What is real Education?
Most of us are unaware that there is something more available to the present education system for our children and ourselves. Parents are unaware as to which direction the child is heading towards. For, most of us as parents are ourselves unedu-cated. We have degrees, not education, as we remember nothing. If asked to appear for the same exams that we got the certificates for, we will be unable to pass them. We need to understand for ourselves what education actually is. Acquiring Certificates is not education.
Of my two nieces, the elder one is very intelligent, a first ranker and worked very hard for a Homeopathic doctorate. The younger niece just passed 12th standard. For the last 3 years she got up daily at 4 o'clock and swam for 3 to 4 hours at Jayanagar. She was first in the state team and now in the National Water Polo team. Everybody who came to swim wanted her to teach them. Now she's a swimming coach who earns at least Rs. 25,000 a month. Her sister studied so hard and what is her salary? Only Rs 6,000 and the sister who did what she loves gets Rs. 25,000. So what is real qualification, and real education?
Is education only literacy - learning to read and write, doing little equations or having some knowledge of subjects as geometry, science, mathematics etc. and having some certificate or another in hand? Or, is education about learning how to live joyfully and effortlessly and being a useful contributor to society?
An education system is about creating leaders. Our original education system of Gurukuls could impart this quality of leadership in a child. Gurukul is the actual productivity center of leaders as well as Brahmanas.
How the Indian Education System Lost its Power?
The British set one Rajah against another; their strategy worked and they began to rule the country. But, over time they realized that though they were now rulers, people were not really listening to them. They were also not listening to the Rajah; then to whom were they listening to?
They were all listening to the Gurus and all the Gurus were not simply teaching Vedas to their students. The Gurus had established large institutes where they taught arts and crafts, e.g. if you were a carpenter the Guru taught carpentry and along the way he taught mathematics also. But, first the student learnt carpentry and everything about carpentry. Thus India had 1,25,000 universities in the state of Madras in 1800, where the Gurus imparted knowledge. This was the strength of India.
The British, then set out to discover what was at the base of the Indian strength. For this purpose they assigned an Englishman named Macalauy who reported as follows. In 1835, Lord Macaulay said, "I have traveled the length and breadth of the whole of India, and I have not seen one beggar. Such wealth I have seen in this country and high morals, that I do not think that you will ever be able to conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this country, which is their spiritual and cultural heritage. And therefore I propose we replace her old ancient Indian education system to make them believe that ours is greater and superior to their own. They will lose their self-esteem and culture and they will become what we want them to become. So, they will listen to us and become a truly dominated nation.”
To conquer India the British destroyed the backbone of India i.e. the Indian Gurukul System of Education, by introducing the certificate system. In this way, they made us donkeys for the government system. It was their conspiracy to weaken India and rule here by producing more and more 'donkeys' to work for them. The spiritual and cultural heritage was replaced with the English Government Certification System.
So, the authority of the Guru was lost, the base of seva, surrender and togetherness was lost.
Thus unfortunately, today the education system has become a means of acquiring a degree for the sake of survival, it is producing servants, not Gurus and leaders. The Guru- Shishya parampara was lost.
Now education is not for ‘Joyful Togetherness and Shared Abun-dance or Serving the People,’ but has been distorted to selfishness and attained for satisfying one’s own selfish aims of life.
The Missing Link.
Over the last six months we wanted to construct our hostel building, but were unable to get a mason. We all want our children to be an engineer, not a mason. We need masons not just engineers. A mason who is also an engineer is better qualified rather than just an engineer.
Similarly, a degree holder in agricul-tural engineering cannot work in the fields. The education today is an incomplete education, as it is all theoretical, not practical. This is the main reason why our agriculture has not really improved.
India has become poor because of these uneducated certified people. When these people work under a guru who has knowledge of the subject, then he becomes an expert.
What can be done to create leaders?
Good teachers (gurus) are important, not just certificates. An Indian soldier can fight for hours together even without food. That much dedication an Indian soldier has! It is not seen in any other country. This dedication comes from deep-rooted Sanskaras passed on through generations of experience of the Gurukul System.
