Value-Education – Part 2

Value-Education – Part 2

मूल्याधिष्ठितशिक्षणम् – द्वितीयोऽध्यायः

  1. I had presented some thoughts on Value Education earlier, mentioning “.. Since Universal and eternal values is the important essence of संस्कृत the language and संस्कृति cultural richness, inherent to it, it becomes a point to ponder upon, whether, education, if conducted through courses, syllabi and textbooks compiled in संस्कृत and based on संस्कृत texts will become values-based education. ..”
  1. To take the thoughts further, I get to recall a phrase शुचौ देशे in गीता २-११. The phrase may be translated to mean a sacrosanct site or place or location. This would prompt an enquiry into what a sacrosanct site or place or location is. Here the word देश should be interpreted to mean not just the place or site or location, but all the environmental surrounding there. So,  शुचौ देशे connotes good and conducive environment and in turn understanding the environment and caring for it.
  1. There are शान्तिमन्त्र-s to both begin and close a ritual.
  • One such शान्तिमन्त्र says ॐ द्यौ: शान्तिरन्तरिक्ष शान्ति: | पृथिवी शान्तिराप: शान्तिरोषधय: शान्ति:। वनस्पतय: शान्तिर्विश्वे देवा: शान्तिर्ब्रह्म शान्ति: सर्वँ शान्ति:, शान्तिरेव शान्ति: सा मा शान्तिरेधि ॥ ॐ शान्ति: शान्ति: शान्ति: ॥
  • Another शान्तिमन्त्र of पुरुषसूक्तम् is ॐ तच्छं योरावृणीमहे | गातुं यज्ञाय | गातुं यज्ञपतये | दैवी स्वस्तिरस्तु नः | स्वस्तिर्मानुषेभ्यः | ऊर्ध्वं जिगातु भेषजम् | शं नो अस्तु द्विपदे | शं चतुष्पदे || ॐ शान्ति: शान्ति: शान्ति: ॥
  • The शान्तिमन्त्र-s are sublime. They are sublime also because they evidence care for the environment and also for all living beings.
  • Another famous शान्तिमन्त्र is a prayer ॐ सह नाववतु । सह नौ भुनक्तु । सह वीर्यं करवावहै । तेजस्विनावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै ॥ ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥ This शान्तिमन्त्र prays for
    • तेजस्विनावधीतमस्तु May our learning be brilliant and also
    • मा विद्विषावहै May we never have any rancour
  • The शान्तिमन्त्र-s are sublime. But more importantly they have Value-Education inherent in them.
  1. दासबोध of संत रामदास is really a treatise in Marathi on conducting life, both with social responsibility and individual righteousness.
  1. Traditions in Indian culture detail three-fold approach to conduct of life – धर्म, अर्थ, काम. TirukkuraL in Tamil detail this approach by 133 sets of 10 verses each. It has three sections
  • ARattuppaL with 38 sets (380 couplets) which obviously details अर्थ-aspect i.e. earning and supporting the family, rather one’s practical life
  • PoruTpaL with 70 sets (700 couplets) seems to detail धर्म-aspect i.e. aspects of righteous behaviour
