The most important contribution of ancient India not only for India but also for the world is in the field of education.
It may also be remembered that education is not an abstract term. It is manifested in the cultural economic, individual, philosophical, scientific, social and spiritual advancement. In other words, education is the means for developing the mind for the betterment of the individual and society. Seen from this perspective, the following views of great scholars and thinkers deserve mention.
Sources of the Vedic Age education: Vedic Literature
No study of the source of Indian culture, education, philosophy and thought is complete without an adequate acquaintance and understanding of the ‘Vedic Literature’. The Vedic literature represents the most important and intrinsic part of life of the India people.
The Vedic literature consists of the following
4. Four Brahmanas
5.One hundred and eighty Upanishads
6.Six systems of philosophy
The Vedic Period (From B.C. 1000 to B.C. 600):
In ancient Indian literature of the Vedic period the words “Siksha” and “Adhyapana” frequently occur. “Siksha” means to learn to recite. In those days education consisted of learning to recite the Holy text. The word ‘Adhyapana’ which literally means ‘to go near’ implies the idea of pupils going to some teacher for education.
The ancient Indian education emerged from the Vedas, because the Vedas are the source of Indian Philosophy of life. Veda means knowledge. During this period education was divided into two kinds of knowledge this worldly and other worldly. This worldly education dealt with the social aspect, whereas, the other worldly education was related to intellectual pursuits for achieving salvation. However, the greater emphasis was laid on the latter. Because, education was considered as a means of emancipation from life bondages.