An American software engineer can work for one shift, but his Indian counterpart can work two to three shifts, in fact he can just go on. This strength displayed by the Indian, is due to the tapas done by our Rishis that changed the very DNA of their descendants and each one of us is a descendent of a Rishi. Our family Gotra signifies this. The Indian children excel when they go abroad.
How did we become number one in the world's IT Information Technology? Two institutes, NIIT and the Aptec Computer Training Institute converted this country. They have proved that we can go beyond the Government certificate system. When their certificate is produced it holds high value and the student gets a job; for this is now the Guru who has certified his student. No government certifi-cate is required; you simply go and learn.
Do you want the Guru’s certificate, which will get you a certified job or a government job?
But your mind is always on the government certificate.
Up to now people thought that politicians will develop the country, but politicians can never do so for they are following the British system. As soon as you ask for a certificate you are being a slave to the govern-ment, which is full of many corrupt individuals.
So what we want to do is - to convert it into the Gurukulam system. Being with the Guru is more important than the certificate of the Government.
We want to produce Gurus not slaves. When you surrender to money you become slaves, when you surrender to a Guru you become wise.
Most of you are running to work traveling several hours, living in polluted cities. But do you know what the real earning is? You do not know what to earn? What about earning good water and good air? But all of you only know how to earn money. Up to now, you can buy good water, but if there is no pure air where will you go? Do you want your children to live in polluted cities and be slaves of foolish things? Or, do you wish to transcend to something higher?
Do you want the Gurukul system or the Government Certificate system?
Once you understand that the present government system is only meant for failing the children, you will not insist on the certificate system. Also, the student lives with constant fear in his heart. Examiners make the exam more and more difficult, so that they can eliminate the children. Thus, the present system is meant to fail the child; not to pass him.
Let us speculate - If a student fails who has failed; it is the failure of the teacher not the student. Today we have teachers, who do not provide knowledge but do their job simply to earn money. They are not concerned whether the child under-stands or not. In this condition if the child fails, it is the teacher who has failed, the system has failed, not the child.
Our system is creating beggars for jobs, not educated human beings.
Do you want a 100% Memory System or a failed system? If everybody passes it is fantastic. If the student fails the teacher also fails. If the student passes the teacher feels fantastic. But this possibility is not available to the teacher because the system is like that. We want every student to be a 100% student. At our Gurukuls our senior students teach the junior level. But, most important we will get 100% Memory and the students will be true students; remembering what they studied - for life.
Then you may ask - if everybody gets 100%, what will happen ?
Then the child will choose what he wants to do. In a Gurukul how much salary you get is not impor-tant. How much a student has become a Guru, how much of Gurutatva he has absorbed - is important. Then the child will make sure to do what he loves to do and whatever he does he will enjoy doing it.
The Gurukul System.
The Guru took care of all those who were in the Gurukul. In the Gurukul system - learning, training, and production happened simultaneously. There were no fees but what was produced and earned was all shared. Everyone was looked after.
When people came and asked the Guru for a person to do a stipulated job, the Guru assigned the best person for the task. Thus, the person assigned went as a representative of the Guru and not a mere employee. He was treated with respect, as if the Guru had come, not treated as a worker and doubted upon as we have today. Hence, there was no need to go and look for a job.
Thus, no one had to worry for a placement, food and shelter, that is why there were no beggars under the Gurukul System, which Lord Macaulay reported.
While the Gurukul System absorbs everyone and no unemployed persons exist in the Gurukul, people who are employed by the employers today are only interested in making money, and it leaves many people unemployed. It is only the exploitive business attitude of the British that has brought poverty to this country.
Replacement of the Gurukul system, will eliminate poverty in a few years. It will not even take a decade, to turn back the tide to establish a greater India under the care of the Gurukuls.
This is where we and India needs to go - to have a great culture, to produce Leaders / Gurus and not slaves.
When you surrender to money you become slaves, when you surrender to a Guru you become wise.