirst for knowledge are rarely found.

4. Current education lacks the sanctity in celebrating festivals

Our Hindu society is festival-loving, but these festivals are not celebrated with moderation. Sanctity, moderation, morality and social consciousness are not maintained while celebrating festivals.

The reason for this is that the education system is based on external education only. A graduate who comes out of some University with a degree does not come out enlightened and committed. There is an unwritten rule in our culture that one should enter the temple of knowledge by wearing the prescribed attire. It is expressed in the Sanskrut verse – ‘Vidya Vinayen Sobhate’ (Knowledge shines with humility).

5. Importance of exposing children to studying our Scriptures

Three areas of life development have been mentioned in our Scriptures. The Gurukul system of education strengthened the three areas of ‘Speech, Body and Mind’. An individual becomes radiant with radiant thoughts. An individual’s mind becomes strong and healthy because of radiant literature. We should give children books such as the Bhagawad Geeta, Ramayan, Mahabharat and Upanishads to study. Their life will become enlightened due to these. All these Holy texts are the energy source for life.

6. Benefits of imparting education on Dharma to students

Today, as soon as we talk of ‘Education on Dharma’, there are voices of opposition from all sides. The reason for this is that they do not understand the meaning of ‘Education on Dharma’ at all.

Education which teaches that the integrity of character and integrity to the Divine, body and soul are different, is called ‘Education on Dharma’. Without integrity of character, human life will degenerate. Integrity to the Divine is useful for bestowing mental strength. Because of this, disappointment will never touch one’s mind. Along with this, one gets the strength to propagate and spread learning and knowledge.
If one does not impart the knowledge he has acquired to another, it is adharma (unrighteousness). Awareness of this arises in the mind. Similarly, the work of spreading knowledge and learning continues unabated and uninterrupted. Therefore, Sant Namdev Maharaj had said, ‘Let’s dance to the melody of the Kirtan and illuminate the flame of knowledge in the world’. Today’s education system does not give the student the lofty goal of creating a world illuminated by the light of knowledge.

7. Current education system teaches self-centeredness

In the Gurukul system of education, students acquire knowledge without realising that they are learning. In the Gurukul, they learn how to live. That is true education. Today’s education is self-centred. People only think of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. Due to this, we are creating a generation of worthless (Karmashunya) and lifeless (Jeevanshunya) youth.

8. Crime committed by promoting individual freedom through education

We have forgotten that mental, intellectual and spiritual beauty makes life happy. Mental beauty requires intellectual beauty. Spiritual beauty is the culmination of inner beauty. If it is not spiritual beauty, beauty is lifeless and dull. An education system that provides such understanding and teaching is the foundation of society and the Nation. We have ignored this. Our unpardonable crime is that we have turned our backs on mental beauty while giving undue importance to individual freedom.

9. Flaws in today’s education system

Today, everything is evaluated in terms of money. Are human dignity, women’s character, patriotism, and similar things valued in money ? Greed has no limits today. We do not pay attention to keeping the family setup intact. Respect is disappearing from society. Worship of knowledge is disappearing in society. Due to today’s education system, we have forgotten 3 basic aspects.

A. Conversion of rights into duties.

B. Transforming an egoistic attitude into self-restraint (Sayyam).

C. Transforming competition into cooperation.
Today, our tendency is to take credit for whatever we do. This is why, we do not insist that everyone should be a team player. Team spirit binds society. Self-interest has to be sacrificed for the sake of team spirit. This requires mental and spiritual strength. Mental maturity and spiritual strength cannot be imparted by today’s education system. This is the fault of today’s education system.

10. Importance of studying our Scriptures so as to prevent human degradation

There are many aspects to learn from the Mahabharat. For truth, justice and victory over evil, we must sometimes put aside our pledges, our words and our principles. Shrikrushna had taken a vow not to lift any weapon for use. However, when the necessary situation arose, He broke His own vow. By continuing the war with the unarmed Karna, Arjun gave the world a reason to criticise himself. Yudhisthir had vowed to never speak a lie; but in the Mahabharat war, he broke his vow saying ‘Naro va Kunjaro va’ and followed Dharma.

Thus, today’s education system does not provide us with the preparedness for giving up self-submission, self-sacrifice, honouring oaths or pledges when the time comes for social welfare, establishing truth, justice and defeating evil.

This is why, today it is very important to study the Bhagawad Geeta, Ramayan, Mahabharat, Upanishads, Vedas, Puranic texts, philosophy, etc. Only then will organisation, resistance and loyalty to character emerge; otherwise our downfall is inevitable. To prevent this downfall, it is imperative to realise the importance of indigenous education that builds unity.

Realising this, it is commendable that the present Government is taking steps in the correct direction.

– Mr Durgesh Jaywant Parulkar, Devout Hindu Lecturer and Author, Dombivli. (25.1.2023)

Mental maturity and spiritual strength cannot be imparted by today’s education system. This is the fault of the system !