  • KAmattupaL with 25 sets (250 couplets) seems to detail काम-aspect i.e. family-life, especially between husband and wife.
  1. In Sanskrit there is शतकत्रयम् of भर्तृहरि – three centuries of verses सुभाषितानि i.e. good sayings
  • नीतिशतकम् – comprises 100+ verses सुभाषितानि on righteous behaviour
  • शृङ्गारशतकम् – comprises 100+ verses सुभाषितानि on family-life, especially between husband and wife
  • वैराग्यशतकम् – comprises 100+ verses सुभाषितानि on renunciation
  1. In response to my write-up on School Education at my son Rahul made an observation that “… One aspect of education that is sorely missed in schools is health and emotional well being. This is different from PE and sports. It is about how to understand and take care of our body and mind, knowledge of healthy eating, and awareness and management of emotions. More than intelligence, this is proven to be a high contributor to a person’s successful life. …”
  1. In गीता especially in 17th and 18th chapter there is good elucidation, rather, three-fold analysis सत्त्व-रज-तम (Best-Average-Bad)-analysis of almost every other aspect of life, such as
  • आहार (गीता १७-८, ९, १०) diet
  • यज्ञ (गीता १७-११, १२, १३) – It is difficult to give a single meaning of यज्ञ. Traditional meaning of यज्ञ as sacrificial ritual of oblation to a fire is grossly misleading. See various types of अग्नि-s  and यज्ञ-s mentioned in गीता itself, ब्रह्माग्नि (४-२५), संयमाग्नि (४-२६), आत्मसंयमयोगाग्नि (४-२७), द्रव्ययज्ञ, तपोयज्ञ, योगयज्ञ स्वाध्यायज्ञानयज्ञ (४-२८).
  • तप – Concept of तप is detailed as being of three types शारीरम् वाङ्मयम् मानसम् in श्लोक-s १७-१४ to १७-१६ and the three-fold सत्त्व-रज-तम-analysis is detailed in श्लोक-s १७-१७ to १७-१९
  • दान – I would think that दान should be understood to mean philanthropy. But in श्लोक १७-२२ indiscriminate philosophy is also chided upon.and is graded into तम-grade
  • त्याग (गीता १८-७, ८, ९) – sacrifice
  • ज्ञान (गीता १८-२०, २१, २२) – knowledge
  • कर्म (गीता १८-२३, २४, २५) – duty and action
  • कर्ता (गीता १८-२६, २७, २८) – doer
  • बुद्धि (गीता १८-३०, ३१, ३२) – intellect and discretion
  • धृति (गीता १८-३३, ३४, ३५) – forbearance
  • सुख (गीता १८-३७, ३८, ३९) – pleasure and/or happiness
  1. There is a composition by the name सदाचारः by श्रीमच्छंकराचार्य
  1. There have been famous stories quite entertaining for children, yet with morals especially in पञ्चतन्त्रम् and हितोपदेशः In पञ्चतन्त्रम्, as is clear from the name itself, the 71 stories are narrated in five sections – मित्रभेदः (22), मित्रसंप्राप्तिः (6), काकोलूकीयम् (16), लब्धप्रणाशः (12) and अपरीक्षितकारकम् (15 stories). The narration and the morals are summarized in as many as 1134 सुभाषितानि.
  1. Looking back at all of my own education I fail to recall whether I had any systematic value-education anytime.

