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VEDANTA IN EDUCATION
VEDANTA IN EDUCATION
Education during vedic period was the third eye, the eye of insight and source of illumination. The system of education generally advocated emanated from the Vedas and was called vedic system of education, which insisted on code of conduct both for the student and the teacher and placed the child under the care and direction of the teacher.
Aims of Education during vedic age
1. Citta-Vritti- Nirodh : Education must aim at self- fulfillment and provide freedom from material desires and attachment.
2. Education of Mind : Education must provide knowledge for creativity and pursuit of culture and civilization.
3. Make living worthy : Education should make life worthwhile, purposeful and relevant.
4. Tamso-ma-Jyotirgamaya : Knowledge should dispel doubts, dogmas and darkness.
5. Religion centred : Religion dominated every aspect of life all national, personal, social and educative procedures and practices, hence education should be wedded to religion.
6. Individual- Centred : Education was for individual which was its chief concern. Education should therefore aim at overall development of an individual.
7. Nature- Oriented : The centres of education were located from the populated and crowded areas, more in natural and sylvan surroundings. Education should make man one with nature.
• Primary: Education was first provided at home then a ceremony (vidya Arambha Sanskar) before beginning education was performed. Education period was upto age of five years.
• Child was made to pronounce vedic mantras, knowledge of sandhis (connective rules), elementary grammar, elementary airthmetic.
• After primary education children were sent to Gurukulas and ashramas for higher education.
• Higher education:
Entry age varied between 8 to 12 for different varnas and completed by the 25th year of age. Upanayan ceremony was performed to enable the child to enter into studentship
According to Kathoupanishad, the subjects fell into two categories:
Para-vidya or (spiritual learning) Apara-vidya or (worldly learning)
Into this study fell the essential study of 4 vedas.
Also included vedangas, upanishads, puranas, Pitrya (rules for sacrifices for ancestors), vakovakya (logic),Ekayana (ethics), Devavidya (etymology), Brahmavidya etc.
This included subjects like History, Ayurveda, Economics, Astrology, Physics, zoology, chemistry, science, kalpavidya, the rashi (science of numbers), bhutvidya (sci. of demons).
Methods of Teaching
Two methods of Teaching were being practiced during vedic period. The first method was Maukhik (oral) and second was based on chintan ( thinking or reflection). In the oral method students were to memorize the mantras (vedic hymns) and Richayas (verses of Rigveda).
The process of education passed through three stages of comprehension i.e Shravan (Hearing), Manan ( meditation) and Nidhi-dhyasan ( realization and experience).
Methods of teaching was based on apprenticeship and was psychologically sound. Teaching followed some strategies such as simple to complex, activity and skill oriented procedures. Question- Answer technique and illustration . Self-study ( Swnadhyaya) was considered more important.
• Rules for conduct of both teachers and pupils were listed down.
• Rules also for respect due from pupils to teacher were framed.
• Rigid rules were laid for conduct of pupils
• Code of dress was observed
• Observation of Brahmacharya or celibacy was compulsory for all pupils.
During Vedic period the teacher occupied very important place in the scheme of education. He was the centre of education and without him no education could be conceived of. He was called Guru or Acharya and he was respected as a god by the student as well as the society. Even the king did not enjoy so much respect as the teacher enjoyed.
1) Pride in civilisation and culture
We are living in modern age, but we feel proud of the civilization and culture of our ancestors inherited to us. We give more preference to character, spiritualism philosophy rather than wealth, power, violence and diplomacy. We wish to lead an ideal life. Educational aims of vedic age are accepted in principle as aims of modern education to build character and make life worth living for our young ones.
2. Discipline and pupil teacher relationship :
The sense of discipline and cordial relation between teacher and pupil of vedic age is well known to the world. Today‘s scenario can be revived back by taking efforts to adopt the ideal relationship between teacher and pupil.
3. Subject of studies :
Vedic literature is enriched by the sense of peace, humanity, universal brotherhood which is also vital part of our curriculum.
4. Teaching Methods :
As discussed above ,some methods of teaching are still used fruitfully in our classrooms.
5. All round development of child:
The nature of education was much more individualistic rather than joint in groups. All round development of a childs personality was the chief aim of education. Same aim is kept in view in modern education also.
6. Equality of opportunity:
There was no discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, colour etc and the students of all strata of society received education on an equal footing. In modern too, the constitution has adopted the principle of equality in the field of education.
7. Education for self- sufficiency:
Apart from intellectual aspect of education its practical side was not lost sight of and along with art, literature and philosophy, students got a working knowledge of agriculture and other vocations of life. Modern education also lays stress upon preparing students to prepare themselves for their future life. Vocational subjects are included in the curriculum.
8. Commercial education and vedic mathematics :
Commercial education and Mathematics Education is one of the chief features of vedic period. The ideas of the sope and nature of commercial geography, needs of the people of various localities, exchange value and quality of articles and language spoken at different trade centres were considered necessary.
Vedic mathematics have become more popular now. More and more parents are aware about the significance of vedic mathematics and are taking keen interest to offer the opportunities to their child to learn vedic mathematics.