The Vedic ideas of education, why they are relevant today !

The Vedas, like any other scripture inspire us to lead higher lives. Vedas teach us everything be it science, mathematics, humanities or how we should conduct ourselves to live a happy life.

The principles laid down in the Vedas are relevant even today for everyone. It also applies to both teachers and students.

A teacher should have faith in the inherent potentialities of each and every student, for the Atma is lodged in the heart of every creature.

At the same time, a teacher should be able to recognize the differences in their capacity of assimilation owing to diverse backgrounds, as has been aptly pointed out “Though all men have the same eye and ears, yet they are unequal in their intellectual capacities.”

A teacher should be able to act as a resource person for all students by catering to the student’s diverse needs. This is possible if the teacher has love for knowledge.

A teacher should read new books, acquire new dimension of knowledge, become enriched with new ideas. And this capacity to acquire knowledge must be combined with the capacity to communicate knowledge to others. In other words of the Vedas, “Do not forsake learning and teaching.”

An ideal teacher is supposed to be a friend, philosopher and guide. His intellectual egoism does not lead him to reject or discourage students opinions altogether. Rather his loving attitude towards students motivates him to be interactive in the classroom.

A teacher questions students and encourages them to express their opinions. Questions serve an important purpose.

They stimulate students to think and thus serve as an effective way of animating their minds. To teach is to learn.

Hence the ideal teaching—learning process is not a one- way traffic. It is intended for the welfare of both teacher and student.

In an ideal educational process a teacher is supposed to be a father figure, a role model. 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.

Lethargy and complacency are the greatest hindrances in the process of learning. There is no end to learning. As per the statement of SriRamakrishna, “As long I live, so long do I learn.” It is also said that “Awakening is life, slumbering is death.”

Vedic students were taught to respect their elders but to respect elders did not mean to imitate them or follow them blindly.

Truthfulness, in order to be a virtue, must not hurt or injure others. The purpose of truthfulness is welfare of others.

True education should train individuals to be honest in their dealings, like truthfulness, honesty is also a vital factor which ensures social stability.

To be precise, honesty is also a form of truthfulness. Hence the Vedas enjoin on human being to earn wealthy by dint of honest labour.

Golak Bihari Dash
Golak Bihari Dash is a Post graduate teacher ( Geography) at Kendriya Vidyalaya No.1, Bhubaneswar. Views expressed are his own.


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