The human body is the most wondrous machine in the world.
It has a bewildering multiplicity of limbs, organs, veins,
nerves and cells which co?operate to maintain it under varied
conditions. If anyone of these rebel or refuse to rescue another,
the body is bound to suffer. So too, a society, community,
or nation can be safe, secure and happy only when the individuals
comprising it are mutually helpful and bound together in skilful
and sincere service. Every generation has to receive education
and training in such intelligent cooperation and service.
Or else, the world has to face confusion and chaos.
The educational process has not received proper attention
from thoughtful persons. The institutions which ought to have
been temples of Saraswati (the Goddess of Transformation through
Learning) have become in all lands temples of Lakshmi (the
Goddess of Wealth). The ideal held before the tender, innocent,
unselfish children is a lucrative job, rather than a life
of peace, contentment and love. Narrow loyalties, contest
and competition are polluting the minds of children. Parents,
teachers, and all interested in the progress of mankind have
to take note of this situation.
and learning have both become mechanical routines. They have
lost the freshness and joy which vitality alone can give.
The value of the teaching process lies in raising the level
of consciousness of the learner, in heightening the sense
of wonder and awe and in emphasising the unity of one with
all. The destiny of a country is decided by the ideals implanted
by the teachers in the minds of the boys and girls entrusted
to their care. Educators must pay attention not merely to
the material and Intellectual progress of the pupils but,
even more, to their moral and spiritual progress. Education
should help man to live a meaningful life. It should not direct
all efforts to provide a livelihood.
Education can claim success only when it results in the student
gaining awareness of the Divinity inherent in him and others.
No academic degree can confer as much self?confidence and
self?satisfaction and lead man as quickly and gladly to self?sacrifice
and self?realisation as awareness does. It has to be transmitted
by teachers who have attained it through a sense of duty and
in a spirit of love. It has to be accepted by students who
have cultivated faith in the teacher and reverence for his
role. The pot that pours and the pot that receives have to
be steady and straight, eager to give and gain. If the teacher
has the responsibility to inspire and illumine, the student
has the responsibility to respond to the Love and Light, discarding
all contrary thoughts. Thoughts that arise from the region
of the pleasant (Preyas) cannot co?exist with those which
arise from the tough challenges of higher life (Sreyas). The
student must be equipped to prefer the latter to the former.
The higher life, which makes man human and a fit candidate
for unfoldment of the Divinity that is his Reality, depends
on the cultivation of the Five Cardinal virtues—Truth,
Right Conduct, Love, Peace and Non?Violence. These virtues
elevate the individual as well as the society of which he
is a part. The teacher has to watch every word and gesture
of his, every action and reaction of his, in order to avoid
any infringement of these virtues. For, the teacher is, for
the pupils, the ideal, the example, to whom the parents have
entrusted them. Women teachers can discharge this responsibility
better than men. Children can be moulded more easily through
sweetness and softness which maternal affection implies, rather
than by fatherly advice and admonition.
The atmosphere of Love should not be disturbed by any uncharitable
remark against any one's faith. Nor should any one be ridiculed
Children's minds should not be polluted by fear, hatred or
disgust. The doors of their hearts must be open to all. Later
on as the impact of society and the state grows, pupils can
be led to an understanding of the political and religious
forces that will affect their lives.
Students have to be encouraged to "Follow the Master",
(the inner voice of Conscience), Face the Devil (the down?dragging
antisocial urges), Fight to the End (until one is able to
overcome the inner foes of lust, anger, greed, undue attachment,
pride and hatred) and Finish the Game (of life on earth).
This duty is referred to in the Gita as Swadharma (one's genuine
obligation to oneself); the duties that one gets involved
in, while dealing with others is defined as Paradharma. Of
these two, Swadharma is more vital and valuable.