Any education which does not have value-education inbuilt is certainly incomplete education. That needs to be set right. And there is so much literature available in Sanskrit. All that has to be brought into our education system, to build strong forthcoming generations healthy in body, mind and soul.

शुभमस्तु |



Thoughts on School Education

मन्येऽहं शालेयशिक्षणमिति प्रायः तच्छिक्षणम् यत् पञ्चवयसः आरभ्य पञ्चदशवयःपर्यन्तं भवति |

I would think that school education can be taken as the education that would happen over a span of 11 years from an age of 5 years up to the age of about 15 years.

तस्य सामान्यतः त्रयः विभागाः – प्राथमिकम्, माध्यमिकम्, उच्चमाध्यमिकम् च |

This is usually of three stages – Primary, Secondary and Higher Secondary.

तथापि मन्येऽहं शालेयशिक्षणस्य उद्दिष्टम् भवति यत् व्यक्तिमत्त्वविकासः भवेत् |

Nevertheless overall objective of school education would/should be to groom Personality development.

व्यक्तिमत्त्वविकासः प्रायः षड्विधैः विषयैः भवति |

Personality Development would have focus on 6 main faculties –

  1. गणितम् Mathematics – Arithmetic अङ्कगणितम् Algebra बीजगणितम्, Geometry भूमितिः Trigonometry त्रिकोणामितिः Calculus कलनगणितम्
  2. भाषाज्ञानम् Language-studies – Grammar व्याकरणम्, Prose गद्यानि, Poetry पद्यानि, Prosody and Figures of speech भाषालङ्काराः
  3. विज्ञानशास्त्राणि Sciences –  Physics पदार्थविज्ञानम्, Chemistry रसायनशास्त्रम्, Biology जीवशास्त्रम् Geosciences भूगोलविज्ञानम्, Astronomy खगोलविज्ञानम्
  4. समाजशास्त्राणि Social sciences – History इतिहासः, Economics अर्थशास्त्रम्, Law न्यायशास्त्रम्, Culture संस्कृतिः, Political sciences राज्यशास्त्रम्
  5. कलाः हस्तकलाः Arts and crafts – Elocution and debate वक्तृत्वम्, Acting अभिनयः, Drawing and painting चित्रलेखनम्, Music संगीतम् (Singing गायनम्, playing instruments वादनम्) Dance नृत्यम्
  6. क्रीडाः Games – Individual वैयक्तिकाः Team games सांघिकाः

एतद्विधे शिक्षणे स्पर्धात्मकः भावः अवश्यं भवितव्यः | संप्रतिकाले भवन्ति स्पर्धाः स्थानीयाः प्रादेशिकाः अन्तर्देशीयाः आन्तर्देशीयाश्च प्रायः सर्वेषु विषयेषु क्षेत्रेषु च | औलिम्पियड्-नाम्न्यः स्पर्धाः गणितविषये विज्ञानशास्त्राणां विषयेष्वपि भवन्ति | यः कोऽपि पाठ्यक्रमः रच्यते तस्मिन् एतावन्नैपुण्यं सहजतया भवितव्यम् | विद्यार्थिभ्यः उत्कृष्टमेव देयम् |

There ought to be a competitive urge inherent in such education. As of now there are competition-opportunities available at local, regional, national and International level, almost in every other subject and field. There are Olympiad-competitions in Mathematics and in Sciences also. Whatever syllabus is structured, that syllabus itself should provide for grooming such competence. Students ought to be offered only the best.

एतैः विषयैः शिक्षणं व्यवसायाभिमुखं नापि भवेत् | तथापि विद्यार्थिनः अग्रिमाय व्यवसायाभिमुखाय शिक्षणाय निश्चयेन सज्जाः भवेयुः | पञ्चदशवर्षीयेभ्यः एतावती सज्जता एव प्रायः समीचीनं लक्ष्यमिति मे मतिः |

Study of these subjects may not render vocational aptitude. However students will have right preparation for further vocational education. By my thinking, for 15-year olds, such preparation itself would be a good aim.

वयोमानानुसारिषु पाठ्यक्रमेषु उपरिनिर्दिष्टानां विषयाणां प्रायः एकादशस्तरेषु विश्लेषणं विचारणीयम् |

Curricula graded by age would be detailing the above subjects in 11 stages.

प्रायः ये पाठ्यक्रमाः इदानीं चलन्ति तेषु एतावद्विश्लेषणमस्त्येव |

We can presume that what curricula and syllabi are already operative do have such structure only.

अतः मुख्यतः विचारणीयं कथं पाठ्यक्रमाणां पाठ्यपुस्तकानि संस्कृतग्रन्थानामाधारेण भवन्ति रच्यन्ते वा | यतः संस्कृतज्ञानं प्रायः पद्यात्मकं भवति, तत् स्मृतिसुलभं भवति | एतावत्या सुलभतया यद्भारं विद्यार्थिनः सद्यः वहन्ति तदप्यूनं भवेत् खलु |

What needs to be deliberated is how the textbooks can be prepared based on Sanskrit-texts. Since most Sanskrit texts are in verse form, there is inherent ease for memorizing. Such ease in memorizing would help to reduce the burden of books, which children are carrying these days.

संस्कृतग्रन्थानामाधारेण रचितैः पाठ्यपुस्तकैः न केवलं विषयानां शिक्षणं भव्यम् | तद्विधैः पाठ्यपुस्तकैः राष्ट्राभिमानोऽपि परिपोषणीयः | तद्विधायाः संस्कृत्याः प्रसारणमपि भवति या मूलतः एव वैश्विका अस्ति जगद्धिताय अस्ति |

By such textbooks based on Sanskrit texts, not only would there be education in respective subjects, but there would be grooming of national pride and right orientation into a culture, which has been basically universal in its spirit and thoughts and hence for goodness all across the world.

शुभमस्तु !!