4 October 2016

Curriculum And Methods of Teaching In Vedic Education

Curriculum And Methods of Teaching In Vedic Education


According to recent researches, following disciplines were included in the curriculum in the graded forms in accordance with the stages of education.
1.      Anthropology
2.      Astronomy
3.      Economics
4.      Epistemology
5.      Eschatology
6.      Ethnology
7.      Geology
8.      Human eugenics
9.      Mathematics
10.  Military Science

The system of education was well-organized. It was suited to the needs of the society education was considered as the greatest gift in ancient India. It was aimed at the development of personality of an individual to his maximum extent. Education helped in the realization of spiritual & moral values, besides preparing for worldly pursuits. It was freely available to all those who wanted the relations between teachers and the pupils were based on love and affection. They were very cordial & intimate.
  1. Vedas & Vedic literature:- During the Vedic - age, education became centered on religion which is essentially an effect to establish an harmony between man's total personality and the totality of the universe. The curriculum was dominated by the study of Vedas and Vedic literature, spiritual and moral lessens. Hymns of the Vedas were primarily composed by Rishis as an expression of the inner light for the benefit of man kind. There are four Vedas namely 1 Rig Veda 2 Yajur Veda 3 Sam Veda 4 Atharva Veda.
  2. Vedangas:- It includes the study of i. siksha ii. Kalpa iii. Nirukta iv. Chandas v. Jyotisha v. Vyaleama (granner).
  3. Logic:- It develops the resonsry facilities.
  4. Scheme of Arts & Crafts (silpa - vidya):- It develops aesthetic sense & practical skill in construction regarding symmetry, proposition & beauty.
  5. Physical Education:- Meditation & salvation are possible only when one is physically healthy. Hence intense physical education was also included in the curriculum. It built stamina students had to learn riding, wrestling, hunting, swimming, running, jumping, etc. for developing physical & mental strength, early marriage was not in practice in Vedic – age. They strictly observed celibacy upto a particular age to avoid premature old age & death. (Atharva Veda).
  6. Professional &technical subjects:- Some professional and technical subjects like medicine and surgery, astronomy, Astrology, Mathematics, economics, were given the importance the curriculum.
  7. Dharma:- It was also the part & parcel of curriculum.
  8. Meditation:- It was also included. Hymns of Vedas were composed by Rishis as an expression of the inner light for the benefit of mankind. This was in fact the main object of Vedic education. The education of Vedic period was the education of the complete man.
  9. Student centered:- A great quality of curriculum of Vedic education was that it was student centered i.e. according to the educational needs, interests & aptitudes of the student. the curriculum was planned in such a way that it met the requirements of every student.
  10. stress on other worldliness:- Curriculum in Vedic age, laid more stress on other worldliness. Although provision was made for all the student, yet he was not prepared for this world, but for the eternal happiness in the other world. The highest wisdom was to seek release from worldly claim & the highest knowledge was to acquinted with the method by which self - realization could be attained.
Methods of teaching:- In this period Verbal education was imported in such a way that it could be preserved for thousands of years. The hymns were learnt by remembering & they were realized through meditation. The sounds words to verses were pronounced in their organized forms. The Acharya, corrected the mistakes of their disciples by repitation. The people of Vedic age believed that the pronunciation of the hymns caused sin and destroyed their effect.

The method of mediation was also practiced meditation helped preservation of the meanings of the mantsas & development of the sound of the disciplines. The discipline tried to understand the sense and echo of the sense by meditation of every world of the hymns. 

Process of Instruction
There were three steps in instruction:
 1. Sravana       2. Manana        3. Nididhyasana.
Sravana is listening to words texts as they uttered by the teacher.
Manana is the process of deliberation or reflection of the topic taught.
Nididhyasana represents the highest stage.

Admission and Evaluation System
There seems to be no direct reference available to spell out the methodology followed by the Acharya to judge the adequacy of knowledge of his pupils. Yaskas and Sayana, famous commentators on the Vedas, have inferred from the Rig Veda hymn that the students were given three grades as under:
1.      Maha Prazanan grade:- Students of very high ability.
2.      Madhyama Prazanan grade:- Students of high ability.

3.      Alpa Prazanan grade:- Students of low ability.